Now lets head over to Disney California Adventure (DCA) for budget meals for one. Once again, we are sticking with counter service spots, with meals under the ten dollar mark.I am only including items we have tried and will recommend.
Buena Vista Street:
Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe-This counter service doubles as a Starbucks, so in addition to the food you can obtain a Starbucks fix here if you go for that sort of thing. All savory items are under our ten dollar cut off point. There are sandwiches and soup available here, with the soup on it's own not making a hearty meal but might pass for a light one or a hearty snack. They usually offer two choices of soup a day, with our favorite so far is the vegetable minestrone. The small bowl runs $5.49+tax. For sandwiches, we prefer the Turkey Reuben Sandwich which has turkey pastrami and is topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a special sauce. It comes with a pickle and chips. This meal is $9.69+tax.
Hollywood Pictures Backlot:
Award Wieners-This is a window service spot, with ordering and pick up from the windows. There is seating around the corner from the spot. Every Wiener offering hits in under the ten dollar mark. Looking for light meal here? Consider the Kids turkey Dog that comes with a small milk, water, or Juice, apple slices or chips, and carrots. This runs $6.49+tax. My favorite item here is the Vegetarian Portobello-Mushroom Philly with grilled portobello mushrooms, onions, and bell
peppers sauteed in hefeweizen and comes topped with pepper jack cheese. Also served with chips or apple slices. The meal is $7.19. My husband prefers the Chili Cheese Dog, topped with chili and monetary jack and cheddar cheeses. It also comes with a choice of apple slices or chips. This runs $6.99+tax.
Cozy Cones- Nothing here would be considered a full meal, but there are a couple of cones that would be a very light meal or hearty snack. Both can be obtained from Cozy Cone 3. They are the Chili Cone Queso and the Chicken Verde cones. Our favorite is the The Chili Cone Queso filled with beef chili, Cheddar cheese, and corn chips in a bread cone. Each cone runs $6.99+tax.
Flo's V-8 Cafe-Nothing here meets our criteria for under ten dollars, but one thing is worth mentioning. That was the Veggie Tater Bake. It 's made with roasted vegetables, cauliflower, Bulgar wheat, soy crumbles and "smashed" red skin potatoes topped with cheddar cheese. You can choose a choice of one side and a roll. We asked and had the mac & cheese at our side and found this was decently tasting vegetarian food. Meal cost is $10.49+tax.
Lucky Fortune Cookery- Disney's only attempt at Asian cuisine for counter service. Order and pick up at the counter than locate a seat in the general seating area shared by Cocina Cucamonga, and Pacific Wharf Cafe. The area is somewhat reminiscent of a wharf and there is lots of seating. All the meals here are just under the ten dollar mark, running at $9.79+tax. Here you choose your meat and sauce and it comes in a Chinese take out box with rice and vegetables. Not a top pick for us, but the combo of chicken with brown rice and Thai coconut curry sauce was decent.
Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill-We have tried this spot a couple of times, but we have yet to find the quality here matches what we have had at Rancho Del Zocolo. As with Rancho, nothing fits in our under ten dollar price point. The portions are large and essentially similar to what is served At Rancho.
Pacific Wharf Cafe-In our opinion this is the best eatery in this area. Everything offered falls under ten dollars. The soup in a bread bowl is the best option here. Our favorite one here is the Vegetarian Chili Bowl, which is at times offered as the Daily Featured soup. Outside of that is the Clam Chowder, which can be decent although light on clams. All bowls are $9.29 each. If you prefer, you can ask for the soup in a separate container and have the bread bowl on the side. This is a fun place to eat at after taking the walk through sourdough bread bakery.
Don Toma's- Cart/counter that offers the protein filled Turkey leg for $9.49+tax.
Paradise Garden Grill-We enjoy the meal options here although it does hit over the ten dollar mark as each platter runs $11.49+tax. We find them filling and pretty tasty so we felt we should include them here. You select your meat skewer, sauce, and it comes with Rice Pilaf, Cucumber Salad, and a Pita Bread. My favorite combo is Lemon-Oregano Chicken with Tzatziki sauce. My Husband's favorite is the Steak with the Chimichurri sauce. He gets gets rice and substitutes vegetables for for the cucumber salad, I tend to skip the rice and get the salad and vegetables. Also I have requested more than one sauce and had them both on the side for variety. The seating area for this eatery is shared with Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and there is lots of it. It varies from tales and chairs to benches. Is is a cool spot and often time a small band will come play and provide entertainment for the area.
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta-the pizza here is more of a flat bread variety and they offer a small selection of pastas. This is a spot where all main meals are under ten dollars.This establishment makes things ahead and has them waiting, so we find this spot can be hit or miss, and it is best eaten at when busy, as you obtain a fresher meal. Our favorite dish is the five-cheese ravioli with a pesto sauce and pine nuts. This meal is $9.49+tax.
Corn Dog Castle-Always busy and like the Red Corn Dog, good Corn dogs. Hand-Dipped
Corn Dog that comes with apple slices or small bag of chips for $6.19+tax.
You get a good sized, hand dipped corn dog. Add the apple slices and you
have added a little healthiness back to the meal.There are a couple more options here as well. They also offer a
Corn Dog that has a nice spiciness to it and a Cheddar Cheese Stick covered in the same batter and both come with apple slices or chips. As with the original Corn Dog, they are $6.19+tax.
Taste Pilot's Grill- Found inside a hanger next to Soarin over California, this is a sandwich, burger, and fries joint. My favorite thing here has been the ribs, which are sadly no longer offered. This is a counter service and there is a minimum of inside seating, with more tables outside where you can watch folks going into Soarin. The best part of the offerings is the fresh sides bar. It contains lettuce, sliced tomatoes, onions, pickles, dressings, jalapenos, chopped tomatoes, and condiments. My husband enjoys the classic 1/3 pound cheeseburger with all the fixings he wants (he adds them to his fries too, it makes them almost Animal Style like at in-n-out). It comes in at $9.99+tax.
Next up, meals to share!
Unfortunately, the meals for the most part are not shareable with 2 adults within the DCA counter service offerings.
Buena Vista Street:
Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe-While no single meal here is one we think qualifies as shareable by itself, we do think its worth going to order a sandwhich and bowl of soup and that could be shared between two adults for a light meal while still qualifying as a budget meal.
Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill-The portion sizes here could accommodate two people with light appetites.You would be able to split the Carne
Asada and Chicken Tamale plate, as well as the 2 Chicken Tamales platter. We find that the
Grilled Citrus Chicken plate here is close to the one at Rancho Del Zocolo and the best deal in both cost and taste. The 1/2
chicken is marinated and than fire-grilled making it tasty. It
comes with Mexican rice and refried beans. We have also subbed out the rice and beans for sauteed vegetables here. The cost of the plate is $13.49+tax.
Don Toma's- Cart/counter that offers the protein filled Turkey leg that could be shared for $9.49+tax