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Best Theme Park Food


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Dollywood easily has the best food of any park I remember. Granny Olge's ham dinner was really good, and of course the cinnamon bread from the Grist Mill is not to be missed.

 

Edit: I don't know how I forgot about Holiday World, but they too have great food. I had the chicken and dumplings from the Plymouth Cafe, and while I don't know it it topped my meal at Dollywood a few days earlier, it was still really good. It was cheap too, and it amazes me that corporate parks don't serve similar food. I'm sure Holiday World still made a profit off of my meal, and I'd easily pay more for a similar meal at a corporate park. The quality was great, it was affordable(especially when it costs me $7-$8 to get some cheese bread and a soda at SFGAM), and if other parks did it, I'm sure it would be welcomed by the GP. The same goes for my Dollywood meal.

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The hotdogs at the exit of SeaWorld San Diego are pretty awesome.

Mrs. Knott's fried chicken, gotta get the biscuits and boysenberry jam.

Those giant cupcakes at Disneyland are probably the reason I'm fat.

Three Dog Night at any theme park that has Pink's is awesome, it's pretty much a 3 chili dog burrito with bacon.

 

Oh and one other thing, my cousin had a roast beef sandwich at Marine Land (Palos Verdes) when he was a kid and hasn't been able to find it's equal since. Of course the park is gone and so are the sandwiches.

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As written here, by me: http://www.thecoastercritic.com/2010/05/top-3-theme-park-foods.html Yay!

 

Everyone knows that theme park food is expensive, terrible tasting and terrible for you. For the most part, those assumptions are all too true. Yet after much diligent research-read, being a pig-I have uncovered three food items that actually are worth the money, even if most of them are still pretty terrible for you.

 

Now then, before anybody gets all huffy, these are subjective reviews, based on what I personally like to eat, so if you’re a vegan or just have a vastly different palate than I do, it doesn’t mean we can’t still be buddies. That said, I did do a few early eliminators. All of the food on my list is counter-service based; ideally being the kind of thing you could carry with you, or of course sit at those little tables that no matter the park, are always filthy.

 

Although dessert options were considered, I wanted the list to be composed primarily of entrees. Any dessert exceptional enough to be included of course will be. So here we go, let’s slog together through the mires of awful pizza, deep fried cakes, and other foods even worse than that found at your local Arby’s. Did I mention most theme park food is awful?

 

Nathan’s Hot Dogs at Six Flags Great Adventure, numerous other parks

A Nathan’s dog is not like a normal hot dog, and if you’ve had one, you already knew that. Nathan’s dogs are like the kind you’d get from a butcher’s shop to cook for yourself at home. They’re not all junk meats; Nathan’s actually uses good stuff in their dogs.

 

Nathan’s dogs have a natural casing, so you get that nice little snap when you bite into one. The stands always have tons of condiments, I’m a mustard man myself, and service is almost always fast, because, after all, it’s just a hot dog. Nathan’s dogs are without a doubt the best hot dog I’ve ever had that wasn’t purchased at a specialty shop, and the only dog I would consider food at a theme park.

 

Nathan’s dogs have the added plus of being the featured food item in the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on Coney Island, and aired live on ESPN. If you’ve never seen it, and have interest in men throwing up hot dogs on themselves, protip: they call it a reversal, its must see TV.

 

Fried Chicken on a Waffle with Gravy at Knoebels Amusement Park

You’re wrong, it does sound good. No seriously, this is one of those classic combinations that could only have been thought up by someone who was in college and probably inebriated. It sounds weird, but really think about it. Crispy fried chicken, fresh homemade waffles, and awesome gravy, that’s not just for frat boys at 3 A.M. anymore!

 

Seriously though, it’s super good, and so is most of the food at Knoebels. They’ve got everything, from multiple types of cheesecake slices to choose from, to fried alligator bites (they taste like chicken), to numerous other options.

 

Pretty Much Everything at Epcot, Disney World

This really wasn’t even a question. Epcot has pretty much everything, and it’s all pretty good. Like to munch on sushi and tacos at the same time? Not a problem at Epcot. Want to eat fish and chips and then suck down some Moroccan kabobs? Again, not a problem at Epcot.

 

Thanks to the World Showcase, a gathering of buildings, rides and shows that encircle a giant reflecting pool, Epcot was a shoe-in for first. These building are run by people actually from their representative nations, so if you want crepes (and you’ll probably want crepes at some point, let’s be honest), an actual French Chef will be preparing them for you.

 

The last time I was at Epcot, it was dusk, I was drinking a properly tempered Guinness draft and trying to figure out where I was going to eat dinner. It was a genuine problem, and I consoled myself by walking with my brother-in-law around the park, enjoying the sights and sounds as we ate small plates of food from the various nations. Finally stuffed to our gills, we left, and for once in my life, I was happy there wasn’t a coaster in sight.

 

An Addendum: I know I said at the start that I wasn’t going to allow the inclusion of table service restaurants, one of the former Epcot restaurants really does deserve a mention. I’m speaking of course, of the legendary Alfredo’s. Alfredo’s, home to quite delicious Italian cuisine, was shut down after repeated requests from EMTs working at the park.

 

It seems that Alfredo’s butter and cream rich entrees, coupled with the Florida heat, were causing guests to drop left and right from heart attacks and strokes after exiting the restaurant. Think about how rarely a coaster is shut down due to human injury, and then try and wrap your head around Medical personnel, screaming like Chief Brody in Jaws to close the beaches, and accept the reality that a restaurant was allowed to kill people. Somehow I don’t think repeated throw offs on Kingda Ka are going to fly any time soon.

 

Honorable Mentions: Sandwiches from Chick Fil-A (King’s Island), Turkey legs (Hershey Park/Disney), and Slushees (Cedar Point).

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Disney Land Resort Food I LOVE:

Turkey leg(near thunder mountain)

Clam chowder+breadbowl(port orleans maybe? I actually dont know the name, but its next to the pirates que)

Dole Whip(right by the Enchanted Tiki Room)

Gibson Girl's Ice Cream(on main street)

 

DCA FOOD

Schmoozies Make Mine Mocha shake (located in the hollywood section)

The gone but not forgotten Aviator Chicken Sandwich(Taste pilots grill)

 

Knotts Chicken Dinner is great!

 

Mooseburger was awesome at WCB, but that may not be their regular menu!

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Some of my faves

The pizza at DelGrosso's kicks Cesari's butt.

The Beaver Tails at La Ronde are the best member of the fried dough family.

Most Busch Gardens food rocks

Famous Dave's at CP

The biscuits at Mrs Knotts Fried Chicken at KBF

I would say Nathan's at SFGAdv but you can enjoy the original at Coney Island.

I love that Carowinds has a Chic-Fil-A since it is the best fast food

Hot pretzels with Hershey's chocolate sauce at HP

HP also has the best kettle corn

Kennywood's Potato Patch fries with cheese and bacon

 

I made this post almost five years ago and stand by it with a couple of additions:

Cinnamon Bread at Dollywood

Fresh Fried Clams at Canobie Lake

Grilled Corn at SFFT and Sea World Texas

Fried Cheese on a Stick at Knoebels

 

 

Does Knotts still sell soup in a sourdough bowl?

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Some of my faves

The pizza at DelGrosso's kicks Cesari's butt.

The Beaver Tails at La Ronde are the best member of the fried dough family.

Most Busch Gardens food rocks

Famous Dave's at CP

The biscuits at Mrs Knotts Fried Chicken at KBF

I would say Nathan's at SFGAdv but you can enjoy the original at Coney Island.

I love that Carowinds has a Chic-Fil-A since it is the best fast food

Hot pretzels with Hershey's chocolate sauce at HP

HP also has the best kettle corn

Kennywood's Potato Patch fries with cheese and bacon

 

I made this post almost five years ago and stand by it with a couple of additions:

Cinnamon Bread at Dollywood

Fresh Fried Clams at Canobie Lake

Grilled Corn at SFFT and Sea World Texas

Fried Cheese on a Stick at Knoebels

 

 

Does Knotts still sell soup in a sourdough bowl?

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Breaking it up into several categories...

 

Best "Normal" Park Food: Anything at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

 

Best Food at a Six Flags Park: Johnny Rockets

 

Best Food at a Cedar Fair Park: Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken

 

Best Dessert/Treat: Cinnamon Bread at Dollywood

 

Best Place to Eat at Disneyland Resort (inside a park): Redd Rocket's Pizza Port

 

Most Unique Menu: Dollywood

 

Worst "Normal" Park Food: Any Cedar Fair Park

 

This list may not be accurate because I get pretty much the same thing every time I go to a park, so at any given park I've probably only tried about an eighth (or less) of the offerings, even if it is a park I visit five or six times (or more) per year.

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Some of my faves

The pizza at DelGrosso's kicks Cesari's butt.

The Beaver Tails at La Ronde are the best member of the fried dough family.

Most Busch Gardens food rocks

Famous Dave's at CP

The biscuits at Mrs Knotts Fried Chicken at KBF

I would say Nathan's at SFGAdv but you can enjoy the original at Coney Island.

I love that Carowinds has a Chic-Fil-A since it is the best fast food

Hot pretzels with Hershey's chocolate sauce at HP

HP also has the best kettle corn

Kennywood's Potato Patch fries with cheese and bacon

 

I made this post almost five years ago and stand by it with a couple of additions:

Cinnamon Bread at Dollywood

Fresh Fried Clams at Canobie Lake

Grilled Corn at SFFT and Sea World Texas

Fried Cheese on a Stick at Knoebels

 

 

Does Knotts still sell soup in a sourdough bowl?

 

I have never seen a sourdough soup bowl at Knotts. I thought that was more of a disneyland thing.

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Some of my favorites are:

 

Plymouth Rock Cafe at Holiday World

Toft's Ice Cream at Cedar Point

Skyline Chili at Kings Island

I had some awesome Mahi Mahi at Kings Dominion though the fries were all kinds of standard Cedar Point awful.

 

I'll give honorable mention to Midway Market at Cedar Point too. The food ranges from okay to pretty good depending on what you eat, but yes the prices are slightly overpriced (still a value compared to the rest of the park).

 

I'll also give honorable mention to Indiana Beach for having a Dogs N Suds. The food sucks but I would name the Root Beer as the best non-alcoholic drink available in any park I've visited.

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Does Knotts still sell soup in a sourdough bowl?

 

Pretty sure they do, I know a friend of mine got Chili in a sourdough bowl and I think there was also soup or some kinda chowder. That was at the restaurant in Ghost Town.

 

Gotta try those clams at Canobie Lake.

 

Thanks, I thought it was in the Ghost Town area, and I got Potato Cheese soup, but they did offer chili.

 

I just found my 2009 map and it was served at the Chow House.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg, specifically the Festhaus. Other than that, we don't normally eat too much at parks, other than the 99c Refill Popcorn Buckets. Kings Dominion has some pretty lousy food, as do Six Flags parts, for the most part. Six Flags does have Pappa John's, which has a *really* good personal pan pizza. I typically hate Pappa Johns (along with most chain pizza resturants like Pizza Hut, Domino's, and etc.) but it was inexpicably good.

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