*This dining experience took place in April 2016.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to La Hacienda de San Angel, located at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. It’s a World Showcase restaurant that I’ve really enjoyed, and I was excited to dine here recently with friends for dinner.
La Hacienda de San Angel is a table service location, and one that is not owned and operated by Disney, which means they don’t have an allergy friendly menu. However, they have long been very good with gluten free and special diets diners and even note gluten free (and dairy free) options on their menu.
On every visit I’ve had at La Hacienda de San Angel, I’ve spoken to a chef, which is great. Many of the dishes can be easily modified to be gluten free or dairy free. Often, it’s as simple as removing cheese, which is great.
I often get the parrillada entree, which serves 2 people. To say it’s a lot of food is an understatement. On this particular visit, I chose to order the pork carnitas, as they were marked gluten free and dairy free on the menu.
Unfortunately, the chef informed us that the tortilla chips served as an appetizer are no longer gluten free as they are fried in the same fryer as items containing gluten. I was prepared for this, as Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando had posted about this last year. While this was a bummer, as I love tortilla chips, our group was offered warm soft corn tortillas and a side of guacamole as an alternative.
This was a great starter, and I loved the added crunch of pumpkin seeds (which is a very traditional Mexican accompaniment) to the guacamole. That being said, our whole group thought the guacamole was a wee bit too spicy. We went through a lot of water & soft drinks before our entrees came!
All three of us dining were gluten free. My friend and I both ordered the carnitas, and her daughter ordered the Costillas en salsa de Chile (Braised short ribs topped with Chimichurri served with potato puree and chile de arbol sauce). The potatoes did contain dairy, but they can modify to make dairy free, if requested.
Both my friend and her daughter said this dish was extremely flavorful and the beef was fall apart tender. It looked amazing and delicious!
The pork carnitas turned out to be a HUGE portion and a great choice. I love pork and carnitas are always something I enjoy. The version served here came with warm corn tortillas, avocado salsa, chicharrón (aka pork rinds), and sides of rice and beans.
The pork rinds were a nice touch and especially yummy. The pork was served in a cool cast iron skillet and on a banana leaf, which made for great presentation. The pork itself was also very tender and slightly sweet with flavors of citrus.
The avocado salsa added a great fresh touch to the dish and was the perfect salsa.
The refried beans here are so good. If you’re in a hurry in the World Showcase or want a quick service meal, you can get these beans and the rice served with chicken or beef tacos at La Cantina de San Angel next door!
I really like La Hacienda de San Angel’s take on Mexican rice, as I prefer it to not be heavily salsa based. This version is nice and light and was a great accompaniment.
During dinner, we got a chance to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Though the restaurant is all indoors and has no outside seating, it was still a great view. The restaurant does dim the lights and pipe in the music from IllumiNations, which is really cool!
Overall, we really enjoyed La Hacienda de San Angel. Everyone thought the food was great, and the portions were huge. I ended up taking half of mine home and had it for lunch the next day, which I rarely do when I dine at Disney — even as a local. That’s how big the portions are!
On top of the great food, we loved the atmosphere and getting to watch IllumiNations from the restaurant. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a nice view for the fireworks. We also ended up getting a great view for the Star Wars fireworks at Hollywood Studios too! If you’re interested in a view, do ask a cast member if you can be seated with a World Showcase view. You might have a wait but it’s definitely well worth it!
Have you been to La Hacienda de San Angel? What did you order when you dined there?
*This dining experience took place in February 2016.
La Cantina de San Angel offers quick service Mexican options at Epcot’s World Showcase. Located in the Mexico Pavilion, it is connected to La Hacienda de San Angel, a table service dining location that I love.
La Cantina used to be one of my go-to quick service spots in Epcot. I love a good taco, and the ones at La Cantina de San Angel have always been great. However, many years ago, they stopped serving safe gluten free chips, and so ended my visits to La Cantina.
But recently, Gluten Free in Orlando reported that the restaurant has been serving tacos with sides of rice and beans instead of tortilla chips.
Well, that was music to my gluten free ears!
Recently, I stopped by La Cantina and was told the following options are gluten free:
- Pollo Cascabel – grilled chicken, Mexican rice, corn, Cascabel sauce, and pickled onions
- Tacos de Barbacoa – seasoned beef, homemade corn tortillas, Mexican rice, refried black beans, and red salsa
- Tacos de Pollo – seasoned chicken, homemade corn tortillas, Mexican rice, refried black beans, and red salsa
I was dying to try the tacos de pollo because they used to be my favorite, so I didn’t ask if any of the other dishes were gluten free and dairy free. The chicken tacos only need to have the cheese removed from them, which is great!
As you can see from my photo, I couldn’t wait to dig in and forgot to take a photo of my food before I took several bites of rice and beans (which I like to mix together).
I have to say that these chicken tacos were everything I remembered and more from La Cantina de San Angel. The chicken was super flavorful and well grilled. Topped with fresh mild salsa, chopped onion, and cilantro, the tacos de pollo were so delicious.
The rice and beans were also fantastic, and I recognized as the same kinds served at La Hacienda de San Angel.
The only thing I need next visit to make my meal complete is a classic Margarita!
Here’s a photo of the chicken tacos my mom ordered. The only difference is that hers contained queso fresco on top of the beans.
Sadly, the tortilla chips at La Cantina de San Angel are still not safe, and I’m told that they are no longer safe at La Hacienda de San Angel either. Having dined at San Angel, it was a mixed bag whether or not the chips were safe that day depending on what had been fried in the oil, as they fry churros later in the day in the same oil.
All three locations in the Mexico Pavilion are not owned and operated by Disney and therefore do not have allergy friendly menus. You can find the gluten free menus for San Angel and La Hacienda de San Angel on my menus page.
Overall, I was so thrilled to head back to La Cantina de San Angel for a meal and get to enjoy their tacos de pollo. My only complaint would be the lack of safe gluten free tortilla chips, but now that I know I can order tacos with a side of rice and beans, I’m very happy to add La Cantina de San Angel back on my regular Epcot dining rotation!
Have you been to La Cantina de San Angel? What did you order there?
*This dining experience took place in March 2015.
San Angel Inn, located inside the Aztec Pyramid of the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase, is a beautifully themed restaurant with an impressive atmosphere. Always set to resemble twilight, the interior of the building is dark (which you’ll see reflected in my poorly lit photos), but that adds to the charm of this restaurant. Even more charming is the fact that the boats from the Gran Fiesta Tour slowly meander around the restaurants waterfront view. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’ll recognize this as a similar restaurant style to Blue Bayou.
I had not dined at San Angel Inn in many years. I don’t recall being particularly wowed by the food on the first visit, and I love going to La Hacienda de San Angel with it’s sparkling World Showcase Lagoon view and amazing dishes, so it’s not surprising that it’s taken me this long to go back. After reading Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando’s review of San Angel recently, I knew it was time to make a reservation and see what new offerings were available to gluten free and dairy free diners.
When we arrived, the hostess mentioned that the menu noted gluten free and dairy free offerings, and I was excited to see that the menu had these choices listed – though the dairy free options were basically only one item. Of course, I learned that this is not the case, so I’d love to see the restaurant come up with a menu that more accurately reflects the gluten free and dairy free offerings.
Our server Martin was amazing. After being seated, he inquired about my special dietary needs – noting that the chips might not be safe for me to consume due to cross contamination. He said that sometimes they fry churros in the same fryer, so he would need to check with the chefs on whether today was a safe day or not. This is definitely an important thing to look out for, and I was so glad he wanted to ensure my safety. He seemed very knowledgeable in gluten free dining and celiac disease, which is awesome.
Martin reported back that the chips were indeed safe that day, and he brought out a fresh basket along with two kinds of salsas. Like La Hacienda de San Angel, you get a salsa verde and a salsa roja (green and red salsas) — both delicious. The red salsa was a bit sweet and smoky (definitely chipotle-based) and the salsa verde was much milder and a little tangy (thanks to the tomatillos in it). I’m glad that these were OK for me to consume that day because chips and salsa are a must at a Mexican restaurant!
For my entree, I ordered the enchiladas verdes de pollo. These chicken enchiladas with green sauce were fantastic. The only modifications I needed for dairy free were removing the queso fresco (cheese) and sour cream. I really loved the red onion garnish and the chicken inside was very good. I loved the black beans and rice — although I have to say I preferred the rice that La Hacienda de San Angel is now making that is not salsa/red sauce based.
Having recently spent a week in Mexico, I have to say that this reminded me of a lot of the dishes I got while on vacation. It was a little pricey but overall would be something I’d order again. I’d love to see something like this in a quick service restaurant. We need our version of Rancho del Zocalo (from Disneyland), especially given that La Cantina de San Angel Inn is no longer very gluten free friendly.
There weren’t really any dessert options for gluten free and dairy free diners, but gluten free diners will find that there are several options. Of course, there’s always an after dinner margarita at La Cava del Tequila!
I was very impressed with how my server and the culinary team handled my special dietary needs — especially given that this restaurant is not owned and operated by the Disney Company. They did a terrific job of making sure that my meal was delicious and safe! You can find out more information on their website at: http://www.sanangelinnusa.com/
Have you been to San Angel Inn? What were your favorite menu offerings?
*This dining experience took place in October 2014.
La Hacienda de San Angel is my go-to for Mexican food in the Disney Parks and Resorts. I’m not as much of a fan of San Angel Inn, but I find the food at La Hacienda to be bright, fresh, and plentiful. Nestled on the World Showcase Lagoon, it has terrific views and is gorgeous when visiting around sunset.
On this particular occasion, I stopped by the evening before the Happy Haunted 5K race. This seemed like the perfect pre-race dinner spot. I was pretty keen to order one of the platters available here because I’ve had them several times, and they are delicious!
Once seated, our server took our drink orders and go the chef for me. That was a La Hacienda de San Angel first, as usually the server works with you on your order. I was pleasantly surprised and really appreciated that the chef came out to chat with me.
He let me know that both of the salsas along with the chips were safe for me to consume, which is great. A few years ago only 1 salsa in the chips and salsa duo was safe so I’m glad they’ve maintained the safe options lately. For my entree, I ended up splitting the seafood platter which needed no modifications (the spicy mayo on the corn is mayonnaise based), except for the removal of the cheese on the corn and beans.
I love the chips and salsa here, although be warned the red salsa is sweet, smoky, and spicy! I am a big fan of salsa verde which always hits the spot. Every time I eat here and get chips and salsa, I wish that La Cantina de San Angel would still serve safe gluten free chips. I haven’t dined there since that happened, and I miss that as a good quick service option. Both of these locations are non-Disney owned, so they don’t have to adhere to all of Disney’s special diets policies.
The view from our table was lovely. It’s a great spot to catch IllumiNations or have a nice sunset dinner.
The platter itself has changed ever so slightly since last year. Gone are the griddled onions (which I loved) and the corn now has a spicy mayo (delicious). Otherwise, most components are still the same. I love the zucchini and squash and the corn. All 3 of the seafood components were well cooked, though I have to say the scallops were my favorite.
One other slight change was the rice. Gone is the red/salsa based rice. And thank goodness. I loved this version which was much lighter and matched the main entree so much better. The black beans are fantastic and great to dip your extra chips in! Served with corn tortillas, this was a huge meal. We did have second helpings of the rice and beans, but couldn’t manage another bite by the time we finished. I definitely did a good job carb-loading that night!
Overall, La Hacienda de San Angel is still a great table service location in the World Showcase. You can tell they’ve become more popular because the prices have raised and the portions have diminished slightly. Still, the platters are your best bang for you buck with tons of food to share among the table!
Have you been to La Hacienda de San Angel? What do you recommend ordering there?
*This dining experience took place in May 2013.
Nestled on the World Showcase Lagoon is La Hacienda de San Angel. A non-Disney owned restaurant, this location has been open for a couple of years now, and this was my first experience going here for dinner. I’ve long been wanting to head here but for some reason hadn’t made it yet. I recently heard rave reviews about this from some friends, one of whom is gluten free, and so I decided to check it out ASAP.
|View of La Hacienda & La Cantina de San Angel|
I had reservations for this location during the Disney 24 hour event, which meant that the parks were exceptionally crowded. Holiday weekend + special event = Disney chaos! Luckily, Epcot wasn’t as bad as other parks, and so we were very lucky we nabbed ADRs for La Hacienda. From the outside, we checked in and it didn’t seem that busy (5:30 p.m.) but once we got into the main lobby area, we discovered it was swamped. Very busy. Luckily, we were seated quickly and were able to get settled in without waiting for long in the crowded lobby. What I love about this restaurant is the decor and ambiance. Everything is very spacious and big. My brother and I had a huge booth that offered a lot of space. Good thing because we got a lot of food!
Once seated our server Eduardo came by to greet us and take our drink orders. Now here is where things differ from a Disney owned restaurant. Instead of having a chef come out, Eduardo went over the menu with me. One thing I’ll give him, he was actually fairly knowledgeable (like he blew most servers away with his knowledge). He said pretty much the majority of the menu was gluten free which was the easy part. The dairy was also not a big deal as they don’t use a lot of dairy. Of course no queso, but I could have figured that out!! 🙂
My friends reported to me that only the salsa verde was safe and not the red salsa. So, I was surprised when he said both were OK. I mentioned to him that a friend had dined there semi-recently and said only the verde was safe. He said that it used to the be the only safe salsa but that they changed it and now both the red and green were safe. Since I knew the salsa at La Cantina is not safe, I opted to not eat the red salsa and only have the verde. (I’m paranoid what can I say?!) It’s probably a good thing too because it had chipotle in it according to my brother and was spicy. Um no thanks. I like spicy but not THAT spicy. The salsa verde was a nice amount of spiciness with some tang to it from the tomatillos. Very good. Note that the chips here are not at all the same as the ones from La Cantina (no crazy dyes in them) and they are made in a dedicated fryer. Thank goodness. I would have been an unhappy camper without chips!
|Chips & Salsa!|
We decided to split the Parrillada (platter) De Mer (seafood) which is a mixed grill platter. It came with mahi mahi, scallops and shrimp. The other platter came with beef, chicken and chorizo which my friends ordered on their visit and said was excellent. Since I’m not a beef eater, I really wanted to go with the seafood option. It also comes with corn tortillas, black beans (which are normally topped with cheese but was removed for us) and rice (which I didn’t eat–it was the one thing that didn’t look appetizing to me but my brother said was quite good).
The platter was huge! I mean huge!!! It could have easily been shared by 3 people if they had added just a little bit of extra protein to it because the amount of veggies was ridiculous. And we ate a lot of them too! It came with grilled zucchini and squash and onions, as well as sweet corn with lime (this was awesome even though I only took a few bites–Crohns and corn do not mesh well). Lots of fresh lime was on the platter too for topping on the meats. The mahi mahi ended up being one of my favorites. I loved the chimichurri on top of it. So flavorful. And the fish was well cooked, not overcooked. The shrimp was good–nice seasoning and the scallops were also yummy. My brother thought they were a little underseasoned but they were fine to me. The veggies were all delicious. The black beans were also great fav, and I ended up dipping some of the leftover tortilla chips in them. They were also very generous with the corn tortillas. They brought us seconds which was good because they were a bit on the small side.
|Parrillada De Mer|
We opted for no dessert because we left way too much food even though we both porked out (and yes, we can both pack away the food!). I think it’s just a very large portion for two people. I can see it is a very popular option too, as many people also orders the platters. Eduardo did mention that they had sorbet for dessert if I wanted it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this restaurant, and I plan on visiting again. I love that most of the menu is naturally gluten free, which means there are a lot of choices and a whole lot less chance of cross contamination. I would definitely come back again to eat here. Very good! I’d give this a 8 out of 10. It would be nice if the chefs came to the table and chatted with but I was pleasantly surprised by my server’s knowledge.