Frohe Weihnachten! We recently grabbed lunch at Biergarten in Epcot which has been one of our favorite buffets for years. We used to go to Biergarten every trip growing up, and we went for the first time as vegans a few years ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect then, but now we know how many vegan options they have on their buffet. We were able to snag a same day lunch reservation with my parents during Thanksgiving weekend which we were all excited about.
I have never eaten at Biergarten during the holidays, but to my surprise they decorate the restaurant for Christmas which really brings a fun new vibe. The restaurant is already set in a German Biergarten (hence the name) at night, so the Christmas lights were a nice addition.
If you’ve never dined here there are some key features to this restaurant. First, you dine German style, which means the tables seat 8. If your party is just 2, you will be eating with 6 strangers. Sometimes this is fun, sometimes you get seated with that guy. Second, they offer entertainment during your meal. Every half hour or so a stage show happens with live music. They typically list the showtimes when you check in. Third, the pricing changes depending on season, day, and time of day. Lunch on weekdays is the cheapest option, I have found that this page on DisBoards is great when you’re looking for what price a buffet currently is.
Once we were seated we asked the waitress if we could speak with a chef. Soon after, we were greeted by Chef Diego and I went up to the buffet with him to see what our options were. As expected, many of the previously vegan options are still up there and are still vegan. There were a few new options too which was exciting. Let’s take a tour down the buffet!
The mixed greens are vegan and the only vegan dressing is the Mustard one. I really enjoyed this, but if you’re not a mustard person you would probably hate this dressing.
Next on the salad bar was a Tomato Salad, which has always been our favorite. A newer addition to us was the Bean Salad. The tomato salad has changed over time, but this grape tomato version was our favorite. The bean salad was a huge surprise because I wasn’t expecting much but this was actually my favorite part of the buffet. Both of these are vinegar-based.
Continuing down the cold food part of the buffet you can find some Beets and Mushrooms. The beets were good, nothing special to them. The mushrooms were okay, I would probably skip those next time. I was sad to see that the fresh pickles are no longer on the buffet, but I’ll take the bean salad over that.
Next you’ll find the Vegan Split Pea Soup! The soup was very good and had a great flavor to it. It is definitely a hearty soup option. I preferred the older vegan tomato soup they had, but I am so happy that they still have a vegan soup! Chef Diego laughed about how excited I was when I saw the word ‘vegan’ on the buffet.
After the soup you’ll find Pretzel Rolls! These guys can be hit or miss, sometimes stale and sometimes soft. They do have a whole section on the buffet with sauces, so the mustard there is great for the pretzels. The only non-vegan option of the sauces is a sweet mustard which contains honey.
Under the hot foods section you’ll find Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans. These are always a favorite here because we love a good potato. The green beans are cooked well and have a lot of flavor. I could probably just eat a plate of the beans and potatoes.
The other hot food option here is a Red Cabbage. I have heard mixed things about the ingredients here. I confirmed there was no honey in it. He also made no mention of wine, which I know in the past there was wine in it.
On the dessert bar the only vegan options are pineapple and the berry compote. Chef Diego said he could also bring me vegan Enjoy Life cookies.
After he was done showing me the buffet he said he could bring us some pork-free sauerkraut and I said that would be great. I then asked if he had any proteins in the back since he hadn’t brought it up and I had seen other people get vegan meats here. He said they were out of what they usually had due to the Holidays, which was beefless tips (gardein), and crumbles. He then said he has some fishless fillets (also gardein) and I said those would be great. He asked how many we would want and I said enough for the three of us. He said he would be by our table soon with some food. I went to let Corey know what all was vegan, then went back up and loaded up a plate.
About 10 minutes later a plate with vegan fishless fillets piled high arrived with a bowl of sauerkraut.
When I said enough for three, I assumed he’d give us like 6, not 12. I’m not complaining though, because we ate almost all of these. They were cooked well, not as good as the fried ones at Rose & Crown, but I didn’t mind.
After eating all of this I mentioned to our waitress about the vegan cookies. She quickly came back with a few bags of Enjoy Life Cookies.
All of the food was delicious, we rolled out of the buffet. We have always had great experiences here, but we know that is not the case for everyone. We have heard of people have rude interactions with chefs or are being told they can’t eat anything on the buffet. Please give it another shot if this happened to you, and if you are greeted with a not warm welcome, let Guest Services know. Thank for for accommodating us Chef Diego!
Review from November 2018.