Restaurant Review: Cape May Cafe

What happens when a man who doesn’t like fish goes to a restaurant primarily known for seafood? The answer may not be what you expect. Here’s a restaurant review of Cape May Cafe.

This is a place that smells like fish but can fill your belly even if you’re seafood averse.

Cape May Cafe sign

About Cape May Cafe

Have you ever visited the hotel lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort? If so, you’ve almost been to Cape May Café.

The check-in desk for this Table Service restaurant is in the greater hotel lobby area.

Depending on which stairs you’ve used as you exit the lobby, you may have even glanced into this place without realizing it.

I should back up a bit for those who haven’t been to Beach Club first, though.

Let’s say that you find yourself at the International Gateway at EPCOT. If you keep walking through the park’s exit, you’ll eventually walk right by Beach Club.

You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you notice a shipwreck on the beach to one side. Beach Club’s lobby resides on the other side.

Photo: WDW Kingdom

The same directions apply if you come from the Disney Skyliner, which is also close to the International Gateway.

You’ll turn right from the gondola walkway and eventually reach the hotel after about three or four minutes. It’s that close to the International Gateway.

Disney Parks limited capacity

Image Credit: Disney

If you’re traveling by bus, you’ll arrive on the opposite side of the hotel lobby. All that means is that you go straight for a few steps and then turn right.

Otherwise, from the International Gateway, you’ll enter the hotel and turn left immediately to find the check-in desk.

Beach Club lobby

Photo: disneypicture.net

Check-In Process and Restaurant Theming

The check-in process has changed during the pandemic. You’ll want Advanced Dining Reservations to dine here.

Thank you, they’re not hard to get at the 60-day window. Once you’re within a week of your visit, you may have some problems, though.

Cape May Cafe

I’d describe Cape May Café as modestly popular but not insanely so. The sheer number of other restaurants in the area keeps demand under control.

Cape May Cafe serves two courses, breakfast and dinner. Both of them include All You Care to Enjoy (AYCE) dining. That’s Disney code for a buffet.

Disney has reopened a handful of buffets during the pandemic, and Cape May Café is one of them.

If you’re worried about health protocols, I can assure you that hand sanitizer remains readily available. At least it was during our visit.

Disney Magic Mobile

With a dining reservation, you check in via the My Disney Experience app. You’ll notify the system that you’ve arrived.

Immediately afterwards, a hostess called our name and seated us at a table.

Cape May Cafe

I constantly vacillate between the pros and cons of this place. The massive pro involves the design. It’s bright and airy and perfectly beachy in tone.

I always feel more awake and alive here, even when I eat a 7 am breakfast. However, that’s not what we did this time.

Disney World restaurants for kids

Photo: Disney

For my family, the breakfast’s appeal stems from its character meal aspect. Minnie Mouse hosts a beach party here, at least when there isn’t a pandemic.

Since that character greeting wasn’t available when we ate here, we chose dinner instead. In other words, we picked the fish…which was weird.

My wife is vegetarian, and I don’t like fish. That statement alone tells you how much we enjoy the vibe at Cape May Café.

We’ll eat here even when the cuisine isn’t ideal for us.

About the Pricing

When we ate here, the price was $42 per person. So I’m not joking when I say that it’s the least we’ve ever spent for dinner here.

I mean, the Minnie Mouse character meal cost $38 per person the last time we had it in January of 2020.

Photo: skillastics.com

Disney has lowered prices as a concession to the fact that demand isn’t as high for seafood buffets at the moment.

However, Disney has mitigated this lower price by turning crab legs into an upcharge.

You’ll pay $29.99 per pound for Snow Crab Legs. Obviously, you don’t need to buy them unless you want them, though.

Similarly, lobster now costs $42.99 more for 1 1/3 pounds of delicious Maine goodness. We passed on both for obvious reasons.

Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts

So, we grabbed our plates and hit the buffet.

We already knew that we’d find plenty to eat, as Cape May Café posts a menu sign on the wall outside the restaurant.

You’ll find a description of the “Family-style Feast” that highlights the entrees on the Turf Platter and the Seafood Boil. It’s unexpectedly informative.

I immediately recognized three items that would serve me well. Those are Slow-roasted Strip Loin, Over-roasted Lemon-Pepper Chicken, and Mashed Potatoes.

Frankly, some form of meat and mashed potatoes plus the bread is what I eat daily anyway. I’d die without it.

For this reason, I worried more about my wife. Thankfully, the place offers a tofu platter and a solid vegan dining experience overall.

You can eat sourdough twisted breadsticks with Earth Balance butter here.

The salad consists of oranges, arugula, kale, and some other stuff, topped with a citrus vinaigrette.

My meal is much more fundamental. I load up on rolls, mashed potatoes, corn, and strip loin. The corn here is exceptional, while the rolls are…fine.

I’m actually not crazy about the mashed potatoes at Cape May Café, as they tend to be lumpy.

That strip loin, tho…

Animal Kingdom Table Service

Photo: AllergyFreeMouse.com

Seriously, Disney offers this dish at several places like Tusker House, Crystal Tavern, and here. I have no idea why it’s so much better at Cape May Café…but it really is.

My wife loved her Tofu Platter, although she could have done without the onions. The mixed vegetables were particularly crunchy on this day, too.

cape may

Photo: Disney

Of course, the star of Cape May Café remains the desserts. The mini-cakes and cookies pack a wallop from what’s a small package.

Two of them came with mint chocolate sticks on top, a special touch I always adore. I always eat waaaaaay too much dessert at Cape May Café!

cape may

Photo: Disney

Final Thoughts

If I had one criticism of Cape May Café, it’s that the posted menu works poorly for vegans.

The sign states, “Plant-based options available upon request.” That’s…not helpful.

tofu

Photo: veganisneyfood.com

On the official site, the menu provides a bit more information. The listed Tofu Platter indicates that it’s more than just vegan. It’s also perfect for people with food allergies.

Still, this place hasn’t committed as fully to plant-based dining as other restaurants. I’d like for that to change, as Cape May Café’s locale makes it an ideal compromise choice.

When a friend wants seafood, and I’m fine with the turf half of surf-and-turf, a vegan would feel left out.

Beyond that, Cape May Café provides precisely the kind of dining experience you’d expect. It’s a solid seafood option…but not the best at Walt Disney World.

Cape May Cafe seafood

Photo: Disney

When the price is right – like right now when it’s just $42 — and you want seafood, you should dine here. Otherwise, you can do better.

Since we stay at Beach Club frequently, it remains in our dining rotation. It’s just not one of our top choices.

Cast Members

This meal was much better than average, though, and the restaurant deserves lots of credit for that.

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