Restaurant Review: Disney’s Tangierine Cafe

by Gray Cargill on July 31, 2009

Morocco, World Showcase, Epcot

I’ve always loved the Morocco pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase.  It is easily (for me) the most attractive and photogenic “country” in Epcot. The exotic architecture is stunning, the courtyard fountains lovely, and no matter how long I spend poking around the alleyways and nooks and crannies, I always find the most amazing attention to detail.

Tangierine Cafe

But I hadn’t eaten there until my May trip to Disney World, when I found myself in need of a cheap place to eat on my last night.  While I am not a vegetarian, I do enjoy eating vegetarian meals once in awhile, which makes it difficult to find a counter service restaurant that will please me.  (I don’t like to be restricted to just a plain old salad when I choose to go vegetarian, and while technically, they’re vegetables, french fries really don’t count when I’m in the mood for something healthy.)  Before I left on my trip, I had scoured the Disney restaurant menus and decided I really liked the looks of the Tangierine Cafe. I also read so many positive reviews about the food online that it made a favorable impression.

Morocco, World Showcase

Here’s an interesting factoid for you:  Did you know that tangerines, the citrus fruit, were named after Tangier, the Moroccan city?  Tangerines first made their way to Europe from China via the port of Tangier.  However, tangerine already existed as a word before that; it meant “of or pertaining to Tangier”. I just thought I’d throw that out there, since the spelling of the name of the restaurant had been bugging me (Tangierine as opposed to the common spelling of the fruit, Tangerine), and I had to check on it.

In the Morocco Pavilion

The Tangierine Cafe was fairly empty when I arrived for dinner.  I can’t recall what time it was, but it was later than I usually eat, so I’m assuming it was around 7pm.  The process of ordering and paying was pretty straightforward.  It is set up cafeteria style, where you order in one location and then move down the counter to where you receive your food.  There is a separate counter for specialty drinks.  I ordered the vegetarian platter and a frozen pina colada punch (non-alcoholic).  I selected one of the many free tables inside the restaurant (they also have outdoor tables) and settled in to see if the food was as good as I had heard it was.

Vegetable Platter at Tangierine Cafe

The food doesn’t look as good as it tastes, I have to say.  Presentation is not a priority here.  But the quality of the food was good.  The vegetarian platter I ordered comes with falafel bread, olive salad, hummus, lentil salad, tabouleh, and a tangierine couscous salad.  The marinated olive salad was a nice touch–I am a big fan of olives.  Everything was very good, I felt great about eating such a healthy meal, and I walked away full, but not overstuffed. Cost of the veggie platter was around $9 and the drink was around $4.

View out front doorway of Tangierine Cafe

This is a lovely restaurant to dine in, a real feast for the eyes.  The decor is gorgeous, from the tile mosaic on the walls and tables, to the stained glass and light fixtures, to the open doorway views of the pavilion–including the photo to the right of a waterwheel and flowers.  Another thing I enjoyed about this restaurant was that the staff were very pleasant and smiled a lot.  If you time it right, you can eat here and enjoy a session of live music and belly-dancing by Mo’ Rockin‘, the live band that plays in Morocco.  They are very good as well.

As far as solo dining goes, I felt very comfortable here.  Maybe if it had been packed with families (as counter service restaurants at Disney tend to be), I might have felt differently.  But I did not feel out of place dining alone.  In summary, the Tangierine Cafe gets a big thumbs up from me.  I recommend this as a very healthy counter service dining option at Epcot.

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TheAngelForever August 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Thanks for the welcome :) Hubby told me that I underestimated. He said we took more like 4000 photos. Of course many were from shows that we watched (Nemo, Beauty and the Beast…). Yes, I mentioned several of the places for the vegetarian restaurants at Disney. Can not wait to see what is written.

SoloFriendly August 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Welcome to my blog, TAF! I'm glad to hear you loved your meal at Tangierine, too! I think I only took 1500 photos, but you have kids, right? Makes a difference. :-) I hope you offered your suggestions on veggie dining restaurants to DisneyFoodBlog for her upcoming post on that topic? Should be a good one….

TheAngelForever August 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Just saw your comment on TechyDad's cheesecake post and had to come over. We were also at Disney in May. Hubby is vegetarian and we sought out Tangierine Cafe from the amazing reviews online. We loved out meal. I am looking back at your photos. We took over 3000 photos, not including PhotoPass. I still need to finish blogging about our trip.

TheAngelForever August 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for the welcome :) Hubby told me that I underestimated. He said we took more like 4000 photos. Of course many were from shows that we watched (Nemo, Beauty and the Beast…). Yes, I mentioned several of the places for the vegetarian restaurants at Disney. Can not wait to see what is written.

SoloFriendly August 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Welcome to my blog, TAF! I'm glad to hear you loved your meal at Tangierine, too! I think I only took 1500 photos, but you have kids, right? Makes a difference. :-) I hope you offered your suggestions on veggie dining restaurants to DisneyFoodBlog for her upcoming post on that topic? Should be a good one….

TheAngelForever August 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Just saw your comment on TechyDad's cheesecake post and had to come over. We were also at Disney in May. Hubby is vegetarian and we sought out Tangierine Cafe from the amazing reviews online. We loved out meal. I am looking back at your photos. We took over 3000 photos, not including PhotoPass. I still need to finish blogging about our trip.

SoloFriendly August 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Yes it does, Michael. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :-)

Michael Kiey August 9, 2009 at 12:43 am

I remember the Moroccan exhibit very well when I was at Epcot a a number of years ago. A real treat. And the Moroccan exhibit at the 1964 World Fair in Flushing Meadow, NY. It seems that this country has a knack for putting there best visual foot forward.

SoloFriendly August 3, 2009 at 5:05 am

Thank you so much for your comments,James! I guess this means I have to save room for dessert next time. :-) P.S. LOVE your blog, by the way. You are a very talented photographer.

James Chapman August 2, 2009 at 9:15 pm

We have had several excellent meals from this counter service restaurant…great food, great service, and the pistachio Baklava is to die for. :) I would agree with “Watch Me Eat” as the dining space allows for some privacy away from the crowds and absolutely beatiful decor! After eating, walk over to “The Art of Personal Adornment”…amazing artwork through those stained glass doors!

SoloFriendly August 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

What's your favorite dish?

Watch Me Eat August 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Tangierine Cafe is one of my favorite in Epcot!

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