Din Tai Fung, one of the world’s most recognizable Taiwanese restaurants, is coming to feed the Disney crowds. The global brand will open at the busy Downtown Disney retail and restaurant district in Orange County, adjacent from the Disneyland park itself, as part of a major revamp effort there.
Most folks will know Din Tai Fung for its famous xiao long bao soup dumplings, pleated and steamed at each location by a cadre of kitchen workers who can be seen through tall windows that look in from the dining room. The restaurant’s broad menu also includes Taiwanese staples like beef noodle soup, starter cold salads and vegetables, steamed buns, noodles, and more. Each new Din Tai Fung location somehow manages to be fantastically busy at all hours of the day — a feat that has even inspired its own local memes — and the Downtown Disney location will likely be no exception. The group first launched in the United States via the San Gabriel Valley, and now counts restaurant locations across Southern California, including a separate Orange County outlet in Costa Mesa.
Disney announced the inbound arrival of Din Tai Fung on its own parks blog, as part of a larger announcement that also included several other restaurants. Michelin-level Chicago chef Carlos Gaytán (Tzuco, Mexique) will open a large new project at the property called Paseo and Centrico, taking over for Patina Group’s Catal & Uva Bar. Expect a large courtyard with its own bar in addition to the dining room. Jazz Kitchen, the New Orleans-styled restaurant at Downtown Disney, will also undergo a rebrand and refresh while keeping its name and menu by chef Ralph Brennan. The mega-corporation did not announce an opening date for the new projects.
The new Downtown Disney news is part of a wave of updates to the Anaheim property, and comes as the park and its corporate overlords look to move past the previous two pandemic years. During that time, the park was closed for its longest stretch ever, but now ticket prices and returning park-goers have rebounded strongly. That means more money coming into Downtown Disney and more changes as a result.