Legoland - dining tips for peak holidays, inside and outside the park

GrtWtNorth

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
We're making Legoland our base for Christmas 2019. DD11 and I are staying three days and need to eat without going insane from crowds and mediocre food. We'll have a car, so we can leave the resort.

We've previously visited Legoland California for only one quiet day (local schools were in session). We didn't starve, but "Pizza & Pasta Buffet" had perfectly bland food. :worried: Kiddo and I aren't afraid of adventurous dining.

Any dining tips and advise is welcome, especially from folks who visited on busy days.
 

dieumeye

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
I agree the Pizza Pasta Buffet is mediocre at best.

In the park, the Knights Smokehouse BBQ is probably the best in terms of theme & food, but only works if you want BBQ.

Have had decent salads/sandwiches from Garden Deli and Urban Kitchen, but more of a quick simple meal. Not really much of an “experience” in terms of food or theming.

I actually think the buffet at the hotel is OK, but I’ve mostly only been there for breakfast.

I think the restaurant in the castle hotel is decent too for what it is, so I’d happily go there for dinner after a day in the park.
 


oakleycat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
I agree on the park food being mediocre. The Knights Smokehouse is our favorite too, but nothing amazing. I haven't been to the Castle Hotel yet, but have never found anything great on site in the park or Legoland Hotel. We usually walk over to the Karl Strauss just outside the parking lot for a much better lunch/dinner without having to drive anywhere.
 
  • GrtWtNorth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2008
    Just a follow-up, we stayed at Legoland December 24-26 in The Castle Hotel, which included the breakfast buffet. The breakfast and service was good, but Christmas crowds meant long waits to be seated if you didn't arrive within a few minutes of opening. (We waited 40 minutes and 20 minutes, very close to check-in estimated times. I overheard staff saying 60 minutes to families showing up around 8:30.)

    Since we feasted at breakfast buffets, we mostly snacked around the theme park, and avoided long lines for stereotypical fast food. We tried the apple fries - they're good, but so sweet we didn't feel the need to order them more than once. The burgers are ok. The fries were surprisingly good.

    Dinner was excellent. We ate at the buffet in the Legoland Hotel rather than the Castle Hotel because the Google reviews were slightly more positive. The selection was huge, the prime rib delicious, most of the side-dishes were fresh and creative. I suspect I would have been just as happy eating at the Castle Hotel buffet.

    We did venture off-property to eat at The Olive Garden (10-15 minutes drive). It was a perfectly normal Olive Garden dining experience, despite the fact it was Christmas Eve. (Kiddo loves this chain, and there isn't a convenient location near home. It's a vacation treat for us.)
     

    GrtWtNorth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2008
    Any chance of gluten free foods in Legoland?
    Yes, but it is much easier to find quality gluten-free options in the hotel restaurants. At the breakfast buffets, chefs brought out made-to-order items for kids and adults with food allergies. Their food looked better than mine, and I was pretty happy with what I found at the regular buffet.

    In the hotels, the buffets for both dinner and breakfast had very clear labels for dietary restrictions. However, it's still a buffet, and guests can accidentally cross-contaminate common dishes. Diners with food allergies should talk to the chef(s) and they will either cook up something fresh or prepare a plate from food in the kitchen area (virtually no chance of cross-contamination). Staff here were very accommodating, and were obviously well-trained on food allergy issues.

    As for the dining locations in the parks, I'm not as certain about the quality control and training...
     

    smartlabelprint

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2013
    Yes, but it is much easier to find quality gluten-free options in the hotel restaurants. At the breakfast buffets, chefs brought out made-to-order items for kids and adults with food allergies. Their food looked better than mine, and I was pretty happy with what I found at the regular buffet.

    In the hotels, the buffets for both dinner and breakfast had very clear labels for dietary restrictions. However, it's still a buffet, and guests can accidentally cross-contaminate common dishes. Diners with food allergies should talk to the chef(s) and they will either cook up something fresh or prepare a plate from food in the kitchen area (virtually no chance of cross-contamination). Staff here were very accommodating, and were obviously well-trained on food allergy issues.

    As for the dining locations in the parks, I'm not as certain about the quality control and training...
    Thanks! We ended up booking a summer Disneyland trip instead.
     





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