There are three vegan options available for both lunch and dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Today we’re going to share our review of them. The menu has changed a few times over the past couple of years, with the vegan Salisbury Steak being replaced by a Mushroom Risotto after the parks reopened, and most recently, a new risotto dish. Read on for the latest updates:
Vegan Options at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Walt Disney World
The Hollywood Brown Derby is a full-service, signature dining restaurant located on Hollywood Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
When you step into the Brown Derby, you step into the “Golden Age” of Hollywood.
The walls are adorned with caricatures of famous faces, a tradition that began with the original restaurant from which Walt Disney World’s version was fashioned after.
Upon entering the dining room you are greeted with smartly dressed cast members serving guests seated at dark wood booths and tables with crisp white tablecloths.
The restaurant does not have an indoor lounge. It’s lounge area is outdoors along the front of the restaurant.
This is rather unfortunate as there are only a few months out of the year that it is comfortable enough to sit al fresco in Central Florida.
Here’s a look at the service bar located inside the Brown Derby.
The restaurant has an extensive list of wine and craft cocktails along with beer and non alcoholic beverages.
The Hollywood Brown Derby Vegan Options
The menu at The Hollywood Brown Derby recently underwent a change and a new option was added.
The restaurant boasts a vegan as-is appetizer, entree and dessert.
Your meal will start with Complementary Bread Service. The rolls here are vegan. You’ll just need to ask your server to bring you Earth Balance butter. Ours was kind enough to sprinkle on some of the special salt that is given to guests who opt for dairy butter.
The appetizer option was originally a Curried Butternut Squash Soup but that has not returned since the parks closure and reopening. Instead, we have a fresh Local Greens Strawberry Salad ($13)
This salad is a delight. A Champagne vinaigrette pairs with the spring greens, fresh strawberries, candied pistachios, and grated black ash cashew cheese.
The cashew cheese is very subtle and gives a nutty aftertaste. The use of an elevated plant-based cheese like this is always a plus in my book. The dressing and strawberries were delicious and the pistachios provided a lovely texture and crunch, adding to the nutty tones. I would definitely order this salad again.
The entree is the latest in the line which replaced the Vegetarian Pho served here for years, the Plant Based Chopped Steak, and most recently, the Mushroom Risotto. The newest entree is the Tomato Risotto ($29). The pricing has remained the same for the last few entree options, and is in line with this upscale table service dining spot in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This new Tomato Risotto is quite a unique dish and while it may not be for everyone, I was very excited by the flavors and combinations used for this whole food plant-based option.
The tomato risotto itself was a bit salty, but full of flavor. I was worried it would just taste like tomato sauce, and that could not be further from the truth. There are other flavors in play here and I wouldn’t discount it based on its name alone.
You also get an eggplant fritter with your risotto. This was a lovely addition, a little crispy disc with a smooth cumin and coriander-seasoned filling. You would probably find something like this at Spice Road Table or in Morocco in EPCOT. It was delicious.
The next parts of the entree are a little more unusual, but they actually work. First, we are given what is described as “pepper relish” but this is like no relish I’ve ever seen. What you have are big pieces of multi-colored peppers, with capers, onions, and some smaller, spicier peppers mixed in. Some parts can have a little kick to them but not overwhelmingly spicy. The flavor profile is more of a sweet, vinegary taste, with a few hits of heat in there. I actually really enjoyed it, and when you mix it together with the risotto it can cool some of the spice and make for a flavor-packed bite.
Lastly, there are some lightly dressed greens on top. I’m not sure but I think they are red streak mizuna, a kind of mustard green. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. 😀 These seemed a little out of place but actually tasted nice and were a good texture break from all the soft items. There was also one larger leaf mixed in as well.
Overall, this was a truly unique dish and I think something to be celebrated at Walt Disney World, when so many menu items don’t take the type of risks we see here. I genuinely enjoyed it and would order it again if I had friends who wanted to visit the Brown Derby.
For dessert you’ll want to order the Chocolate Coconut Cake ($12) which remains the vegan option.
The Chocolate Coconut Cake, which reads almost like a brownie, was previously plated with chocolate sauce, fresh raspberries, cocoa nibs and hazelnut cream. It is currently being served sans raspberries, with larger dollops of hazelnut cream, which almost tasted like peanut butter to us (but are definitely hazelnut).
We didn’t taste any coconut in the dish so we assume it features coconut milk as an ingredient and not coconut as a flavor.
On our recent visit, we found the cake a little dry, but it also tasted like it was just taken out of the fridge, so perhaps at a warmer temperature it would taste a little better. The additions make it worth ordering though, it’s so rare to find a vegan chocolate cake on property, I love to have that option when available!
Because this is a Disney Signature Dining location, it will take two table credits off of your Disney Dining Plan if and when that returns. Annual Passholder and DVC discounts are available here.
Here is our video review of the latest vegan additions at the Hollywood Brown Derby, be sure to like and subscribe!
For a list of all the vegan options available in the Disney’s Hollywood Stuidios theme park check out our comprehensive guide here: What’s Vegan in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?