10 Great Restaurants to Try Near The Disneyland Resort

Yep, this but worse
Yep, this but worse
Photo by Dave Bloggs

Now that Show Your Disney Side is officially going on, I have some bad news for you guys: The parks are (and are going to stay) super crowded. The lines are going to be worse than ever, the crowds are going to be super dense, and even if you show up at 3 in the morning, I'm pretty sure you're going to run into some traffic.

Disneyland has some pretty awesome food, but today (and tomorrow) is not the time to try it. Give the cast members a break, head off the resort to try some food, because there's a lot of good food vaguely near Disneyland.

In no particular order, here are 10 great restaurants to try near(ish) the Disneyland Resort.

Joe's Italian Ice (Anaheim/Garden Grove)

Photo by Edwin Goei

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There's a fair share of Italian Ice/Custard places around Orange County now, but none of them command as much respect as Joe's, the lonely little hut just outside of the Disneyland Resort area. Joe's is the great uniter, drawing basically every Orange County demographic to its windows. Redevelopment and eminent domain be damned, Joe's will (or at least should) live forever.

Now, to better describe it, the words of the our chief Mexican himself:

This summer hasn't exactly been scorching (knock on bark beetle-infested wood), so I've yet to trek to Joe's Italian Ice on a sweltering night with central Orange County's eternal heat-beater question: what should I eat at Joe's Italian Ice?

Do I want a cup of Italian ice, with flavors that spread as quickly as the ice melts exposed to the heat that slowly leaves the asphalt river that is Harbor Boulevard? Do I order a cone of soft-serve ice cream, or go for the velvety orange cream, tasting of Orange Bang! fake-citrus glory? Do I combine both in a Joe Latti? Or screw the Philly stylings of Joe's and go for a sundae?

Everything works at Joe's, but the trick is to visit at night, when the different tribes of the regions congregate: tourists done with a day at Disneyland, convention-goers looking to brain-freeze their way out of meeting stupors; Viets, Mexis, gabachos, old, young, cholos, hipsters, all looking for some relief from summer's ceaseless bake.

Thai Nakorn (Garden Grove)

It's big on the inside!
It's big on the inside!
Photo by Edwin Goei

Thai Nakorn might be geographically kind of far from the parks, but at just a 10-minute drive, it's a hell of a lot quicker than waiting in the capacity lines for turkey legs.

Also, it's some of the best Thai food you can get in Orange County. The pad thai ('cause I know all of you want to know about it) is fresh and bright, served hot and delicious with peanuts, sugar, and chili flakes on the side so you can season to your own palate. The chicken in the curries is some of the most succulent, well-cooked chicken I've ever had in Thai food. The first time I bit into it, my eyes momentarily widened as my brain scrambled to figure out what was going on (this has only happened two other times).

Yes, when you drive up it might look a little deserted (I'm pretty sure the parking lot isn't big enough to fill the dining room), but the food is great, so eat up.

The Globe (Garden Grove)

For a bit, the Globe had a little bit of a service problem. The food was good, but would take forever to come out. Thankfully, after changing chef's, everything is now quick and tasty.

But while the food is good, the best thing about the Globe is the beer. There, you'll find one of the best selections of Belgians in Orange County, as well as the wonderful Chimay Challenge. It's a fun one (as you can see above), so ditch the kids for a little bit and take the drive down to Garden Grove.

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