Find a Quick Bite to Eat amid Beautiful Japanese Gardens at Epcot’s Katsura Grill

Epcot's Japan pavilion is one of the prettiest pavilions in World Showcase. It's also sometimes of one those frequently overlooked pavilions.

Lately though it has become one of my favorite pavilions due in large part to the beautiful and serene gardens. I've found it's always a good place to stop and take a break from the fast-paced touring that can happen when one is visiting Epcot.

And when I do stop in Japan I like to grab a quick bite to eat at Katsura Grill, which is the pavilion's counter service location.

Katsura Grill in Epcot's Japan PavilionKatsura Grill in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Katsura Grill opened in 2011 in the former location of the Yakatori House, which was the pavilion's previous quick service location. It's really a hidden gem when it comes to quick service dining. Not only will you find delicious (and relatively healthy) food options, you also get to enjoy your food while gazing at the waterfalls and gardens in the pavilion.

Another bonus of dining at Katsura Grill is that you will rarely find a crowd at the restaurant. Which means you can usually find a seat. The restaurant has indoor seating and a lovely outdoor seating area with umbrella-covered tables.

Katsura Grill outdoor seating areaKatsura Grill outdoor seating area

Despite the abundance of outdoor tables, my favorite spot to sit is out front of the restaurant on the wooden bench-like area. You have a perfect view of the pagoda, the gardens, and the World Showcase Lagoon. Basically, it's the best place to people watch from the Japan pavilion.

And if you're lucky you'll time that quick service meal with one of the performances of the Matsuriza Taiko Drums troupe. They perform daily in front of the pavilion's pagoda and it is something you need to add to your "must see" list for your next Epcot visit.

Pagoda in Japan PavilionPagoda in Japan Pavilion

But let's talk about the food at Katsura Grill. The menu features sushi (including a California Roll and the Tokyo Sushi Combo), Udon (including Beef Udon and Tempura Shrimp Udon), Teriyaki dishes, combination meals, and two "recommendations" of Japanese Curry Rice and Chicken Cutlet Curry.

The side dishes (or appetizers) include Miso Soup, Steamed Rice, Steamed Vegetables, and Edamame. On a recent visit, my youngest child (who could eat rice every day at every meal) wanted nothing more than to stop at the Katsura Grill for a bowl of steamed rice.

That $2 bowl of rice (which is also a snack on the Disney Dining Plan) was the best snack deal we found that day.

A bowl of steamed rice from the Katsura Grill is a great snack!A bowl of steamed rice from the Katsura Grill is a great snack!

All the side orders at Katsura Grill are snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan, so it's a good place to stop for a healthy and filling snack as you tour World Showcase. Our friends at the Disney Food Blog recently wrote about the steamed vegetables and rice from Katsura Grill. And if you're looking for something sweet, try the Green Tea Cheesecake!

So if you're looking for an out-of-the-way counter service location with ample seating and beautiful views, it's worth it to stop at Katsura Grill and try something new and delicious.

Thanks to Kristen K. and the Disney Food Blog for use of their photos!

Is the Katsura Grill one of your favorite counter service destinations? Leave us a comment and let us know about your favorite dish!

RobynPrincess wrote on Mon, 10/13/2014 - 21:49:

RobynPrincess's picture

I've eaten there before now, it was nice for a change and I'll probably eat there again sometime. Unfortunately I didn't make the right choice and didn't enjoy my food, hubby however enjoyed his and mine very much ;)

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