Best Amusement Park Food

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Dalboz17/Flickr

Calling all thrill seekers! Though lunch is probably the last thing on people's minds before they hop aboard some gravity-defying coaster, but spending a day hitting the rides can definitely work up an appetite. Why settle for lackluster theme park standards like greasy chicken legs and over boiled hot dogs when parks across the country offer not only your adrenaline fix, but delicious eats to boot?
Calling all thrill seekers! Though lunch is probably the last thing on people's minds before they hop aboard some gravity-defying coaster, but spending a day hitting the rides can definitely work up an appetite. Why settle for lackluster theme park standards like greasy chicken legs and over boiled hot dogs when parks across the country offer not only your adrenaline fix, but delicious eats to boot?

Find award-winning food at Knoebel's Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. The park has received Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best Food for the past 13 years. Or chow down on fried chicken, homemade biscuits, and boysenberry pie at Ms. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott's Berry Farm- a classic since 1934.

Or for those that want to go high class, use connections to get invited to Club 33 at Disneyland. With a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and seasonal menu offerings, people can expect a fine dining experience that is anything but childlike. Plus, take note; it's the only place in the park where alcohol is served.

And at Universal Studios Hollywood, make sure to eat at The International Café. Not only is it the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Santé Award, but it's also the only restaurant located within a theme park to garner the prize.

So who says all amusement park food has to be trite and stomach-ache-inducing? After all, it's the roller coasters that should be making you hurl, not the food. So forget the cotton candy and skip the cheese fries. Our friends at The Daily Meal have rounded up ten theme park eats so delicious, they make admission prices more than worth it.

11 PHOTOS
Best Amusement Park Food
See Gallery
Best Amusement Park Food (PHOTOS)

If Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth, then Club 33 is amusement park foodie-heaven. Tucked behind New Orleans Square, found only by members behind a door with an ornate "33", is a dining room fit for a king, adorned with Napoleon inspired-décor.


Choose from the ever-changing a la carte menu or the five-course vintner’s amuse-bouche menu. While this restaurant may be a delicious departure from typical theme park fare, it doesn’t come cheap. The annual membership, plus the $72 a head minimum, seems like the equivalent of buying every (deliciously cinnamon-y) churro in the park.  

Family-owned and operated since 1926, Knoebel’s Amusement Resort might be the best-kept secret of the amusement park world. If free admission, free parking, and free entertainment — not to mention over 50 rides — isn’t enough to hook you in, they are also the 13-time winner of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Food.


From hand-dipped ice cream, to apple cider slushies, to homemade caramel corn, Knoebel’s features a wide variety of tasty treats that not only help visitors cool off in the summer heat, but satisfy any sweet tooth. Don’t forget to grab a slice from Cesari’s Pizza.  

At Luna Park, there are few things more notorious than the Cyclone. But Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs earned its stripes as a Coney Island institution by churning out mouth-watering hot dogs since 1916.


Based on a recipe developed by founder Nathan Handwerker’s wife Ida, these high quality dogs are much better than your average grab-and-go theme park meal to tide you over. Stop by for a hot dog and choose your toppings — from chili to sauerkraut to salsa — and make sure to order the crinkle-cut French fries.

An amusement park known for its food as much as its rides? When can we go? As the self-described purveyor of America’s Best Amusement Park Food, we knew we hit bank when we found DelGrosso’s.


High up in the Allegheny Mountains of Central Pennsylvania, this park positions itself a double-threat, boasting both quality coasters and cuisine. Spaghetti Wednesdays are enough to draw a crowd, letting you choose from the homemade DelGrosso’s Italian-style meatballs or the special of the week. And if you can’t make it to Tipton each week for their family style cibo buono, you can always buy their sauce online.  

If any restaurant can fool someone into thinking we’re actually dining in Paris, this is it. Beneath the “Eiffel Tower” in the France Pavilion at Epcot lies Les Chefs de France, a highly-rated restaurant serving traditional French food.

Alsace specialties always trump ordinary park eats, especially when they are finished off with a signature crème brûlée. It conjures images of baguettes and berets more than it does Mickey and Minnie.

Homemade jam might have been the first specialty churned out at Knott’s Berry Farm, but the theme park is better known now for its full-on fried chicken dinner. Forget turkey legs — make sure to grab a table at Ms. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, a Southern California institution since 1934.


One of America’s most popular single-location family restaurants, Mrs. Knott’s started as a way for the family to make ends meet and transformed into a successful — and scrumptious — dining locale where park goers could skip the sno-cones and go for some southern hospitality.  

Kennywood takes usually unappealing amusement park fare and goes where few parks have cared to go — upgrading their flavor to total tastiness. Their famous fresh-cut Potato Patch French fries have put them on the map for unforgettable and invigorating park eats, but visitors can also choose from over 20 refreshment stands and snack carts for a variety of foods to cure your coaster cravings.  

Theme Park Insider’s winner of Best Theme Park Restaurant six years in a row should be your top priority when taking a break from riding the rides at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Mythos’ blueberry-and-pistachio-crusted grilled pork and their cedar-planked salmon are sure to shake any preconceived notions of the bad food and badly themed eateries far too common in the amusement park world.  

Aptly named Holiday World for its location in Santa Claus, Indiana, this theme park offers more than just family fun. Unlike usual foods indigenous to roller coaster playgrounds, this park was granted the national “Making a Difference” award (given by The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) for its allergen-friendly menu in 2009.


They proved their health consciousness by offering foods that don’t contain common allergens like wheat, fish, shellfish, nuts, and milk. With a bounty of gluten-free and dairy-free items, Holiday World hopes to fulfill all your diet and thrill-seeking needs.  

Recipient of the 2010 Santé Award, The International Café can proudly boast they are the only eatery located within a theme park to win the esteemed peer-judged restaurant competition.


With the help of acclaimed executive chef Eric Kopelow (who won the 2010 Chef of the Year by Chef Magazine), this restaurant has been recognized for delicious dishes that will have visitors forgetting they’re at Universal Studios Hollywood.


Skip the line for Jurassic Park and get carnivorous by chowing down on the shaved roast beef with Brie cheese and roasted pears.

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

From Our Partners