Rancho del Zocalo Serves Mexican Feast: Disney Foodie Spotlight

Ethnic food is not something most theme parks do very well.  Needing to cater to the lowest common denominator tends to tame down the exciting flavors that make it so unique.  But Disneyland got it right with Rancho del Zocalo.  The food is more than satisfying and the portion size is perfect for the price.  Could you find better Mexican food outside of the park?  Sure, but this is above average cuisine with great beans and rice and a really nice selection for your palate.

The sign above the entrance to Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland
The sign above the entrance to Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland

Location: Frontierland, Disneyland
Type: Buffeteria-style
Specialty: Mexican food
Cost: $12-$15 per plate / $7 kids meals
Craig’s Favorite: Tough one! Probably the Carne Asada and Red Chile Cheese Enchiladas

I’ve come back to this place over and over so its surprising that I haven’t written a review yet because this place is good.  The atmosphere is relaxing, the food is tasty and fresh, and the selection is plentiful.  Like most restaurants in Disneyland, they limit their menu to do more things well, but there is still a lot to choose from.  Tostada salad, Hacienda Caesar salad, street tacos, baked fish tacos, burritos, enchiladas, carne asada, citrus-fired grilled chicken, and chile verde are the options they have to offer.  You can have the tacos and burritos with your choice of chicken, beef, or carnitas (pulled pork).  The enchiladas come in cheese only, but they are really good.

My yummy taco plate complete with plentiful helping of rice and beans as well as a side of salsa and chips
My yummy taco plate complete with plentiful helping of rice and beans as well as a side of salsa and chips

Other than beans and rice, everything else is a la carte.  Chips, salsa, soup, drinks, and dessert are all extra but pretty reasonably priced. Service is done buffeteria style meaning you go up to the counter that serves what you’re looking for and they put it together for you right in front of you like in a cafeteria and you simply move from station to station for the different items you want.  I’ve tried the tacos, enchiladas, chicken, and carne asada with the carne asada and enchilada plate being my favorite, but it’s tough because the tacos were so good also.

The mural on the wall as you head to the entrance of the restaurant
The mural on the wall as you head to the entrance of the restaurant

And now they serve breakfast!  I haven’t been there yet for the morning meal, but it sounds great.  In addition to traditional American fare (Mickey pancakes, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, and breakfast potatoes) they also have some great Mexican food options.  Personally, I want to try the tamales and the chilaquiles and at $8 or $9 a plate that seems like a deal.  If you’re looking for good Mexican food in a relaxing atmosphere, come to Rancho del Zocalo.  You’ll walk away happy.

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