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Vegetarian Counter Service Options – Part One

July 8, 2012

Since I’ll be using the Disney dining plan during my next trip, and one counter service meal is included for each night I’m there, (so I’ll have a total of twelve counter service credits,) I decided to start looking over counter service menus today for vegetarian options.

Each counter service restaurant has at least one vegetarian option on their menu, but a lot of the time, the option is cheese pizza or a veggie burger, which I’m going to try and not resort to eating. With few exceptions, Disney’s pizza is notoriously bad, and I just don’t like the veggie burgers Disney serves in their restaurants. There are some restaurants that serve house-made veggie burgers, but the majority of vggie burgers in Disney are commercial frozen ones. So counter service meals will require a little more planning on my part if I want to enjoy my meals. There are a few places that count as counter service restaurants on the dining plan, but are really glorified snack stands, and while full meals are available, some don’t have vegetarian choices.

Epcot is easily the best park for counter service meals for vegetarians.

Sunshine Seasons, which is located in the Land pavilion in Future World, (if you’ve ever ridden Soarin, you’ve walked right past it,) is possibly the best in all of Disney for vegetarians. There are four separate sections for food, the grill, salads, Asian, and sandwiches, and every section, except for the grill, has a vegetarian selection. A vegetable and tofu bowl at the Asian section, a roasted beet and goat cheese salad at the salad section, and a vegetable flatbread sandwich at the sandwich section. I’ve personally had the roasted beet and goat cheese salad and the vegetable flatbread sandwich before. The roasted beet and goat cheese salad is delicious, and I enjoyed it before I even went vegetarian. It uses spring mix greens, (I detest iceburg lettuce,) candied nuts, a very creamy, though somewhat mild goat cheese, and sweet red and golden beet slices, all mixed with a sweet vinaigrette. The vegetable flatbread sandwich is pretty good too, though I can’t rave about it the way I do about the salad, but it’s still very good for a vegetarian option, I just wish it was served hot instead of cold. I’m sure I’ll be eating at Sunshine Seasons at least once this fall, probably more then that.

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Roasted Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich at Sunshine Seasons – September 2009

There is one other counter service restaurant in Future World, Electric Umbrella, which does have a unique vegetarian entree, (I count anything other then pizza, veggie burgers, and salads, as unique,) a black bean flatbread sandwich, and it actually sounds pretty good, but with all the other restaurants at Epcot, I’ve never tried it.

Epcot’s other (better) half is World Showcase. For those of you who have never been to Epcot before, World Showcase is a mile or so long stretch around World Showcase lagoon, (which is where Illuminations is held every night,) featuring eleven of the world’s countries; Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, Germany, Italy, China, Norway, Mexico, and the American Adventure. There aren’t a lot of rides in World Showcase, but there is a lot of live entertainment, films in a few of the countries, and many interesting shops, as well as restaurants.

Canada does not have a counter service restaurant, so I won’t be eating anything there. United Kingdom has a fish and chips restaurant, that serves just that, and only that, so that’s out. France has a bakery, which is wonderful, and I could happily make a meal from their cheese plate and pastries.

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Peach Tart at Boulangerie Patissererie – October 2007

My favorite counter service in World Showcase is Tangerine Cafe in Morocco. It also has two vegetarian options on their menu; a falafel wrap, and a vegetable platter with falafel, couscous salad, hummus, tabbouleh, lentil salad, olives, and bread. I actually haven’t had a chance to try either yet, as I haven’t been back here since I went vegetarian, but their meat options, (especially the lamb wrap,) are delicious, and I love the couscous salad, which is also available a la carte.

Japan has a new counter service location, Katsura Grill, with one lone vegetarian option, a vegetable pancake, which just doesn’t sound that appealing or filling to me, so I probably won’t be eating there.

America’s counter service location is Liberty Inn, and has a black bean burger for their vegetarian option, which doesn’t sound bad, but I make homemade black bean burgers all the time, so while that would be a more then adequate lunch, it’s not something I would bother getting at Epcot with all the other options available.

Germany’s counter service location is Sommerfest, and they only sell sausage sandwiches, though the dessert choices are tempting; apple strudel, cheesecake, and black forest cake.

I’m not sure whether or not Italy has a counter service location. They had a kiosk open while one of their table service restaurants, Tutto Italia, was closed for renovation, but now since Tutto Italia is open again, I would imagine that the kiosk would be closed, but it’s menu is still listed on All Ears, (a great website that I use for a lot of my Disney trip planning,) and they’re pretty good about removing menus from restaurants that are no longer there. If it is open, there are pasta options listed that would be suitable, as well as cannoli for dessert.

Lotus Blossom Cafe in China has a vegetable stir-fry on their menu, but I’ve read online that it’s not vegetarian, due to some ingredient in the sauce. That’s enough to keep me from trying it, though I should probably go in and actually ask about it at some point.

Norway has a great little bakery, Kringla og Bakeri, which also serves a variety of sandwiches, which change daily, and there is sometimes a vegetarian option, as well as a potato and goat cheese tart. The desserts here are wonderful as well, and I’ve sampled many over the past few years, with my current favorite being the school bread, which is really just like a giant cream-filled doughnut topped with coconut and caramel.

Mexico has a new counter service restaurant, La Cantina de San Angel, which serves cheese empanadas for their vegetarian option. It sounds good, but I’ll probably stay away, since too much dairy bothers my stomach. I can handle dairy in small smounts, like a sprinkle of cheese in pasta or a salad, but something where the main focus is cheese? Forget about it.

So those are the counter service options for vegetarians in Epcot. Part two is soon to follow with Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Studios, and then part three will focus on Downtown Disney and the resorts.

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2 Comments
  1. Cacilda permalink

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