Disney main gate - Mimi's Cafe - Harbor BlvdYou can find great dining options inside the Disney Resort, but they are always crowded and overpriced. You can check out the Disney dining choices Disneyland Dining or California Adventure Dining, but consider going outside for more choices and better prices.

Outside the main gate on Harbor blvd

Mimi's Bistro and Bakery

Casual chain restaurant serving French & American favorites in a rustic setting. We usually have breakfast here.

Some of my favorites are Pain Perdu With Mixed Berries, Eggs Benedicts, and Crepes. Meals come with a choice of carbs, including muffins. We usually order muffins to go for later. They also have good choices for lunch and dinner.

1400 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802


Disney main gate - IHOP - Harbor Blvd - by Russ - FlickrThe International House of Pancakes is a long-standing chain serving a wide variety of pancakes & other American breakfast & diner fare.

The menu is truly international catering to every budget and taste. They offer a large selection of pancakes, waffles, and crepes along with sandwiches and burgers. They also have a senior citizen menu.

Lately, this chain started offering unlimited pancakes with any breakfast meal. But after eating a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sausage, it is a challenge to eat more than the usual 2 pancakes.

1560 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802

Denny'sDisney main gate - Denny's Slam - by Joits - Flickr

Casual diner chain dishing up classic American comfort fare, including all-day breakfast favorites.

Denny’s are famous for their “Slam” breakfasts. My favorite is “Build your own slam”. Pick your choice of eggs, means, potatoes, and pancakes.

1610 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802

Tony Roma's

Disney main gate - Tony Roma's - Baby back_ribs - from WikimediaLong-running, family-friendly steakhouse chain known for its ribs, onion loaf & Romarita drinks. This place is heaven for meat lovers but it is crowded due to proximity to the park. Make a reservation to avoid the wait.

It is a ribs restaurant, so you must try their variety of ribs, but you can also find other favorites like Steak and wild mushrooms flatbread, Wings Grilled salmon and Fish and Chips.

1640 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802

Jimboy's Tacos

This local Mexican fast-food chain serves traditional dishes such as tacos & burritos.

1650 Harbor Blvd #C, Anaheim, CA 92802

Outside the main gate on Katella 

Puesto Mexican Bar and Grill

Disney main gate - PuestoThis restaurant is located across the street from Disney California Adventure on Katella ave. It is inside the Westin Hotel complex.

It is an upscale Mexican cuisine restaurant with plenty of delicious tacos and a few other choices.

It is a little pricy - expect to pay $12 for a single taco with no sides - but very tasty. You can order sides separately. 

We tried the Tamarindo Shrimp, Lamb, Fish tacos, and enchilada. We loved all of them except for the lamb taco. Maybe we were just not expecting lamb in a taco.

The dessert was amazing. We shared the Tres Leches De Cafe - it was so rich in flavor that we ordered another one to go.

1040 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 

The Garden Walk

The Garden Walk is a shopping, dining and entertainment center a few blocks away from Disneyland Main Gate.

Fire+Ice – Gardenwalk  

OC Dining - Fire+IceThis Mongolian fusion style all you can eat buffet lets you fill a bowl with your favorite  ingredients then cocks the mix on a huge grill right in front of you. You pick the sauce and the spices to make it your own creation.  

Even though it is a Mongolian grill, you can still design dishes with a Mexican or Italian flare.

They also offer a well-stocked salad bar, but my advice is to minimize your salad and go back for more grilled creations.

Some of the ingredients available are beef, shrimp, scallops, fish, cauliflower, and broccoli.

The drinks were excellent too. We tried the Pinicolada and the Mai-Tei.

After your meal and drinks, you can spend time exploring the shops at the Gardenwalk.

400 Disney Way, Anaheim, CA 92802

PF Chang’s

OC Dining - PF ChangMy list of special dining places usually avoids chain restaurants, but I can’t skip this fusion Asian with inventive dishes and extended happy hour.

If you like Asian food, you love the variety and quality of selection. During our last visit, we started with the Letus Wraps, Shrimp Dumplings, and the Kung Pao Dragon Roll.

For the main course, we picked Mongolian Beef, Crispy Honey Shrimp, and the Stir-Fried Eggplant. Everything was delicious, and the portions were just right.

For dessert, we had two helpings of the Banana Spring Rolls – because one is never enough.

The drinks are also exceptional. Every cocktail on the menu tastes just right; we especially like the Coconut Mohito and the Mei Tei.

My favorite location is at the Garden Walk in Anaheim. After our meals, we can browse through the stores or walk to Down Town Disney for more fun.

321 W Katella Ave Suite 120, Anaheim, CA 92802

The Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory - by 'Like the Grand Canyon'  - FlickrWe come for the cheesecake, and we stay for the great food and drinks. This is by far my favorite restaurant chain. The menu is so huge it requires some studying before ordering.

They offer sandwiches, steak and seafood, flatbread and pizza and pasta dishes.

The dessert menu is phenomenal. You can start with the traditional cheesecake, but be adventures and try oreo® dream extreme, cinnabon® cinnamon swirl, or even the low carb cheesecake.

321 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802

Roy's @ Garden Walk

Roy's - by Gary J Wood - FlickrDining at Roy's is like taking a culinary safari across the Pacific Rim. This fusion cuisine restaurant offers seafood dishes like Hibachi Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi, or my favorite the Shellfish Sampler. If you prefer items from the land, try their Braised Short Ribs of Beef, or Roasted Shoyu Half Chicken.

For starters, you can try their selection of Sushi rolls or order a Canoe for Two, which includes a selection of their most popular appetizers. 

The wine list and the mixed drinks are just right, but leaving the best to last, you must end your meal with their desserts. Both Pineapple Upside Cake and the Chocolate Suflet are delicious. 

The only drawback is the prices. I think the dishes are overpriced. The average plate is around $40. 

On the plus side, the Garden Walk Roy's has a lovely patio seating with Hawaiian style torches. 

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney sits in between the Disney parks and the Disney hotels and is full of entertainment venues and great dining places. Unless you are buying snacks or treats, those places tend to be pricy.

Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Cafe - by Moto Club4AG Miwa - FlickrThe restaurant is decorated as a rainforest with plants, trees, waterfalls, robotic animals and insects. This place is very popular with families. You should expect a long wait, but while waiting you can enjoy the huge aquariums. Members of your party can shop in the souvenir shop connected to the restaurant. The menu is extensive and includes tropical treats along with traditional American cuisine. While enjoying your meal you will witness a simulated thunderstorm. Kids of all ages love to eat here, and they do have their own menu. Some examples from the menu: Alaskan King Crab Legs, Amazon Fajitas, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, Caribbean Coconut Shrimp, Fish, and Chips. Reservations are accepted and suggested.

La Brea Bakery Café

Another great place to eat. It offers sandwiches, pastries, and delicious desserts. Sit in the outdoor patio, watch the herds of people going by and if you time your dinner just right you will be able to watch the fireworks from your table.

Catal Restaurant

Downtown Disney - Catal restaurant - SalmonCatal is my favorite restaurant in Downtown Disney. The place offers American and Mediterranian cuisine with a large selection of wine and beer. Sitting the balcony, you can enjoy your dinner while watching the Fireworks Show. 

Some of the dinner choices are Filet Mingon, Rack of Lamb, Steelhead Salmon, and the Chef's Steakhouse Burger.

To end a very satisfying meal, I always order the Tres Leches - a Spong cake soaking with three kinds of milk. 


If you are looking for a snack, you must visit this creamery offering ice cream & sorbet, sundaes, shakes and smoothies. They have flavors to satisfy everyone, but my favorite is Cookies and Cream on a waffle cone.

A little further away

If you can drive a short distance (or grab an Uber), then try a few of my favorites close by.

Fire Lake Grillhouse

Orange County - Fire Lake - Radisson Anaheim BluMany hidden gems are located inside hotels and this one is inside the Radisson Blu Anaheim. 

The hotel has several restaurants and bars, each with its unique atmosphere and food selection. 

We visited Fire Lake on Thanksgiving day and tried their Thanksgiving feast. 

The feast is a 3-course meal, with each course priced separately, so you can decide how much to eat - and pay.

The meal started with a Squash Soup made with brown butter sage crème fraiche.

The main course was Smoked BBQ Spiced Turkey Breast, gravy, cranberry hibiscus sauce, yucca stuffing. The meal was delicious and satisfying.

You get to pick a side out of the available 4 options. We picked the mashed potatoes with cheddar and the Brown Butter Okinawa Sweet Potatoes Casserole. 

The mashed potatoes were ordinary, but the sweet potato casserole was out of this world.

Of course, you can't have a Thanksgiving feast without pumping pie. We tried theirs and it was very tasty.

If you are not here for a special occasion like Thanksgiving, you can try their signature dishes like Fig & Venison Flatbread, Roasted Skuna Bay Salmon, or Bone-In Prime Filet.

1601 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805

Ozen Sushi

A little shack in a residential area, it is hard to miss, but if you love Sushi, you must stop here.

Ozen offers a large selection of rolls, Sushi, Sashimi, and hand-rolls – ala-cart and all-you-can-eat. Everything is fresh and tasty.

We usually get the all-you-can-eat option and try new things along with our favorites. During our last visit, we tried the Ozen roll, Crunch roll, rainbow roll, and salOC Dining - Ozen Sushimon and tuna sushi. We also had crunch and spicy tuna hand-rolls. All came out as expected and mouth-watering.

For dessert, we enjoyed several flavors of their ice cream macarons. Our favorites were green tea and mango.

While visiting, you can also try their selection of Japanese beers and Saki.

If you prefer you can order from the extensive menu with Bento boxes and non-sushi items. All bento boxes come with rolls, tempura, and miso soup.

7185 Lincoln Ave, Buena Park, CA 90620