Tortilla Jo's: A Reviewby Megan Walker, contributing writer
There are so many dining options in and around the Disneyland Resort, it can be hard to narrow your choices down, let alone pick one. While it can be a good thing to have so many options, it can also get overwhelming. Hopefully I can help you choose by highlighting another one of my favorite dining options at the resort: Tortilla Jo's. Located toward the hotel end of Downtown Disney, near the now-completed Splitsville bowling alley, Tortilla Jo's is the resident Mexican-food dining option of Downtown Disney and one of my go-to options when visiting the resort. The best part of Tortilla Jo's is that it is a great choice for many different situations: lunch, dinner, happy hour, appetizers, or just a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the parks with a few drinks.
What Tortilla Jo's has going for it the most is easily its atmosphere and energy. The building is not your standard restaurant, featuring a large downstairs dining area, a smaller cantina-style bar top, a small upstairs dining area, and a large area of patio seating. I find the size to be a positive for, because no matter how busy the restaurant gets, it never feels chaotic or incredibly loud. If you're a party of all adults, do keep in mind that it is Downtown Disney and the restaurant is one of the most family-friendly options, so there will be lots of families and kids around, however, I've never found it to be too loud for my taste.
When you first arrive at Tortilla Jo's, especially on busier nights, the entrance can be a little confusing. They will often have a host posted outside the restaurant taking names; I've found that this is more often than not for walk-ins, whereas the host inside the restaurant is mainly there if you have reservations. Although you might be playing your dinner options by ear, I'm a huge proponent of reservations! Take advantage of the Disney reservation system and make sure you'll have a table when you get there.
A side note, we've sometimes arrived earlier (between 15–30 minutes) than our reservation and they've often been accommodating, which is nice when you're hungry. There's not a ton of waiting areas inside the restaurant, so if you get put on the waiting list, you're best to stay outside in the fresh air and wait for your table. Luckily, Tortilla Jo's sits near the live music outside of Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen and near the water fountain, so it can be a nice place to sit and relax. Before too long though you'll get seated, either upstairs or downstairs (or outside if you choose), the chips and salsa will arrive, and the best is yet to come.
It wouldn't be a restaurant review without talking about the food. One of the best things about Tortilla Jo's is their menu; it's very big and has a lot of variety. It's easy to try something new every time you visit, but you're bound to develop a favorite or two along the way. The menu, of course, has the standard fare of enchiladas, tacos, burritos, taco salads, tamales, and the like, but it also has some other delicious options, like huaraches, pozole, and steak ranchera.
Additionally, with many of the entrees come with a choice of meat or veggie, so don't be afraid trying something (and ask your server if you can get something modified). However, the pièce de résistance of the entire menu is easily the tableside guacamole. If you're a guacamole fan, you absolutely have to order this! Not only is it a fun experience to watch them prepare your guacamole right in front of you, but the guacamole is so fresh and some of the best I've ever had. It's something I look forward to before every trip to Tortilla Jo's.
Even though Tortilla Jo's is a fantastic dinner option, it's so much more than that. As well as being open for lunch, Tortilla Jo's also has a breakfast/brunch on the weekends. While I've never personally tried it, the menu looks delicious and, if their dinner is any indication, I'm certain that it is as tasty as it all looks. Aside from sitting down for a big meal though, we often visit Tortilla Jo's in the afternoon or during Happy Hour just for a quick margarita and chips and guacamole. It also makes a great place to sit down and get away from the busy parks.
While not incredibly extravagant or fancy, Tortilla Jo's is a solid, delicious, and reliable option whenever you visit the resort. I'm never disappointed after a meal here, I know exactly what to expect and it's always a delicious experience; the food is tasty and the margaritas are refreshing. If you haven't already given Tortilla Jo's a try, I highly recommend booking a table for your next trip to the resort—you won't regret it!