There’s a new kid on the block in Disney Springs West Side at Walt Disney World and that kid is Jaleo (pronounced Huh-LAY-oh) by celebrity chef José Andrés. We’ve been wondering about the vegan options here since the restaurant opening was announced.
Vegan Disney Food Review: Jaleo by Jose Andres in Disney Springs
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a private opening celebration at the newest restaurant to grace the Walt Disney World Resort. During the event, I sampled tasting portions of a few of the vegan options that will be available at Jaleo as well as several of their craft cocktails.
There’s one word that perfectly describes Jaleo and that word is VIBRANT!
Jaleo Restaurant Atmosphere
Bright colors adorn the walls and fabrics. Rich reds, yellows and oranges are used in lighting fixtures and hexagonal tiles.
Guests can dine both indoors and out at tables, booths, bars and yes, even at a foosball table.
The restaurant is massive and spans two enormous floors.
My go-to for sophisticated cocktails at Walt Disney World has been the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, however Jaleo gives the Cali Grill Lounge a run for the money in the adult beverage department.
My favorite cocktail of the night was the Table Talk ($16) made with Patxaran, dry vermouth, rye whiskey and aquavit. The cocktail gets a spritz of lavender after being mixed.
I also loved the Mediterranean ($15) made of Gin Mare, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, lemon, lime and thyme.
The restaurant is also serving up Sangria by the glass, half carafe, carafe and pitcher. The pitchers are prepared table side and are made with spiced wine, gin, brandy and citrus.
Jaleo Disney Springs Vegan Food Options
At Jaleo, sangria, plates of tapas and savory paellas are designed to be shared.
I sampled four vegan options during the opening celebration. Keep in mind this was a special event so these are tasting portions and not exactly the same size as what guests will be presented with when ordering.
First up are Chef José’s famous “liquid olives” which are served as part of the Aceitunas Modernas y Clasicas ($12) which offers guests Ferran Adria liquid olives on individual serving spoons. You’ll need to modify this dish when ordering and ask to sub additional liquid olives for the piquillo pepper and anchovy stuffed gordal olives.
This is a feat of molecular gastronomy whereby olive juice is made to look solid in a spherification process using alginate, calcium chloride and xanathan gum. The liquid olive pops in your mouth like a boba ball.
Another passed plate contained skewers of watermelon with tomatoes and balsamic. I don’t see any mention of these on the official menu.
We also enjoyed Pan de Cristal de Tomate ($12) which is described as toasted slices of uniquely crispy and ethereal bread brushed with fresh tomato. It’s the Spanish version of bruschetta.
Paella is the signature dish at Jaleo and each night the restaurant is serving up two of its six paella recipes by both the plate and the pan, which will serve eight guests.
This is the Arros de Verduras y Setas Silvestres ($25) which translates to a traditional paella of seasonal vegetables and mushrooms. This is now available upon request – you can read our Vegan Paella at Jaleo review here.
For dessert we were able to enjoy Sorbetes ($9) which reminded me of the raspberry Dole Whip being served at Aloha Aisle in the Magic Kingdom.
Keep in mind that everything I’ve shown you so far are tasting portions for the event. Full sized portion prices are quoted for your reference.
Chef José Andrés was on hand to kick off the opening of his fifth Jaleo location. He took to the grand staircase and said, “I am so excited to be bringing Jaleo to Disney Springs to share the spirit and flavor of my beloved Spain with people from around the world…Here’s to tonight and many, many more to come at Jaleo. ¡Salud!”
Fair warning that when dining here there are table side meat carving stations being rolled around during dinner service.
Update: One of our partners found another vegan option at Jaleo. It’s called Empadrat De Mongetes and you can read more about it here: Jaleo Vegan Catalan Bean Salad in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World
You can also read our updated review of the Vegan Paella at Jaleo and Other Vegan Options:
Looking for more vegan options in Disney Springs? Check out our comprehensive guide: What’s Vegan in Disney Springs?