Authentic Chinese Food and a Great Atmosphere at Epcot’s Nine Dragons

Epcot's China pavilion is one of the most gorgeous areas in World Showcase and it's one location where we always like to spend a some extra time. Some days we like to order pot stickers and a peach oolong tea from the Lotus Blossom Cafe and people watch. And sometimes we're looking for a bigger meal and we'll stop at Nine Dragons, the table service spot.

Lunch or dinner is a great choic at Nine DragonsLunch or dinner is a great choice at Nine Dragons

We're not sure if Nine Dragons has ever made anyone's "we must eat here" list for Epcot, but it's a solid spot if you're craving good Chinese food, you're in need of a last-minute Advance Dining Reservations, or if you're looking for some good appetizers and cocktails.

The outside of Nine Dragons reflects the color palette in the pavilion but once you enter the restaurant you'll notice a change to a darker color palette with carved wood in addition to colorful lanterns. The tables near the windows also give diners wonderful views of World Showcase.

Colorful lanterns add to the decorColorful lanterns add to the decor

If you're wondering where the name 'Nine Dragons' originated you only need to check out the wall near the kitchen. That's where you'll find nine glass dragon sculptures that are incredibly gorgeous. There are more dragons incorporated throughout the restaurant including in the green glass wall near check in.

The dining room itself is beautiful but you might find the seating area to be a bit crowded with not much elbow room if you're dining during a peak time. Some guests have commented on the feeling of being "overcrowded" but if you time your meal at an "off time" you might not have to contend with that.

The nine dragons of the restaurantThe nine dragons of the restaurant

But let's talk about the food a little bit. Nine Dragons serves lunch and dinner and it is a good choice for a sit down meal at Epcot especially if you have a craving for authentic Chinese food.

The appetizer menu includes an appetizer trio that serves two featuring cucumber salad, spicy beef, and fragrant chicken. All three items are served cold and the salad and spicy beef both pack a spicy punch. Other appetizers include shrimp and chicken egg rolls, hot and sour soup, pot stickers, shrimp and taro lollipops, and the popular General Tso's Chicken Dumplings.

Cold Appetizer Trio at Nine DragonsCold Appetizer Trio at Nine Dragons

Lunch entrees include the Nine Dragons Lunch Box Set with either canton pepper beef or Mongolian spiced chicken, honey sesame chicken, fried rice, Chinese chicken salad, and even a soup and salad combination that includes hot and sour soup and the Chinese chicken salad.

Dinner includes a prix fixe menu option where guests can choose either soup or dumplings, honey sesame chicken or canton pepper beef or sweet and sour pork, and a dessert option of either strawberry red bean ice cream or caramel ginger ice cream.

Other dinner entrees include sirloin steak and shrimp, spit roasted Beijing chicken with Chinese barbecue pork, beef and chicken skewers, and a vegetarian shitake mushroom and broccoli stir fry.

Honey Sesame Chicken at Nine DragonsHoney Sesame Chicken at Nine Dragons

One of our favorite sections of the menu is the specialty cocktails section where you'll find several amazing drinks including the Ginger Zinger (ginger liqueur, light rum, ginger ale, and a lemon twist), the South Sea Breeze (coconut rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, and orange juice), the Jade Beauty (vodka, honeydew melon liqueur, pineapple juice, and lemon-lime soda), and our personal favorite the Heavenly Clouds made with coconut rum, honeydew melon liqueur, pineapple juice, and a cream float.

There is a small dessert menu, but if you're looking for something sweet and satisfying and perfect for grownups, we'd stick with a specialty cocktail.

Heavenly Clouds cocktail at Nine DragonsHeavenly Clouds cocktail at Nine Dragons

Now, Nine Dragons isn't at the top of our list of must-eat locations in Epcot but it's not for lack of trying. The food is good, the atmosphere is beautiful, and if you're lucky enough to snag a table by the window you'll have a great view. There are so many amazing spots in Epcot that it seems like Nine Dragons just gets overshadowed.

But if you just need a Chinese food fix while you're in Epcot we'd suggest giving it a try. Who knows? It might become your new favorite off-the-radar spot.

Have you dined at Nine Dragons? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of this table service spot.

Many thanks to the Disney Food Blog for use of their photos.

Jeffrey wrote on Mon, 06/01/2015 - 13:11:

Jeffrey 's picture

Last year my wife and I stopped there right after one of the EPCOT tours. We really enjoyed it. The food was good, the ice tea really was nice (and cold) and we loved the calm atmosphere and decor. We will definitely go back this fall.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 06/02/2015 - 13:54:

Kristen K.'s picture

I've never eaten here. Maybe it will have to go on my list for the next trip!

Robert wrote on Mon, 07/27/2015 - 15:02:

Robert's picture

The food at Nine Dragons is authentic American Chinese but not much different than what you would get at Panda Express. I was disappointed since many of the other countries keep it much more authentic. I've been to many cities in China so it was rather obvious.

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