The Hollywood Brown Derby Lunch Review

Signature dining at Disney World is always an expensive ticket. And for many of the signature restaurants (not all of them) the product that comes out is certainly worth the price tag. But in an already expensive place, a signature dining meal on top of the money being spent during your Disney World vacation, can be out of the question for some. What if there was a way to experience a signature dining location at a lower price point? That’s where our review of The Hollywood Brown Derby lunch comes into play. 

The interior of The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Atmosphere

One of the best in-park dining locations, The Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios has always been a personal favorite of mine for dinner. The theming, the food, the service, all of it has lived up to the hype of the signature dining mark. Many signature restaurants around Disney World property are only open for dinner. But being located in the center of a crowded theme park, it makes perfect sense for The Hollywood Brown Derby to be open for lunch. On a whim we looked for reservations the morning of and we were happy to find a table for two at lunch time. 

The interior of The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios
The interior is distinctly Hollywood during its heyday.

The Hollywood Brown Derby is of course modeled after the famed restaurant of the same name that lasted for decades in Hollywood. It was a frequent haunt of many a famous actor and actress. It was known as the place to be seen. The walls of the original were adorned with caricatures of some of its famous clientele. Its replica in Hollywood Studios has kept the same vibe of the original with caricatures of their very own. Keep your eyes peeled for drawings with a gold frame. Those are in fact from the original California location. 

Caricatures at The Hollywood Brown Derby
Some of the caricatures that adorn the walls.
Lookout for the caricatures with gold frames. They came from the original location.
Brown Derby Hat lamps at The Hollywood Brown Derby.
“Brown Derby” hats can be seen in the form of lamps throughout the restaurant.

The Food

Atmosphere is exceptional here but let’s be honest. We’re here for the food. As previously stated I love dinner here and I was pleased to see that the lunch menu was still fairly extensive. There’s something about the menu of certain signature restaurants at Disney that I just enjoy. It’s not formulaic or cookie cutter like many of the other restaurants across property. 

Discover more about the history of The Hollywood Brown Derby.

Now the lunch and dinner menus are quite similar but surprisingly, there are actually a few more options on the lunch menu. And most options are relatively low in price. Yes you can get the $49 filet at lunch but you can also get the $19 Andouille-crusted Chicken Breast which isn’t available on the dinner menu. 

For us we bypassed the appetizers and went straight for the entrees. The Cobb Salad is a classic dish and is something that was invented at the original Hollywood establishment. You might be thinking, “it’s a salad, how good can it actually be?” Let me tell you my friend, it’s fantastic. I have never been disappointed by this salad. It can go up against any of the other dishes here and it will probably beat many if not most of them. The presentation is great and it’s incredibly filling. You would be doing a disservice to yourself if at least one individual at your table didn’t order this. 

The delightful and famous Cobb Salad.

Ok, salad. That’s all fine and good but now it’s time for some protein. Only available during lunch is the Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger. That comes with gruyère, pastrami, heirloom tomato, avocado, red onion, fried egg, toasted brioche, cognac-mustard aïoli and steak fries and this was the dish I choose as my entree.  

I have three words to describe this burger and those words are: oh, my and God.

IMO: The Best Burger in Walt Disney World

I’ve talked about how the Crispy Cheddar Cheeseburger at Kona Cafe is seriously overlooked in the Disney World burger landscape. But this is by far the best burger I’ve ever had at Walt Disney World. Not only is it the best burger at Disney World it might be the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. It might seem over the top but I think it is just perfect. It’s incredible how fresh, high quality ingredients go so far with this dish. The burger patty is like butter, the tomatoes are perfect, the egg is runny and cooked perfectly (I like a runny egg on my burger). It’s just exceptional. 

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful in your life?

But let’s talk about the fries. On the menu they are called steak fries. Now typically I don’t like steak fries. It might sound weird but the typical steak fry you get, I find to be too much potato. Our server informed us before ordering that these steak fries aren’t typical. In fact you only get four fries with each order. He did this to manage our expectations for when the burger came out.  

Four fries were more than enough because theses we’re just any ordinary fries. Each one was like an individual baked potato. Cooked to perfection. I never knew a potato could be so flavorful but these completely changed my mind. I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, because it’s just a potato, but these were just exceptional. They were fantastical! (Yes, that’s is a combination of fantastical and magical. Because they really were that good!)

Our WDW Opinion

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios is a perfect example of what signature dining should and can be at Walt Disney World. It’s been consistently good for so long. With the options they are bringing to lunch it elevates the restaurant to a new level no matter the time of day you eat there. 

Now it’s still a potentially expensive lunch option. But if you order the right things you can save a lot when compared to dinner. The Cobb Salad ($18) and the Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger ($24) are perfect examples of how you don’t have to order the most expensive things on the menu in order to get the best dishes. 

If you want to dip your toe in The Hollywood Brown Derby offerings but aren’t ready to commit to a full meal trying snagging a table outside at The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. They have plenty of beer, wine and cocktail options but they also have small versions of some of their classic dishes including the Cobb Salad and a slider version of the Wagyu Beef Burger. 

The Hollywood Brown Derby is a shining star in Hollywood Studios. What do you think of this restaurant? Let your fellow Opinioneers know what you think of the place in our online community.

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