2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: 6 must taste Epcot bites


The 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is here and these six must taste Epcot bites will delight foodies and Disney fans this year.

2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival brings foodies, Disney fans and local to Walt Disney World for the annual festival. Running now through November 12, Epcot is transformed into a culinary adventure of epic proportions. Throughout Future World and World Showcase, various marketplaces serve delicious bites and sips that will make you forget about your diet. Who’s ready to go on a culinary adventure?

While this year’s Epcot food festival doesn’t have as many new marketplaces or dishes as last year, a few options topped our list on opening day. With so many culinary delights, it is truly impossible to eat at every marketplace in just one visit. While it could be done, you might need to walk around the world several times to make this food undertaking possible.

2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: 6 must taste Epcot bites, photo by Cristine Struble

The first stop at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival should be the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar located in the festival center. This marketplace is new and was a popular stop on opening day. It could have been the heat or it could be the fact that this location is open earlier than the other marketplaces.

FoodSided’s top choice at the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar is the frozen mimosa. Made with White Claw Natural Lime Hard Seltzer, this mimosa was quite refreshing. Instead of being too sweet, it had a slight bright taste that was quite refreshing.

Also, FoodSided recommends taking your picture in front of the living wall with your mimosa. This wall will become Epcot’s must Instagram spot with your cocktail. The lush green wall with your brightly colored mimosa will be the envy of all your friends.

The Festival Center offers a variety of special events including beverage seminars, cooking demos and festival souvenirs. Also, craft beer fans will find a wide variety of beer options at the Craft Drafts. Wine lovers will want to browse the wine offerings in the Wine Shop.

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After getting your first refreshing, head over to Flavors from Fire for its Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak. A new dish for 2018, this dish highlights the depth of flavor that wood/smoke can provide. While the oak wood brings a bold char flavor, the smoked corn cake offers the sweetness to balance the bite. I would recommend eating all components together.

Also, this dish is quite filling. Our plate had a large portion of steak. It is definitely a big bite and could possibly be shared (if you’re willing to give up a bite).

After that hearty bite, a lighter dish is a great choice. Head to Active Eats for its Spice Crusted Verlasso Salmon. The Verlasso salmon is highlighted with a flavorful rub that doesn’t overpower the delicious fish. The combination of acid (sherry vinegar) and avocado make this dish a top choice.

While the new dish, the Active Eats Energy Bar Bite is a nice idea, it can be a little heavy to eat early in the day. I commend Epcot for showing that dates are a great natural sweetener, but the bar is a little dense. If you are going to be eating a lot of food, postpone this bite to later in the day.

2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: 6 must taste Epcot bites, photo by Cristine Struble

Next, FoodSided recommends heading to Mexico to try the Short Rib Tostada paired with the Ay Caramba. The Short Rib is rich and flavorful. While the braising flavor isn’t quite clear (a brief rain shower had us scarfing down our portion), the dish is good.

More importantly, the Ay Caramba cocktail is the perfect pairing for this dish. The smoky Mezcal margarita has a touch of heat without becoming overbearing. It leaves a little tingle that make you want to keep sipping, over and over.

After these big bites, a little walking is in order. Our next stop wasn’t until America and Hops & Barley. It isn’t to say that the various dishes in China, India or Africa didn’t tempt us. We just didn’t have room in our stomach, yet.

2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: 6 must taste Epcot bites

At Hops & Barley, the new Brunswick Slider is a must eat. It is described as a pot roast style brisket. The fork tender brisket is good, but the pickled vegetables (think giardiniera) made the dish. Served on the side, these vegetables added the punch of acid. While our slider didn’t have a lot of horseradish cream, the giardiniera helped make the dish.

After an American classic, stop at Brazil for an authentic dish, the Moqueca. This dish is a seafood stew. The combination of scallops, white fish and shrimp over rice is luscious. There is a hint of heat, but nothing overpowering. We recommend enjoying a frozen caipirnha to sip while eating this dish.

Last but not least, dessert is a must. While there are so many sweet options, our top choice was the Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake. This cheesecake is light and airy. It reminded us of a honey cheesecake that was served at this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: 6 must taste Epcot bites, photo by Cristine Struble

This cheesecake is a delightful alternative to everything pumpkin spice for fall. The maple bourbon is a more nuanced combination than the heavy handed spice flavors. With the sauce drizzle, everyone can control the level of sweetness in each bite.

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These six bites were FoodSided’s top taste Epcot bites at the 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival on opening day. Are you planning on visiting Epcot for this year’s festival? Share your favorite bite with us and tag #FoodSided.