Two Beloved West Coast Chains are Coming to Disneyland

The Happiest Place on Earth is adding an iconic SoCal sweets shop as well as one of the best dinner spots on the West Coast.

Mickey Mascot holding arms open toward the Disneyland castle
Photo: Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort challenges everything you think you know about theme park food. Sure, there's the typical fare: Mickey pretzels, churros and Dole Whips. But Disneyland chefs really push the boundaries and make the OG Disney park a food destination, from bizarre, inventive Halloween dips to alien food from the MCU. But part of the magic of Downtown Disney, Disneyland's outdoor shopping and dining center, is the un-Disney brands you'll find. There's a West Coast small business contingency here, from SoCal brewery Ballast Point to PNW ice cream darling Salt & Straw. And Disney says more restaurants are on the way.

At D23 Expo last week (the biennial fan event where The Walt Disney Co. shares big news and updates) Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D'Amaro announced that two more West Coast chains are coming to Downtown Disney and fans are freaking out. Here's why a trip to the mouse house is about to get a lot sweeter.

Porto's Bakery & Cafe

A golden flaky pastry sitting on top of a Porto's bakery box
Disneyland Resort

There are pastries and then there's Porto's. Fans of Knott's Berry Farm theme park have likely visited the Porto's in Buena Park, California and now one is headed to Downtown Disney. Founded by Cuban immigrant Rosa Porto in the 70s along Sunset Boulevard, the company is now run by her descendants and family with six locations around SoCal — from Northridge to West Covina. These cakes and pastries riff on Cuban flavors with ingredients such as guava, mango and pineapple. The Refugiado strudel is a must-order. It's similar to a cream cheese danish but with guava jam. And do not sleep on the Besito cookies. These little shortbread drops are stuffed with Porto's signature dulce de leche filling.

Porto's is a cafe, too, and you'll find several savory bites inspired by Spanish and Caribbean cuisine, from croquettes to tamales to their fan-favorite potato balls. These little crispy bites contain a silky puree and Cuban-style picadillo ground beef. There's also a veggie version with poblano peppers and cheese. Food and flavor aside, what makes Porto's such a beloved chain — with lines routinely out the door — is the pricing. Many items on the menu are less than $2, from empanadas to cookies. And several cakes are less than $10. That's definitely not the case at Disney, where a churro or pretzel is more than $6. Porto's coming to town means some of the tastiest but also the most affordable treats at Disneyland.

Din Tai Fung

A spread of Din Tai Fung food on a table including dumplings, beans and drinks.
Disneyland Resort

D'Amaro also reminded the D23 crowd that Din Tai Fung is coming and trust me, sir, I didn't forget. The Taiwanese restaurant chain has locations in California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada — it's a West Coast institution. Up here in Seattle, wait times typically hover around an hour. And people are willing to wait because the buns and dumplings are that good. In true dim sum fashion, once you're seated, you fill out a menu sheet and then hot plates just appear at the table — never in any particular order, just as they come from the kitchen. Din Tai Fung is really best for sharing and trying several small plates. You'll end up with a stack of steamed bun baskets, bowls of fried noodles and plates of veggies. The Vegan Shanghai Rice Cakes are always a must whether you're vegan or not. And don't skip dessert! The Chocolate and Mochi Xiao Long Bao are unexpected and completely decadent.

When I first heard that Din Tai Fung is coming to Disneyland, I thought, "Oh, that totally makes sense!" Many locations have windows where you can actually watch the dumplings being made, much like the confectionary stores along Main Street, U.S.A. But here's where the Din Tai Fung system might get a Disney tweak. Many of its locations don't take reservations. It's first come, first serve. But the Disney way for all premium sit-down dining is a reservation. I have a feeling that will be added to manage the demand at Disneyland, where dining reservations can be made 60 days in advance.

No immediate date was announced for either Din Tai Fung or Porto's, but, if you can't wait, Porto's does ship most of the menu nationwide. And user Michelle Chen's Chinese Pork Buns are a solid copycat for Din Tai Fung's pork buns.

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