If you ask my wife what my favorite meal of the day is, I doubt she would have any trouble with the answer: I am a full-fledged breakfast food fanatic. Thus, it would stand to reason that when vacationing at Walt Disney World, I make sure a few early morning meals find their way into our dining reservations (Disney: if you are listening, I would love a 24/7 breakfast restaurant somewhere on property please).
On our most recent Disney Vacation Club trip to Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, we decided to revisit a personal favorite breakfast spot, Kona Cafe. I dubbed this one of my favorite breakfast restaurants on property when visiting for the first time back in January 2018. Therefore, I was excited to see if it continued to hold up to these lofty expectations.
One of my takeaways from our first trip to Kona Cafe was the fact that it immediately made you feel like you were back home at your favorite casual restaurant or diner for breakfast (Bob Evans, IHOP, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, etc.).
This trip reinforced that feeling with their friendly wait staff quickly getting the meal started with coffee and juice upon our arrival. Being early in the morning, I greatly appreciate a waiter or waitress that understands that I’ve likely not had coffee yet and just want to enjoy my meal with my wife quietly without much chit chat.
Our service throughout the meal was wonderful with no issues to be found outside of a small food issue that was quickly resolved that we will discuss a little more later. If I needed to find any negative, it would be that the meal felt slightly rushed. I attribute this more to the style of breakfast restaurant Kona Cafe is trying to be more than the service itself. Like a diner or fast casual restaurant, their goal is to get you good food at a reasonable price and quickly. For that reason, I can’t justify dinging them too much on this point, but figured it was worth mentioning.
A breakfast for me doesn’t start without coffee so I opted for the Freshly Brewed Joffrey’s Coffee™ Hawaiian Kona Maragogype Press Pot. I view this as one of the best coffees on Disney property and have no trouble making quick work of this 2-person serving. A quick tip that I picked up from Pete Werner is that you can ask for a pound of this coffee to take with you and through a current loophole, get your 10% DVC Dining Discount applied to this item on your bill. If buying it elsewhere, be sure to not confuse this coffee with the Joffrey’s “Kona Blend” which is different and only utilized as their drip brew coffee at the restaurant.
My wife, Amy, who is not a coffee drinker, elected to go with a fresh glass of pineapple juice. For those who are fans of the Liliko’i Juice which is served at various restaurants across property, this is available as well.
For my meal, I elected to go with a modified version of the Polynesian Egg Platter with egg-whites, fresh fruit, bacon, and a Bakery-fresh Mickey Muffin. This was mainly because I had hit my mid-trip food coma and felt the need for something on the lighter side. Perhaps the kitchen confused this with their two egg breakfast option, but I looked like a sad puppy as my plate arrived to the table with a small biscuit in the place of the muffin. This was one of the most memorable menu items from my prior trip and largely the reason I elected this meal instead of a sweeter pancake or french toast option. Upon investigating a few other plates at surrounding tables, we inquired about the muffin and were told it was a mistake. Since we were close to finishing at this point, our server brought me a muffin to take with us that I enjoyed with more coffee on the balcony later that morning. The remainder of the meal was cooked well with the eggs cooked nicely, fruit light and refreshing, and the bacon slightly on the crispy side which is how I prefer it.
Amy chose the Ham and Cheese Omelet with Home-fried Potatoes as her breakfast with a side of toast. When I initially asked her how it was, her answer was “it’s averagely good”. In my mind I’m not sure what a ham and cheese omelet would have to do to blow my socks off, so I take this as a positive. She later noted that overall it was hot, fresh, and very cheesy. Sometimes food can come out of a kitchen with the sense that it sat for a while before being delivered. For someone like Amy who appreciates piping hot fresh food, Kona delivered a slam dunk. The omelet did come without any noticeable flavors, herbs, or seasonings apparent, making the addition of some salt and pepper a must. The star of the this show, however, were the Home-fried Potatoes. These wedges are crispy gifts from the heavens, skin-on, and seasoned beautifully. Give me a plate of these with a little ketchup and I’d be happy for days.
The beauty of Kona Cafe is the fact that it is overshadowed by its big brother, ‘Ohana, next door and thus often overlooked by many wanting a sit-down breakfast at Walt Disney World. For this reason, the restaurant is often a quiet escape, especially early in the morning and is rarely what I would call crowded or busy. In fact, this reservation was a last minute decision one morning by Amy and I that we secured a half hour prior to arriving for breakfast. I took some flack over on the DVC Fan Facebook Page for drawing attention to this previously and likely will again, but no good secret lasts forever. Kona Cafe is an excellent calm escape before hitting another day in the parks or a wonderful way to start off a relaxing rest day.
Overall, if I had to grade Kona Cafe, it would receive a solid B+. There is nothing particularly special with what they are doing here, however, the experience is one that is consistent for me. I know that I am going to walk in to wonderful service, good food, and a relaxing dining atmosphere.
Share your stories or experiences at Kona Cafe in the comments below, and if you have yet to visit be sure to schedule a breakfast during your next DVC trip!