One of the best things about going to Epcot is the immersive culture experience that then leads to some awesome places to eat! Epcot’s Mexico restaurants are numerous and awesome, let’s review.
What is the best restaurant in EPCOT?
With over 60 places to eat in EPCOT, finding the best of Epcot’s Mexico restaurants is no small feat. However, find comfort in the fact that EPCOT is the right place to look when it comes to food at Disney. If you’re looking in the world showcase, you’re getting warmer.
To me, the best restaurant in EPCOT is one that encompasses, atmosphere, aesthetic, cuisine, service, and cost. When it comes down to it, the best restaurant in EPCOT is the one where you feel the most comfortable. Comfort with the atmosphere, the price, the cuisine, the service, etc.
With that said, EPCOT’s Mexico Pavilion is home to a number of delicious places to get some grub. The restaurant in the pyramid is our front runner.
What restaurant is in the pyramid in EPCOT?
As if plucked from the ruins of the Yucatan Jungle, a Mayan Pyramid proudly stands as the landmark of EPCOT’s Mexico Pavilion. At 36 feet tall this homage to the Aztec god of civilization serves as the unofficial beginning of EPCOT’s glorious world showcase and so much more.
Influenced by the pre-Columbian civilizations (before the arrival of Columbus to America) of the Aztecs and Mayans, the Mexico Pavilion Pyramid is directly inspired by the El Castillo pyramid of Chichén Itzá, Mexico.
El Castillo is thought to be a physical representation of the Mayan Calendar, with small windows set just so as to “frame” certain celestial events, like the Spring and Fall Equinoxes. The original pyramid stands 79 feet and has 4 sides, with 91 stairs each, totaling 365 stairs, one for each day of the year.
It’s incredible to think about the manpower and the sheer strength that went into the construction of these temples so long ago. While the one that stands within EPCOT’s world showcase is a very convincing replica, it has a few things that the originals don’t… like a restaurant… and a boat ride.
As amazing as the Mayans before them, Disney Imagineers sought to recreate the pre-Columbian era architecture of Chichén Itzá and did so by combining the history of the people, and the culture. Where they really got creative though, is by giving the pyramid an equally if not more exciting inside.
Home to many souvenir shops and the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Tres Caballeros, the Mexico Pavilion’s main attraction is actually not its attraction… It’s the restaurant inside the pyramid called San Angel Inn Restaurante.
San Angel Inn Restaurante
San Angel Inn Restaurante may just be one of the most magical places within EPCOT’s world showcase. Once you enter the iconic pyramid that the Mexico Pavilion is known for, you are transported from the sometimes sticky central Florida to 17th century Mexico, dining under the stars, next to the running waters of Gran Fiesta Tour, in sweet, cool air conditioning.
The atmosphere of San Angel Inn is almost indescribable to someone who has never experienced it firsthand. It’s expansive yet intimate, bustling with guests, but cozy and cool due to the dreamy decor and lighting.
You’re outside, but inside, a kind of surreal feeling and one that Disney does effortlessly. I know I’m going to say this a lot throughout this post, but it’s really something you cannot miss when checking out EPCOT’s world showcase.
A completely family-friendly experience, San Angel is an awesome place to bring the kids, or not… It can also be a super romantic spot for a lovely Disney date. Start your meal with complimentary chips and salsa while you peruse the menu… The food here is done very well which can make it hard to choose an entree, but just know that whatever you pick will be a winner for sure.
Though San Angel Inn Restaurante is open for lunch and dinner, I would make a reservation for dinner and save lunch for across the way at the Cantina. Really for no other reason than San Angel Inn just gives off some major dinner vibes. The menu is pretty hefty (even for lunch) and lends itself better to a dining experience in my opinion.
Most importantly, don’t forget the deserts… It may sound like a lot but trust me: get one of each and share them at your table. It won’t be too much food, it will just be a little spendy, but it will be worth it. If you don’t finish everything, save the cheesecake for later, you won’t be sorry!
La Hacienda de San Angel is located across from the Mexican Pavilion Pyramid, adjacent to La Cantina de San Angel, and is one of the newest additions to the EPCOT Mexico Pavilion. Situated on the waterfront of the lagoon, La Hacienda de San Angel has one of the best views in all of EPCOT’s world showcase. It is one of the two sit-down restaurants within the Mexico Pavilion, San Angel Inn is the other.
A hidden gem if you will, La Hacienda de San Angel is conveniently located right across from the Mexico Pavilion Pyramid, but kind of squished next to La Cantina de San Angel… It can be easy to miss so keep an eye out for the host stand that says “Mexico Reservation Check-In”. Once inside there’s no mistaking that you are in the right place. The Restaurant’s iconic large windows allow guests to look out onto the Lagoon, with awesome views of the Japan and Italy Pavilions.
With decor and atmosphere inspired by Southwestern Mexican art, the restaurant is adorned with fabulous paintings and colorful nods to its land of origin. Cozy booths are available for smaller parties and are elevated slightly above the larger dining tables. This allows all guests to enjoy the spectacular view that La Hacienda San Angel windows are so known for.
La Hacienda de San Angel is just one of the reasons why Mexico is one of the best places to dine when touring EPCOT’s world showcase. As is true of all world showcase restaurants, La Hacienda’s is truly an elevated and authentic Mexican experience.
Some stand-out dishes include Alambre de Res – a sophisticated take on a fajita, served with flour tortillas, and Pollo Poblano – a roasted chicken breast served with veggies and mushrooms in a poblano cream sauce that is not to be missed.
There are also menu options for guests who are gluten-free, vegan, and/or plant-based, as well as fun options for the kiddos. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of fun for the adults too! If you are 21+ definitely try the Black Magic Margarita, created by Neil Patrick Harris. It’s a refreshing blackberry, lime, and mint concoction served frozen and it will truly have you believing in magic.
La Cantina de San Angel is probably the best place to go for a quick snack in all of EPCOT. I know that is a grand statement! But trust me, when the weather is nice there is nothing quite like sitting at a picnic table next to the World Showcase Lagoon, having a cold cerveza, eating an authentic Mexican treat, and gazing over at Japan.
Located right across from the pyramid, La Cantina de San Angel serves up quick-service lunch and dinner options to Disney guests racing around the world, or to those who just want to sit and enjoy the view. It’s a wonderful people-watching spot as well as a great place to eat.
Mexican favorites like empanadas con queso, tacos, tortilla chips, and guacamole, can be found on the menu as well as the classic, pollo cascabel. There are also chicken tenders, and macaroni and cheese available for the kiddos and the pickier eaters in the crew.
La Cantina de San Angel also offers cocktails to-go and are a delicious alternative to when La Cava del Tequila is a little busier. I recommend a classic frozen margarita, it really has a special way of making the thick Florida humidity melt away.
While La cantina de San Angel is great for a snack or even lunch, it’s not my favorite spot for dinner. I guess it depends on what you’re looking for that day, but the San Angel Inn is definitely the best dinner restaurant in EPCOT’s Mexico Pavilion.
When visiting La Cantina de San Angel, stick to the tacos, churros, chips, and guac, and of course the frozen margaritas! After you’ve visited the rest of the world showcase, make your way back to the and hunker down for fireworks, it’s easily the best seat in the world (showcase hah)
Mexico is always my first stop in the world showcase tour and that is mostly due to La Cava del Tequila. Whether you are grabbing a margarita to go or planning on staying for a while to sample tequila, La Cava del Tequila has something for everyone, as long as you’re 21 and older.
With a yummy tapas-style menu and a cozy, sultry atmosphere, La Cava del Tequila will transport you to a night out on the town in Mexico City. It might just be my favorite place in all of EPCOT and that’s saying a lot!
If you’re lucky enough to grab a seat at La Cava del Tequila do it! Order the Trio Combo — Salsa, Guacamolé, Queso, and Chips, for the table and then dig into the menu. First, of course, you’ll need to try a margarita, any margarita.
One of my favorites is the Blood Orange Margarita with Tajin Salt, and there are a bunch more to choose from. Be sure to talk to your server about what’s new and what’s leaving so you can make your best, most informed decision.
Margarita’s not your thing? Luckily there are over 200 tequilas available for tasting via a five flavor flight, or by the glass. There’s also a delicious Mexican Sangria, and don’t forget the tapas… Snacks like sweet corn on the cob smothered with chipotle aioli, queso cotija, and Tajin make the experience even more unforgettable.
The only downside to La Cava del Tequila being so good is that you will have to be prepared to wait for a little for a seat, but in my opinion, it is totally worth it. This place is a cult favorite and is usually busy… Unless you get there right at noon when they open and then the crowd isn’t too bad. Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? If you can’t get there early, they are open until 9 pm and if you get there around the time the fireworks start, you’ll notice the crowds tend to be a bit thinner.
Does EPCOT Take a whole day?
Ask any Disney fan in your life what their favorite park is and if they can choose, they’re most likely going to say EPCOT. A fan-favorite for a reason, EPCOT is not only home to some of the most classic Disney attractions, but guests also have the world at their feet. Well, the world showcase that is.
To be honest, as a kid it’s not really the park that stuck with me, but as an adult, it’s without a doubt one of my favorite places to be in Disney!
Anyone 21+ will tell you how fun it is to hop country-to-country and grab a beverage at each place, but if you’re hitting EPCOT with the kiddos it’s probably going to be a bit of a different experience.
EPCOT is one of the parks that can definitely be done in one day, but you wouldn’t be bored if you decided to go back for another. This really depends on who you are traveling with, and what kind of things you’d like to prioritize.
The world showcase itself can take one whole day if you really spend your time in each country, and go on the rides in Mexico and Norway. Then there’s EPCOT proper, which has so many things to do and see, so if you and your family or your travel buddies want to see it all, maybe budget an extra day for EPCOT round two.
If you don’t have the option to go to one park multiple times, don’t sweat it. There are definitely ways to maximize your time and see everything you want to see while you’re there.
My advice is to do your research and plan out your day accordingly. For instance, Spaceship Earth is kind of a right of passage but can be skipped if you’ve already done it. Soarin’ is definitely the superior attraction and could be done in its place…Test Track, though, is a must.
Just check in with your family or your Disney buddies and see what’s important to them!
The new Harmonious light show, Space 220 Restaurant, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure are all new additions to EPCOT coming this fall.
EPCOT Mexico Rides
Did you know that there are only two countries in EPCOT’s world showcase that are home to rides?
There’s Frozen Ever After, located in Ana and Elsa’s homeland of Norway and then we have the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Tres Caballeros located in Mexico. Pretty cool huh?
As you make your way around the world showcase at EPCOT you’ll notice that each country represented has its own distinguishing landmark. China is home to the ornate and beautiful Temple of Heaven, and across the lagoon, you can spot the majestic torii gate of Japan. Paris has a replica of the Eiffel tower and of course, Mexico has its very own landmark as well.
Mexico is home to the El Castillo Pyramid, a Mesoamerican-inspired Aztec temple, which is reminiscent of those found in Mexico’s Yucatán. The temple, like many of its time, is dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of civilization. Quetzalcoatl translates to Plumed Serpent and you’ll notice from the art located on the front of the temple, he’s indeed a feathered, dragon-looking creature that you’ll probably recognize from similar architecture.
The 36’ temple is a sight to behold, but it’s nothing compared to what’s inside. As you enter the temple, there is a museum-like exhibit of Dias de Los Muertos or the Mexican Day of the Dead as depicted in the movie Coco. There are also gift shops and souvenir carts located on the Plaza de los Amigos, and delicious Mexican fare at the San Angel Inn restaurant.
Just beyond guests dining on scrumptious Mexican cuisine, you’ll notice the entrance to Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Tres Caballeros. Jose and Ponchito are excited to start the show, but they notice that their band member, Donald is missing! Follow along as they search for Donald, and see if you can spot him yourself! This smooth boat ride is a great way to beat the heat and is fun for guests of all ages. Sail along the winding river as José and Ponchito search for Donald in order to start their concert!