Disney’s Kona Cafe Review with Updates

In this Kona Cafe review, we’ll visit the famous restaurant to try a few appetizers, entrees, and sushi. Kona Cafe is a table service restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Kona Cafe is a dining location that we tend to return to repeatedly. We have always found the restaurant has good food and fantastic service. Plus, visiting Disney’s Polynesian is always lovely, even if you’re not staying there as a guest.

Kona Cafe is well-known around Walt Disney World. One of its most popular items is Tonga Toast, served at breakfast. Additionally, Kona Cafe is famous for its sweet Hawaiian rolls that come with a side of Macadamia nut butter.

Kona Cafe Review

Kona Cafe is located on the 2nd-floor lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The restaurant is light and airy with an open style. By open, I mean the entire restaurant faces out to the lobby.

Therefore any passerby can gaze into the restaurant. Likewise, diners can see out into the lobby.

However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t feel that way once you enter the restaurant’s boundary. There are rarely guests walking by on this side of the second floor. Most of this level is a large open area that looks down to the main lobby.

Upon entering the Polynesian via the Disney World monorail, guests will head to the right after exiting the platform area. During the busier times of the day, you might run into a crowd waiting for their ‘Ohana reservation.

Speaking of dining reservations, you’ll want to secure one in advance for Kona Cafe. While this location does stay pretty busy, they have a relatively large capacity. Usually, you can get availability if you are flexible on timing.

While Kona Cafe isn’t considered signature dining, it can be considered an excellent table service option. Most Magic Kingdom Resorts have excellent table service restaurants like Grand Floridian Cafe or Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Related: Grand Floridian Cafe Review

When you arrive at Kona Cafe, you’ll need to check in at the restaurant or via the My Disney Experience app on your phone. Usually, the app will prompt you to check in on your phone when you get near the restaurant.

If you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, you might enjoy a cocktail at the nearby Tambu Lounge.

After settling, a server usually brings Kona’s sweet rolls to the table while you’re perusing the menu.

These rolls are divine, and the butter is incredibly soft, making it super spreadable. Don’t worry if you devour them too rapidly due to spending the whole day trekking back and forth across Magic Kingdom. They will bring another round.

Another favorite item I’ve had at Kona is this Seafood Coconut Curry. The curry comes packed full of shrimp, scallops, and crab meat. All I can say is you won’t be disappointed. ALL I CAN SAY IS YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Okay, sorry, I was trying to think of a better way to express this soup that is very bland in appearance. I didn’t mean to yell at you, but you want to try the curry when push comes to shove.

After discovering the curry was packed with seafood, I decided to pull this number. I lifted what I could on my spoon and zoomed in for a picture. The amount of seafood in this broth reminded me I needed to head back to the gym soon. As you can see, it was challenging to lift.

All joking aside, the curry has a smooth texture complemented by the hearty seafood nuggets. I noticed heat left over on my palate after consuming the first few bites. It was a very pleasing dish.

But the Crispy Pork-Vegetable Pot Sticker is a fine choice if you aren’t in the mood for soup. This dish came as such a surprise. I was expecting multiple potstickers (plural) when this arrived.

I wasn’t even sure how to approach it. But really, it didn’t matter because it won’t be around for long after you take your first bite. This large pot sticker kept me coming back for more.

It’s not often I find something that’s difficult to quit eating. The dish reminded me of a slice of cake where I kept telling myself, “just one more bite.”

And think, we haven’t even gotten to sushi yet! Nearly every time we dine at Kona Cafe, our meal includes sushi.

Let’s face it. When I go to Kona, it’s usually because I’m craving sushi. The restaurant is known for this fine cuisine. They even have a sushi chef preparing rolls at an open bar area.

To date, I’ve tried a variety of sushi rolls, starting with this Shrimp Firecracker roll.

This dish is tempura shrimp, crab, avocado, spicy tuna, cucumber, and chili sauce.

It was a winner in my book and something I could order again. The sushi has a nice spicy flare to it but nothing overbearing.

Next is the small Kona Sampler Sushi. There isn’t anything small about this dish, in my opinion. This is the best selection of sushi I’ve had here. It’s so good that we added to the list of where to find the best sushi at Disney World.

The small sampler at Kona Cafe comes with tuna poke, two nigiri pieces, two pieces of sashimi, and three pieces of California roll.

As you can see, it’s quite a large platter. The sushi chef also sent out a piece of seaweed tempura on the dish.

The salmon selection was my favorite, followed by the tuna.

The tuna poke was questionable when it first appeared at the table. This tuna poke is described as passion fruit bobo, micro chives, wasabi chips, and citrus yuzu. My first bite was a tad bitter, and I felt I wouldn’t care for this one.

After electing to take a second bite, I felt wrong about the whole thing and found it delightful. I don’t know if it was just one of those mind-over-matter things. It hit the spot.

And on my last visit, I went with the Rainbow Roll.

The menu describes this roll as tuna, salmon, mackerel, hamachi, lump crab, cucumber, and avocado.

What can I say? Another rave review, I enjoy the sushi rolls here.

Other popular items at Kona Cafe include the following:

  • Asian Airline Chicken (Sticky Rice, Bok Choy, Asian Glaze)
  • Jasmine Broth, Glass Noodles, Pineapple Tofu, Umami Tomato (Plant-based, Vegan)

and for breakfast, you might enjoy:

  • Tonga Toast (Banana-stuffed French Toast rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and served with a Strawberry Compote and your choice of Ham, Spiced Ham, Bacon, or Sausage)
  • Loco Moco (Plant-based Eggs, Plant-based Sausage, Coconut Milk, Rice, Pico de Gallo, Vegan)
  • Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes (with Macadamia Nut Butter, Pineapple Sauce, and your choice of Ham, Spiced Ham, Bacon, or Sausage)

You can preview either of the Kona Cafe menus on Disney’s site. If you scroll down to the bottom, you should be able to preview allergy-friendly and gluten-free options.

And if you have room for dessert, you might be able to order the infamous ‘Ohana bread pudding. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is listed as a menu item. However, if you are interested, ask your server if the bread pudding is an option.

As we wrap up this Kona Cafe Review, let’s look at a few more pictures of the restaurant.

Above is a picture of how open the restaurant is from the exterior. This outside area is mainly a walkway and looks down at the open lobby. There are several different styles of seating arrangements.

Along with open tables featuring different viewpoints.

The sushi preparation area is at the center of the restaurant, close to the entrance.

There is usually a case with fresh fish on display.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a destination within itself. If you have the time, it’s always worth visiting the resort for a meal during your vacation. For more information about the resort, you might enjoy our guide.

Or you might enjoy these individual articles:

Additionally, the Polynesian makes our list of best Disney World pools!

For more dining, here are a few favorite Disney Restaurant Reviews:

In the Comments

I hope you enjoyed this Kona Cafe review and will consider planning a meal there on your next vacation. Have you dined at Kona Cafe before? Do you enjoy visiting the Polynesian?

One Comment

  1. We dined last night at Kona. I made the mistake of ordering Pupu Platter. The breading on calamari, shrimp & fish was salty, & caked on so much, that the food underneath breading couldn’t be tasted. I should have sent it back for the $20 charge. So disappointing.

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