Dinner with a View at Epcot’s San Angel Inn

Every time I've visited Epcot's Mexico pavilion to enjoy the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros I always say "next time we'll eat at the San Angel Inn." And every time we'd return we wouldn't make reservations for a meal at the waterside restaurant. That all changed during our Thanksgiving-week vacation when we finally had the chance to enjoy dinner at Mexico's table service restaurant.

Good food and great atmosphere at the San Angel InnGood food and great atmosphere at the San Angel Inn

Several members of our group had enjoyed lunch at the San Angel Inn but for the majority of us it was a new experience. And I'll admit I was a bit unsure of what to expect having read several not-so-great reviews of the restaurant. There seems to be two distinct camps when it comes to the San Angel Inn: those who love it and those who avoid it.

After our experience I'm going to throw myself into the "love it" camp. It was actually one of our best dining experiences during our visit.

Great views at lunch or dinner at the San Angel InnGreat views at lunch or dinner at the San Angel Inn

We arrived at the Mexico pavilion a bit early for our dinner reservation so we decided to take a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour first. After disembarking the ride we headed to the check-in desk to let them know our "chaos party of 10" was there. This is one of my only complaints about the restaurant: a serious lack of waiting area for guests.

After a few minutes the groups waiting to be seated for dinner were completely blocking the area near the restaurant's entrance. I'm sure it had something to do with the time of year (Thanksgiving week) but they need a better system.

Entrance gate for San Angel InnEntrance gate for San Angel Inn

Once we were seated at a long table for 10 it was time to take in the views at San Angel Inn. I've always loved the interior of the pyramid but it's pretty spectacular inside the restaurant. The tables are set with beautiful blue and white plates and the small lanterns don't give off much light but they do set the mood.

Also, it's rather enjoyable to watch the volcano erupt every now and then. Several of the kids in our group swore they saw a Hidden Mickey in the smoke coming from the volcano.

Love the table settings at the San Angel InnLove the table settings at the San Angel Inn

But let's talk about the food and the service, both of which were excellent. Our waitress was well-versed in the allergy-friendly options for my daughter so I was impressed from the start. We skipped ordering an appetizer but managed to devour several orders of the tortilla chips with the salsa. LOVE the green salsa.

And no dinner in Mexico is complete with a margarita so I went out on a limb and ordered the Avocado Margarita. It is one of the best drinks I've ever enjoyed at Disney. Ever. You might think "ew, avocado IN a margarita," but somehow it just works. It's cool and creamy and strong. And I probably could have enjoyed more than just one. I highly recommend this drink.

Avocado margaritas at San Angel InnAvocado margaritas at San Angel Inn

The dinner menu features quite a few entrees including Mole Poblano, Peto en salsa Poblano (grilled wahoo fish with roasted potatoes, vegetables, and poblano sauce), Camarones a la Diabla (roasted diabla-style shrimp with poblano rice, served over yucca puree and cascabel chile sauce), and more.

The majority of our group decided on the Carne Asada, a grilled New York strip steak served with a cheese enchilada, refried black beans, rice, and guacamole. Ordering steak at a Mexican restaurant might seem odd to some but this dish did not disappoint. The steaks were cooked to order perfectly (love it when a medium rare steak REALLY IS medium rare!) and the heat from the sauce on the enchilada was a bit unexpected.

Carne Asada at the San Angel InnCarne Asada at the San Angel Inn

In fact for the two older kids (ages 11 and 10) we had to scrape off the red sauce on the enchilada because it was too spicy.

One member of our group went with the Chef's Recommendation Huachinago a la Veracruzana (red snapper served on top of roasted potatoes with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette and Veracruzana sauce made with capers, olives, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes). She said it was one of the best fish dishes she's ever had.

Dessert was the only thing that wasn't great. The kids enjoyed churros (which were really good) but the Crema Bavaria was just so-so according to those who ordered it. The Chocolate Mousse topped with almond brittle candy was good but I'd rather get a chocolate mousse from Les Halles in France.

Dessert notwithstanding, dinner at the San Angel Inn was a highlight of our trip and we'll certainly be going back next time.

If you're dining at the San Angel Inn it is open for lunch and dinner. Meals are one table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. Tables in Wonderland is also accepted.

Have you dined at the San Angel Inn? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Many thanks to the Disney Food Blog for use of their photos.

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 01/11/2016 - 18:03:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great review Traci! Glad to hear you had a good experience, my last stop there wasn't the best.

Cindy C wrote on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 03:18:

Cindy C's picture

I am glad someone had a good meal here. The grest ambiance was overshadowed by tables that are too close together, too little lighting to the point that you can't see the menu and mediocre food. We were there in June during a really slow time. I shouldn't have to turn the flashlight on on my phone to see what I am going to order. None of the food stood out. Ok food, but nothing I couldn't get at home.

Sarah M. wrote on Fri, 01/15/2016 - 16:01:

Sarah M.'s picture

We always stop at San Angel Inn when we are at Epcot. We love it and have always had good experiences. The food is great and the margaritas are amazing! I haven't tried the Avacado one, but it looked yummy. The Blood Orange was to die for!

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