As fast food goes, it’s hard to beat Pollo Campero and Fresh A-Peel at Downtown Disney. I know what most of you are saying: why would I ever leave the theme parks to get some fast food? Or if I did, why not go someplace like Capt. Cook’s where I can get back quickly? I have a good answer for you: because it’s really good. An even better answer? You have to go shopping sometime, and Downtown Disney is the place to go.
These two restaurants share the same building and counter space at what used to be a McDonald’s, nestled between T-REX Cafe and the LEGO Imagination Center. In the same building with Pollo Campero and Fresh A-Peel is BabyCakes NYC, the all-vegan bakery that’s so delightful you’ve probably heard all about it elsewhere. I won’t spend more time on it except to say that you must try it if you haven’t already. Cookie frosting sandwich. Trust me.
Pollo Campero is a fast growing chicken restaurant chain, specializing in fried and rotisserie chicken. The twist with Pollo Campero is that the chicken is served with a variety of sides like beans, rice, tortillas, and more. It’s more typical of what you would expect from a Mexican restaurant, which turns out to be quite good. The menu offers black beans and rice, yuca fries, and plantains, as well as chips and salsa in addition to standard favorites like french fries and standard rice. Any of these can be added to a plate for $2.49 or served in a family size for $4.49, which is by far the best deal.
If you’re going to Pollo Campero, get ready for some luscious chicken–no matter whether you choose fried or grilled. Individual entrees of 2 pieces of chicken, chicken strips, or a chicken sandwich come with one side for $6.99, but if you have a family, the Family Feast is the way to go. For only $19.99, a family of four can dine on chicken, two family size sides, and tortillas. Even adding drinks you’ll come out around $30.00 for four people, a major steal for a meal at Walt Disney World.
Right next to Pollo Campero is Fresh A-Peel, a delightful spot where you can get food made to order, which is also a rare occurrence at Disney. Better yet, most of the selections are healthy. The largest part of the menu is salads and wraps, which for only $6.99 are among the best bargains at Disney. These freshly made salads stand out compared to the shredded lettuce creations you would get at Pecos Bill or other fast food locations. With fresh lettuce and toppings that are mixed in front of you, the Fresh A-Peel salads are quite good for a little lighter fare.
But enough healthy talk, let’s talk burgers. Yes, Fresh A-Peel has made to order burgers, and I will go out on a limb and say they are the best fast food burgers on property. Yes, better than the burgers at Pecos Bill and Beaches & Cream…better than all of them. Why? It’s fresh off the grill, cooked to order, with a bakery fresh brioche bun, melted cheese on top, and a special sauce to die for. On my last visit, I tried one of these beauties, and I fell in love. We normally take an afternoon to stop at Downtown Disney on each trip, and from now on, I will be insisting on a stop to get one of these burgers. Again, at $6.99 it’s a great deal.
So the bottom line on these duo of dynamic Downtown Disney dining experiences? They’re good! The chicken at Pollo Campero is quite tasty and features a different variety of favors from what you’d find at a KFC or other off property location. The sides are nice and hot, and the service is quite good as well. Fresh A-Peel offers a respite from heat lamp food, with everything made to order. And did I mention the burger? Next time you are heading over for an afternoon of shopping, try these two places out, and I bet you’ll decide it’s worth it to stray from the theme parks every now and then.