Dining at Main Street's Plaza Innby Megan Walker, contributing writer
No day at Disneyland is complete without a good meal and, luckily, you don't have to go much farther than the end of Main Street at Disneyland Park to find one of the best restaurants the Resort has to offer: Plaza Inn! One the remaining original locations from when the park first opened, Plaza Inn is not only a fun place to eat lunch or dinner, but has some of the best quality food in the park for a really great price.
Described as one of Walt's favorite places to eat when he was visiting the park, the Plaza Inn is a counter-service/cafeteria style restaurant where you take your tray to the different stations of food items, picking up or ordering what you want. In the middle of the restaurant is the salad area, you can also pick up desserts and kids and/or toddler menu items here. Then, toward the back of the food area are the main entree stations. It's here that you can pick up items like the famous fried chicken plate, salmon, pasta with a variety of sauces to choose from, or slow-roasted pot roast.
By the way, you can't go wrong with any of those choices, but my favorite by far is the fried chicken plate. One of the most popular food items in the entire resort, the fried chicken plate is served with three pieces of chicken, fried with a special blend of herbs and spices. The plate also comes with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a buttermilk biscuit—at $17.99 that is actually quite a lot of food for a pretty decent (theme park) food price. Additionally if you're an annual passholder you can use your discount on top of that. You get quite a bit of food on this plate so it's definitely a full meal for one person, and is even enough to share sometimes, depending on how hungry you are.
Aside from the fried chicken, other items at the restaurant are also a good value: the pasta (served with a breadstick) comes in at $14.99; the salmon, which is served with rice pilaf and vegetables, is $18.49; and the pot roast, also served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a biscuit, is $18.99. You get a lot of food on each of these plates, so for a theme park, I believe these prices are fairly reasonable and a good bang for your buck, not to mention it is legitimately one of the best tasting restaurants at the park.
If after all of that tasty food, you find yourself with a lingering sweet tooth to satisfy, don't worry, Plaza Inn has you covered in that department, as well. One of the more fun things about Plaza Inn is that they tend to rotate their desserts every now and then, and during the last few "special offerings" periods at the park, they have also featured one of the limited-time dessert offerings. Personally, my favorite dessert, and something that is an absolute must-try, is the strawberry shortcake. They only seem to have it in the spring and summer though, so keep your eye out for it. One tip: the desserts are only available as they make them, so sometimes an hour or more can go by without them replenishing desserts, or remaking them at all. I've arrived early in the evening even to find them completely out of strawberry shortcake for the night, so make sure you grab one if you see it!
Finally, one of my additional favorite parts of dining at the Plaza Inn is the atmosphere. The Victorian-era decorating and environment are really beautiful, and there are quite a few details throughout the restaurant that add to the ambience, such as the floor to ceiling windows.
Next time you're looking for a place to have a meal while visiting the park consider visiting (or revisiting) the Plaza Inn. It's a great location that should please the whole family and you'll get a lot of food for what you're paying. It will also certainly be one of the better tasting meals you can have at Disneyland, especially if you get the fried chicken, which I promise you won't regret.