One of our favorite spots for lunch at Epcot is Nine Dragons Restaurant at the China Pavilion, with authentic Chinese dishes on the menu like the Shanghai xiaolongbao, steamed Shanghai-style pork soup dumplings – it’s the only place in Central Florida that we’ve found the authentic version.
A little secret: you often can stop by without a reservation and get a window table overlooking World Showcase Promenade in the spacious dining room. Service is swift and pleasant, and the cool restaurant is a lovely respite from the Florida mid-day sun.
We pair the crisp cucumber salad with the dumplings for a quick lunch, but you can relax and enjoy everything from steamed Chinese buns with braised pork belly to classics like honey-sesame chicken and lo mein. Add a cold Tsingtao beer or sip a cocktail such as the Shanghai Fusion (light rum, cherry brandy, plum wine, grapefruit and pineapple juices).
Proprietor Stephen Fan is a native of Shanghai, thus those special dumplings. (Cast members who were on loan for the Shanghai Disneyland opening will especially appreciate the authentic menu.)