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Finding good food at a theme park can be quite difficult. It can be hard to find a good restaurant in a great location at a theme park. When you do find it, too, it can be hard to get a reservation if it’s a sit-down restaurant. And if it isn’t a sit-down restaurant, you can stand in line for a long time and you can struggle to find a table.
But every now and then, you find that hidden gem. One with good food, reasonable lines, and near attractions you want to visit. It’s rare, but this can happen.
And this did happen for my family at SeaWorld. I want to tell you about it – but maybe let’s not spread the news too much, right, so it can stay a hidden gem? Well, even if you do, I still want to tell you about it because it was a great experience. And I had this at Panini Shore Cafe.
Panini Shore Cafe
Panini Shore Cafe has a great location. It is right by the gift shop Fins Gift.
It is near the Mako roller coaster. And it is across from the shark attractions. This is a great location for my family because we love Shark Encounter.
We love walking through one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels and seeing all the amazing sharks and fish. It is a must-do for us every time we visit SeaWorld.
But since Panini Shore Cafe is essentially just a food stand, it’s not super apparent it’s there. We walked right by it multiple times before we realized it was there. Which is why the lines are rarely super long (especially compared to, say, Expedition Cafe or Altitude Burger).
There is seating available for Panini Shore Cafe. But that also is not apparent as you walk through SeaWorld.
But the seating is actually one of the best parts of Panini Shore Cafe. The seating is right behind Fins Gifts. There are multiple tables with chairs with backs. Which is sort of a must for me because my back hurts after a day at a theme park.
A lot of the tables are covered and there are fans going. This is amazing because obviously, it can get very hot in Orlando. But this allows you to sit there comfortably even during hot days.
You can also get amazing views of the lake. Especially if you sit at the tables closest to the water.
Though I have loved my views even when I sit farther back in the shaded area. It’s so beautiful to enjoy the water. And you might even see someone on one of the Flamingo Paddle Boats, which is always neat.
They also play a wonderful mix of music. This helps adds to the happy, positive atmosphere this area has.
The only negative of course is that if it is raining, you’re not going to want to sit here. But if it’s nice, it’s a really wonderful setup.
How to Order Food
So Panini Shore Cafe is a quick-service restaurant. So you’ll walk up to the booth, order your food, and then take it back to your seat.
But you can also do mobile ordering on your phone via the SeaWorld app. If you have an annual pass, you can enter in your annual pass number to take advantage of the discount (discounts on foods is one of many perks of having a SeaWorld annual pass. You can find out all the benefits here).
But since the line was short, we just went up to the booth to order our food.
Another perk of this restaurant is that you can purchase a refillable mug here.
I love the refillable mug system at SeaWorld. You can buy a mug and then get refills all day. We went ahead and bought refillable mugs during lunch. But if I had bought a refillable mug earlier in the day, I could have also had my mug refilled when I got my lunch.
Panini Shore Cafe Menu
But the refillable mug is obviously not the only thing you can order at Panini Shore Cafe. You can also order, well, paninis.
And they have a great variety of paninis:
- Turkey Panini
- Shaved Roasted Turkey Breast with Swiss Cheese, Mayo & Lettuce on Ciabatta
- Cuban Sandwich
- Pulled Mojo Roast Pork with Ham, Swiss Cheese, Yellow Mustard, and Pickles on a Sweet Roll
- Caprese Panini
- Fresh Mozzarella Layered with Mixed Greens, Tomato, and Aged Balsamic
- Chicken Pesto Panini
- Grilled Chicken Breast with Provolone Cheese, Pesto Aioli & Arugula on Ciabatta
As for your drinks, you can get assorted Coca-Cola products, water, seltzers, wine, and domestic bottled beer. So good options for both kids and us adults.
But back to the paninis. They all smell amazing, first of all. If you weren’t already hungry, you are going to be even hungry once you get your order. Which is good since you’ll have the paninis to eat!
So let me talk about some of our favorite paninis.
First of all, the Caprese Panini is amazing.
It was honestly one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. The blend between the greens, the tomatoes, and the mozzarella was great and the aged balsamic just was the perfect compliment to the sandwich. It almost tasted like the perfect blend between a really good pizza and a really good sandwich.
Another great panini is the Cuban Panini.
The pork was really good, and the pickles really added. The only negative of their Cuban Panini? We had just had Cuban Paninis at the pool bar at Four Points by Sheraton Orlando International Drive by Universal Orlando earlier in the week. Theirs was even better. But had we not had that Panini first, we would be raving even more about this panini.
I also really loved the Chicken Pesto Panini.
The chicken and pesto were a perfect blend together.
Overall, I really liked the menu and the different panini options. It was different than most theme park restaurants and a bit more adult, which can be nice. Especially if say you are spending a week in Orlando and want to shake up what you’ve been eating. The paninis were also really good.
Additionally, eating here was cheaper than at a sit-down restaurant like Shark’s Underwater Grill & Bar. The lines aren’t as long as other quick-service restaurants like Expedition Cafe and Altitude Burger. The atmosphere and water views are great, and they even have a covered section over tables with chairs and backs and fans going to make it as comfortable as possible.
So if you are spending a day at SeaWorld Orlando, my family highly recommends Panini Shore Cafe.
Now, you’ll need a ticket to SeaWorld of course to go the restaurant. You can find some amazing prices for SeaWorld tickets by clicking here.