*This gluten free dining experience took place in March 2021. It includes information about dairy free options, as well as fish/shellfish, peanut, hazelnut, cabbage, and chicken & turkey allergies.
Brunch at Grand Floridian Cafe
Grand Floridian Cafe, located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is a table service restaurant that offers, breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to guests. It’s been several years since Brandon and I ate at Grand Floridian Cafe. We recently decided to make a last minute late lunch because the restaurant offers breakfast food (aka brunch) until nearly 2 p.m. daily. I had a total breakfast food craving and the brunch offerings gave us a chance to get breakfast or lunch depending on what we were interested in.
COVID-19 & Reopening Notes
On this particular visit, we made reservations for the restaurant a few days before we dined there. I used the My Disney Experience app and found that there was a late afternoon seating, which we decided to book (the restaurant closed for lunch at 2 p.m.). The app worked as it normally does, and we were able to add in our special dietary needs in the app and alert cast members of our needs when we arrived at the restaurant. We were able to use online check-in during our visit, which worked great.
The restaurant itself featured many mechanisms to provide sanitization, social distancing, and safety for both guests and cast members. We were actually asked to wait outside versus inside before our table was ready to ensure social distancing. All cast members wore facial masks and some cast members also wore protective shields, as well. All servers in the restaurant wore both facial masks and protective shields. The restaurant also currently offers some temporary outdoor dining, if you prefer to eat only outdoors at this time. We actually had a choice of seat location when we did online check-in that included no preference, booth, window, or outdoors. This may change overtime, so be sure to speak with a cast member directly if you have specific preferences.
As a note, at the time of writing this review, we have been to several of the Disney Resorts, including the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk Resort, Contemporary Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Old Key West Resort, Polynesian, Riviera Resort, and Wilderness Lodge Resort along with all of the theme parks. All locations have the same protocols, as far as we have observed. Be sure to check with restaurants and the official Disney World website for additional information about current guidelines and recommendations.
The Grand Floridian Cafe offers a bit of Victorian charm in a more relaxed and casual setting. It is located on the main floor of the resort and has beautiful views of the resort’s lawn area.
As you can see, the restaurant has lots of windows which offer pleasant views.
The restaurant’s interior itself is surprisingly bigger than one would expect. I always forget that it’s fairly long and sprawling. We were seated at a table near one of the windows in a dining room area that is fairly quiet. There are a lot of different seating styles too from booths, to large tables for big parties, to smaller tables near the windows. And, of course, the Victorian decor is ever present on the wallpaper, in the carpet, and curtains. You almost expect the turn-of-the-century John from the Carousel of Progress to be dining in the restaurant too!
Like most Disney owned restaurants, the Grand Floridian Cafe does have an allergy-friendly menu. On this visit, we were not given a paper menu but were directed to the mobile app where the allergy-friendly menu was listed.
In addition to the allergy-friendly menu, you can always speak to a chef directly for additional questions you might have about options or special diets safety. On this visit, we chose to order directly from the allergy-friendly menu as we were ordering pretty standard breakfast fare.
For my breakfast entree, I chose the Eggs Benedict which was marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Fish/Shellfish, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies on the allergy-friendly menu. This dish does contain dairy and cannot be modified, so if you’re dairy free, you’ll want to consider other breakfast dishes.
Overall, I liked the Eggs Benedict but didn’t love it. The dish had indicated that it came with a gluten free English muffin. But, the restaurant seemed to have some supply issues, so mine came served on gluten free bread. While the flavors were all just OK, I was glad that this is an option for gluten free guests. Of course, I may just be spoiled by the excellent GF Eggs Benedict served on the Disney Cruise Line ships which I get every cruise.
The side dish of a tomato salad was quite nice and refreshing. The red onion was a bit sharp and spicy and mixed well with the sweet tomatoes and peppery arugula. I believe they also use this mix on the Avocado Toast which would be pretty amazing in my opinion. Generally, I would order this entree again, but I would probably order something different on our next visit.
Brandon ordered the classic Steak & Eggs. This dish was marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Fish/Shellfish, Milk, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies on the allergy-friendly menu. They were also made safe for chicken & turkey and cabbage allergies too. But, it’s important to note that the dairy free options on the allergy-friendly menu are regular breakfast potatoes, not the cheesy potatoes shown in this photo. Brandon was able to get those potatoes instead since they were safe for his special dietary needs.
Like me, Brandon liked his entree but didn’t love it. He said the steak was cooked well and that the eggs were tasty. His favorite part of the entree by far were the cheesy potatoes. If you can have these, they are highly recommended by Brandon!
Because I hadn’t had pancakes in a while, Brandon and I decided to split the allergy-friendly pancakes. These were marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Milk, and Peanut/Tree Nut Allergies. They can also be made vegan by omitting the bacon or sausage side dish.
Both Brandon and I really loved the pancakes. And, it was the favorite part of our meal (besides the cheesy potatoes, which Brandon also raved about). The restaurant is currently using Bloomfield Farms gluten free & allergy-friendly pancakes and waffle mix. I’ve had this at Topolino’s Terrace, and I really like the mix a lot. This is a definite must-order again dish! I am hoping that next time we go that they’ll have more of their standard pancake & waffle toppings that they usually have but were not available on this visit due to supply issues.
If you want to get more information about our visit to Tiffins, we did film our visit for our YouTube channel.
We both enjoyed our meal at the Grand Floridian Cafe. Our only negative from the visit is that the service was incredibly slow despite having very few guests dining at the time that we visited. However, we both generally enjoyed our meal and had a few food highlights that we loved — the allergy-friendly pancakes for both of us and the cheesy potatoes for Brandon. While we probably won’t be back for a while, we both like that this restaurant serves breakfast food until 2 p.m. everyday which is great if you’re craving breakfast but don’t want to visit during the earlier parts of the day.
Have you been to the Grand Floridian Cafe for brunch? What did you think of the special diets offerings?