My party of 2 spent $85 at Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney World, and it's one of my favorite restaurants in the park

carly posing with a grapefruit martini from hollywood brown derby lounge
I tried the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge at Disney World.
Carly Caramanna
  • I spent $85 at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge in Hollywood Studios, and it was fantastic.
  • The old-Hollywood restaurant is known for its Cobb salad and grapefruit cake.
  • After visiting the parks for 3 decades and dining at hundreds of Disney spots, it's a favorite. 

The Hollywood Brown Derby is located at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

exterior shot of the hollywood brown derby at hollywood studios
The restaurant is fittingly in the Hollywood-themed park.
Carly Caramanna

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios is inspired by a famous restaurant of the same name in California that was open from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Disney's Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is an outdoor patio attached to the restaurant. There are only a handful of tables, but most offer some shade.

Unlike the more formal vibe inside, the lounge is casual without comprising attention to detail or service.

Unlike the restaurant, the lounge doesn't accept advanced dining reservations.

lounge seating for hollywood brown derby lounge disney world
The lounge only offers outdoor seating.
Carly Caramanna

Instead of making a reservation, you can check for available tables using the walk-up function in the My Disney Experience app while you're in the park.

On my visit, I arrived ahead of the lounge's 11 a.m. opening and was added to the walk-up list by the host.

The lounge has its own menu, but you can also order from the full menu inside.

menu for the hollywood brown derby disney world
The lounge has a slightly different menu.
Carly Caramanna

The lounge offers specialty small plates meant to be shared. Although some mainstays are always on the menu, like the famous Cobb salad, others rotate seasonally.

Lounge guests also have the opportunity to order from the full menu served inside, making it a great option if you're looking for a larger meal but aren't able to secure a reservation.

The lounge even has its own dedicated bar on the patio — which you can always visit for to-go beverages if you're not dining in. 

I started with one of the lounge's signature martinis.

grapefruit martini at hollywood brown derby lounge disney world
The restaurant offers a few flavored martinis.
Carly Caramanna

Brown Derby has an extensive beverage program, including signature flights and interesting Scotch and bourbon selections.

I ordered the restaurant's signature grapefruit-cake martini ($15). It's a twist on the restaurant's famous dessert, which was invented at the California Hollywood Brown Derby.

The martini combines ruby-red grapefruit vodka, vanilla vodka, and a splash of cream. There's usually a delicious graham-cracker-crust rim, but the lounge had been dealing with a bee issue, so it wasn't included on drinks served outside. 

The drink was absolutely delicious, booze forward, and not too sweet. It quickly became one of my favorite specialty cocktails in all of Disney World.

I knew I had to order the famous Cobb salad.

hollywood brown derby famou cobb salad disney world
The salad was coined at the original Brown Derby in California.
Carly Caramanna

The original Hollywood Brown Derby is probably most famous for coining the Cobb salad, named after owner Bob Cobb. 

Priced at $20, the full-sized salad features spit-roasted turkey, bacon, egg, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado, and a house-made dressing. My favorite elements were the fresh avocado, roasted turkey, and tangy dressing that balanced out the savory ingredients.

It's a filling meal in itself, and it's extremely flavorful. The salad is a must-get if you're looking for something satisfying that won't weigh you down at the parks.

Next, I ordered a lounge-exclusive appetizer

blt sliders at the hollywood brown derby lounge disney world
The lounge menu has a few exclusive items.
Carly Caramanna

I also tried the BLT Sliders ($18), which could only be ordered at the lounge. 

The plate comes with two sliders loaded with chipotle-glazed pork belly, pea shoots, tomato jam, and pickled red onions. I wasn't expecting it to be served with fresh kettle chips on the side, but they rounded out the dish.

The pork belly was the absolute highlight. The meat itself was flavorful and very tender, not at all fatty like pork belly can sometimes be.

I ended with the famous grapefruit cake

hollywood brown derby signature grapefruit cake disney world
The cake was light and not too sweet.
Carly Caramanna

I ended my meal with another signature item, the Brown Derby's famous grapefruit cake.

Priced at $13, the vanilla sponge cake is complemented by grapefruit syrup and cream-cheese icing.

This totally wowed me. I'm not a huge dessert person, especially not rich cakes, but this was somehow light with just the right touch of sweetness.

After dining at hundreds of Disney World restaurants, Brown Derby Lounge is one of my favorites.

exterior shot of the side of hollywood brown derby lounge disney world
I'll definitely be coming back to the lounge.
Carly Caramanna

My party of two left the lounge completely stuffed and impressed by the standout dining options. We ended up spending about $85 on our meal. 

The relaxing patio lounge has top-notch service and is the perfect spot to unwind and people-watch during a busy park day. It proved to be one of my favorite Disney World dining experiences

The cocktails were excellent, and I love that you can order small plates or entire entrées depending on how hungry you are. 

I think most of the other table-service restaurants at Hollywood Studios are just average, so this is a great option if you're looking for more inspired dishes without the hassle of securing a reservation.

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