If you have any kind of food allergy, sensitivity, intolerance, or special considerations (vegan, vegetarian) there is no place - and I mean no place - like Disney. Both the Disneyland and California Adventure park go so far above and beyond accommodating dietary needs, they're in a class by themselves. I could have an entire blog devoted to this topic alone. Find out more on their website. Note: you may need to ask for a manager/chef to order allergy items. This will ensure that your food is not at risk of cross-contamination. Disney takes allergies and food safety very seriously and we're so thankful for that! Here are some of our favorites:
Smokejumpers Grill is another restaurant offering a plant-based entree right on the menu. This is the BBQ jackfruit sandwich and they fry the waffle fries in a dedicated fryer. It can be ordered with a gluten free bun (shown here). We ordered through the mobile app and it took an exceptionally long time to get our food. It was also somewhat cold by the time we sat down to eat it. I would suggest ordering it when you arrive instead.
As you enter the newly-opened Pixar Pier in California Adventure, look to the left. There's a stand featuring these tasty Pixar Parfaits. This is lemon Dole Whip swirled with blue raspberry slush and, yes, it is plant based. There is no dairy, despite the rich creaminess of the soft serve. I did find the slush a bit too sweet, but the soft serve may be my favorite Dole Whip of all time! You can order it in a cup, by itself, if you prefer.
You can't miss this one. It's the counter service hut with a huge line. Thankfully, they now offer mobile service and you can pre-order on the Disneyland app. My favorite plant based, gf option here is the outback vegetable skewers. The sauce on top is vegan (oil based) and they serve them with fresh lemon wedges.
Note: The hummus trio at this restaurant is NOT plant based. There is dairy in one of the hummuses and they cannot separate for you.
Skewers are cooked on shared equipment.
Tiki Juice Bar
"Dole Whip" is a frozen, creamy swirl of pineapple soft serve. It used to contain casein but was reformulated to be totally, 100% plant based. This isn't the same thing they serve in FroYo shops, which is more of a sorbet. This will trick your tastebuds into thinking you're eating dairy, for sure. Available in a cup like this. Also available on mobile ordering on the app.
Fresh Fruit Carts
I know, I know. Fruit seems so boring when there are so many other options (mickey waffles!). But, fresh pineapple wedges and sliced mango make a great breakfast when you're in the park and don't want to lose an hour to table service.
Tiki Juice Bar
California is the only Tiki Bar that puts a drink umbrella and a cherry in their Dole Whip Float! A cup of fresh pineapple juice swirled with this delicious, plant-based pineapple soft serve will surely cool you off on the hottest day. And yes, it's really vegan.
Pick up a wrapped whole dill pickle at one of many fruit stands in the parks. It's a cool treat when you've had enough sweets.
Wine Country Trattoria
This is the perfect place to sit and people watch from the patio. For over a decade, this has been a family favorite. They often have a gluten free vegan roll (with olive oil for dipping). Ask the manager to check the ingredients because this does change. The Italian Insalata shown here is plant based when ordered without the parmesan.
Wine Country Trattoria
It looks like this pasta may be gone from the WCT menu. They now only offer a Spaghetti Aglio Olio that is plant based. They DO have gluten free pasta, though, so this is still a restaurant I recommend and love.
There are tons of little carts with drinks for those hot Disney days. This cast member added a little hidden Mickey to ours for an adorable touch.
Royal Street Veranda
Tucked under the stairs, adjacent to Pirates, is a little counter service window. Royal Street Veranda serves soups in sourdough bread bowls that are plant based. The "vegetarian gumbo" is actually vegan.
Ask for Allergy Menus
As far as I've seen, all counter service restaurants have an allergy menu available upon request (you can usually ask the cashier). Some will request that you order through a manager (just say "Hi, I'd like to place an allergy order" and they'll help you). The allergy menu will look something like this. Menus and suppliers are constantly changing, so always ask about ingredients if you are unsure.
Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
These are the Cauliflower Tacos at RdZ. As of my last visit, they could be ordered as-is on the menu (no manager required). They pack a punch (I assume some chipotle in adobo in the cauliflower) but the fresh pineapple salsa is deliciously cooling. Eat quickly because they do have a high moisture content which makes the tortillas break apart. Chips are plant-based and gf as of last visit.
At our last visit, they had Dole Whip cotton candy. There are often seasonal colors and flavors, so be sure to check these out. This was delicious and, at last check, just contains sugar and food dyes.
The regular buttered popcorn offered at all the popcorn stands in Disney parks is gluten free and plant based. At last check it was popped in canola and coconut oil.
Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
This beautiful counter service is set in a cafeteria style environment with an adorable veranda. They're kind of "off menu" but you can order a side of mexican rice and a side of refried beans. (If you used to get this at Cucina Cucamonga, it's the same thing). Both are plant based and gluten free. The crispy chips con limon were also gluten free at my last visit.
I am so sad to tell you that Cocina Cucamonga no longer has a great GF/V option. None of their tacos can be veganized and they took the fajita salad off the menu. The only thing we could find was an order of chips and guac and the sides of Ensalada de Frutas. The fruits were generous portions, drizzled with Chamoy, and sprinkled with Tajin. It made for a great snack, but no longer a viable meal option for us.
In the back of California Adventure, you'll find Boardwalk Pizza. This has so much potential to offer allergy-friendly dining, but we were underwhelmed. The best option here was a gluten free pizza made without cheese. Some chefs will add veggies, others will not. There appear to be no salads here that are an option either. This is an off menu item and you will have to speak to the manger to get it made.
Terra Nova Vegetable Pasta
I'm sad to say that I no longer recommend Alien Pizza Planet. When this cafeteria style quick service was Redd Rockett's, they had a Terra Nova pasta with tomato basil sauce that could be easily made gluten free and plant based. They switched to this sauce seems to mostly be made up of frozen broccoli stems AND they no longer have gluten free pasta at this location. You can still get a GF/V pizza, if that's your preference. But, note that they're very small.