Epcot-2When you think of the Epcot Flower & Garden Show, chances are you think of seeing flowers and topiary. And you will see plenty of that. But the yummiest part of the Epcot Flower & Garden Show is the food found in the outdoor kitchens–from to ceviche to pulled pork to kale salad, read on to see all there is to eat and drink at the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

We love going to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and this year should be no different.  The flowers are stunning, the gardens are exquisite, but oh, the FOOD and DRINK at the Outdoor Kitchens!

Simply said, with or without the kids in tow, the Flower & Garden Festival is a perfect food gathering.  We have traveled to WDW Epcot just to spend time at the Festival and come back each year due to the variety and additions.  This year, there is not only a new outdoor kitchen, but many kitchens are featuring new items to their menus and will be using local ingredients.

The Festival makes sure there are options for everyone, including gluten free and vegetarian, plus offer a wide range of specialty drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Having a triathlete in our house with a focus on healthy eats, satisfying both is EASY at the Festival, with so many wonderful choices.

From our first memory when our son tried escargot (and has not stopped eating them) to last year when it was just the girls, this Festival is amazing!

To help you narrow down your choices, I’m listing the 12 Outdoor Kitchens with some of my “What Not To Miss” favorites and what I’m anxious to try this year.

General Tips for the Epcot Flower & Garden Show

  • A valid park admission is required for entry, so a Park Hopper is great.  You can visit the parks and head over to the Festival for a great meal.
  • If you are on a meal plan, many items are part of the snack and beverage plan.
  • I would schedule two days to do Epcot and the Flower and Garden Show, making sure to enjoy all of the Outdoor Kitchens.
  • The hours of the Outdoor Kitchens vary, so be sure to plan your stops for lunch and dinner accordingly.
  • Each of the stops have a shaded area nearby, so plan some table time to rest up.
  • Most food items are between $3.50 and $6.50 and drinks range a bit higher.
  • Each kitchen will have water, sparkling water, and lemonade, as well as their speciality drinks.

The Epcot Outdoor Kitchens

1.  Botanas Botánico – located between the France and Morocco Pavilions

This newest Outdoor Kitchen features specialities of Latin America.  I love the freshness of the flavors and the textures of the food, like corn pancakes with cheese. They are featuring one of my favorite Florida fishes, Grouper in a Seafood Ceviche.

Good Eats

  • Seafood Ceviche – shrimp, scallops, and grouper with mango and avocado
  • Cachapa con Queso – Venezuelan sweet yellow corn pancake
  • White Corn Arepa – braised beef and chayote slaw
  • Coconut Tres Leches

And to Drink

  • Polar Beer (Caracas Venezuela)
  • La Tizana (non-alcoholic) – classic Venezuelan fruit drink
  • La Tizana – with Santa Teresa RHUM Orange Liqueur
  • Monte Paschoal Reserve Tannat
  • Monte Paschoal Natural Brut White Sparkling Wine

2.  Fleur de Lys – located at the France Pavilion

Although my son’s first ever bite at the Flower and Garden Festival is not on the menu this year, I’m still going back!  New this year, I’ll be trying the Strawberry Marshmallow Macaroon and the Grand Marnier Ice Pop.

Good Eats

  • Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumpling with vegetables and mushrooms
  • Confit de Canard avec Pommes de Terre Sarladaise – pulled duck confit with garlic & parsley potatoes
  • Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise – strawberry marshmallow macaroon

And to Drink

  • Ice Pop – Grand Marnier® Peach Raspberry with vodka iced tea
  • La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush – Grey Goose Vodka, Orange St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
  • Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine and Chambord black raspberry liqueur
  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – This is a white beer!

3.  Florida Fresh located at the Germany Pavilion

Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot Flower & Garden Show.

Fresh Florida fish at the Epcot Outdoor Kitchens. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

I love to eat local, so this locally-sourced kitchen is always one of my favorites!  I am so excited about the new blueberry and lemon curd tart and the beer flight, so I don’t have to pick just one!

Good Eats

  • Watermelon Salad – with pickled onions, B&W Farms baby arugula, feta cheese, and balsamic reduction
  • Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits – with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes, and cilantro
  • Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart

And to Drink

  • Watermelon Passion Fruit Slush (non-alcoholic)
  • Watermelon Passion Fruit Slush – with Tamiami Florida gin
  • Key Lime Sparkling Wine – Florida Orange Grove (St. Petersburg)
  • Blonde Ale – Orlando Brewing Company (Orlando)
  • Channel Marker Red Ale – 3 Daughters Brewing (St. Petersburg)
  • Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale – Florida Beer Company (Cape Canaveral) – Festival Exclusive!
  • Jai Alai – Cigar City Brewing (Tampa)
  • Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Channel Marker Red Ale, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Jai Alai

4.  Hannah – located at the Japan Pavilion

Japan celebrates Spring each year.  Admiring Spring is a ritual and to have it wrapped around the Festival makes it all the more special.  This is the first time I have seen so many new additions to this menu and they look yummy with great prices.  I will be enjoying the Teriyaki Curry Bun and Hako-Sushi, as I love anything with eel sauce.  The drinks have me confused, so will most likely come back to decide between the Strawberry Nigori and the Yuzu Plum Wine Slush.

Good Eats

  • Frushi – fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and served with whipped cream on the side
  • Teriyaki Curry Bun – steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables, curry, and sweet sauce
  • Salmon Sushi – “Hako-sushi” box-style pressed sushi with salmon and topped with dynamite, volcano, and eel sauce

And to Drink

  • Kirin Draft Beer
  • Yuzu Plum Wine Slush – a sweet, refreshing taste infused with a tangy flavor of citrus
  • Strawberry Nigori – mild creamy sake infused with sweet-tangy strawberry
  • Karat Sake – Honjozo-style with a sharp, dry taste

5.  Jardin de Fiestas – located at the Mexico Pavilion

Epcot Center at Walt Disney World.

Triathletes enjoying a beer and some downtime at Epcot. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

The colors of the food are always bright at the Jardin de Fiestas.  The Tacos al Pastor were so yummy last year, I’m thrilled they’re still on the menu.  The grilled pineapple is so good it’s become a regular menu item at our house.  I’ve never tried tequila, so am hoping to try the flight this year.

Good Eats

  • Tacos al Pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions, cilantro and salsa verde
  • Vegetable Quesadilla – Flour tortilla filled with Monterey Jack and mixed vegetables
  • Flan de Chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard with whipped cream and cinnamon

And to Drink

  • Tecate Beer – with Patrón Citrónge
  • Mexican Sangria
  • Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita – on the rocks
  • Tequila Liquor Flight – flavored tequilas

6.  Lotus House – located at the China Pavilion

The China Pavilion holds a special place in my heart this year.  Right after I wrap up my visit at the Festival, I’m headed to China.  I am looking to linger at this stop to learn a bit more about the cultural and food.  I am a sucker for a Chinese Bun, so the new Kung Pao Chicken bun is at the top of my list to try.  With it, I’ll enjoy the Honey Mango Wine cooler.  I haven’t had a wine cooler in ages!

Good Eats

  • Beijing-style Candied Strawberries
  • Kung Pao Chicken Bun
  • Vegetable Spring Roll

And to Drink

  • Oolong Peach Bubble Tea
  • Kung Fu Punch – vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
  • South Sea Storm – guava juice with light and dark rum
  • Honey Mango Wine Cooler
  • Tsingtao Beer
  • Plum Wine

7.  Pineapple Promenade – located by the World Showcase Promenade

All things pineapple are what is being served up again this year.  With all the health benefits of pineapple, I suggest we try everything on the menu.  This stop will help cool you down. I can’t wait to try the Spicy Hot Dog with Chutney and the Berry Tea Cocktail has the superfood acai in it, too.  Bonus!

Good Eats

  • Spicy Hot Dog – with pineapple chutney and srirracha mayonnaise
  • Pineapple Soft Serve
  • Pineapple Soft Serve – with Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum
  • Pineapple Soft Serve – with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

And to Drink

  • Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade  (nonalcoholic)
  • Ace Pineapple Hard Cider – Sacramento
  • Sparkling Pineapple Wine – Florida Orange Groves Winery (St. Petersburg)
  • Berry Tea Cocktail – Twinings Cold-Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Plant City strawberry-flavored Florida cane vodka with raspberry and acai syrups

8.  Primavera Kitchen – located at the Italy Pavilion

Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot Flower & Garden Show

Enjoying a salad and some wine at Epcot Outdoor Kitchens. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

With two vegetarian options, I know we will be stopping here this year.  Last year, we ate a wonderful lunch at the Italy Pavilion, so this year we will be hitting the Outdoor Kitchen.  The new Prosciutto Pinwheels look so yummy and I know my partner in crime will be enjoying the veggie pasta dish.  The big question is will we share the Panna Cotta or need 2?  And, it will be washed down with Rossini!

Good Eats

  • Fior di Latte, Prosciutto e Pane di Casa – pinwheel of mozzarella, prosciutto, olio toscano, and ciabatta bread
  • Cheese Manicotti – egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce, and béchamel
  • Limoncello Panna Cotta – lemon custard, limoncello liqueur, and raspberries

And to Drink

  • Placido Pinot Grigio – fruity with a crisp taste; light body
  • Placido Chianti – garnet color with soft spice and berry flavors; ight body
  • Bosco del Merlo Prosecco – sparkling and refreshing; light body
  • Corbinello – sweet and sparkling spumante
  • Moscato Fior d’Arancio, Montegrande – pleasantly sweet and fresh
  • Bellini – sparkling wine and peach puree
  • Rossini – sparkling wine and marinated strawberries
  • Frozen Italian Primavera – assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
  • Moretti Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa

9.  Taste of Marrakesh – located at the Morocco Pavilion

Morocco is on the top of my travel list.  I cook a lot using the spices and techniques of northern Africa.  I love the smell and the taste this region has to offer.  This year, the menu has two new items and I will be trying them both!  My tastings will include the Falafel Pocket and the Pistachio Baklava.  The best part of the cuisine from this area is the contrast in flavors; the fruits mixed with the spices like in the Sweet Couscous Salad.

Good Eats

  • Falafel Pocket – with Cucumber Tomato Salad and Tahini Sauce
  • Harissa Chicken Kebab – with Sweet Couscous Salad
  • Pistachio Baklava

And to Drink

  • Desert Rose – Sparkling Wine with Pomegranate Liqueur
  • White Sangria
  • Guerrouane Red
  • Casa Beer
  • Mint Iced Tea

10.  THE SMOKEHOUSE – located by the American Adventure 

This is one stop I’ve never made, although my family has.  This year, I’m slowing down to savor the BBQ and a brew.  A bacon cupcake is on the top of my list and I can’t wait to try the pig slider.  They’re offering a beer flight, so again, I won’t have to make a decision.  I’ll grab a Frozen Lemonade when I’m done, sit in the shade, and cool down before heading on!

Good Eats

  • Pulled Pig Slider – with cole slaw
  • Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash – with white cheddar fondue and pickled jalapeños
  • Smoked Debreziner Sausage – with house-made kraut and mustard
  • “Piggylicous” Bacon Cupcake – with maple frosting and pretzel crunch

And to Drink

  • Floridian Hefeweizen – Funky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park)
  • Category 3 IPA – Due South Brewing Company (Boynton Beach)
  • Maple Bacon Stout – Shipyard Brewing Company (Clearwater) Festival Exclusive
  • Billy’s Chilies – Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder)
  • Beer Flight – Florida Hefeweizen, Category 3 IPA, Maple Bacon Stout, Billy’s Chilies
  • The Original Rib Shack Red Wine
  • Frozen Lemonade (non-alcoholic)
  • Frozen Lemonade – with Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey
  • R.C Sweet Tea – made with Twinings Cold-Brewed English Classic Tea

11.  Urban Farm Eats – located between Refreshment Port and World Showcase Promenade

Urban Farms at Epcot Outdoor Kitchens at International Flower & Garden Show.

Cucumber Lemon Spa Water at Urban Farms at Epcot Outdoor Kitchens. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

Last year, I stopped for a Spa Water and Beet Salad and ended up staying a long time.  I was by myself and each time someone came over, I kept ordering more to try.  The concept of farm to table is one of my favorites and the Urban Farm Outdoor Kitchen uses almost all of their foods from the ground.  I am most excited about the new Quinoa Vegetable  “Naanwich”.

Good Eats

  • Kale Salad –  with dried cherries, almonds, goat cheese, and white balsamic vinaigrette
  • Quinoa Vegetable “Naanwich” – with arugula pesto and oven-dried tomatoes
  • Ghost Pepper-Dusted Tilapia – with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub

And to Drink

  • Urban Mary – with Smirnoff vodka and pickled green beans
  • Hess Shirtail Creek Vineyard – Chardonnay
  • King Estate Acrobat – Pinot Noir
  • Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider
  • Cucumber Lemon Spa Water – finished with a sprig of fresh mint

12.  Intermissions Café – located at the Festival Center 

Don’t forget to visit the Festival Center.  They will be serving up some healthy bites, drinks, water, and sodas.  It’s always a great place to stop and regroup.

Good Eats

  • Grapes
  • Fruit & Cheese Plate
  • Vegan Trio
  • Southwest Chicken Wrap
  • Tuna Salad with Pita
  • Side Salad
  • Asian Tuna Salad

And to Drink

  • Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria -Florida Orange Groves St. Petersburg)
  • Hess Shirtail Creek Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir
  • Zonin Prosecco
  • Floridian Hefeweizen Funky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park)
  • Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider

Finally, if you need a little pick me up, stop by the Espresso, Coffee and Pastries located at The American Adventure.  While it’s not officially one of the 12 Outdoor Kitchens, it’s a great stop to grab a quick speciality coffee, such as:

  • Chocolate Stout latte – featuring Monin chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut with milk and espresso
  • Iced Bailey’s latte – featuring Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur with milk and espresso over ice

I hope you can tell I’m SO looking forward to this year’s Festival and Outdoor Kitchens and can’t wait to hear what you are excited about!