Disney’s Contemporary Restaurants Guide (The Full List)
This dining guide discusses the restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Below we share our experiences at each restaurant, links to current menus, and photos of the items we’ve tried.
If you have an upcoming stay planned at Disney’s Contemporary, you might be curious about dining options at the resort. You’ll be happy to know there are plenty of restaurants available.
From quick-service dining to one of the finest signature restaurants in Disney World, the Contemporary has excellent dining options. And if that’s still not enough, there’s an abundance of restaurants nearby at the other monorail resorts.
Below, we’ll go over the restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary. We’ll look at the resort’s counter service, table service, character dining, coffee shop, and pool bar.
Additionally, I’ll provide tips for mobile ordering and dining at a few other nearby Magic Kingdom Resorts. Warning, you’re probably going to get hungry.
Disney’s Contemporary Restaurants Lists
Below is a list of all the restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Counter Service Restaurants
- Contempo Cafe
Lounges and Bars
- Outer Rim
- Steakhouse 71 Lounge
- California Grill Lounge
Table Service Restaurants
- Steakhouse 71
- Chef Mickey’s
- California Grill
Pool Bars with Counter Service
- The Sand Bar
- Cove Bar
Coffee Quick Service
- Contemporary Grounds
All the above restaurants are located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, except the Cove Bar. The Cove Bar is situated on the Bay Lake Tower side of the resort. Therefore, it is only accessible to guests staying at Bay Lake Tower.
For reference, Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Vacation Club Resort connected to the Contemporary. Guests of the DVC Resort will have access to all the amenities of the Contemporary.
Related: Bay Lake Tower Review
Additionally, several dining options at Disney’s Contemporary are located on the fourth floor, commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon Concourse.
Guests can access the fourth floor by taking the escalators or elevator up from the first-floor lobby. Those visiting via the resort monorail service will exit the monorail and take the escalator or elevator down one floor.
Contempo Cafe is one of the most underrated quick services at Walt Disney World. The counter service restaurant sits in the middle of the Grand Canyon Concourse.
Over the past few years, service at Contempo Cafe has shifted more toward mobile orders. However, at least one person is ringing up orders at the register these days.
Outside the restaurant, a display offers a preview of the different pastries and sweet treats you can order. Previously, you could select these from a case and then check out. However, now you order via the My Disney Experience app or tell the cast member at the register.
Contempo Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hours of operation are between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Prices average $14.99 and under per item.
On my recent stay in the Garden Wing, I ordered a grilled breakfast sandwich (without eggs) one morning for breakfast. This was an agreeable breakfast option.
Related: Garden Wing Review at Disney’s Contemporary
Other items on the menu for breakfast include a bounty platter, Mickey-shaped waffles, a tofu breakfast bowl, and oatmeal. You can preview the breakfast menu here.
You can expect items like flatbread pizza, burgers, chicken nuggets, and plant-based options for lunch and dinner. Contempo Cafe’s lunch and dinner menus are here.
A while back, I had the Kale power greens salad with greens, Farro, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, pickled onions, garbanzos, and a lime vinaigrette.
At the time, the salad was delicious. So on my last visit, I decided to order it again. For some reason, they decided to serve it deconstructed.
Unfortunately, the sweet potatoes were as cold as ice cubes and hadn’t been roasted. So while it was still an okay option, it wasn’t near as good of salad as I had previously enjoyed.
My other go-to meal at Contempo Cafe is the cheeseburger kids’ meal. In addition, my son orders allergy-friendly chicken tenders when we dine here.
Contempo Cafe is a place we frequent because we love seeing the monorails come through. It’s a fun place to grab a seat and relax while enjoying a meal.
Over the years, I’ve often overheard or read planning advice recommending guests go to Chef Mickey’s to see the monorail while eating. But you get a similar experience at Contempo Cafe for a much lower price, minus the characters.
In addition to Contempo Cafe, these resort counter services are located at the nearby resorts along the monorail:
Related: Monorail Hotels at Disney World
Lounges at Disney’s Contemporary
Across from Contempo Cafe, there’s a lounge area called Outer Rim. While Outer Rim is on the Grand Canyon Concourse, most guests probably miss it.
Guests can pick up a cocktail here if they like. You can preview the menu here on Disney’s site.
However, in most instances, I recommend checking out the lounge at Steakhouse 71, which is the newest lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. If you visited the Contemporary before, the location was formerly called The Wave Lounge.
Guests dining at Steakhouse 71 will need a reservation. However, the lounge portion is open to walk-ups as seating allows.
As far as the lounge goes, the bar is tremendous, with plenty of room to enjoy a meal. You can order anything from the restaurant’s regular menu.
In addition to the bar, there are two large lounge areas with small tables and seating.
Both the lounge and restaurant are casual and family-friendly. I’ve often seen families enjoying a meal in the lounge area when seating was unavailable at the restaurant.
Lastly, the California Grill Lounge is another option. You will need to visit the hostess stand on the resort’s second floor and ask if they have any bar or lounge availability.
Unfortunately, most of the lounge seating has been converted to tables. So at this time, lounge seating is limited to the bar. We were lucky to grab a few seats there a while back.
Since the restaurant is offering a prix fixe menu celebrating Disney’s 50th anniversary, the bar menu is extremely limited. I was able to order sushi. Sadly, it wasn’t near the quality of sushi I usually receive here.
Hopefully, the regular menu will return in the future, and things will return to normal.
Several nearby resorts offer lounges worthy of a visit. They are as follows:
- Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace at the Polynesian
- Enchanted Rose Lounge at Grand Floridian
- Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Wilderness Lodge
A part of me hates to even share this with you, but I’ve never actually eaten at Chef Mickey’s. Also, I’ve never heard anything good about the food there.
Trusted friends and travel advisers that I know would not recommend eating here. Therefore, it’s one of the few restaurants I haven’t dined at yet.
Chef Mickey’s is popular because of the monorail and classic characters. However, most character meals we’ve reviewed at Disney World have had not-so-great food.
For example, the meals we attended at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and the ‘Ohana breakfast with characters were not great. Both had terrific character experiences but outrageous prices with low-quality food.
I feel that Chef Mickey’s is probably not any better, and I haven’t been in the mood to fork out the cost for another disappointing character meal. With that said, we had an excellent character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace.
And that’s where I would recommend going for character dining at Walt Disney World. If you like, you can preview Chef Mickey’s menu here.
Next on our list of restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary, we have Steakhouse 71, the resort’s table service restaurant that replaced The Wave. Steakhouse 71 serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You may remember I used to call The Wave a bit of a hidden gem. But it’s not fair to call Steakhouse 71 a hidden gem because everyone seems to know about it.
Steakhouse 71’s menu is available here on Disney’s site.
Since Steakhouse 71 opened, I’ve had breakfast there multiple times. On my first visit, I had an incredibly delicious meal consisting of pancakes, sausages, and a side of grits.
My only complaint was that the breakfast menu was a little egg-heavy. I felt like this was one of the few items I could order that didn’t come with a side of eggs.
Related: Steakhouse 71 Breakfast Review
Since the new Incredibles rooms debuted, I spent an entire week at the resort. During that week, I ordered breakfast to-go from Steakhouse 71 on two occasions.
On both mornings, I got the children’s oatmeal with two sides. For my sides, I chose chicken sausage and breakfast potatoes.
For whatever reason, I neglected to take a photo. But the oatmeal with sides was an excellent option, and the price was more than reasonable.
Another day, I ordered the Steakhouse 71 Chop salad off the appetizer menu. Then I added the 4 oz beef filet kids’ meal. This was another excellent meal that I picked up at the restaurant and then took it up to the fourth floor.
Several tables with chairs are set up near a window that looks out to Bay Lake. Often, I’ll see guests order pizza or take out and enjoy it up here in this same area.
So whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, don’t forget you can place a to-go order for Steakhouse 71 from the My Disney Experience app.
For other breakfast options nearby, you might consider these restaurants:
*Kona Cafe at the Polynesian also has Tonga Toast and Macadamia Nut Pancakes.
Our next dining stop at the Contemporary is a classic that most have at least heard of, California Grill.
Anyone looking to experience signature dining at Disney will want to include the California Grill in their list of options. This high-end restaurant is located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary.
California Grill is normally my favorite restaurant in all of Disney World. However, at this time, they’re offering a limited prix fixe menu.
Currently, for me, it’s one of those one-and-done types of meals. While the food is okay, menu options are limited, and the prix fixe menu requires that you order multiple courses.
Related: California Grill’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Review
One of the things most look forward to at California Grill is the ever-changing seasonal menu that maintains classics. The restaurant now boasts signature classics that I’ve never even heard of before.
As someone who frequented California Grill before the 50th, I look forward to the restaurant returning to its former glory. Below is an example.
The Contemporary’s bellwether restaurant is known for several of its signature menu items. This Sonoma goat cheese ravioli (an appetizer) is one of them.
While indulging in this delicious ravioli adorned with crispy mushrooms, goat cheese oozes into the tomato broth. A bread service delivered to the table as a side will help ensure no yumminess is left behind.
Here we have one of the restaurant’s infamous seasonal salads. Below is the Market strawberry salad with Burrata cheese. And yes, it tasted even better than it looked.
You can read the full review of Disney’s California Grill.
Lastly, California Grill is also known for its extensive wine list, hand-rolled sushi, and, dare I say, Sunday brunch.
Yes, the California Grill Brunch is something you will want to include in your plans for a future trip. Regrettably, I have to share that this spectacular dining experience has yet to return.
Oh, how I miss it. Related: California Grill Brunch Review
Additionally, when you dine at the California Grill, you can return that evening to view Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the rooftop. You’ll want to keep your dinner receipt and show it when you return.
Pool Bars at the Contemporary
As mentioned above, the Contemporary has a pool bar, and Bay Lake Tower has a pool bar. However, guests of the Contemporary won’t have access to Bay Lake Tower’s pool, where the Cove Bar is located.
So I’ll briefly mention the Cove Bar for any of you staying at Bay Lake Tower.
Below is the menu, or you can preview it here on Disney’s site.
Over at the resort’s Feature Pool, you’ll find the Sand Bar. The Sand Bar serves as the Contemporary’s pool bar and secondary quick service.
Related: The Pools at Disney’s Contemporary
The Sand Bar’s menu consists of nachos, burgers, hot dogs, and Mickey pretzels.
Around the corner from the quick service window, there’s a separate entrance where you can pick up various drinks.
Guests can also order various frozen treats, water, and soda. If you have a refillable resort mug, you can get it filled here.
Contemporary Grounds is a coffee bar located off the Contemporary’s first-floor lobby. They are usually open from 6:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m.
Grounds serves Joffrey’s brand coffee along with pastries. So if you need a morning coffee fix, this is a simple stop before heading out to the parks.
Here are a few of the menu items.
In addition to coffee, Grounds has several smoothie options on the menu.
There’s a cute little place to enjoy breakfast in front of the lobby.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that you can pick up a variety of snacks and other pantry items at Fantasia Market. Fantasia Market is located across from Bay View Gifts on the fourth floor.
Here is a photo to give you an idea of what’s available, or you can preview the entire photo report.
Related: Fantasia Market at the Contemporary
Final Thoughts on the Restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary
Regarding restaurants, Disney’s Contemporary has plenty of great selections. There’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re planning a week-long stay or only visiting as a day guest.
Additionally, don’t forget that plenty of other excellent restaurants are only a monorail ride away. Check out these restaurant guides for nearby resorts:
And the Wilderness Lodge is nearby:
For more detail on the resort, in general, all of our articles are listed in our guide:
Or you might enjoy these other individual articles:
- Transportation Options at Disney’s Contemporary
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review
- Incredibles Room Review at the Contemporary
To learn more about Disney dining, check out our list of Disney Restaurant reviews. Every single dining review we have is listed there.
Resorts Gal provides information about the resorts at Disney World and the surrounding Orlando area. Our Disney World Hotel Reviews is a good place to start if you are looking for the right resort for your next vacation.
In the Comments
What are your thoughts on the restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary? Do any of these dining options look appealing to you?