*This gluten free dining experience took place in July 2018.
Dinner at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop
Beaches and Cream Soda Shop is a small table service restaurant located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort that serves classic soda shop fare, like burgers, fries, and ice cream. It’s long been one of my favorite spots for a gluten free and dairy free ice cream sundae. But, it can often be hard to get an advanced dining reservation for, due to its size and popularity. With the summertime heat here in Orlando, Brandon and I didn’t feel like cooking one evening for dinner. So, we looked for openings for dinner at Disney World. As luck would have it, a random reservation was available at Beaches and Cream, which meant ice cream sundaes and sandwiches for us!
One of the first things you’ll notice about Beaches and Cream is its bright colors and 1950s soda shop theming.
There is both a walk-up counter for ice cream and a full table service restaurant inside, which gives you a few choices for dining options. Since the restaurant is quite small, it can be hard to get a walk-up without a long wait.
Inside, you’ll see brightly colored booths alongside one wall, a large counter (which resembles the old fashioned soda shops), and table seating in the middle of the restaurant. As a two-top table, we usually get a seat in the middle of the restaurant. But, the booths always look so cozy!
Do take some time to look around too. You’ll see some of the cutest decor straight out of an era gone by. There’s even a vintage jukebox too.
Like many other Disney restaurants, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop does carry an allergy-friendly menu. My biggest recommendation when dining there is to be sure to speak with a coordinator or manager on duty. That’s because many items that are available to special dietary needs guests are not actually listed on the allergy-friendly menu.
In fact, I can’t think of a visit where I haven’t ordered something off the menu. Often, it’s just a simple modification that’s easy to do. For instance, on this visit, I asked if the Reuben Sandwich could be made gluten free. And, after investigating, we found out it was just a swap of the bread, which was great news. They also don’t list French Fries as an option for gluten free and dairy free guests. But, if you ask, they can make you fries in a dedicated fryer. We were told on our most recent visit by Ashley the coordinator that it might take a bit longer to get my food due to preparing my meal in another kitchen space.
With that in mind, we did get a giant bowl full of French Fries made in a dedicated fryer served before my sandwich. These are safe for those guests who are gluten free and dairy free. Though I don’t have a photo here, Brandon’s fries were the thick cut steak fries, while mine were the classic thin cut Disney fries. On other occasions, I have been served the thick cut steak fries from a dedicated fryer. So, my guess it it depends on availability.
These were good, as always. And, both Brandon and I nibbled on these while we waited for the rest of our meal, as these actually arrived before any other food. It was definitely nice that the coordinator was working to ensure my wait didn’t feel too long.
I was super excited to try Reuben Sandwich with Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss, and Thousand Island Dressing on Gluten Free Bread. This can be made gluten free with the bread swap and might be able to be made dairy free minus the cheese. I don’t think there’s any dairy in the Thousand Island Dressing (at least there isn’t usually). So, it’s always worth asking a coordinator or manager about it.
Hands down, this is the best meal I’ve ordered at Beaches and Cream. The Reuben was super flavorful and tasty. I gave Brandon a bite of this, and he agreed that it might be the best sandwich we’ve ordered there. The only negative was that they used Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, and it got super soggy. I am guessing the combination of the bread with the moisture from the meat, sauerkraut, and sauce just made it a little more soggy than it should normally be. But, that being said, I’d totally get it again, soggy bread or not! This will probably be my new go-to sandwich when we dine there.
Because we can’t go to Beaches and Cream without ordering ice cream (yes, this is totally a rule in our family), I had to get my favorite sundae. Like the rest of the allergy-friendly menu, the specialty sundaes are not listed on the menu. It’s always worth asking if certain ones can be modified. In fact, I’ve had readers share photos of dairy free and gluten free versions of the Mini Kitchen Sink. So, there’s definitely some options!
For me though, it’s always all about the No Way Jose Sundae. I get mine with gluten free and dairy free ice cream, peanut butter sauce, and chocolate sauce. If you’re just gluten free, you can get hot fudge, whipped cream, and even chocolate chips on it.
The modified No Way Jose Sundae is huge! I ordered mine with chocolate and vanilla Tofutti non-dairy vegan ice cream. But, you can also get So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream or Vanilla Flavored Rice Dream too, depending on your preference and special dietary need. I just love the combination of chocolate and vanilla flavors along with tons of peanut butter sauce and chocolate syrup. The No Way Jose Sundae never fails to disappoint. And as much as I want to try other sundaes, I just can’t resist this one.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced table service location or epic ice cream sundaes (or in our case, both!), you can’t go wrong with Beaches and Cream. It’s a great spot for a meal, and within walking or boat distance from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We do recommend that you make ADRs prior to your visit, as this can be a popular restaurant, especially during summertime. If you prefer to just get ice cream and not sit in the table service dining area, you can also get special dietary needs ice cream options at their walk-up window too!
Have you been to Beaches and Cream Soda Shop? What did you enjoy when you visited there?