Here’s The Only Two Reasons You Need to Eat at Walt Disney World’s San Angel Inn

At Epcot’s Mexican Pavillion, modeled after a 17th century hacienda by ancient Mayan ruins, the San Angel Inn restaurant offers Mexican cuisine for lunch and dinner. San Angel is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 .m. and for dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There are no characters at this restaurant, thank goodness, because characters would distract from the beauty of the surroundings. There’s really only two reasons you need to try a meal at the San Angel Inn, fabulous atmosphere and amazing cuisine.

1. Intimate Atmosphere and Beautiful Decor

San Angel is known for its romantic atmosphere, for here it’s always twilight, the stars are always twinkling, and the river for the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros is always flowing.

Our Mouze Foodie, Shannan from Addicted to Mickey, described her dining experience, “The San Angel Inn is a Mexican-style, table service restaurant that accepts the Disney Dining Plan.  As you walk in, you venture through a quaint Mayan village. You are seated under the stars and can see an angry volcano in the distance.  San Angel Inn is dimly lit, which provides a more intimate setting. The tables are adorned with beautiful cobalt blue dishes.”

2) Fabulous Mexican Food

What’s for lunch and dinner?  Here are some sample items from the dinner menu. If these items are also offered at lunch, you will see this indicated with a price.

  • Camarones al Guajillo – Crispy shrimp with guajillo sauce, served over a bed of potato relish $26
  • Pollo a las Rajas- Grilled chicken breast served with a cream sauce of red peppers and onion strips, poblano rice, and queso fresco $24   (Lunch $17)
  • Tacos de Ribeye – Grilled ribeye, chipotle pepper sauce, scallions and avocado, served on flour tortillas $24    (Lunch $19)
  • Sirloin con Chile Relleno – Grilled beef sirloin with chile ancho sauce, served with a beans and cheese stuffed pepper, poblano rice, and fried plantains $28
  • Mahi – Mahi a la Veracruzana  – Grilled fillet of fresh Mahi-Mahi prepared with capers, olives, bell peppers, spanish onions and tomatoes, seasoned with white wine, and spices, served over a bed of poblano rice $23   (Lunch $21)
  • Mole Poblano – Grilled chicken breast served over a bed of poblano rice, with a classic mole sauce made with spices and a hint of chocolate, sprinkled with mixed nuts $24
  • Corvina en Mole Verde – Fresh corvina served with mole verde, Mexican cream rice and slices of serrano ham   $26

Here are some items offered just at lunch with prices:

  • Enchiladas Verdes con Pollo – Corn tortillas filled with pulled chicken, covered with green tomatillo sauce, topped with sour cream, queso fresco and onion, served with black beans  $16
  • Ensalada Mexicana – Mixed greens, jicama, spicy pumpkin seeds, queso fresco, orange wedges, cilantro, mint, a choice of low-fat Italian dressing or homemade honey-mustard dressing. With grilled chicken  $15    With shrimp  $18
  • Sirloin con Chilaquiles – Grilled sirloin with chilaquiles (layers of fried corn tortilla, green tomatillo sauce, topped with queso fresco, onion and sour cream, served with black refried beans  $23
  • Tacos de Pescado – Grilled fish marinated with achiote and garlic, topped with cactus radish, served on flour tortillas   $17
  • Cochinita Pibil – Slowly cooked shredded pork, marinated with achiote seeds, beer, garlic, red onions, orange juice, served with corn tortillas   $17

What’s for Dessert? Here is the dessert menu with prices:

  • Moras Con Cajetas $8
  • Flan De Vainilla $6.50
  • Capirotada De Chocolate Blanco $6.75
  • Helado De Vainilla $5.75
  • Chocolate Caliente Y Churro $ 6.25

Back to Shannan on their dining experience, “Everyone is served water to start as you wait for your drink orders to arrive. We were there for dinner. The waiter brought complimentary chips and salsa to hold us over while we waited for our food. The kid’s menu was typical of most Disney restaurants. My daughter Erin had the Quesadilla de Pollo. This is a grilled flour tortilla with chicken and cheese served with Mexican rice. She loved it and said it was the best quesadilla that she ever had. My son Zachary loves shrimp, so he had the Camarones a la Diabla. This is roasted diabla-style shrimp with Pablano rice served over a yucca puree and cascabel chili sauce. He really had no idea what the sauce was, but he ate it and loved it.  I couldn’t believe how much of the ‘green’ rice he also ate!”

Menu at San Angel Inn Epcot's San Angel Inn, reservations for San Angel Inn, ADR San Angel Inn

Carne Asadadala Taupinquena at the San Angel Inn

“My husband Paul and my son Clay and I all had the Carne Asadadala Taupiquena. This is really only a grilled beef tenderloin with cheese enchilada sauce, black refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, and topped with onions and red bell peppers. We all agreed that this was the best steak we had eaten at a Disney restaurant. It was cooked correctly and seasoned well. The sides, minus the guacamole that I don’t eat, were tasty too. For dessert, we all chose something different from the menu and passed it around. Erin got the churros, which was my favorite, and she liked it so much, she didn’t want to share. We also had  a vanilla flan with berries, helado de dulce de leche- caramel ice cream and Crema Bavera- a creamy Bavarian mousse with mixed berries and cinnamon. All the desserts were fabulous.”

Shannan wrapped up her experience at the San Angel Inn, “With top-notch service and great food, San Angel Inn is high on my recommendation list.”

The downside to dining at San Angel Inn.

Admittedly, I am a junk food eater at Disney. I’m picky, I am notoriously cheap, and I tend to stay in my food comfort zone. My family practically has their own table at counter service restaurant Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn over in the Magic Kingdom. But I have wanted to eat at the San Angel Inn since it opened, because I loved the soft lighting and realistic decor.  It looks like you are actually eating in Mexico in a quaint little village restaurant. I will probably never visit Mexico, and this was an experience I really wanted to try.

Last summer, my husband suggested we make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) for a belated anniversary dinner and upgrade from our usual burgers and fries. Three months out, we made the reservation and talked about it constantly. I do suggest you make a reservation that far in advance. Disney has reached the level of  being busy so that you cannot just show up and expect a table at many sit-down, table service restaurants. This makes it tough on people who “vacation by the seat of their pants,” but for those who like organization, it really is a must. We actually showed up three hours early, and they had nothing available, for us or the five other families who tried to get in with no reservation. So we came back at our actual reservation time.

Epcot Mexican Pavillion, Epcot San Angel Inn

It really is a stunning restaurant. I was giddy as we sat down at the table to enjoy our complimentary chips, salsa and water. Here’s where it went all wrong. Looking over the menu, for the very first time I should point out, I knew we were in serious trouble. I didn’t recognize any of the names of any menu items, and the kid’s menu might as well have been written in Spanish for my kids. They were looking for “burger” or “plain taco” and there was nada, seniors of this type meal.  And because they were in 3rd, 5th and 7th grades then, two had to eat off the adult menu, which was el loco, because they certainly didn’t know what to choose there either. My husband is not picky, and he said he could pick something out. Remember I said I was very picky; it looked like I was headed for a fried plantain appetizer as a meal, which didn’t sound all that appetising honestly. Cut to my husband, who says, staring at the menu, “Even if we find something that the kids would actually eat, which looks doubtful, this meal will cost us nearly $160. Are you sure about this. Is this what you want to eat?” Well, I had been so sure, and now my giddiness had turned to panic, my mouth full of free chips, and I’m choking on the salsa. What to do now?

When the waiter returned, we told him we had changed our minds and were unable to find anything to eat. I offered to pay for the chips, which he graciously refused. I mumbled something about how we were “more Taco Bell-kinda people” and we slunk out. Ok, I slunk out and the kids, actually relieved, ran for the gift shop.  That night, we dined at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe in the Magic Kingdom, in the darkest room the have, which I have now nicknamed, “The San Angel Room.” Everybody was happy, and my bill was significantly lower. Yet there were no stars twinkling, no river flowing, no Disney volcano steaming, and no romantic candles flickering. It was a special occasion, so I could have overcome my cheapness. I still feel like my pickyness caused me to miss out on a wonderful meal.

However, when I looked over those menu items listed above, I remembered exactly why we left. I envy Disney Foodies like Shannan who savor these fantastic meals in intimate dining locations. And in the spirit of why Mouze Kateerz was started, to share Disney photography and experiences, I will vacation through Shannan’s photos virtually and vicariously. Taco Bell, reluctantly, here I come.

Additional information you may need to know.

  • For Guests 21 and Older, the San Angel Inn offers Margaritas, wine and Mexican beers. Specialty drinks include the handcrafted premium Magic Blue, Pineapple or Blood Orange drinks.
  • Refills on provided on soft drinks, coffee and tea.
  • An 18% service charge is added to parties of 6 or more.
  • The Disney Dining Plan is accepted.
  • To go to the official Disney World website, can click here to make a reservation.

So there’s a double-sided look at Disney’s San Angel Inn, where the Mexican food looks fabulous and the atmosphere is mucho fantastico. You’ve had a chance to look over some menu items, see some prices, and view some of Shannan’s fabulous food photos. Two excellent reasons for and one uncertain vote, although I’m definitely not against this restaurant at all. I believe my dining pallet just falls beneath it. Let us know if you decide to make that ADR for your next trip and how it goes.   

A special thanks to Shannan Wright for her thoughts and photographs.  Shannan is the founder of Addicted to Mickey and Addicted to Mickey on Facebook. She is also a booking affiliate with Guru Travel.

Shannan is 35-years-old and was born and raised in a small town in middle Tennessee. Her  husband Paul, of 13 years and their 3 children share my love and passion of Disney. “We don’t get to go near as often as we want to, but as often as we can. Each time I go to Disney, I try new experiences in lodging and dining so I can share it with friends and family that seek my advice on trip planning!”

Stop by Addicted to Mickey to see where Shannan is headed next. While I eat burgers and fries, Shannan is off trying all the cool restaurants Disney has to offer.

Thanks for coming along for a photographical Disney ride, and we hope to see you on the boat ride through the Mexican Pavillion!

Shannan and Amanda

Love Disney World photography? For a virtual Disney vacation in pictures, visit Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.  If you have some fabulous Disney photographs you’d like to share, send an email of your favorite Disney location to mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

See ya soon!

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Comments

  1. Cindy A. says:

    The last time my husband and I ate there, we were kind of shocked at the menu. I ended up eating something off of the appetizer menu because I am picky and couldn’t find anything else that I liked. Then they brought out the chips and salsa. My first bite, I told my husband that those were Tostidos. He said no way. Once I walked out in the gift shop area & saw them selling bags of Tostidos out there, my thoughts were validated. We were not very impressed with the food. Great atmosphere though.

    • Well, I clearly just made it past the chips. I hear rave reviews, but I’m with you. I am satisfied to just float by in the boat! Thanks for reading!
      Amanda

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