Kona Cafe is a restaurant at the Polynesian Village Resort that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is located on the upper level and overlooks the lobby's resident Tiki-man, one of my favorite Walt Disney World icons.
Besides the food, the best things about Kona Cafe is that because the Polynesian is on the monorail line and the exit out to board the monorail is right next to the restaurant, it is a very good early breakfast option for a Magic Kingdom or Epcot day. The restaurant usually opens at 7:30 AM, so if you can manage to get an early reservation, you could potentially eat and still make it to Magic Kingdom in time for a 9 AM opening. On the reverse side, you could start your day rope-droping Magic Kingdom then make it to Kona in time for a late breakfast, which is served until 11:15 AM.
Kona's menu consists of a good balance between island-inspired dishes and traditional breakfast fare, so you're likely to find an appealing option regardless of how adventurous you're feeling. The entrees are reasonably priced (for Walt Disney World...), with a range between $10 for a fruit plate and $16 for smoked salmon. Most of the entrees also come with a side of meat or home fried potatoes.
We had a late morning reservation for Kona the first day of our honeymoon, and it was our first time eating there for any meal. I think we were both glad we were having breakfast, because it was probably one of the best breakfasts either of us have had. We stayed at the Polynesian for the first half of our week-long honeymoon, so it was a short trip from our room to the restaurant and then down to the pool to lounge off our meal (that's a thing, right?).
Ken got the Tonga Toast, which is priced at $15 and is Kona Cafe's signature item. He described it as incredibly rich and filling. It came with a choice of meat--he opted for the grilled ham. The bananas inside the french toast were a great edition, and he also really liked the taste of the strawberry compote, although he scraped off some because he found it to be a little overpowering. How a person could reject any amount of strawberry compote, I don't know, so for a moment I had to ponder who I had married. But I forgave him. We recommend ordering it on the side so you can apply the appropriate amount yourself (which is all of it).
Ken also ordered Kona's Hawaiian coffee blend, which he said was some of the best coffee he's ever had. I resent coffee and all things it represents (Being wide awake? Who needs that?!), so I'll have to take his word for it. Just kidding. I just don't like it.
I also wanted the famed Tonga Toast, but it doesn't come in a gluten-free version, and my intestines decided several years ago that gluten is evil instead of delicious, and it demands that I listen or suffer the consequences. So instead, I got the gluten free Mickey waffles and asked for the strawberry compote and cinnamon sugar that comes with the Tonga Toast, along with a side of sausage links. I was charged the $15 for Tonga Toast with this combination--I didn't record it, but I believe the gluten free waffles were very similarly priced anyway. The waffles were FANTASTIC. Gluten free Mickey waffles are just as good as I remember the real things being. In the past when I've ordered gluten free waffles at Crystal Palace, I've received run-of-the-mill frozen waffles, but both Kona Cafe and Crystal Palace gave me these beauties this trip, so hopefully Disney has stopped the frozen gluten free waffle madness. Other gluten free options at Kona included pancakes, omelets, and even a version of an eggs Benedict.
The strawberry compote and cinnamon sugar was a wise choice--it made a delicious but un-exciting meal special and Kona Cafe-specific. I could probably drink that strawberry compote by itself...
We also got a glass of POG (Passion fruit, Orange, Guava) juice to share, which Kona calls Liliko'i juice (POG is cooler). It definitely lived up to its cult-following. I'm a big fan of fruit juices anyways, though, so I may be biased.
We were both wonderfully full after our meals, and felt our $40 check was well worth the quality of our food and the amount of satisfaction we felt.
If you're looking for an early breakfast before a Magic Kingdom or Epcot day, the monorail makes this a great choice. And if you're just looking for something delicious to eat in the morning, we still think Kona Cafe is a great choice. With great food, location, and atmosphere, it's hard to beat!
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