Listed here are our 10 favorite snacks at the 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, which is Walt Disney World’s flagship foodie event running through November 19, 2022. Here we cover the best dishes at Global Marketplaces, including wonderful meats and delicious desserts.
We think that list is important, as Global Marketplaces dishes are of varying quality: some good, some bad, and some ugly. This is clear if you have read our Booth Menus, Photos and Food Reviews for the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. For those of you who don’t want to sift through those individual reviews, we wanted to present a few must-try snacks for those of you visiting in the near future who want a concise resource on what to eat at this year’s Food & Wine Festival. at Walt Disney World.
As always, there are a couple of surprises for the 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. First of all, there are no new stalls making this list. That’s because there is only one new booth (singular) and it’s horrible. This is unfortunate, as we always try to favor new finds over familiar favorites for these lists. Second, there are actually several new dishes that make the cut, as many of the menu tweaks made to the legacy stalls are surprisingly good.
Now, the caveats. Of course, tastes may vary. As we’ve seen since covering the Food & Wine Festival over the years, quality control isn’t always the best…or even average. The dishes differ from day to day and even from hour to hour. Items are produced quickly and in large quantities, and are not made to order. As such, quality can be inconsistent, and one person’s “perfectly done” steak could be overdone for a guest ordering the same thing minutes later.
Additionally, portion sizes can also vary significantly. There have been times when
we have sat at our table stood at our trash can and noticed other guests near us who ordered the same thing had significantly smaller or larger portions. Both of these variables can affect your perception of a particular dish. Freshly prepared Le Cellier filet mignon that’s double the size of an overly greasy portion that’s been under a heat lamp for 30 minutes will check better. (This is not an arbitrary example: we’ve found that meats are often inconsistent, with the iconic Canadian steak being the biggest offender.)
Anyway, let’s start with the best of the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival 2022 list…
Grilled Pork Shoulder Lettuce Wrap (Swanky Saucy Swine) – One thing that allows us to eat so badly in the parks is how healthy we eat at home. No added sugars or alcohol, minimal processed foods or artificial ingredients, and lots of vegetables and complex carbohydrates. However, I draw the line by swapping breads or tortillas for lettuce. That’s a bridge too far.
Point being, I was quite surprised at how well these Grilled Pork Shoulder Lettuce Wraps worked. I think the reason for this is that the lettuce complemented the refreshing flavors of the sauce and red onions, while the large serving of pork shoulder and cream provided more than enough on the indulgent flavor front. This is a stand with some great dishes, but this is my favorite. Delicious, hearty, and relatively low in guilt.
Takoyaki (Japan) – I will be honest, there is a lot of bias and nostalgia here. It’s been ~3 years since I’ve had takoyaki, and the first bite immediately took me on a rainy evening stroll through Dotonbori, stopping at stalls before heading to Ebisubashi Bridge. The second bite reminded me of being in the basement of the Ikspiari food court at Tokyo Disney Resort on arrival night before heading to the parks next month. And so on and so on.
We’ve had a lot of takoyaki on the streets of Japan, and I’m an absolute fan of octopus balls. Disney largely gets the texture and flavor just right, with a crunchy exterior giving way to a soft, fluffy interior. They’re not as tasty as the best takoyaki you’ll find in Osaka’s permanent street stalls, but they’re still pretty good. I’d put EPCOT’s takoyaki on par with something you’d find at a festival in Tokyo, and better than 7-11. Since we have been begging for 7-11 style snacks at the Japan booth for years, we consider this a huge win!
Impossible Meatballs (Earth Eats) – This reminded us a lot of the extended Felucian Garden in Docking Bay 7 in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The “meat” balls themselves are well seasoned, flavorful and not dry (remarkable because that can be a problem with this type of thing) and taste fantastic.
It’s all elevated further with the herbed polenta, rustic puttanesca sauce, and basil pesto. Those are just as delicious, but also refreshing and with an overall earthy touch that’s hard to explain. The end result is a delicious dish that tastes like something that’s more “farm-to-table” than “biotech lab-to-table.”
Smoked Corn Beef (Flavors of Fire) – This sits at the intersection of “flavor” and “value” among the top items at EPCOT Food & Wine 2022. Its inclusion here should come as no surprise, as Flavors from Fire is always one of our favorite booths.
It’s basically smoked corned beef on a bed of home fries, with a drizzle of fondue to top it off. The fondue is complex and the corned beef is lean and tender, with excellent smokiness. It is a perfect marriage of flavors; an ambitious comfort food that is perfect for fall. Highly recommended.
All (Indian) – The India Global Marketplace could basically be called ‘A Taste of Sanaa’. That’s not 100% accurate, but there are clear parallels between the menus and if you like one, you’ll surely like the other. Likewise, it’s also an opportunity to sample a somewhat similar menu for those who are intimidated by a full meal in Sanaa (or just haven’t found the time).
This is the most interesting type of booth we like to see at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, with dishes you won’t find anywhere else at EPCOT but are relatively affordable. (You can literally find all of these dishes in the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe’s, so they’re not too “out there.”)
Roast Lamb Chop (Australia) — This Global Marketplace has been offering lamb dishes for as long as I can remember, and the roasted lamb chop with mint pesto and crispy potatoes is a personal favorite. I really like the refreshing mint pesto contrasted with the rich lamb; French fries aren’t necessary, but a little texture never hurts.
Ours had a generous amount of meat and wasn’t too fatty (YMMV on both counts), and the sides are sophisticated and well thought out items that pair well with the lamb.
Feijoada (Brazil) – This dish includes crispy pork belly, black beans, Brazil nut pesto, and Ben’s Original Long Grain White Rice. This was a nice double whammy for us as Sarah loved the base of it – she found it complete with lots of seasoning and a nuanced flavor.
On the other hand, I loved the pork belly. This meat is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, with just the right amount of fat and perfectly prepared. Together, it’s a well-balanced dish that is both ambitious and comforting. If Walt Disney World is going to make food and wine menus more crowd-pleasing, East is exactly how to do it!
All (Aid Station) – The Maple Bourbon Cheesecake has been our favorite dessert at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival for several years in a row, and we’re pleased to report that it’s as good as ever. The cheesecake is rich and savory, but with a somewhat light consistency that is absolutely perfect. This contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the maple and caramel flavors, and the crunch of the candied pecans provides a wonderful texture. This dessert is sublime and one of the few that we will visit again and again during the course of the event.
Also, the braised beef poutine is one of the rare items at the event that is a huge portion and of high quality. Obviously these are just the regular fries served at Walt Disney World, so nothing special. It’s actually a bit strange to have such great ingredients (meat included) on top of such an ordinary base, but it works. All of this culminates in an epic ‘elevated’ comfort food, and it’s by far the best fries of the 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival.
Grilled Cheese (Greece) – The iconic grilled Greek cheese once again makes its triumphant return, and with some tweaks to the texture. This one uses kasseri cheese, which is a traditional semi-hard Greek cheese made from sheep and goat milk. Grilling cheese softens it, giving it an outer skin.
Hardened honey adds sweetness and ground pistachios offer additional crunch. The ingredients meld remarkably well and the end result is a creamy, nutty, sweet and earthy cheese plate that is truly sublime. This is easily one of our all-time favorite dishes from the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival.
Brioche aux Escargots (France) – Once a perennial favourite, the France stand has been much more unpredictable in recent years. That’s true again for the 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, with Beignet aux Trois Fromages at one end of the spectrum, offering a disappointing, low-quality dish.
At the other extreme is this Escargot Brioche with Creamy Parsley Garlic Sauce, which is an absolute standout. Having snails in a buttered puff pastry makes it accessible for people who don’t normally like the texture of snails, and the taste is great. It is definitely a rich dish, but it is a good preparation. I also appreciate that it’s not just about snails swimming in butter (as much as I love butter).
Take a look at our EPCOT 2022 Food and Wine Festival Booth Menus Please post if you want to see and read more about each menu item we are recommending, and NOT recommending, this year! You’ll also want to read our full 2022 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival Guide before you go to get an idea of what to do, strategy for the festival and much more.
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Do you have any favorites from the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival? If you have tried any of the dishes on this list, what do you think? Did we snub any of your top picks? Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback on your experiences is interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so share your thoughts in the comments below!