I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: EPCOT is one of my favorite places to dine when I visit Walt Disney World. I mean, the options are all so much fun and so delicious that it’s often hard to narrow it down to a few during a trip. Today I’ll talk about what is probably one of my top three restaurants in EPCOT: Biergarten! If you can’t make it to the Hobrauhaus in Munich any time soon, then Biergarten is gonna be a great alternative.
Note: if you’re looking for an overview of all the Disney reviews I’ve done (which can help provide context for scoring) give my review index a quick glimpse.
Theme & Ambiance – 9.5 out of 10 points
The Biergarten theme and ambiance is 100% top notch right from the moment when you turn the corner and enter the German pavilion. You walk into what feels like a little German castle to check-in and get your pager and you can explore the area while you wait.
Now, Biergarten originally got 10 out of 10 points when I started writing this but then I remember something and I had to dock them. Once you get your pager, even when you have a reservation, you will wait. You may even wait 20-30 minutes with a reservation. That’s why I had to go back and dock them half a point, since technically a wait is part of the overall ambiance of the experience (and I didn’t have any other section to mention it).
Once your pager finally buzzes, you’re escorted into the beer hall and I’m always amazed at how cool it is inside. Even though you’re inside, you feel like you’re sitting outside on a bench in a small German town while a little German band performs. If you don’t like sitting with other families, you may not like the seating aspect of Biergarten, as there will be a total of 15-20 people at a big rectangular table while you dine. This doesn’t bother me personally and, in fact, I enjoy talking with random Disney World patrons.
While you dine you’ll enjoy entertainment on a stage at the front of the venue. Lots of German music (think tubas) and traditional German dances and things like that. I wish I had more scientific names for these things, but I am sure you get the gist. Once you sit down your waitress will come take your drink order and then you can tackle the buffet which we’ll cover next.
Menu & Food – 8.25 out of 10 points
You may know by now I am a pretty big fan of buffets, so Biergarten hits the mark strong here, too! They offer a buffer for lunch and for dinner and if there is one tip I may offer here it is this: the lunch and dinner buffets are very, very similar, but the cost for lunch is around $12 less per adult than dinner. So, especially if you have a bigger party, I’d recommend going for lunch instead of dinner. If, however, you really love Sauerbraten or Potato Dumplings then you may want to shell out for dinner, as these are dinner-only options.
So, now that we know it’s a buffet, how is the food itself? I find the food quite enjoyable but it’s definitely not on par with Le Cellier, for example. That being said, I’d never personally expect Le Cellier quality from a buffet, either. I would say that it is about what I would expect for high quality buffet food. It’s tasty and there is plenty of it, but obviously, it’s produced en masse and served up in trays. Thus, you typically make up for a small degradation of quality with an increase in quantity.
There are some highlights though, for sure: the mac n cheese, pork schnitzel, and German sausages were all super duper delicious. I went back for thirds or fourths and basically didn’t stop eating it until I could literally eat no more. Even for buffet-style food, I found it very, very enjoyable. And, of course, loved that I could eat as much of it as I wanted.
The other obvious advantage here (for some) is that it’s a beer hall at heart, thus, lots of beer options for you to pick from, too, and enjoy with your hearty buffet portions of food. It’s also pretty contagious to swing your beer stein back and forth alongside the live musical entertainment which has some interactive moments. For those of you (like me) who aren’t big beer drinkers, you can enjoy a root beer (as I did) during your visit.
As you wind down from the buffet, I found that the dessert selection was OK. Apple Strudel, as you’d expect, and then fruit, pudding, and some cheesecake and cake options. I don’t recall what I had for dessert which means it likely was not mouth-wateringly memorable. But, to be fair, I was probably so stuffed by then that maybe I only nibbled a little on the dessert options before slipping into my full food coma.
Extra Credit – 2.5 out of 5 points
These things don’t deserve their own paragraph (usually) but could still be point-worthy tidbits. Each item is worth -1 to 1 points, which means places can actually lose points here!
- Service: Wait staff here has a slightly easier job than other places since they need only bring drinks and clear plates. Nothing extraordinary about my visit. (+ 0.5 points)
- Ideal environment for: Groups of adults, couples, or guys who love beers and buffets. (+ 0.5 points)
- Dessert: Do not recall them being amazing. (+ 0 points)
- Location: Really nicely themed area in the German pavilion. It is a bit of a walk to get here, though, since it is basically half way through the world pavilion no matter which way you enter (enter on the Mexico side to save a few steps). (+ 0.5 points)
- Will return on future visit: YES! I have so much fun at this place every time I visit. (+1 point)
Biergarten’s Total Score:
20.25 out of 25 points
Have you eaten at Biergarten? If so, we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments, too! And, if you’re craving more Walt Disney World food and dining insight be sure to check out these other fun articles:
- Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom: A Review
- Le Cellier Steakhouse at EPCOT: A Review
- Five Fun food tips for your visit to WDW