HEY, YOU! Yeah, YOU! You like food right? You are reading Disney Food Blog, so we’ll take that as a “yes.” And Disney Springs has some EPIC food, right? Well, allow us to shock you with this news — there are some Disney Springs restaurants you’ve probably totally overlooked!
It’s TRUE. With all the excitement about Homecomin’ (incredible fried chicken), The Polite Pig (delish BBQ), and Morimoto Asia (yummy pan-Asian cuisine), you may have completely walked past other spots in Disney Springs (even if you’ve been a million times). So today we’re taking you to one of those often overlooked locations to see if it’s worth a stop on your next trip!
This review is all about…Cookes of Dublin! Never heard of it? Well, this little spot (and it is very little) is located next to Raglan Road (which is why you might have totally walked past it without even noticing). Look for it just past the Raglan Road gift shop and Hole in the Wall Bar.
It serves up traditional Irish entrees in a quick service style (a.k.a. you order at the counter, no reservations required), so there’s no need to take a huge chunk out of your day (or wallet) for fish and chips.
In terms of the atmosphere, this is a pretty tiny space and it isn’t all that dressed up. Inside the restaurant, there’s a small ordering counter, a beverage and condiment station, and a few seats. The decor is mostly inspired by vintage Dublin, carrying through deep green colors in the tiles on the walls and ceilings.
There are also family photographs on the walls to give you a sense of the history. The Cooke family of Dublin has been serving hearty fresh fish battered in a secret family recipe for generations and this is your chance to participate in some of that history without having to cross the pond!
If you can’t find any seats indoors, it’ll be an outdoor table for you. Just keep that in mind if you’ll be visiting during the summer in Orlando. On a cooler day, sitting and eating outside might be a dream, but at peak lunchtime in the middle of a sweltering Orlando day, eating the pub food from this spot outdoors can wear you down a bit.
You definitely get an Irish feel when here, with the themed music constantly playing in the background. And its proximity to The Hole in the Wall bar makes it a convenient option for those seeking a snack/meal and a drink.
Speaking of snacks, let’s get to the menu.
You can check out the menu on the Menu Board which often finds its way outside the restaurant, on the Disney website, or on the menu posters inside where you go to order.
Some of the options here have changed a bit over the years. Currently on the menu, you’ll find staples like the fish n’ chips, along with the hog in a box, chicken and wild mushroom pie, burgers, chicken sandwiches, and chicken tenders. Pricing for the entrees is between $14.99 and $15.99.
Kiddos have a menu of their own with a cheeseburger, fish and chips, and chicken and chips ranging in price from $9.99 to $10.49.
There are some sides to pick from including onion rings, crushed garden peas, chips, curry sauce, and the oh-so-cheesy Dubliner Irish Cheese & Bacon Dip (we’ll get to that in a second!).
And finally, there are some limited dessert options and drinks (really just fountain drinks, coffee, and hot tea).
The menu isn’t all that extensive, but sometimes that’s a good thing — it can make choosing your meal a little easier if there aren’t 500 options to choose from. And while picky eaters will likely be satisfied with some of the more standard options like a burger or chicken tenders, the limited menu is something to keep in mind, depending on who you’ll be traveling with.
Also note that there are no alcoholic drinks on the menu here, so for that you’ll want to visit the nearby Hole in the Wall bar.
Alright, so what did we get for our eats? Well, we started things off with a classic — the Famous Fish n’ Chips (how could you not?!). This is priced at $15.99 and features the restaurant’s famous Premium North Atlantic Beer Battered Cod & Chips served with House Made Tartar Sauce.
You get essentially one decently sized piece of fish with those chips (a.k.a. fries) underneath. In the past, we’ve found this to be melt-in-your-mouth delicious, with a light batter, flaky and tender fish, and some tasty tartar sauce that takes things to the next level. So, how did they taste this time?
Well, once again the fish was fried lightly (which is so lovely) and it was a generous, thick portion of fish. The batter was not overly thick. Instead, it was nice and thin, giving us just enough of a battered taste but not so much so that it takes over the whole dish. It also didn’t feel overly oily which was great.
Our reporter shared, however, that some of the elements of this dish tasted a little bland. For some, that might be a good thing (depending on your palate). But if you really want to give this dish a boost, be sure to grab that tartar sauce and use it liberally (or seek out another sauce of your choosing).
Next up, we tried the Chicken and Wild Mushroom Pie. This is priced at $15.99 and is a Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, and Leek Pie in a White Wine Cream Sauce wrapped in Pastry and served with Chips.
This is another dish that delivered in terms of portion size. It was a substantial amount of food and had some great, thick pieces of chicken within it, mixed in wonderfully with the creamy mushroom sauce.
The dough of the pie was light and flaky, and not overly heavy, which was great.
Our one warning with this dish is that while a few bites might feel okay or light on a hot Florida day, eating this whole thing in the heat can leave you feeling a little sluggish for the rest of your time in Disney Springs.
You could consider grabbing this for dinner rather than lunch, or sharing it and another item with a friend/family member, so you don’t necessarily have to tackle a heavier entree all alone.
And finally, we wrapped up our meal with what is technically a side item on the menu — the Dubliner Irish Cheese & Bacon Dip. This is priced at $6.99. Woooooohoooo — this is a dip we’ve absolutely LOVED in the past with all its cheesy, gooey, bacon-y goodness.
The cheese has a thicker consistency to it than liquid cheese dip, so bear that in mind if you’re used to the plastic cheese stuff (still great, just different!). When we ordered the cheese this time, we found that it had a slight tang and almost sour-ish note to it that was really enjoyable. There were small bits of bacon inside, but not a ton, so don’t go in expecting a bacon explosion.
We must give you a word of warning about this side though. It is VERY oily and after sitting in the Florida heat for a few minutes (hey, we had to snap photos of a LOT of things here!). It went from the consistency shown above to the one shown below. The oil started to separate, and parts of it became thicker and more gloopy.
Our recommendation is to either try to stick to indoor seating so the heat doesn’t cause as much separation with your dip, or focus on eating this dip quickly so you can get the more creamy, smooth effect rather than the gloopy, separated version.
Also keep in mind that it is oily and fairly heavy — again, maybe something you’ll want to avoid at the hottest part of the day (unless you nab a seat inside where it’s cooler).
But, if you love cheese and bacon, don’t mind a bit of oily and heaviness, and like a thicker consistency of cheese, this will be an EPIC addition to your meal — particularly for dipping those fries!
And that’s a look at our meal at Cookes of Dublin! Now, let’s go through some overall thoughts to help you decide whether this is a must-visit or a skip.
Nosh or Not
Make a point to visit Cookes of Dublin if:
- You’re looking for fast, fresh, and tasty Irish-inspired dishes in Disney Springs — Didn’t get a Raglan Road reservation? Don’t want to mess with getting a dining reservation or taking a large amount of time out of your day to eat? But you still want some more unique food (compared to your standard pizza or hot dog)? THIS is the place to go.
- You want to get some food that comes in good portion sizes — You do get a pretty substantial amount of food here in each dish that can fill you up.
- You love pub-style food and are looking for a casual dining atmosphere — Grab a drink from The Hole in the Wall bar, some fish and chips, and a group of friends and you’ve got yourself a lovely afternoon in Disney Springs. There are no frills here. No need to dress up or be fancy.
Consider skipping Cookes of Dublin if:
- You’re looking for something really light and refreshing — The food here is tasty but it definitely leans more toward fried, pub-style eats, so it can weigh you down if eaten in the hot sun on a summer day. (Pro tip: if you’re worried about this, opt to eat at Cookes of Dublin for dinner once things have cooled down a bit and you’re winding down your day at Disney Springs.)
- You’re looking for a place with a LOT of indoor seating or some more private/tucked away seats — Indoor seating is limited here. Plus the seats inside and outside are fairly close to one another, so you won’t really find a lot of quieter spots or more private locations if that’s what you’re after.
- You’ve got little ones looking for a heavily themed meal (or SUPER picky eaters) — The menu has some great options for kiddos but if none of those will satisfy your little one’s palate, you’ll want to look elsewhere since the menu here is very limited. Plus, the area is casual and not heavily themed (and has more of a pub atmosphere, more friendly for adults potentially) — unlike some other places like Rainforest Cafe or T-REX. So if it’s strong theming you’re after, go to one of those instead.
Overall, Cookes of Dublin does fast, delicious Irish food right. The fish and chips were lightly fried and had a wonderful batter, though they could use an extra punch of flavor (which is where a good sauce can come in). The chicken and mushroom pie was filling and creamy, but can be a bit on the heavy side. The cheese dip is a must-for cheese fans, just be warned about the amount of oil in there (and how it can separate).
It might not be the first place you think of when you picture eating in Disney Springs, but if you’re looking for a meal that won’t break the bank, won’t take up too much of your day, and is more unique than some other standard fare, you may want to give it a try!
What do you think? Is Cookes of Dublin a must-do for you or someplace you’d rather skip? Tell us in the comments!
For more Disney Springs food tips, see our video below on some of the BEST restaurants to try!
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