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Kona Cafe Dining Review

Kona Cafe Dining Review

Home of the Tonga Toast, Kona Cafe gets a lot of love from Disney World fans. We just LOVE stopping at this spot for breakfast. Kona Cafe can be found on the second floor of the Polynesian Hotel right next to the famous Ohana (which we love). The restaurant is open air directly into the happenings of the lobby, so depending on what’s happening there it can be noisy. When we stopped in one evening we were surprised how quiet it remained in the restaurant despite everything else happening immediately outside. The atmosphere really doesn’t have anything too special about it other than getting to look in on one of my favorite Disney resort lobbies.

Kona Cafe Quick Breakdown

  • Service: Table-Service
  • Type of Food: Chicken, Seafood, Vegetarian-Friendly, Allergy Options
  • Price: $$
  • Location: Polynesian Resort
  • Disney Dining Plan: Yes, 1 Credit
  • Discounts: Annual Passholder, DVC
  • Features: Reservations, Alcohol
  • Good For: Casual Dining
  • Menu: Official Disney Dinner Menu

A Look Inside Kona Cafe

Located on the second floor of the Polynesian lobby, Kona’s interior features Polynesian-themed decor, including bamboo accents, thatched roofs, tiki torches, and vibrant island-inspired artwork. The color palette typically includes earthy tones, warm hues, and pops of tropical colors.

The seating arrangements are comfortable and spacious, with a mix of tables and chairs as well as booth seating. The layout is designed to accommodate both small and large parties, creating a friendly and inviting dining environment.

Kona Cafe Dinner Dishes

The following are a few of the dishes we have tried from their menu.

Crispy Pork-Vegetable Pot Sticker

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The crispy Pot Stickers are served as a plate of crisped-together golden-brown dumplings and topped with a Soy Velouté. The dish is completed with a sprinkling of chopped green onions and sesame seeds for added visual appeal. The pot stickers are filled with a flavorful mixture of minced crispy pork and finely chopped vegetables. The pork adds a savory richness, while the vegetables provide a balance of textures and fresh flavors.

Shrimp Tempura Roll

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The Shrimp Tempura roll typically features large, succulent shrimp that have been battered and deep-fried to golden perfection. The crispy shrimp tempura provides a satisfying crunch, while the creamy avocado and fresh vegetables balance the roll’s overall taste.

Surf and Turf Roll Along with the California Roll

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This roll is pictured in the center and comprised of Kona-spiced Filet, Lemon Ginger-poached Shrimp, Crab, Cucumber, Avocado, Sriracha, Yuzu Mayonnaise.

On either side of the Surf and Turf Roll is Kona’s California Roll with fresh real crab meat mixed with Yuzu mayonnaise, cucumber, and avocado.

The sushi at Kona Cafe came out super fresh, it was almost on par with the sushi we get over at the California Grill. I say almost because I think the crab chunks are bigger and well it’s just hard to let anyone else take over the spot that California Grill has in my heart.

Kona-braised Short Rib

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Braised Short Rib comes topped with a Kona Coffee-Mocha Sauce and crispy fried onions, served with sides of creamy mashed potatoes and broccolini. This dish is just the perfect warm-your-soul home cooking type feel. Our friends got us hooked on this dish and I am so happy because it’s a great meal, especially in the cooler months.

Mahi, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato

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Kona Mahi, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato is a delectable and harmonious dish that captures the essence of tropical flavors at its finest. This dish is a harmonious fusion of fresh Mahi-Mahi fish, crispy bacon, crisp lettuce, and succulent tomatoes, that offers a memorable dining experience that transports taste buds to the sunny shores of the Pacific.

Big Kahuna Burger

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This burger comes topped with sautéed Pastrami, Corned Beef, pepper jack cheese, Mustard Aïoli, and Tangy Cucumber, all sandwiched together with a Brioche bun and served with french fries. It was a messy one if you couldn’t already tell from the image above but a great budget option on the menu.

Lemon Grass-scented Airline Chicken Breast

Lemon Grass-scented Airline Chicken Breast at Kona Cafe

This is a look at the Lemon Grass-scented Airline Chicken Breast. The dish is served Asian-style chimichurri, creamy Jasmine Rice, and seasonal vegetables. My husband wasn’t a huge fan of this dish but I really enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because I love all this rice and cream?!  The chicken was nice and juicy, no overcooked dry meat here.

Dessert Options at Kona Cafe

Dessert Glasses

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Here is a look at your six different dessert shooter options at Kona. Starting in the front left is a Key Lime Curd and Blood Orange-Mango Jam piped between Passion Fruit Curd and topped with Passion Fruit Boba, Meringue, and a Chocolate Curl. Behind that is the S’more. It is a milk chocolate pot de crème, marshmallow cream, and graham cracker crust topped with toasted marshmallows. 

Now on to the middle front a Tiramisu. This slider is a mascarpone cream with a mocha crèmeux topped with fresh whipped cream, cocoa, and chocolate-covered coffee beans. In the back is a Coconut Tapioca. This comes with a Pineapple-Coconut Jam base topped with Fresh Fruit and Assorted Boba.

Pineapple Bread Pudding

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Yes! You can order the same Pineapple Bread pudding here that you can get at Ohana. This comes out as a generous serving of warm, soft bread pudding. Made from a combination of brioche bread and fresh pineapple chunks, the pudding creates a perfect balance of sweet and slightly tangy flavors. The bread soaks up a rich and creamy custard, infusing it with tropical goodness. To elevate the flavors further, don’t forget to generously drizzle it with a luscious pineapple caramel sauce.

Kona Cafe Breakfast Dishes

Tonga Toast

Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe

So just what is a Tonga Toast? It’s a banana-stuffed French Toast rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and served with a Strawberry Compote and your choice of Ham, Spiced Ham, Bacon, or Sausage! Kona Cafe is famous amongst Disney fans for this dish. This shot was taken before the wonders of the strawberry compote smothered it! SOOOO good this is something that every Disney fan should try. They even can make it allergy friendly : )

Macadamia Nut Pancakes

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Kona Macadamia Nut Pancakes are a delightful culinary creation that embodies the essence of the Hawaiian islands. These pancakes are a signature dish at Kona Cafe, combining the rich and buttery flavors of macadamia nuts with fluffy and indulgent pancakes, this breakfast treat promises a taste of paradise with every bite.

Ham and Cheese Omelet

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This hearty and flavorful omelet is a beloved favorite among diners, featuring a delicious combination of savory ham, gooey cheese, and fresh ingredients that create a memorable breakfast experience.

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate at Kona Cafe

Really fresh no complaints other than it wasn’t Tonga Toast. This fruit plate is filled with fresh seasonal fruit and homemade banana bread. In our case, we got kiwi, cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple, and strawberries.

Kona Cafe Recommendation

If you love the Polynesian Resort this is a great spot to stop in for a meal. Enjoy the lobby while munching away on some fresh food. While I didn’t love the options for dinner I do love that the food was fresh and healthy. If you have a vegetarian in the family this is an excellent choice as it has more than one option versus other dining spots that can just be limited to one menu item. The Kona Cafe can be easily accessed from the Magic Kingdom via resort monorail, walking path (though it will be a bit of a trek you have to walk all the way through the Grand Floridian), or a short boat ride. Also, it is a short walk from the ticket and transportation center.

It’s important to also mention if you haven’t yet experienced the wonder that is Tonga Toast be sure to add it to your Disney World bucket list.

If you are interested in booking a reservation for Kona Cafe you can do so through My Disney Experience.

Want more dining tips? Check out our Best Disney World Restaurants recommendations along with Worst Disney Dining Sit Down Restaurants. If you are visiting with young ones read our Best Places to Eat with Kids at Disney World.