Welcome to Disney California Adventure (DCA)! Let’s eat some vegan food!
These are all of the options that I know of as of March 2019. Because they change regularly, please double check with the cast members and chefs, in case something is out of date! And please contact me if you see any items that were previously vegan that are no longer, or if you know of any options that I missed 🙂 The quickest way to contact me is to message me on Instagram (@happiestveganonearth).
If you are reading this between March 1 and April 23, 2019, please check out my Guide to the Vegan Options at the Food and Wine Festival 2019. They brought out some really delicious vegan options this year, so make sure to not miss those if you are in California Adventure during this time.
Table of Contents (Jump to a section!)
- Buena Vista Street
Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Parlor
Starbucks / Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Café
Sourdough Bread throughout the park
Carthay Circle Restaurant / Lounge
Studio Catering Co. Truck
- Pacific Wharf
Lucky Fortune Cookery
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
- Pixar Pier
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionary
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums
- Paradise Park
Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
Paradise Garden Grill
Wine Country Trattoria
- Grizzly Peak
- Cars Land
Cozy Cone Motel
- Carts and Stands throughout the Park
Dark Chocolates and “Snacks with Character” throughout the parks
Mickey Pretzels, Popcorn, Pickles, Fruit (Snack carts throughout the parks)
Olaf’s Strawberry Lemonade Bar (Ice cream carts throughout the parks)
- Grand Californian Hotel
White Water Snacks
Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Parlor (Buena Vista Street)
Currently, the only vegan option on the menu is the mixed berry sorbet bar, but the dark chocolate dip contains dairy. Many months ago it was vegan, but they changed suppliers and I have been asking for probably about a year, and each time they tell me it has dairy.
The do sometimes have the Mangonada (Mango sorbet topped with chamoy sauce and tajin), and that is vegan by default, but it seems to disappear and reappear on the menu frequently.
The sprinkles have confectioner’s glaze, which is usually made from shellac beetles. The other toppings have either confectioner’s glaze or dairy unfortunately. So the only option here at the moment is the plain mixed berry bar. I haven’t tried that yet, but let me know if you do and what you think!
This is a good opportunity for us to send an email to Disneyland to let them know that we care about vegan dessert options and hope that they will change it back to the dairy-free dark chocolate. Also, when you’re in the park, and if you have time, you can stop by Chamber of Commerce (DCA) or City Hall (Disneyland) to let them know how you feel as well.
Starbucks / Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Café (Buena Vista Street)
This has all of your standard vegan options at Starbucks! Almost any drink can be veganized with either soy, almond, or coconut milk. Watch out for some of the syrups that have dairy, such as the pumpkin spice. Google “vegan at Starbucks” for a comprehensive list of vegan options 🙂
Sourdough Bread throughout the park
The Boudin Bakery makes variously shaped sourdough loaves that are sold throughout the park! This one is Groot with olives for eyeballs. They also do Mickey, Lightening McQueen, and Mike from Monsters. They’ll do seasonal ones as well, such as snowmen and candy canes for Christmas. They are all vegan, except for the versions that have cheese baked on the top (there were 2 versions of Groot, for example — one with cheese baked on top, and one without). You can find the bread at the Fairfax Market on Hollywood Blvd, at Mortimer’s on Buena Vista Street, and by the entrance to the Boudin Bakery in Pacific Wharf.
Carthay Circle Restaurant (Buena Vista Street): Table Service, Reservations Recommended
This is a fancy table service restaurant and reservations are a must for the upstairs restaurant area. The downstairs lounge area takes walk-ins though, and they have appetizers on the menu.
All of the vegan options are off-menu, so you won’t see them on the menu, but they will make them for you if you ask!
Normally they bring you out complimentary bread before the meal, but they didn’t have any vegan bread for this, so they brought us out some free fruit instead:
This is the off-menu veggie tower. It is made with seasonal veggies, so it changes slightly depending on the day. It doesn’t photograph very well, but it tasted delicious!
They also have a housemade veggie burger, which is available on the lunch menu, but not the dinner menu. They do have a vegan bun for it as well.
On both the lunch and dinner menus, they have an off-menu vegan pasta with seasonal veggies:
For dessert, there was nothing vegan on the normal dessert menu, but I asked about vegan desserts and our server told us that they had some mango sorbet:
Lounge (downstairs, no reservations required):
I haven’t had the chance to check on what is vegan on the lounge (downstairs) menu since it changed after the summer menu. In the meantime, you can check out my previous guide to vegan options at DCA to see what was on the summer menu and get a feel for the kind of food they make here.
There are many vegan cocktails on the menu! Below is Rose Petal Soda, which was ridiculously delicious. It’s non-alcoholic and has an edible sugar rose petal in it! Make sure to ask for “no straw” if you’ve brought your own 🙂
Studio Catering Co. Truck (Hollywoodland, near Monsters Inc.): Counter Service
They recently changed the menu here and I think it’s a lot better!
The Backlot Nachos are made to be customized so, here is how to order them vegan:
- Choose the Plant-Based Protein
- Omit the Red Pepper Cheese Sauce (I double checked that this is actually a dairy cheese and not vegan cheese)
- Because there is another Vegan Nacho dish on the seasonal menu right now (see below), they actually do have vegan cheese in stock. So if that is available, substitute the vegan (cashew) cheese sauce for the red pepper cheese sauce.
- Originally they had told me that the chipotle crema and the plant-based crema were the same thing, but they are actually two different items. So when you order the Backlot Nachos in their veganized versions, make sure to specify the plant-based crema.
These are the Plant-Based Tacos:
Also, the Frozen Pineapple Horchata is vegan! I had them check the ingredients list for dairy of any kind. It is just rice milk, not dairy milk. But they did say that there is a cross-contamination warning (made in a shared facility) on this.
Currently (March 2019), they also have a vegan special on the menu! It’s Captain Marvel themed, and is supposed to be available for only a short time. So get there quick if you want to get these! They’re called the Nacho Average Super Hero Nachos, and they have red and blue tortilla chips, plant based meat (Before the Butcher, a Huntington Beach based company), cashew cheese, lettuce, 1000 island sauce, pickles, onions, and sesame seeds. They remind me a lot of a Big Mac, if I remember how that tastes! They were delicious and I can highly recommend them. I know it sounds a bit strange, but they’re really good in my opinion. They are fully vegan and require no modifications.
Award Wieners (Hollywoodland): Counter Service
This is sort of a hack — their buns aren’t vegan (both regular and gluten free have dairy/eggs), so what you can do is get the Portobello Philly toppings (grilled onions, bell peppers, and portobello mushrooms) on a bed of curly fries instead of a bun. I love potatoes, so this is actually an upgrade for me!! It’s really big and quite oily, so not healthy at all, but it will fuel you for a long time!
Schmoozies (Hollywoodland): Counter Service
The Mango Madness, Berry Schmoozie, and Strawberry Banana Sensation can be made vegan by omitting the yogurt!
This is the lavender lemonade. It’s a bit pricy but soooo tasty, I’m a big fan:
Cocina Cucamonga (Pacific Wharf): Counter Service
This menu is not as good as the previous version in my opinion, but you can get a decent bowl of rice and beans. They have potato cakes that have cheese pre-baked into them unfortunately. So the best vegan option here to my knowledge is the Cocina Bowl with no meat, no potato cakes, and no cheese. I asked for extra beans in place of those and they were happy to comply the first time I asked, but on subsequent visits, they have said no. They also have chips and guacamole here, so that would be a good side with this. So it’s black beans, roasted anaheim peppers, cilantro-lime rice (I asked about chicken stock; they told me it’s just water), roasted corn, and cucumber-tomato slaw.
They use plastic forks and spoons at this location, so what you see there on the right is my steel spork that I bring with me. It’s by Light my Fire Sweden.
They serve Micheladas here, which is beer and tomato juice/clamato, and I asked to see the ingredients on the tomato juice — it has anchovies in it.
I would recommend the margaritas here! Vegan and very tasty!
Lucky Fortune Cookery (Pacific Wharf): Counter Service
This is one of my favorite meals in DCA! You build your own rice bowl — so you can get tofu, steamed veggies, and coconut curry sauce. There are four sauces, and the curry sauce is the only vegan one. It didn’t used to be vegan, though — it used to contain dairy! But then we barraged them with emails about how unnecessary that was, and they changed it! Whenever we see something in the parks that could easily be changed to have a vegan option, it really pays off when we write lots of emails, because eventually they change it! I always have the Disneyland feedback form bookmarked for such occasions.
They also have steamed and salted edamame here.
Here is a rundown of what’s in the sauces, according to a chef in March 2019:
- Coconut Curry Sauce: vegan
- Regular Teriyaki Sauce: contains honey
- Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce (secret menu): vegan
- Orange Sauce: contains dairy
- Korean BBQ sauce: contains dairy
I will quickly mention Pacific Wharf Cafe here (bread bowl/soup place near Lucky Fortune and Cocina Cucamonga). Of course the sourdough bread bowls are vegan, but none of the soups are vegan, and theoretically you could modify the salad that they put in the bread bowl, but the cast member told me that they don’t have any vegan dressings. Their only dairy-free “allergy” dressing still contains honey. So you could get a bread bowl with salad and no dressing, but with Lucky Fortune right next door, I’m not sure it would be worth it. I’m trying to think of a menu hack for this — maybe get a dressing from somewhere else in the park? Let me know if you can think of anything!
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (Pacific Wharf): Counter Service
Here you can get a raspberry sorbet (I checked the ingredients list) as the Marina Raspberry Sorbet Sunday. The hot fudge has dairy, and omit the whipped cream. You can substitute a few different toppings. I did the strawberry and pineapple purees, but you can also do crushed almonds. They top it with a 72% dark chocolate square, which is vegan!
I walked around the entire shop again recently (March 2019) and checked the ingredients lists on all the chocolates. The only one that didn’t have milk in it was the 72% dark. All of the others, even the other dark chocolates, contain dairy.
Lamplight Lounge (Pixar Pier): Table Service, Reservations Recommended
This restaurant is very popular, so a reservation is recommended. A small party willing to sit at the bar should be fine with a walk-up though. Even if you don’t have a reservation, it’s worth it to try your luck. There is usually a short line to talk to the host/hostess, and then they will give you a pager that will buzz when your table is ready.
The upstairs part, formerly the Cove Bar, has only the “Bites” and drinks. Your best bet here is the veggie nachos, which are a modified version of the lobster nachos, with grilled veggies in place of the lobster. So you say no lobster, no cheese, and no crema. Last time I went, I was able to get them to add daiya cheese and tofu to the nachos! The chef is sometimes reluctant to add the tofu, I think we got an especially lenient chef. They should definitely add the vegan cheese for you though, but they might not want to do the tofu as well.
They are freshly made chips, and the cast member told me that they actually have 2 fryers — one for the chips and potatoes, and one for the animal products.
Downstairs, with the bigger menu (“Bigger Bites”), has several great options. First is the Ratatouille, and you can order the vegan version by saying no cheese and no aioli, and then add tofu if you like! Of course I added tofu.
The mushrooms looked a bit like chicken at first and it freaked me out! So just be prepared for that! It’s a really delicious dish, the smoky tomato sauce is incredible.
Another option is the spinach salad with warm mushrooms and shiitake “bacon.” Yes, they even put “bacon” in quotation marks on the menu! That seems so vegan of them! Hopefully they will get better about actually using the V word on the menu to make it clearer for everyone. The dressing is vegan, a charred vinaigrette. Modifications needed on this are omit the egg and omit the blue cheese toast (or ask for a vegan version – I didn’t ask about egg/dairy in the bread, but dry toast didn’t sound great, so I wasn’t interested. But perhaps they could use the daiya! Let me know if you get this!)
You have to be a big mushroom fan to like this one! It’s very mushroomy!
They also have the Impossible Burger on the “secret menu”! Ask your server and they should be able to make it for you. I checked on the the bun, it’s vegan! And then the do melted vegan cheese on top. I asked what kind of cheese it was, and the chef brought me out this card to assure me that it was vegan 🙂 There is some controversy around Impossible Foods, so please look that up if you haven’t already (google “Impossible Foods FDA testing”) and make that call for yourself.
There are so many cocktails here — and they’re all vegan! Here are a few of them:
The Teaser: Greenbar City Bright Gin, Greenbar Hibiscus Liqueur, fresh Lime Juice, and Agave Nectar topped with Tonic Water
Please bring your own straw if you can! The bartenders were happy to wash my straw each time I ordered a new cocktail 🙂
The Open Ocean with a Splash: a Frozen Cocktail made with Bacardi Raspberry Rum, Bols Blue Curaçao, Liquid Alchemist Orgeat (Almond), Agave Nectar, and fresh Lime Juice
The Short: Plymouth Gin, fresh Lime and Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, and Seasoned Veggies
The Morning Glory: You can see the ingredients in the photo — the Bloody Mary mix is vegan!
Final with a Fix: Greenbar IXÁ Reposado Tequila, St. George Raspberry Liqueur, Cointreau, fresh Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, and a dash of Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
Over Budget: Grey Goose Vodka, Liquid Alchemist Passion Fruit, fresh Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, and Ginger Beer
The Scream Canister: Bacardi 8 Años Rum, Cream of Coconut, Pineapple and Orange Juice with a mist of Angostura Bitters
Here is the ingredients list on the Cream of Coconut — it even has the vegan certified label!
I also took a photo of the ingredients list on the Angostura bitters — it’s a bit hard to see, but it’s alcohol, water, sugar, gentian [a root], natural flavors, caramel color, and added colors. Of course, “natural flavors” is always a bit mysterious, so I looked it up on Barnivore, and there is an email from the company saying that it is vegan! http://www.barnivore.com/search?keyword=angostura
Those are all the drinks I’ve had so far. If you get the Infinity Fizz, there are “Cherry Pearls” in that, and I took of photo of that ingredients list: water, fructose, pomegranate syrup, calcium lactate, seaweed extract, citric acid, pomegranate flavor, beta carotene, potassium sorbate.
As far as I can tell from my research, calcium lactate is vegan, it is the calcium salt from lactic acid, which is made from cornstarch or beet sugar.
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionary (Pixar Pier): Counter Service
Here they have some fancy frozen drinks called Memory Refreshers! The cast member checked the pearls (boba balls) and read the ingredients list to me — they are the same company that makes the pearls as you see above in the Lamplight Lounge Infinity Fizz. The only strange ingredient in them is calcium lactate, which is non-dairy, as far as my googling can tell me.
So here’s a rundown of the drinks at Bing Bong’s:
- Gloomy Blues: Vegan! (Blueberry pearls)
- Slow Burn: Vegan! (Mango pearls)
- Imaginary Pal: The cast member said that the flower topping has egg, so order it without
- Rainbow Unicorn: It’s topped with Nerds, which have carmine (insects)
- Sunshine in a cup: It has yogurt balls with dairy
- Make sure to say “no straw” if you’ve brought your own! I keep trying to get them to use my reusable cup, but always cite sanitary reasons and won’t do it. We should keep asking though — normalize reusable 🙂
This is the Gloomy Blues:
Imaginary Pal, minus the flower topping:
Here is the menu board:
They also have a lot of the same packaged candies that you’ll find elsewhere in the parks right now — Buena Vista Street, Main Street, Pooh’s Corner, and Marceline’s (Downtown Disney). Some of them have beeswax or confectioner’s glaze (shellac, from beetles). I took photos of the ones that don’t have those.
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats (Pixar Pier): Snack Stand
Lemon Dole Whip, like all the flavors of dole whip, is vegan! You can get it as the Pixar Pier Parfait, or just by itself in a cone. The cones are vegan! The “snow cap” is an add-on of white chocolate that contains dairy. It comes without it by default, but it doesn’t hurt to say “no snow cap” just in case.
This is the Pixar Pier Parfait – no modifications required!
The cherry doesn’t have carmine or anything like that, it has red food dye. Food dyes are sometimes controversial since they may have been tested on animals — I don’t really know how to find out for sure — but if you’re avoiding the cherry because of food dye, then of course you’d have to avoid the dole whip itself, since it’s dyed as well. Here is the ingredients list on the cherries:
Here is the ingredients list they showed me — it shows everything except for the white chocolate snow cap, which the cast member told me has dairy. But you can see here that the cones are vegan:
Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums (Pixar Pier): Snack Stand
Here they have soy milk and almond milk! Which is pretty cool, but all of their cookies, even the gluten-free one, have dairy. I wrote them an email to let them know that we would love a vegan cookie! Please write to them if you have a moment!
Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta (Paradise Park): Counter Service
It’s not on the menu, but if you ask the cast member, they will get the chef to make you a pizza with vegan cheese (daiya)! It takes an extra 10-15 minutes, but it’s worth it! I always asked for the sauteed veggies on mine. Some people have said that the chef sometimes won’t do it for some reason, but it’s worth asking, I’ve always had success. One time my sister ordered it as “pizza with vegan cheese and veggies” and the chef asked her if it was an allergy or preference, and she said preference, and then the chef put the veggies on. I think if you have an allergy, they are afraid to put the veggies on because they don’t prepare them in the special allergy section of the kitchen.
The breadsticks with marinara are vegan as well.
Recently they have changed the crust availability a few times, and for a short while, it had eggs in it. So please double check with the chef about the crust when you order. The last time I got this (March 2019), the chef told me that they had gone back to a vegan crust after having the egg crust for a couple of weeks.
You can also get the spaghetti with marinara sauce from the pasta station — just say spaghetti with no meatballs, and they can give you some daiya cheese to mix in upon request as well!
Paradise Garden Grill (Paradise Park): Counter Service
This menu changes seasonally. Currently they have an Impossible Meatball Sub, which is excellent! Read more about it in my Guide to Vegan Options at the Food and Wine Festival.
Bayside Brews (Paradise Park/Pixar Pier)
Most beers are vegan nowadays, but there are still a few outliers (for example Newcastle) that are hanging onto their isinglass. Karl Strauss is found all over DCA and they’re entirely vegan, except for “cask conditioned” ones, which are seasonal, as I understand it. I just wrote to them to ask for updated information, since the listing on Barnivore is quite old now.
All of the beers currently at Bayside Brews are vegan, even the cider. Ace does make a “honey cider” as well, and that’s their only non-vegan cider, so watch out for that one. Also, they do serve the Michelada here, which has anchovies, as noted above.
Wine Country Trattoria (Paradise Park): Table Service, Reservations Recommended
The bread that they usually bring out to the table isn’t vegan, but on request, they will bring you out some vegan French bread!
The vegan entree is the Spaghetti al oglio. It’s not very impressive to look at, but it is seriously very flavorful! Some of the most delicious noodles I’ve ever had!
They also have a mushroom bruschetta that is easily veganizable, just omit the cheese!
I’ve heard that they keep raspberry sorbet in stock for dessert as well!
Smokejumper’s Grill (Grizzly Peak): Counter Service
On the regular menu, there is a BBQ jackfruit sandwich. Sometimes the BBQ sauce contains honey, so double check on that, since it has gone back and forth over the past couple of years that this has been on the menu. I asked in early May 2019 and it did not have honey then. If the BBQ sauce checks out, make sure to ask to substitute for the vegan bun (the potato bun), since it normally comes on a ciabatta bun that isn’t vegan. The waffle fries are in a shared fryer.
They recently also added another vegan option at this location, it’s just called the “Veggie Burger.” You can find it listed on the Disneyland app, but it doesn’t appear on the menu boards yet, so it’s a bit of a secret item. It is an all-vegan patty by a local vegan meat company called Before the Butcher (@b4thebutcher on Instagram). It is the same plant-based meat that is also on the Nacho Average Super Hero nachos over at the Studio Catering Co Truck in DCA. It should come with the vegan potato bun (pictured here) instead of the non-vegan ciabatta bun, but double check when you’re ordering, just in case. It doesn’t come with any sauces on it — you just take it over to the burger bar after you get it and load it up with the toppings of your choice: ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, etc.
The patty isn’t super meaty tasting like Beyond Meat or Impossible. It does look a lot like Beyond Meat, but the taste is quite different. It is quite mild tasting, so I don’t imagine it would be too uncanny for those who generally feel that Beyond or Impossible are too close to meat. This Before the Butcher patty reminded me of something Boca or Morningstar might make.
Cozy Cone Motel (Cars Land): Snack Stands
They have vegan chili at the Chili cone — the sign only says “beef chili,” but secretly they also have veggie chili that is vegan. The cone contains egg though. So to order this vegan, you need to have them put it in a cup instead, and hold the cheese that is usually sprinkled on top. Also tell them to hold the spoon, if you’ve brought your own.
There is popcorn at the Popcone cone, but only the regular flavor is vegan — all the others have dairy, as a cast member told me once. So you could get popcorn here, but that is nothing special, since it’s the same as the rest of the park.
Dark Chocolates and “Snacks with Character” throughout the parks
You can find these bagged dark chocolates at the candy shop on Main Street and Pooh’s Corner, as well as the candy shop on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. The two vegan options are the non-pareils and the cocoa dusted almonds. Wouldn’t it be great if Disneyland could commit to using only fair-trade chocolate? I wrote them an email to encourage them to do that. If you have a moment, please write them an email to let them know that you’d love the chocolate to be fair-trade!
At these locations with the chocolates, you can find various “Snacks with Character,” which I think are mostly repackaged Enjoy Life products that are made for people with allergies. You can see on those rice milk bars that they are clearly labelled “vegan.” There are also a few cookies, chips, trail mixes, and other snacks that are vegan!
Mickey Pretzels, Popcorn, Pickles, Fruit (Snack carts throughout the parks)
The Mickey Pretzels are vegan! Just make sure to get the version without the cheese sauce. Get some mustard packets instead!
Recently I was able to get my hands on the ingredients list for the pretzels, please note that they do have palm oil, if that’s something you avoid.
The popcorn is vegan too! It’s with oil instead of butter.
I like to bring a little tupperware of nutritional yeast and sprinkle it on top of my popcorn! I leave a trail of yellow pixie dust behind me 😉
And of course the pickles you’ll find at the fruit stands! Another perfect opportunity to sprinkle some tajín on there!
Many people ask me about the churros, so here is the ingredients list of those — they contain both milk and egg:
Olaf’s Strawberry Lemonade Bar (Ice cream carts throughout the parks)
White Water Snacks (Grand Californian Hotel): Counter Service
Here they have the vegan Mickey waffles available as well! Ask the chef and they will make you a batch. They are the allergy version, so they are also gluten free. They taste like rice flour to me, but I don’t have the ingredients list. It depends on how each chef cooks them, but sometimes they can be a bit soft in the middle, so be prepared for a different texture than in a waffle made from regular wheat flour. I think they would have a better texture if they weren’t gluten-free, but I am happy to eat a slightly less tasty waffle so that there are more options for everyone. They are still very cute and delicious.
Also, they have a Coconut Chia Parfait in the grab-and-go section that is actually super delicious and one of my favorite foods in the park! I included it in my Top 10 Vegan Foods at Disneyland Youtube video recently. This Parfait is clearly marked as vegan on the label.
On the breakfast menu they also have an avocado toast on sourdough — just omit the egg and it’s vegan. It’s really good!
For lunch, they also make an avocado toast, so you can get that as well, but on the lunch version, it has cheese instead of egg, so just omit the cheese here. The veganized version ends up being the same on both the breakfast and lunch menu.
In the grab-and-go section, there is a Curried Cauliflower Salad that is clearly marked as vegan. I haven’t got it yet, I just took photos. Please let me know if you get it and how it tastes!
On the lunch menu, they have a hummus dish. The hummus is vegan, and the pita chips are vegan as far as the ingredients list, but they are fried in a shared fryer, so you could just replace those with more veggies if you prefer to avoid shared fryers.
Also on the lunch menu is a poke bowl. You can get it with tofu, and then choose either rice or shredded lettuce. Omit the aioli (contains egg) and furikake (contains fish).
The Forest Mushroom Pizza is made with Impossible meat (“Vegetarian Sausage” on the menu description). Omit the cheese and then the pizza is vegan. It’s quite a large pizza, probably good for two people. There is some controversy around Impossible foods, so please research it if you have not already and decide whether it’s something you’re comfortable with. This article has a good summary.
They also have the Impossible Burger as a secret menu item to modify the Cali Burger. They don’t have a vegan bun, but they do have sourdough bread, which is vegan. Then just omit the cheese/hollandaise/aioli sauce.
Mediterranean Vegetable Skewers: The pesto contains cheese, and the other dip contains dairy. The chef didn’t have any suggestions for substitute dips, so they would just be dry skewers. Probably not great compared to the other options.
Storyteller’s Café (Grand Californian Hotel): Buffet, Reservations Recommended/Required
For breakfast, this place is a character buffet, so you get Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Chip and Dale in their Tales of Adventure outfits!
Tell the host or hostess that you’re vegan and they will have the chef come out to tell you about their options. The vegan things on the buffet already are:
- Lots of fruit
- Oatmeal made with water, you can add brown sugar or maple syrup
- Bagels (we checked with the chef that they were vegan)
- Strawberry compote to top waffles, oatmeal, etc.
- Coffee with almond milk on request, orange juice, cocktails, etc.
- Minnie’s cantaloupe raspberry limeade (I asked about Minnie’s horchata, it does contain cow’s milk, not just rice milk)
And then the chef will make some special vegan things for you that are not on the buffet!
- Vegan Mickey Waffles (also gluten-free)
- Vegan pancakes (also gluten-free)
- Vegan omelette: potatoes and a bunch of veggies inside, topped with avocado!
Below is what was on the dinner buffet on December 8, 2018. I asked for a chef to walk me around the buffet and tell me about the ingredients in each dish and which ones were vegan. When she asked if I ate dairy, I felt I needed to define vegan for her, so I said no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey.
I’m sure the dishes could change from day to day, so it’s a good idea to ask for a chef to walk you around the buffet when you get there!
Here is my plate:
Garlic and pea noodles, Thai quinoa salad, and mixed green salad with chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, baby corn, etc.
The chef told me that the following items are vegan:
Salad and toppings, I’m sure they change daily but it’s pretty clear which ones are vegan. They had 4 dressings that day, but they all had dairy or honey. But there was so much oil on everything else that I got, the salad didn’t really need a dressing.
Garlic steamed rice and stir fried veggies:
Garlic and pea noodles:
The Thai quinoa salad is vegan. Be careful of the kale salad next to it, it has cheese:
The chef asked if we wanted anything made special for us, so I asked what they usually make for vegans, and she said she could do some roasted potatoes for us, so here they are:
I asked if they still had the vegan sorbet from before this place was buffet for dinner, and they do still have it!
Also, they have espresso and various coffee drinks. The server said that they have soy, almond, and rice milk. So I got a soy latte. Check out the ridiculously cute Mickey shaped sugar cubes!
They also have lots of fun cocktails on the menu! This is the Spicy Watermelon Margarita.
And the Blood Orange Margarita:
Napa Rose (Grand Californian Hotel): Table Service, Reservations Recommended/Required
This is the fanciest restaurant on property, so it’s quite expensive, but great for special occasions! The menu changes seasonally, so this is the Summer 2018 menu. I’m putting photos of it below for reference, so you can see the kind of food they serve here, but I haven’t been to the winter menu yet. Here is a photo of the current menu:
I haven’t verified with the chef, but it looks like that Sesame-Lemon Roasted Cabbage Roulade Stuffed with Forager Mushrooms, Minted Green Garbanzo, and Red Fresno Piperade is vegan, or modifiable to be vegan. Please let me know if you get it and what they tell you about it!
They bring out bread before the meal, and our server checked and said that all of the normal breads have dairy and/or honey, but they have this gluten-free/vegan “allergy” bread that is very tasty! It’s reminiscent of pizza, with lots of garlic!
That mushroom/corn/fava beans/pasta appetizer you see on the menu up there is vegan with modifications: switch the pappardelle pasta (contains egg) for a fusilli pasta, which is a regular vegan pasta, and switch out the butter for oil.
None of the soups on the menu were vegan (the mushroom bisque has veal stock and dairy, which is about the grossest thing that one can put in a mushroom soup), but they had an off-menu vegan tomato bisque with mushrooms and corn. It was very tasty!
The main course is the easiest because they actually have a vegan-with-no-modifications entree! The Summer Vegetables Tossed in an Indian Curry with hummus, samosa and mint chutney.
It was a medium-sized portion, but full of flavor! It had carrots, okra, cauliflower, peas, green onions, and mushrooms. Very festive!
Our server said that there is also another vegan entree option, an off-menu pasta, so ask about that if you’re not a fan of curry.
The wine list was about 20 pages long, so I didn’t take photos of the whole thing, but the wines by the glass were only the first 3 pages, and then the rest were half-bottles and bottles. One of the bottles was $18,000! But there are quite a few wines you can get for $6-10 per glass as well. The wine list is in a leather binder, so be prepared for that. It’s always hard for me if I touch something and realize it’s leather without being mentally prepared first.
I put a bunch of them into Barnivore to check if they use isinglass/gelatin, and many of them are too obscure to be in there yet. I did find the Stolpman Vineyards Syrah listed as vegan on Barnivore though, so I had a glass of that and it was delicious!
Our server described the desserts to us — 3 types of sorbet! Lemon cucumber, raspberry hibiscus, and peach vanilla. And then he said that they also had a vegan chocolate coconut cake with a house-made vegan whipped cream, so of course we went for that! He overheard that it was my birthday, so they brought out a candle and gave us the dessert for free 🙂
Those are all of the DCA options that I know about at the moment! Also check out my other most recently updated comprehensive guides:
Please let me know if this has been helpful and feel free to message me on Instagram (@happiestveganonearth) if you have any questions or would like advice planning your trip 🙂