Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018
I always look forward to every festival at Epcot. Each one offers something fun, unique, beautiful, and delicious. Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is, by far, the most gorgeous festival of all. But beyond the topiaries that make your eyes dance, there are bite-size food and drink options “around the world” (AKA: The World Showcase) that will delight your taste buds.
If you’ve been to the Flower and Garden Festival, you know it’s almost impossible to eat at every single stop in one afternoon visit. But not to worry, my friend. We went back a second time around so we could be sure to try at least one thing at every outdoor kitchen. I’m not a food expert, but I always have an open mind with trying something new. We didn’t try everything, but we at least got a great idea of some of the best (or worst) options. And hey, sometimes knowing what you don’t want makes the decision making that much easier. Hopefully, I’ll help you save a little moolah on dishes that you wouldn’t have been crazy about. And if you try something I didn’t and loved it, let me know!
Side Note: Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival runs from February 28 – May 28, 2018. For the best experience, try to avoid the busy Spring Break weeks (usually towards the end of March until Easter).
The Honey Bee-Stro 🍯
I got a good giggle out of the clever name here. This is the Honey Bee-Stro’s first year at Flower and Garden Festival and was my favorite outdoor kitchen!
Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake [favorite]: OHMYGOSH. If you have one thing to eat at the Flower and Garden Festival, make it this. I’m not a crazy cheesecake person, but it was divine. The cheesecake was a delicious mix of sweet, light, and fluffy. The little scoop of ice cream paired perfectly with the cheesecake and little meringue kisses.
Quench your thirst when you first arrive and start here. This stop is probably the hardest decision of the entire day. I want everything. But because I knew we’d be going back for more this season, I started with my drinkable favorites:
Frozen Lavender Lemonade: A festival favorite, this delicious frozen lemonade tastes as good as it looks. It’s a little sweet for me, but that just makes the smaller size that much more appealing.
Pineapple Beer Flight: Ever since we went to Maui for our honeymoon, Maui Brewing Company’s Pineapple Mana has been an absolute favorite of mine. A beer flight is a perfect way to start our trip around the world. If you’re going for non-alcoholic, get the Pineapple Soft Serve with Fanta!
Northern Bloom: Canada
My Canadian/American husband is always a fan of anything Canada offers, and luckily, they never disappoint!
Seared Scallops [favorite]: I’ve never had a bad scallop during a festival and that makes me soooo happy! This is my go-to while my husband heads straight for…
Beef Tenderloin Tips: Beef is always a “must” for my husband and he always makes those awkward “mmmm” noises when he eats anything from Canada at Epcot.
I have no idea how I resisted it, but next time I’m ordering the Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky.
Cider House: United Kingdom
Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare: So maybe I’m the weird one, but I expected the salmon to be warm. You know warm biscuit, warm salmon, happy mouth. The biscuit was warm, but the salmon was ice cold. Is this normal? I didn’t like it, but maybe if that’s what you were expecting, it would be great. In true carb-loving fashion, I finished the biscuit and left the salmon. Head over to Hanami and get the salmon there.
Fleur de Lys: France
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette [favorite]: Seriously, this is the best macaron I’ve ever had! It’s so delicious and the perfect size for an afternoon indulgence. They even place it on the end of a popsicle stick making it easy to eat on the go!
La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, and White and Red Cranberry Juice all mixed together?! That’s always a good idea.
Florida Fresh: Between France & Morocco
Ya’ll, I was getting full, but I told myself I’d have something. So I got the beer flight.
Beer Flight with Tampa Bay Brewing Company Quat Seasonal Fruit Ale, Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, and First Magnitude Brewing Co. Monarch Milk Stout: I had low expectations which probably led me to like them even more. The Key Lime Wheat was my favorite of the three. As I took a sip, I got the sweet taste of key lime pie followed by a tiny bit of bitterness that created a fun little surprise for my taste buds.
The Key Lime tart with Toasted Meringue looked pretty amazing, too! I’d go for that if you’re looking for something sweet.
Taste of Marrakesh: Morocco
Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad: The teriyaki chicken was tasty and easy to eat. Cooked right in front of me, I loved this healthier option after all the sweet picks and beer flights.
Frushi: This three-piece snack satisfies the sweet tooth, too! It’s sushi made with fruit instead of fish and a side of whipped cream to dip it in. Thank you, Epcot.
Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Marc had this our first walk around the world and raved about it! I had a couple of bites and wanted to get my own, but then we tried the salmon and loved it even more!
Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice [favorite]: It kinda makes me nervous to have “fast-food” seafood, but this salmon was delicious! I loved the teriyaki glaze and chopped seaweed on top.
The Smokehouse BBQ + Brews: American Adventure
America’s stop ended up being one of my favorites! As we approached The Smokehouse we were greeted with smells that reminded me of a backyard summer BBQ. Everything sounded amazing, so we got two!
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Slider [favorite]: This was a favorite for us at the Flower and Garden Festival! It had a lot of flavor and a fun presentation.
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash: This dish wasn’t totally disappointing, but we would choose to dig into the Pulled Pig Slider next time.
Primavera Kitchen: Italy
**Skip it** Fritto Misto: Crispy Shrimp, Zucchini, & Spicy Sauces: This was a bit of a fried disaster to me. I could get the shrimp down, but the zucchini was soggy and sad. It’s a good size for sharing if you’re desperate to give it a try.
Toasted Pretzel Bread: When Marc ordered this I was so excited to give it a bite, but it did not look good at all. I gave him that, “uh oh, is it awful?” look, but he said it tasted great!
Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries: This strudel was a better photo, but also a little underwhelming. If you’re looking to try a little of everything, go for it. But if your stomach is expanding and you feel the need to be picky about your options, skip it.
Lotus House: China
Fried Chicken Dumpling [favorite]: This was a win for Lotus House. We loved the creamy peanut sauce and added a little Sriracha for heat.
**Skip it** Spicy Meatballs with Crispy Tofu: I can’t handle too much heat, but there was nothing spicy about this. It was unappealing, barely warm, and had a weird texture. I was genuinely excited about the meatballs, but I ended up stealing half of Marc’s fried chicken dumplings.
Jardin de Fiestas: Mexico
Pork Tacos: This slow-braised pork taco is topped with apple relish, goat cheese (my fave!) and Chile de Árbol Sauce. The pork taco was the most disappointing presentation (even over the toasted pretzel), but it still tasted great. I only wish they added more goat cheese!
**Skip it** Rose Margarita: As pretty as it was to photograph, it was one of the worst drinks I’ve ever had at an Epcot festival. It was incredibly sweet (made me pucker after every sip – and not from the tequila that I’m pretty sure was missing altogether) and terribly overpriced at $12.25. YIKES.
The Berry Basket
**Skip it** Field Greens (the one item I forgot to photograph): This salad had all of my favorite things: strawberries, quinoa, and spiced pecans, but it was only half as good as I expected. The photo on their signs made it look so much tastier and fresh. Next time, I’d rather try the Lamb Chop.
La Isla Fresca
Jamaican braised-Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice: As this was handed to me, I had super low expectations, but it tasted much better than it looks. The meat was tender and the rice was a great compliment to the spices in the beef. I’d say it was a solid choice for La Isla Fresca.
Are you full yet?! There are still so many things we need to try at the Flower and Garden Festival, so we’ll be returning in April for more!
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Have you been to Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival?! What’s your favorite dish or what would you love to try?