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Review: Boardwalk Deli

Hey Ohana,

As many of you know, Krystle and I live in New Jersey and like any good New Jerseyan we LOVE our delis! That’s why when we heard about the Boardwalk Resort opening up a new deli style eatery right before our most recent trip in August, we knew we had to find a way to try it out. We lucked out and ended up adding a night to our vacation (no not just to try the deli lol), and stayed at the Swan and Dolphin which put us in a perfect position to try out the new spot!

With our hotel being so close to EPCOT, the park we were heading to on arrival day, we decided to take the very easy stroll from our hotel to the park which had us pass right by Boardwalk Deli! The timing also worked out great as it would be lunch time as we walked over to our first park…a perfect time to grab a quick sandwich. As we headed out of our hotel and headed over toward Boardwalk we pulled up the mobile order option on the My Disney Experience app and placed our order.

The deli is a quick service style restaurant and offers both a breakfast and lunch/dinner menu (we were there for lunch). The menu is not overly large, but offers a decent selection of sandwiches and salads (along with a variety of bakery options as well). When we visited the lunch menu included: 5 sandwich choices and 2 salads along with 1 plant-based option (the veggie crunch muffuletta). Our party included 2 kids as well so we’ll talk about the kids menu in a minute.

The adults however, were there for a taste of home and ordered the warm pastrami reuben and the Italian sub. The pastrami reuben is served with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing on marble rye and included 1 side (I went with coleslaw). The Italian Sub is made with capicola, soppressata, pepperoni, provolone, arugula, and tomato. One of the things we found different (from our Jersey upbringing) was the lack of oil and vinegar in favor of an arugula pesto and mayo. This also came with a choice of side (some went with coleslaw, some with chips). Overall, both sandwiches were tasty and a good size. The bread the Italian sub was served on was good quality (the bread can make or break a sandwich - so we were pleased with the ciabatta roll it was served on). The pastrami meanwhile, could have been a little more tender but had good flavor and wasn’t overly fatty. The choice to go with the more traditional oil and vinegar on the Italian sub would have been a nice option as well.

(the addict literally could not wait for me to take a pic before she bit into her sub ha)

The one aspect of the meal that we were a little let down with was the sides. With the sandwich, you get a choice of 1 side which include: tomato soup, chips, coleslaw, or a pickle. While the coleslaw was good and the chips homemade, we would have liked a few more options that you traditionally would find in a deli (e.g. potato or macaroni salad, etc…). We also thought a different variety of chips (rather than just plain potato) would have been a nice way to upgrade the menu a bit as well. However, again, for a quick bite and something to add to the side of your sandwich we can’t really complain about the sides.

If there was one area that we were a little let down with on the menu, it would have to be kids options. While some older kids might just order off the regular menu, many younger ones might not want to (or it just doesn’t make financial sense to order a large meal for a child who won’t eat it). We LOVE how much Disney always tries to offer more popular options for kids, but honestly they dropped the ball a little here at Boardwalk Deli (especially for picky eaters). There are only 2 options for kids on the menu: a ham and cheese sandwich and a grilled cheese. Usually grilled cheese would be a go-to for our picky one, but the bread it is served on (which is not identified on the menu) is a whole grain, heavily seeded variety that immediately turned our son off when he saw it. I’m sure there may have been an option to change the bread to something else, but that was not offered on the menu. If Boardwalk Deli added a simple PB&J or chicken fingers (which are usually staples on kids menus at all other Disney eateries) it would probably become a spot we frequented more often when looking for a quick service option in the Epcot resort area.

As we mentioned earlier, the Boardwalk Deli does also have a breakfast menu and while we didn’t get the chance to visit for breakfast, a quick glance at the menu did remind us of what we typically grab to eat back in NJ if we stop at a deli in the morning. Centered around bagels, basically currency in NJ, they offer a variety of breakfast sandwiches like: egg and cheese, bacon egg and cheese, sausage egg and cheese, and smoked salmon. (if only they could get their hands on some Pork Roll!).

Throughout the day, the Boardwalk Deli also acts a replacement of the Boardwalk Bakery and offers up some tasty looking pastries like: the famous Mickey cinnamon roll, croissants, coffee cake, muffins, and so on. The one we did make sure to try though on our visit was the Cannoli (technically on their dessert menu). Growing up in an NJ Italian family, a good cannoli is a marker in the pastry world and while the Boardwalk deli might not compete with the bakeries of NJ/NY it was one of the better ones we’ve had in Disney World. The crust was crunchy and sweet, the filling tasted fresh and had a lovely orange zest, AND it was topped with an awesome chocolate mickey head!

( I want a cannoli)

The restaurant itself meanwhile, is solely set up to be a quick service location. It is situated about halfway down the “boardwalk” and offers big open windows to peer inside, Upon entering, you are immediately met with the winding queue leading up to a cashier to place your order (if you don’t use mobile order) before walking past the bakery display to the second CM to pick up your order. Utensils and condiments can be grabbed and thrown in your bag as you walk out of the building. The one thing we wish was incorporated to some extent is either some indoor seating (there is none) for those extremely hot days or a designated area (preferably shaded) to eat outside. Instead, there are simply a few tables lined in front of the building on the boardwalk which on a busy day would fill up extremely quickly leaving patrons nowhere to enjoy their meals. It would be great to see an expanded patio area of some sort set up to enjoy your food while looking out over the water!

Overall, Boardwalk Deli is a decent addition to the WDW quick service location list. The menu offers something that we haven’t seen anywhere else on property which is GREAT and being from NJ it was great to see some staples of our area brought to life down in FL (especially at a resort that models itself after our boardwalks - now we just need them to put a diner in where the old ESPN Zone was)! We do think there are a few tweaks that could be made to make the menu even better (i’m looking at you kids menu), but we’d definitely suggest stopping in to grab a bite if your looking for a decent Italian sub or pastrami sandwich!

As always THANK YOU for reading along and being part of the Ohana! We hope you continue the conversation by heading over to our FB page and sharing YOUR experiences at Boardwalk Deli. See Ya Real Soon!

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