Road Trip! The seven best things we ate at Epcot food and wine festival

The best bites from Epcot food and wine festival

You still have a few more weeks to enjoy the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a 62-day festival (it runs through Nov. 14) believed to be the biggest food and wine fest in the world.

At this mega-tasting you’ll be able to sample small plates and drinks from around the world featured in 35 marketplaces around Epcot. The sample-size dishes and drinks cost $3 to $8 each.

We recently checked out the food-palooza to bring you the best bites.

Grilled lamb with mint pesto and potato crunchies at the Australia marketplace

A classic at the Australian station for years, these juicy grilled lamb chops are one of the priciest plates ($7.25) but also one of the most satisfying. Topped with a pesto rich with mint, parsley and garlic and those potato “crunchies” — like crumbled potato chips adding nice crunch and salt — this bite was one we’d wait in a hot sunny line for. 

Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herbed Sour Cream at the Scotland Booth 

The line for the New England lobster roll at the Hops & Barley marketplace located outside the American Adventure pavilion was ridiculously long so we opted instead for this Scottish take on of our favorites: lox on a latke. The potato pancake ($5) was crisp and not too greasy and topped with a thick slice of smoked salmon that was offset nicely by the herbed sour cream. It went well with the pour of Innis and Gunn Irish Whiskey Aged Stout ($3.75) also offered at the booth.

 

Guests can sample tapas-sized tastes of inventive cuisine such as the Vegan Greek Nachos at the Greece Marketplace during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The popular fall festival also features wine tastings, culinary demonstrations, mixology seminars, nightly "Eat to the Beat" concerts and a broad range of premium dining events.
Vegan loaded Greek NachosMatt Stroshane, photographer

Vegan Loaded Greek “Nachos”: Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles, and Vegan Tzatziki 

Our curiosity was piqued by this midnight munchies-inspired dish that was vegan-friendly. The dish ($4.50) employs pita chips instead of nachos as the crunchy base and tops it with olives, tomatoes, red onion, and the meatless sausage along with that vegan cheese tzatziki. The dish was tasty, with the meatless sausage registering a nice spicy flavor and all those veggies to keep things interesting. Definitely a great dish for vegetarians or those looking for healthier options at the fair.

Seared Grouper, Pigeon Peas and Rice with Coconut Sauce at Islands of the Caribbean

This year the sponsored Dominican Republic Marketplace is now a cluster of colorful wooden stands called Islands of the Caribbean with plates inspired by Jamaica, Cuba the Dominican Republic. We particularly liked this fish dish with grouper ($4.75) that was fresh and meaty. A creamy coconut sauce has a bit of fire to it. It was unexpected and tasted like Caribbean home cooking. 

Frozen Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila at Italy

Let’s face it: One of the nice things about the festival is the ability to mix theme park shenanigans with a cocktail. So sure, this a margarita (.$10) at the Italian booth is a bit suspect. But after you’ve braved the line at the actually Frozen ride, you’ll need this quaff, which mixes limoncello and tequila for a wildly refreshing sip that you’ll probably go back for again (and again). Pro tip: the drinks line at Italy tends to be a short one.

 

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse is among the chocolate confections
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse is among the chocolate confectionsMatt Stroshane

Chocolate Mousse with Gold Flakes at Bar Du Chocolat, Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Every Friday night during the festival from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a buffet of chocolate and champagne is laid out in Peacock Alley, the regal lounge of the resort. The dozens of different types of chocolate  includes pastries, truffles, shooters, and this naughty bite which was presented in a hollowed-out egg and topped with delicate gold flakes. Luckily, there was plenty of champagne on hand to wash it down. 

Spicy Tuna Nachos at Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge, Hilton Bonnet Creek

As part of their Food and Wine Weekends, this trendy sushi restaurant offers a four-course sushi pairing dinner ($45) that includes a choice of salad, two specialty rolls, green curry and a dessert. We loved these spicy nachos, which tops wasabi-scented nori chips with seared Ahi Tuna sashimi, avocado, spicy mayo and cilantro. The fixed price also include a sake or beer flight with three different tastes of either sake or Asian craft beers. 

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