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Restaurant Review: Columbia Harbour House.

Columbia Harbour House, located in Liberty Square, has been a Magic Kingdom staple almost since the park opened. Back then, its signature item was a baked potato, but today you’ll find mostly seafood items on the menu at this deservedly popular quick-service location.  For non-seafood lovers, you can still get chicken nuggets and fries, but you won’t find any burgers on the menu.
The most popular item on the menu is the fried fish basket that comes with a side of fries and broccoli.  If you prefer, skip the same fries you’ll find all over property–they’re not that great–and add apple slices instead.  The fried fish is very good, with nice white pieces that have a mild taste. The batter is crispy and not greasy. You’ll find better fried fish at the Rose and Crown Pub, but if you have a craving for fish and chips in the Magic Kingdom, this will hit the spot.  The only downside is the sour-tasting tartar sauce, which is so bad, I sat there wishing I’d brought a bottle of my own from home!  Try the malt vinegar instead.
On a colder day, you can round out your meal with the popular New England Clam Chowder. It’s not something that really stands out on the menu, but this thick, tasty soup is a bargain at $4.69. For something lighter, the vegetarian chili is a great choice at $4.49. 

Lobster Roll.
At $9.99, the lobster roll is filling if not quite authentic. New Englanders will probably want to pass, but for everyone else, it’s a fun change of pace from burgers and nuggets.


Anchors Aweigh Tuna Fish Sandwich
I’ve had the tuna fish sandwich many times and it’s consistently good, made with white tuna and dressed with mayonnaise on a multi grain bread for $8.99. It comes with lettuce and tomatoes and chips. 
You might not expect it, but in addition to the vegetarian chili, Columbia Harbour House knows how to treat vegetarians. In fact, the Light House sandwich with hummus, tomato and broccoli slaw on a toasted multi-grain bread is one of the best vegetarian options in the Magic Kingdom, so if you’re looking for something beyond the standard, pallid and uninspired veggie burger that’s not loaded with cheese, this is a nice option. 

If the downstairs is crowded, try the more sedate upstairs seating.  It’s a great place to unwind before you head back outside for more adventure. 

Columbia Harbour House is a nice change of pace in the Magic Kingdom. It’s never as frenetic as some quick-service locations, with a more grown-up New England decor and a menu that promises–and delivers–something different. If you like seafood, give it a try.

Tip: The smell of seafood, which you would expect to be present in any seafood restaurant, can be strong in this restaurant and may bother some children (and adults) with sensory issues.  Pass if you think it will bother someone in your group.

Thanks to Bob and Donna Angelo for these photos.



7 Comments

  1. Ive always wanted to try columbia house, but for some reason, I never find myself in that part of the park when hungry, I always seem to be waaaay over the otherside, or end up at cosmic rays AGAIN!

  2. I keep wanting to stop there but my husband does not like seafood. Mabye the vegetarian option will sway him. Thanks for the review.

  3. The lighthouse sandwich is one of my favorites. Its nice when you have more than one vegetarian option too. :)

  4. Brandon Bernard

    December 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I loved the fish and chicken combo they used to have. The fish is still great and the view of the Haunted Mansion upstairs is great.

  5. The Shrimp are really great and they give you lots of them. The Columbia Harbour House is at the top of our list for places to eat at Magic Kingdom. I think along with Flame Tree Bar-B-que in Animal Kingdom, it is the best place for a Counter Service Meal at WDW.

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone.

    Chris

  7. This is my favorite counter service at the Magic Kingdom. It’s usually less crowded than some of the others (Cosmic Ray’s is always a zoo.) Also, the Anchor’s Aweigh Sandwich is perfect if you don’t want a heavy meal on a hot day.

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