EPCOT has so many annual food festivals that at this point, it’s hard to find a time of year when there aren’t roughly one million additional temptations on offer at Walt Disney World, a park that’s already bursting with delicious food. Right now, visitors to the park can take advantage of EPCOT’s annual International Festival of the Holidays, which runs through December 31.
This festival adds 16 “holiday kitchens” to EPCOT, which are largely Christmas-oriented, though other occasions such as Hanukkah and Japanese New Year are incorporated into the festivities. Expect to find sushi shaped like a Christmas tree at the Shi Wasu holiday kitchen in the Japan pavilion, but also New Year Celebration Soba, featuring soba noodles in a dashi soup with yuzu, shrimp tempura, fish cake, and green onion.
Though the offerings at the L’Chaim! holiday kitchen are largely predictable—pastrami on rye, smoked salmon latkes—you can find Sufganiyot (mini jelly-filled doughnuts) and a plant-based Black and White cookie, a nontraditional take on a classic that nevertheless hits all the right notes for a proper black and white.
Over in Mexico, at the Las Posadas holiday kitchen, selections include a Barbacoa Tostada (braised beef on a tostada with chipotle black bean puree, salsa verde, cotija cheese, crema and pickled onion) and a Cochinita Pibil Tamal (Yucatan barbecued pork in corn masa topped with pipián sauce, cotija cheese and crema). The options unfurl endlessly around the World Showcase.
This was my first time visiting the Festival of the Holidays, and while I wanted to try absolutely everything, I had to draw the line somewhere. Of the many items I sampled at the various holiday kitchens and pavilions, here are the six dishes I wish I could order again right this very minute.