Disney Foodie Spotlight: Uva Bar in Downtown Disney

Seriously, I think this is my favorite place to eat in Downtown Disney.  I originally wrote this review back in 2013 and our whole family has been back numerous times since.  I still love it every time.  If you’ve visited Downtown Disney, no doubt you’ve passed by this place and probably wondered to yourself about this funky outdoor bar smack dab in the middle of it all.  Well, it’s the home of Uva Bar, part of Catal restaurant (which is right behind it).  This little oasis may be known for their bright and shiny bar outside, but the food offering is what will bring you back over and over again.  Trust me.

Because they are owned by the same restaurant group, they often work in tandem with one another, but the food offering outside at Uva is different than the one inside at Catal.  Because it was busy and we had a larger party, they actually seated us inside (which on a hot 91 degree day was much welcome relief).  The bottom floor is reserved for Uva customers according to the host while the upstairs of for Catal.  The Uva menu is not extensive, but it doesn’t need to be.  It covers a good sampling of hearty and delicious food to serve a variety of palettes. As you might expect the Uva food is more pub-like while Catal is more Mediterrean influenced and upscale.  That’s not to say that Uva food is any less good (getting to that), but the style is different.  For instance, Uva serves things like Tuna Tartare Tacos and Fish and Chips while Catal has such items as Suckling Pig and Lobster Paella.

Personally, I had the lamb burger and shared the crispy calamari with my daughter, Emma.  I have to say, it was the best lamb burger – scratch that – it was honestly the best burger I can recall ever eating.  And for a guy who loves burgers, that’s saying a lot.  Now, the price at $17 for a burger and fries (good fries, too BTW) is a little steep.  You can find very good burgers for about half that (but maybe not with fries).  You can even find really yummy burgers for about $5 – $7 less, but the flavor combinations and the quality of the bun were top notch.  Somewhere between the feta, the aioli, and the house ground lamb was some flavor explosive goodness that just came through in every bite.  The calamari was very good, too.  They serve it with a sauce that reminds me of Bloomin’ Onion sauce from Outback only better.  It’s served on a bed of greens, tomatoes, and peppers which taste wonderful too.  Our friends also shared the Uva Street Fries which were these cheese fries served in a bowl, but to call them simply “cheese fries” really undersells it.  At our table we also had the Chicken “Gyro,” the Uva Burger (sans egg), and the Manchego Cheese salad.  Everyone really enjoyed what they got.

Our group of food tasters outside of Catal after eating yummy Uva food
Our group of food tasters outside of Catal after eating yummy Uva food

For those of you with family who might wonder if there is anything appropriate for kids, fear not.  They do offer some of the basics sure to please a child’s palette.  From hot dogs to chicken fingers to more healthy options like flank steak, grilled chicken, and salad, they have a lot.  While it doesn’t say you can get french fries, you can.   So next time you pass by this funky island of yummyness, stop in and grab a bite!  You’ll be glad you did.

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