Theme park food, you either love it or you hate it. But how do Efteling’s food offerings measure up against other theme parks? Let us take a look at some Efteling food; if you’re not hungry, you will be soon! In this post I am focussing only on counter service meals, maybe another day we can talk about the restaurants.
Burger, fries and a drink. Maybe a hotdog instead of the burger. That’s probably what comes to mind when you think of theme park food, but that’s not always the case. Over the years, the food available at Efteling has changed drastically, in my opinion, for the better. Back in the 90s, if you turned up at a counter service restaurant in the park, you would be greeted with something like this:
Of course, you could be easily fooled into believing that the image above is from any regular fast food place (just look at those perfectly formed burgers!) but it is actually from the Likkebaerd, which stood where you will now find Station de Oost. In comparison to what looks like a very limited menu here, Station de Oost sells items such as Turkish Pizza, Doner Kebab, Salads, Soups, Baguettes, Fruit, Chips, Yoghurts, Cakes, wall food and more! A massive improvement in choice, and the whole building itself is in fact a huge upgrade compared to the Likkebaerd.
So in this case, many burger meals were swapped for many different choices and a beautiful building with lots of seating. Where else provides good choices, with healthy options?
Definitely Fabula World Kitchen! How many theme parks can offer you a Norwegian salmon baguette, a grilled soy paprika burger with kimchi, or giant couscous with cod fillet and grilled vegetables?! That’s without even mentioning the korma curry, the chicken with ratatouille or the salmon burger. The kids aren’t excluded from these amazing choices either. Far from shoving a few chicken nuggets in a box with some fries, the Fabula World Kitchen offers choices of chicken burger with sweet potato chips, small vegan pasta or small wrap with sweet potato chips, all of which come with juice or water, and fruit salad or vegetables, and you get a free plate to take home too! Click here for a look
This counter service restaurant is located not far from the park entrance, and is also accessible from the exit of Fabula. It is marketed as ‘Burgers, Mealboxes, Salads’ and you can order via interactive screens inside the restaurant if you wish to do so. Also located in this building is the Savannebar which of course serves drinks, as well as some cakes. The drinks range from basic Coca Cola to Pineapple and Mango Yoghurt Smoothie, and from coffee to Chocofabunaan (hot chocolate and banana, I highly recommend this one!).
As I’ve already mentioned kids meals, I have to briefly look back in happy nostalgia and slight horror at the 90s food offerings for kids. Nostalgia for the nice presentation and horror for the food (I’m laughing on the inside). Check these out:
Nineties fast food at it’s smiley-faced best, complete with toy and amazing take-out boxes, what child in their right mind could resist these beauties?! In fact, the first box won an award for design! I’m not ashamed to say that I still own my Kijkdoos box, it was just too pretty to throw in the trash. As well as the little Pardoes keyring which came with it. Of course, Efteling do still sell kids boxes, most recently being the Symbolica box that comes with a toy twinkle torch, and they’ve marginally improved it by adding a fruity dessert and a carton of juice or bottle of water.
Alternatively, I did come across a small meal designed for kids, a cold food option, at Het Witte Paard, although it was hidden amongst all of the other sandwiches. It includes a small sandwich, a piece of fruit, a small pastry and a slice of cucumber with a tomato. Perfect for the little people, or anyone who doesn’t like to eat much.
Without going into detail on every eating place in the park, some honourable mentions for ‘better than theme park food’ food also go to:
De Vrolijke Noot – Just inside the entrance, completely focused on healthy food and drink,
Toko Pagode – Thai style takeaway food,
Den Gulden Gaarde – Healthy soups, smoothies, fruit cups and baguettes,
De Meermin – Fish and chips, herrings, lots of ice cream,
Panorama Self Service – Soups, stews, sandwiches and salads, lots of sweet treats.
And so many more things that I either don’t know about or have forgotten to mention, but really, it’s all good food, and more importantly it is also at a good price!