Finding healthier, or at least fresher, food options at Disney World is not always easy. While most full service restaurants have decent variety and quality of food, their prices are high and reservations are near impossible to obtain without advanced planning. Quick service restaurants often have limited selection with only one or two options that aren't fried, greasy, or fat filled. During the mealtime rush, food is also prepared in huge batches with speed taking precedence over quality, sometimes even thorough cooking.
It's no surprise, then, that Earl of Sandwich in Dowtown Disney's Marketplace is packed full every lunch and dinner. The photo above was taken at dinner on a Tuesday during the slow season. Many of the full service restaurants still had seating available, yet the Earl had a line nearly out the door. Why is this place so popular? Because it has fresh, hot, amazing sandwiches for $6 each.
While there are now some franchise locations, this is the first Earl of Sandwich location. Founded by the historical Earl of Sandwich's family, the seating areas are decorated like an English drawing room, complete with a continually running video of London and U.K. landmarks. Seating is available inside and outside, but the location is so busy and bustling that it's better to take sandwiches to quieter benches nearby.
Starters include various fruit and salads, including grape cups and pasta salad. Soups are also available, and everything is priced around 2 to 4 dollars. Along with a $6 dollar sandwich, a complete meal with drink costs just about $10. Delicious baked goods are also available for dessert, but since I'm trying to lose weight, I'm currently in denial that those wonderful, chocolaty treats exist.
Appropriately wrapped in golden foil, these sandwiches use quality meats and cheeses, fresh vegetables, and are toasted to just the right temperature. There are a wide range of options, and all sandwiches are made to order. While not quite as large as a $5 dollar foot long from Subway, the flavor and ingredients are leagues better and are just as filling.
In truth, many of the sandwiches couldn't be considered low calorie, but most are still better nutritionally than your average fast food meal. There are also many large salads available, if something a little more green is desirable.
Having your meal in Downtown Disney may not be an option if you're lost in the middle of Hollywood Studios or the Magic Kingdom. However, if you're looking for a quick dinner idea or a break from the parks, there's nowhere better to stop than the Earl.