Everything about this Disney Mexican restaurant screams, “I’m better than Pecos Bill!”
Located in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn & Cafe serves up quick American Mexican-inspired food. It offers a lot of indoor dining space which is great for those hot Florida days. The theming mimics an old western saloon, and the ease of mobile ordering makes it an easy choice for when you need that Tex-Mex fix in the middle of Florida.
While I certainly enjoy Pecos Bill, I found another Disney restaurant that serves similar food. However, that’s about where the commonalities end because everything about this restaurant screams, “I’m the better choice!”
Meaning “Ranch of the Square,” Rancho Del Zocalo is offers some really great Spanish Mexican fare. According to Disney, the open area at the entrance to Frontierland was once called “El Zocalo,” or “the town square,” making this quick-service cantina the town square ranch.
It is located in Frontierland over at Disneyland. Nearby you will find attractions like Big Thunder Mountain and Mark Twain Riverboat. Also, be sure to look for Mirabel! She meets throughout the day right next to the restaurant!
Let’s take a look at what makes Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante so special.
Rancho Del Zocalo serves up some insanely good Spanish-style dishes. Entrees like enchiladas, street tacos, half-chicken, and burritos come with sides of Mexican Rice and refried beans. Perhaps you want some nachos or a tostado salad instead? This place has you covered there, too!
Kids meals include two options: a bean and cheese burrito and a chicken taco. Save some room for a side of crispy chips con limon (tortilla chips) with salsa or cinnamon crisps. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price. The food is fantastic, and pricing is very reasonable – about the same as other quick-service restaurants.
On a recent visit, my party and I ordered the tostada salad with beef, trio of street tacos, crispy crisps, and cinnamon crisps. For the street tacos, you can choose between beef, chicken, or cauliflower. We chose two chicken and one beef. Everything was so good!
The tostada salad was delicious. The shell was the perfect blend of crunchy and soft, and the beef was seasoned very well. It did not taste like fast food Mexican at all. There were two things I did not like about the salad. One, the parmesan cheese did not pair well at all with the rest of the salad. I was expecting a different type of cheese! Second, I am not a fan of cilantro so the vinaigrette was not appealing. I ate it anyway, but next time I would order without.
We really loved the street tacos! They are quite small, so we were happy that we ended up ordering two entrees. The beans and rice were filling and a nice salad with the smaller tacos to “beef” it up a bit.
Finally, we really enjoyed the crispy chips and cinnamon crisps. Again, they were perfectly baked – not too crunchy but not too soft. These come in a brown bag, so I could not get an appealing picture of these. Trust me though when I say they were fantastic! I am so glad we got them. We took the leftover crisps back to our room to enjoy later in the day.
Step into a Spanish oasis at Rancho Del Zocalo. Beautifully painted tiles, fountains, potted plants, and lanterns can be found at every corner of this space. The adventure begins outside. Head for the beautiful sign with blue painted tiles. You will follow a small alleyway to the inside of the restaurant. Be sure to look around at the painted horse and the plants!
Inside, it feels like you are in an open-air Spanish marketplace. At each station, Cast Members will take your order and prepare your food on actual plates! That’s a rare treat at a Disney quick-service restaurant. There is a beverage station so you can fill your drinks before paying for your food.
The adobe walls and wood flooring give the restaurant an old worn look, but the beautiful wood detailing and glass stained windows liven up the space. You will find two dining spaces outside. One is an open-air dining space with ceiling fans and more shade.
The second is covered with some fabric canopies. It feels more “outdoorsy.” Depending on the weather, you may wish to take some respite from the heat or it may be pleasant enough to enjoy the less covered space.
At the beginning of this review, I said Rancho Del Zocalo is better than Pecos Bill. While they are in two different theme parks (so you don’t have to choose between them!), I really wish Disney would bring some of the food options from Rancho Del Zocalo to Pecos Bill. Pecos Bill’s menu is kind of all over the place. The choices they do have a pretty basic TexMex.
Rancho Del Zocalo, on the other hand, has a more limited menu meaning they can do the dishes better justice. I really appreciated that the dishes were served on actual plates as well.
In terms of atmosphere, Rancho Del Zocalo felt incredibly relaxing. Granted I did visit as soon as they opened at 11:00 am, but it feels like a quiet corner of Frontierland. The fountains and painted tiles were beautiful to look at. I could definitely just go back to enjoy the quiet scenery, but the food sure is too good to pass up!
Have you ever dined at Rancho Del Zocalo? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below. Do you know someone who may want to read this review? Be sure to pass it along to them!
This content was originally published here.