Some of the best meals I’ve ever had at Walt Disney World have come from lounges. That includes Bar Riva, which serves as the lounge and main bar for Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Bar Riva is located on the ground level of the Riviera Resort next door to Primo Piatto. The storefront of the lounge is entirely open to the elements. If you were to dine here on a cooler evening, there are space heaters to provide a bit of warmth.
Like most everything else at Disney’s Riviera Resort, I love Bar Riva. A glance inside will probably have you wondering what’s not to love.
The lounge is exceptionally welcoming, with stunning blue tile and a suspended wood ceiling. There’s plenty of room at the bar.
Additionally, you’ll find seating around the parameter of the lounge space. The banquette and stools are all counter-height. A few standard tables with chairs are scattered around the room.
The only thing I’m not crazy about is that Bar Riva serves as the pool bar for the resort. A line forms at the bar from people waiting to take a drink back to the pool during busier times.
If I’m using the pool at the Riviera, I don’t want to have to get up, leave the pool area, and then walk over here to order something. With so many guests having a meal, it seems awkward and not well thought out to have this double as the pool bar. Maybe it would work better if they had added a separate window.
Anyway, a few weeks back, I had a reasonably busy Saturday scheduled. So I knew I wanted to start my day off with a healthy meal option and find a place to enjoy a meal by myself easily.
I drove over to the Riviera with Bar Riva in mind. Unfortunately, the security guy didn’t allow me to park. This happens from time to time, and since I didn’t have a confirmed dining reservation, I really couldn’t argue.
So I ended up going to Disney Springs and parking. Parking at Disney Springs worked out fine because I had plans to end my day at Saratoga Springs. So I knew I could easily walk from Saratoga to Disney Springs and retrieve my car at the end of the day. These tips are included in the Disney Springs transportation guide.
When I got to Disney Springs, I walked over to the bus stop and took the next bus back to the Riviera Resort. It was a scorching day, and thankfully I was in no hurry to get anywhere.
Bar Riva was pretty empty when I got down to the lower level. So I secured a seat back in the corner to myself—a server brought by the QR code for the menu. You can preview the menu here.
Because of the hot weather, I wanted something refreshing. Therefore, I ordered the hibiscus coconut refresher. The refresher was a mix of hibiscus, coconut, honey, and strawberry with soda water poured over the top. It even came with a strawberry garnish.
I find that I’m looking more and more for drinks at Disney that are refreshing without being a full-on fountain drink. So far, this has been one of my favorites. You might remember I also really enjoy the Skipper Sipper at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace.
In addition to my refresher, I ordered this impressive Greek salad with shrimp. My salad was packed with olives, cucumber, artichokes, red onion, and chickpeas.
It’s kind of hard to tell from the picture, but I was surprised at how many shrimp were included with the salad. While I didn’t count them, I bet there were at least 10-12 shrimp buried within my salad.
I don’t know if the size of this salad is the norm at Bar Riva or not. But I do know I will be back to try a few other items in the future.
This meal ended up costing me right at $22.00 with tax and tip. And I really felt like it was an excellent value. I had a refreshing drink, a healthy meal, and the atmosphere was delightful.
Lastly, don’t forget to save room for dessert upstairs at Le Petit Cafe! Enjoying a treat here is a very memorable experience.
Have you had a chance to visit Bar Riva yet? Do you take advantage of dining at the lounges on your vacation? Leave a comment and share your thoughts below.