Epcot’s World Showcase is a beautiful place full of monuments, cultural experiences and plenty of food. Each pavilion offers up the best culinary experiences that that country has to offer and the only drawback is having so many options to choose from. This time I’ll be taking you through my experience at La Hacienda De San Angel.
The Hacienda De San Angel is located in the Mexican Pavilion and it replaced the quick service Cantina De San Angel back in 2010. Now, there is another restaurant with a similar name in the pavilion called San Angel Inn. That restaurant can be found inside the pyramid at the end of the town square. That eatery overlooks the opening scene of the Grand Fiesta Tour and sits under a canopy of man-made stars. It’s beautiful and delicious, but personally, I prefer dining under fireworks.
When you enter through the doors of the Cantina De San Angel you are transported to Mexico through artwork, music and the smell of some of the best Mexican food you can eat. The walls are painted a warm yellow and the floor is tiled in warm orange. You can find pottery and artwork from Mexico around every corner. In the larger dining room beautiful star shaped lamps hang from the high beamed celling. The whole place is open and airy and inviting.
The members of the wait staff are courteous and they know the food they are serving, if you happen to have a hard time choosing one of the options, just ask your waiter or waitress, they can help! Our waiter was Jesus, with extra assistance by Lucy (the stars of my feature image!) and they were truly the best of the best.
When we ate at La Hacienda it was for my sisters birthday dinner, and they treated her like a princess. We arrived soaking wet after having run through a Floridian rainstorm to make our reservations. When we arrived at the counter to check in we were given bags to hold our wet things and the hosts even helped us pack up our ponchos. We were seated in the main dining room near the windows, which offered us a spectacular view of the Moroccan and Japanese pavilions straight across the way.
Disney is generally very good about making special accommodations for guests who need them and La Hacienda was no exception. My mother, who has limited mobility and usually spends our trips strolling around in her chair, was asked if she wanted to transfer. The staff then patiently waited for her to take her seat, and for the rest of us to take off the various bags adorning her chariot. They then took the chair to the back of the restaurant away from the main walking areas and also made sure to let us know exactly where it was. Now I know that most restaurants in the WDW resort do this, but some take better care of the guest than others. In some places they take your chair out of the restaurant entirely, others put them in busy corridors or don’t bother to inform you of where they are going to be put. And while it may be easier to stay in the chair, sometimes its more comfortable to be able to sit in the dining room seats during a meal. The staff at La Hacienda get an A+ in my book for making this process easy and for making it truly feel like it wasn’t inconvenient for them to help.
We started our meal with four appetizers and shared them amongst ourselves. Our picks were the Agua Chile de Camaron, which is a wonderful Shrimp dish served over Guacamole, the Gorditas stuffed with chorizo and potatoes, the Queso Fundido and the Guacamole. Everything was delicious, but the Queso Fundido was an experience in and of itself. Now my experience with queso generally involves cheese being scooped onto crackers, but this was something different. When Jesus saw that we weren’t quite sure how to eat our appetizer he offered to make them up for us. He mixed the queso with the chorizo, peppers and sauce and wrapped them in the tortillas which took the dish to a whole new level.
Now my family is the kind who orders four things and then shares four things so that everyone gets to savor as many different flavors as possible. We had the Taquiza platter that offers a sampling of many of the meats and sauces the restaurant serves including chicken, fish, steak and pork. We also had the Costillas en Salsa de Chile, or braised short ribs topped with Chimichurri, which was top notch. The last two entrees we sampled were the Snapper and the Steak, both spiced and flavored perfectly. We finished the meal with one of each of the desserts, and if you’ve never had Helado de Maiz its something you should try once. For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, its Corn Ice Cream, and I know it sounds odd, but it’s actually very good! Overall there wasn’t one thing that I ate that I didn’t like.
There is an extensive Maragarita menu at la Hacienda, but I don’t drink very much so I skipped on that, but with choices like the rose water infused Rosita Margarita or the Avacado Margarita you have plenty of options.
One of the major attractions of this restaurant, other than the fantastic food, is the view of the World Showcase Lagoon and the pavilions across the way. The view from the oversized floor to ceiling windows is beautiful all throughout the day. However, if you can get a reservation from 8:00 PM onward you can enjoy IllumiNations from the comfort of your seats. When the show starts the lights dim and they pipe in the music from the show. I’ve found that this experience was more enjoyable than any time I watched the show outside. The area is climate controlled, dry and there is plenty of seating. And even when everyone moves towards the windows to enjoy the view the number of guests in the restaurant is capped at 250 so you will always have an excellent view.
Overall I would have to give la Hacienda De San Angel 5 Wishing Stars out of five for its excellent service, food, décor and the fireworks view. So if you are looking for a dining option for your next trip to Epcot I would recommend la Hacienda!