Tangaroa Terrace: Your One Stop Dining Spot – Disney Foodie Spotlight

So sad this is going away soon…

Dine in.  Dine out.  Eat inside.  Eat on the terrace.  Eat poolside.  Sit down for a meal.  Grab something and go.  Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel has not only something for everyone, but options for everyone, too.  Named after the Maori god of the sea, this next door neighbor to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar offers quite a different menu and a multitude of options.  The food is reasonable, filling, and tasty.  I wouldn’t necessarily go running to eat here for the experience, but if you’re staying at the Disneyland Hotel, this place is a terrific option no matter what you’re looking for.

The layout of Tangaroa Terrace - an interesting mix of cafeteria-style and sit-down restaurant
The layout of Tangaroa Terrace – an interesting mix of cafeteria-style and sit-down restaurant

Location: Disneyland Hotel
Type: Quick service
Specialty: Foods with a Polynesian flair, but something for everyone
Cost: $10 to $13
Craig’s Favorite: The combination of sweet and savory flavors – and good teriyaki sauce

There are a lot of options at Disneyland Hotel.  From Goofy’s Kitchen (character buffet) to Steakhouse 55 (high class / high cost dinners) to Trader Sam’s (fun, kitschy bar food done with an exotic flair) there is a lot to choose from, not to mention the plethora of options right there in Downtown Disney.  But Tangaroa Terrace fills a niche none of these other places fill.  It offers a great variety of “express eats with Polynesian flair.”  I like the fact that even with the Polynesian flair there is probably something everyone will like.  From the burgers and flatbread pizza to the salads and particularly island tastes of Ahi Poke and Loco Moco.  They even serve breakfast if you’re so inclined with choices like French Toast with a banana-caramel sauce and a breakfast platter with your choice of bacon or Portugese sausage.  Some of the menu items like the Hawaiian Cheeseburger and Kalua-Pork Flatbread can be found at Trader Sam’s also, but each place has unique items, too.

The cold case located right inside the door for those in a hurry or who just want to grab and go
The cold case located right inside the door for those in a hurry or who just want to grab and go

If you’re on the run and can’t stay to eat, they have quick items you can just pick up and go including sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, fruit salad, milk, juice, soda, and even beer.  And I found out on the Disneyland website that you can even get them to deliver your food to the pool for some poolside eating!  Of all the dining options at the hotel, Tangaroa Terrace is the only one open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner making it the jack of all trades for food.

I went with the Hawaiian Cheeseburger again (which I had at Trader Sam’s also) but with a gluten-free bun and I was impressed that they grilled the bun on both the bottom and the top to give it a different texture.  Because it had teriyaki sauce it wasn’t gluten-free but I knew that going in.  The teriyaki sauce was better than expected and added a nice flair to the burger.  They do have truly gluten-free options such as the Kalua Pork Sandwich my wife got (which was great especially with the sweet potato fries) and shrimp tacos which sounded great too.  They also have egg allergy friendly and fish/shellfish allergy friendly options.  I have to say, I really appreciate the effort Disney extends to make sure people with allergies can feel included.  Most of the restaurants in Downtown Disney are not as accommodating.

Tangaroa Terrace is a great option sure to please everyone.  But it’s only here for a little while longer.  Soon it will close for refurbishment and reopen next year as Tangaroa Terrace Bar and Grill.  From descriptions on the Disney Parks blog, it looks like it’s in for some major upgrades!  Hopefully, all the charm of the original will still be in place.  In the meantime you can grab many of the items they sell at other locations around the hotel.  But come by and try it before it closes.  Aloha!

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