La Hacienda de San Angel & La Cantina de San Angel

Hi all,

Before I discuss La Hacienda, I need to let you know of a change in the way you will be posting comments. Because we have been getting a lot of junk email, we have had to implement a new procedure. After sharing your thoughts, there is one more box that needs to be completed before you press “Post.” At the moment, you need to write the word “blog” (without quotes) in this field (this word could change periodically). This will let the computer know that a real person is writing us and not some automated program that generates spam. If you don’t complete this field correctly, your comment will end up in a “junk” folder.

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If you’ve visited Epcot during the last year, you may have noticed that the counter service restaurant in the Mexico Pavilion (Cantina de San Angel) has been surrounded by decorative plywood while this establishment underwent a transformation. Construction is now complete and today, September 16, 2010, two restaurants now stand were there was once just one. A newly designed La Cantina de San Angel will continue to serve counter service meals and a new La Hacienda will offer table service dinners starting each evening at 4pm.

La Hacienda and La Cantina

The entrance to La Cantina is located near the bridge that brings guests into the Mexico Pavilion. Just inside are five windows where you can place your order. Although the menu is new, it still offers some of your favorites like Tacos de Carne, Nachos, and Empanadas de Queso. Three varieties of Margaritas and Dos Equis beer can also be purchased here. To see the complete menu, click here.

Counter Service Windows

Counter Service Window

The outside seating area takes advantage of the view of World Showcase and a breeze from the water is refreshing. La Cantina can accommodate 150 guests. However, from 11am until 3ish, guests can also sit in air-conditioned comfort inside the adjacent La Hacienda. The following pictures are of La Cantina only.

La Cantina Seating Area

La Cantina Seating Area

La Cantina Seating Area

La Cantina Seating Area

But the real excitement comes with the opening of La Hacienda de San Angel. This 250 seat table service restaurant will open each evening at 4pm. Designed to resemble different living areas of a hacienda, one room creates the feel of a living room while others capture the charm of a grand salon, pantry, and artist’s studio. Original pieces of art adorn each room and unique chandeliers hang from the ceiling. The entrance is located across from the pyramid.

La Hacienda Logo

La Hacienda Entrance

La Hacienda Seating Area

La Hacienda Seating Area

La Hacienda Seating Area

La Hacienda Seating Area

La Hacienda Seating Area

La Hacienda Seating Area

La Hacienda Seating Area

The restaurant is beautiful and that in and of itself is worth a visit. But many will want to plan their meal here to coincide with the presentation of IllumiNations. The Imagineers knew this so they designed large and tall windows to give everyone in the restaurant a great view of this nightly spectacular.

Views of World Showcase

Views of World Showcase

The menu will feature starters like queso fundido (warm cheese with poblano pepper and chorizo) accompanied by fresh homemade tortillas. Entrees include a mixed grill for two with flank steak, chicken, chorizo and vegetables or a seafood version with grouper, shrimp and scallops; roasted shrimp in pepper garlic broth; flank steak with spring onions, refried beans and cactus leaves; and grilled red snapper with roasted corn and cactus leaves. Dessert specialties include chocolate churros, sweet tamales and fruit empanadas. To see the complete menu, click here.

Chef with Food

Last night I attended a press event to kick off the opening of these two new restaurants. The evening began on the deck of La Cantina where we were treated to amazing margaritas and samples of many of the dishes that are served in La Hacienda.


Samples of Food

Samples of Food

Samples of Food

Samples of Food

I sampled several different tequila drinks (they were small and I quit drinking well before IllumiNations so I could drive home safely). All were very good, but I think the “Classic Margareta” is by far the best. It had a good strong flavor that made me pucker and smile.

I also enjoyed the many food samples that were being distributed by smiling waiters and waitresses, but without a doubt, the “Tacos de Camarones” were the best – outstanding in fact. The menu describes this dish as follows: Fried shrimp, chipotle-lime aioli, cabbage, lime and salsa verde, all served over flour tortillas. I had seconds and thirds of this taste treat.

Tacos de Camarones

I have to be honest with you. I’ve had hit-and-miss experiences at the San Angel Inn, the restaurant located inside the Mexico Pavilion. I think the atmosphere is fantastic, but the food just misses for me. However, I have every intention of returning to La Hacienda de San Angel. If what I sampled last night is any indication of my future meal, I’m going to be a happy camper.

All three restaurants in the Mexico Pavilion are run by Palmas Services LLC. Their founding began in Mexico City in 1963 when they converted a seventeenth century hacienda into an internationally acclaimed eatery, Restaurante San Angel Inn. The Palmas group also operates the restaurants and lounges at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Here, I really enjoy the Pepper Market but I have marginal feelings when it comes to the Maya Grill.

I have created a short video that highlights both La Hacienda and La Cantina. However, since this was a press event, I was not able to shoot people-free shots. You’ll have to look through the guests enjoying their appetizers and cocktails to see the restaurant.

As the evening progressed, we ventured inside of La Hacienda for more socializing and opening ceremonies. The speeches ran for almost twenty minutes but I have edited it down to a mere six. The last two minutes show the official ribbon-cutting complete with Donald and Mickey.

As I said earlier, I have every intention of returning to both La Cantina and La Hacienda. The views are spectacular and the food that I sampled was delicious. Reservations are strongly suggested for La Hacienda and can be made online or by calling 407-929-3463.

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42 Replies to “La Hacienda de San Angel & La Cantina de San Angel”

  1. Ate here in June and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in Epcot! I selected two appetizers for my dinner (taco sampler and spinach salad) and it was so tasty that I actually stopped the restaurant manager to tell him how wonderful the food and service was. Would bypass all other restaurants to eat there again and again.

  2. We have a reservation at Hacienda at 7:45- hoping to catch Illuminations. We were thinking Hacienda also had outdoor seating, but apparently that is only Cantina. So I guess the only way we can get reserved seating is by staying inside- does this impact watching Illuminations? Can you still hear the show? I’ve heard it still offers pretty good views from the windows, but I’m more than a little hesitant to give up a good illuminations experience. I’m also assuming Cantina will fill up rather quickly so that doesn’t seem practical…

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Hacienda was designed with very large windows to afford as many guests as possible with a view of Illuminations. However, there are a number of tables with absolutely NO view. It’s just a matter of luck what table you’re assigned. You can request a “window” table, but everyone does this. There is no guarantee you’ll get one. I do not know if the music is piped inside of the restaurant during Illuminations.

    People will start saving seats at the Cantina well over an hour ahead of the show.

  3. We go to the World every January and Mexican Food is the place we eat when we go to Epcot. You could imagine our faces when we went to get our Food in Jan 2010 and saw it was closed and had limited menu. We are getting ready for our trip down there and all we have on our mind is getting to Epcot to try out the new Mexican food!! I can not wait. Hope it is as good as I am hearing.

  4. Growing up near Disneyland, I’ve always been a huge fan of Mexican food and San Angel is always my first stop on trips to WDW. And when we lived in Orlando briefly, we used to drop in on the Cantina, enjoying a snack and a view, on a regular basis. So when I heard about this redo, I was worried the outside seating would be gone and the whole thing would be ruined for us. But it all looks fabulous and I can’t wait to give it a try on our upcoming trip. Thanks for the wonderful review and awesome pics!

  5. Okay, this may be a silly question, but does the San Angel Inn restaurant inside the pyramid still exist?? I booked the Candlelight Christmas package at “San Angel” (that’s how the reservation person said it) and realized later… there may be two restaurants at the Mexico pavillion with similar names?? If so, I guess I’ll have to figure out which one we’re supposed to be at!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Yes, the San Angel Inn (inside the pyramid) still exists.

    Technically, the new restaurant’s name is La Hacienda de San Angel. However, it’s just being called, La Hacienda. I strongly believe your reservation is for the restaurant inside the pyramid.

  6. I’m so excited! I just now booked an ADR here on the Disney website – and for whatever reason, it shows that the DDP is being accepted now. When I tried to book it on 9/18, the website clearly stated that this venue would not accept the DDP – so I did not book it then, and was vastly disappointed, as I noted in my post that day.

    Can’t wait!! 24 days!!

  7. We just returned from our trip and we went to the new La Hacienda de San Angel. It was an amazing meal. Our new favorite. The food melts in your mouth. The service was amazing and the food was out of this world good. All that and you can sit there and watch Illuminations right from your seat. The show viewing is worth it in itself. We had such good views you can easily watch the pictures being shown on the globe in the middle of the lagoon. Highly recommend and it is our new MUST do.

  8. Three of us dined here on Sat Sept 25th, it was a joy, the food was great, and they obviously take the dining plan as I was asked if I wanted to use it. I used my tables in wonderland card and again it was accepted no problem.
    The mixed grill for two was excellent and the pork dish was also good.
    But the hot chocolate and churros are definitely good to finish.
    Try to dine around 8pm as you get a wonderful view of the fireworks, the lights in the restaurant are dimmed and the music piped in for the show.
    am already looking forward to our next visit

  9. I just returned from a Disney honeymoon yesterday (boo to returning!). Our last night, we went to La Hacienda – it was empty, since it is in soft opening, and not taking reservations quite yet. DH and I agreed we must return here next time – the food was amazing, and the servers extremely attentive.

    I had the chicken, which was sweet and spicy and the vegetables perfectly done. DH had the fish, which was also delicious – but do look out for the one small hot pepper sauteed with it for kick, eating it without expecting it can be a surprise (as the woman behind us discovered!).

    The churros were good desert…but DH had the “Tamal de dulce” with guava and strawberry sauce and it was spectacular – our server recommended it and she was definitely right its the best!

    I would highly recommend La Hacienda, if you are looking food Mexican food beyond the American-ized tacos/burritos. Also, it is on the dining plan, as we used it while there. For anyone visiting soon its a good spot for a walk-up without ADRs, since we didn’t have them and it was virtually empty, I don’t think people realized it was open yet!

  10. For us vegetarians…..

    I’d like to add that they DO have a wonderful vegetarian menu upon request! It is printed daily, and all you need to do is ask “hey, I’d like the vegetarian menu please” and they’ll bring one right out to you.

    There were FOUR vegetarian entrees on the menu (woohoo!) and the house salad (avacado, pomegranate seeds, very interesting mix) is vegetarian as well.

    I had vegetarian tacos (excellent) and my husband had a vegetarian enchilada dish (if you eat cheese, and like lots of it – very good!), and there were two other options we did not try.

    So – don’t be dismayed if you don’t see the vegetarian items on the menu – just ask for the vegetarian menu, it’s completely separate!

  11. I can confirm that it IS on the Dining Plan. I have been assured by Disney that is the case. The online ADR site had not been updated to reflect the correct information.

  12. I just want to be sure….I have seen many posts about the Dining Plan not being accepted. Can you confirm if the Dining Plan is being accepted at this point?

  13. ARGHHHH I missed this restaurant so much on my last trip in June, so glad to see the counter service is open again, I always make a trip there, and the sit down restaurant looks terrific! Can’t wait!! Disney was very smart in opening a third option in Mexico, it’s so popular.

  14. My husband and I had lunch at La Cantina today, and our experience was very disappointing. We both had the tacos de carne. Service was very slow, but the biggest disappointment was the food quality. As Erin said in the post above, the meal consisted of 3 very small soft tacos with about a tablespoon of chopped meat in each one, and about a quarter cup of salsa and some tortilla chips. For a cost of over $30 for that and two soft drinks, we should have felt that we had enough food to be satisfied, but we both came away still hungry (and we’re not big eaters)! We do hope that the La Hacienda will be a better experience.

  15. My family and I tried the counter service on Thursday this past week and I agree with Gerald above-we thought the portions were very small and it was more expensive than the other counter meals we had during our week.
    I tried the tacos de pollo and it was 3 very small tacos with chips. My 14 year old wasn’t happy with any of the choices and brought the quesadilla meal from the small stand across the way in with her. By the end of the meal my husband and I wished we had gotten the same meal. Hopefully the Hacienda table meal will be much better.

  16. Great post…thanks for the detailed information and pictures. We have ADR to dine at La Hacienda at 8 pm during our December trip…hoping we have a good view of Illuminations…would love to hear from someone who has seen the fireworks and show from the dining room.

  17. What happened to the indoor restaurant with the shopping village theme and overlooking the volcano? I liked the atmosphere.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Nothing has happened to the indoor restaurant and shopping village. It’s still where it’s always been. La Hacienda is located on the World Showcase Lagoon. The old counter service restaurant was remodeled and expanded to include table service as well.

  18. We ate here on Friday, September 17, the second day it was open. The restaurant has so many gorgeous details! The artwork and array of stunning glass chandeliers in each room added so much vibrance. One thing we noticed throughout our meal was the low noise level, even when crowded, unlike Via Napoli. Our food was hit or miss (ranging from divine to inedible) but we will certainly return! The staff was so outstanding (especially manager Josue, waiter Jesus and Cantina CM Alva) that we immediately went to Guest Services to send them “Applause-o-grams” to thank them for their amazing service. By the way, both versions of the coffee margaritas (frozen at the Cantina and on the rocks inside the Hacienda) were astoundingly delicious!

  19. The official opening was at 4:00 and we were seated at 5:00- the very first day it opened to the public. Simply fantastic! The food was delicious! Service excellent. Many “suits” walking around greeting us at every turn! Had the steak which just melted in your mouth! Margaritas were out of this world (classic and blueberry)! Cant say enough about this awesome, awesome resturant. Definetly a two-thumbs up!!

  20. Thank you to Allears for staying on top of the lastest news. While at Epcot this past week, I saw the All Ears Facebook announcement about the opening. My family and I decided to be among the first to eat here. The food was great and true to Mexican cuisine. The seating was nice on the veranda.

    The problems we had were with the limited seating. I have a family of 5 and we had to share seats to stay at 1 table. Also, the portion sizes were small and this counter service meal was the most expensive meal we had for the whole week.

  21. Hi,

    I’ve just noticed on the Disney Online Dining reservations site that this restaurant is not accepting the Dining Plan option. Do you know if this will change soon, or is this likely to be a permanent feature?

    A real shame, as the restaurant looks lovely.


    Thanks for writing. Since this reataurant is not owned and operated by Disney, it’s not required to participate in the Disney Plan. It might someday, but I have no inside information.

  22. What a bummer… La Hacienda doesn’t have any vegetarian entrees! I’d have loved to try this place.

    Jack’s Answer:

    All restaurants at Walt Disney World will work with guests who have special dietary needs. Just tell your server that you need a vegetarian meal. The chef will visit your table and work with you to make sure you get what you need. There is no reason you shouldn’t try this restaurant. And if you have doubts, you can inquire before you’re seated.

  23. OK Jack..the all important question:

    Did you get to sample any of the desserts? And if so…were the churros any good?

    I HATE the “fake, frozen” churros that abound. We have a Mexican place near us who hand makes them and they are DIVINE.

    If you tell me the churros are good at Hacienda…I’ll have no choice but to make an ADR on my next visit!

    Jack’s Answer:

    We were not provided with any desserts so I can’t offer any opinion.

  24. I can not wait to try both locations. We are going to the World in April and Nov 11 so I am hoping we can try both at different times. I saw the menu’s yesterday in the menu’s section of all ears and was super excited to see kid friendly food for my kids. I think I want to try Hacienda in April and scratch Coral Reef off my list this time around!!

  25. Great review. True to Disney form the decore is beautiful and the food looks great. However, as an annual passholder I am finding it harder and harder to afford the price of the meals at Disney. It’s no longer economically friendly for the average person. This has been a growing complaint with most “average incomed” folks I’ve taled to.

  26. hey jack
    I was there this past August when the construction was going on however I knew all about what was going there. It looks like a great restaurant and I can’t wait to try it. Now that Mexico has 2 table service restaurants which one do you prefer? can’t wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

    Jack’s Answer:

    For atmosphere, I still prefer the San Angel Inn located inside the pyramid, but the food is much better at the La Hacienda.

  27. Made our “Date Night” reserv for December yesterday!!! Can’t wait….Grandma keeps the kids @ the hotel and my husband and I get to enjoy Epcot and La Hacienda!!! Hopefully I timed our reserv just right to see Illuminations @ dinner!

  28. Great Review! I already have my ADR for December! I made it for 6:30 as I have no intention of trying watch Illuminations from there — I prefer to watch from outside. I do hope Disney is successful in policing “gate crashers”, and I’m sure they have anticipated the problem.

  29. Gosh you have such a tough job!! heh 😉

    That covered area at the Cantina is really nice!! That area always seemed to be in full sun.

    Seems like several pavilions are adding additional sit down dining these days. Wonder who will be next?

  30. I am hoping that getting a walk up table won’t be too hard. My husband and I (without the kids) will be there in 11 days!!! This sounds great. I agree with you about the other restaurant, it is beautiful but the food has always been so-so.

  31. Great review! This place looks awesome! We have reservations for the Coral Reef during our visit to EPCOT but I am extremely considering changing it to La Hacienda. If not, I predict I will at least stop buy the counter service for one of this margaritas!! Thats why I love Epcot; you can start on one end of the World Showcase, sampling the “adult beverages” and by the time you reach the other side, you have not only toured all the countries in the world, but you are feeling “pretty good” 🙂

  32. FYI – As my family and I are going to the World in late November/early December, I logged onto Disney World’s official web site after reading Jack’s blog to book a dinner reservation at La Hacienda (it looks wonderful!). The first thing I noticed is that La Hacienda is NOT accepting the Disney Dining Plan! Guess we will not get to check this place out during this visit 🙁

  33. Woohoo!!! is finally open! This is one of my favorites Restaurantes and I have to try the new menu…

    Nice touch from Disney with the opening the same day of the Independence day of Mexico.

    I have a question: Cantina de San Angel will be open at night too or only serves lunch?

    Jack’s Answer:

    La Cantina will be open for lunch and dinner. La Hacienda will be open only for dinner.

  34. Glad to see this is finally up and running AND that the food quality appears to be good. La Cantina was one of our favorites until a few years ago when the quality seemed to decline with a lot of premade food. Wonderful to hear that there are some fresh made items now.

    It seems like there is a significant increase in the amount of outdoor seating now.
    But, do you think the outside seating will fill up with people waiting for Illuminations to start, just like the old Cantina? Did they mention anything at the event about the seating being reserved for only those dining during/just before Illuminations?
    I’m sure this location would fill up if it was just for people who are dining…especially if it continues to be on the Dining Plan. But, at least there is a chance for seating while eating then. I’m just not sure how Disney would police those who are just grabbing a seat and not dining or if they have any plans of even attempting to control the seating a bit?

    Jack’s Comment:

    I wondered the same thing. People are going to snag one of the prime tables hours in advance. I have no idea how Disney will (or if) they will police this and it was not mentioned at the press event.

  35. Just in time for Mexico’s Independence Day. We have reservations for March at Vila Napoli, and I’m nit sure if we can squeeze this one in. But, being from Texas, it’s intriguing to see what WDW version of Mexican cuisine will be. Decisions, decisions.