Disney Dining Review: Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Ever dreamed of having a fresh, mouth-watering farm-house brunch? Well, you don’t have to look very far– just over the fence of Walt Disney World Resort!
Disney Springs (the shopping center inside Walt Disney World Resort) has a hidden gem of a restaurant– Chef Art’s Homecomin’. It brings fresh ingredients from the farms of Florida straight to your table, drizzled with flavors from Chef Art’s own kitchen
And did I mention they have the most wonderful moonshine bar?
For guests who can legally drink, the cocktails are a must-try. They taste simply heavenly– especially the Signature Craft Moonshine Cocktail. For the rest of you, drinking is bad. Don’t drink kids.
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Chef Art’s Homecomin’ gives you comfort food, with an unexpectedly delicious twist. It is inspired by the cuisine of the Southern USA and yes, I’m talking about short rib hash, fried chicken, homemade doughnuts, and open-faced biscuits.
My mouth’s watering already!
So, without wasting another minute, let’ jump into this ultimate guide of the best restaurant (at least, one of them) at Disney Springs!
Mimosa, fried chicken, and doughnuts, anyone?
What is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs?
Based on its description, Chef Art’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs is based on a “farm-to-fork” philosophy. That means fresh ingredients ONLY.
The entire cuisine is based on Florida’s agriculture (and is sourced mainly from there too). Chef Art wanted to highlight local ingredients and celebrate the Floridian food culture.
But don’t think for a second that you will be bored by traditional dishes. Chef Art brings his own eccentric and beloved modern flavors to the table. Trust me, your tongue will never have tasted something so uniquely yummy.
By now you must be thinking ‘Oh that all sounds amazing. But who exactly is this Chef Art you keep talking about?’.
Well, Chef Art is a celebrity chef. He has won the James Beard Foundation award twice, been featured in the Today Show, participated in the Top Chef Masters competition, and for ten years was the personal chef to (wait for it), Oprah Winfrey herself!
No, I am not messing with your head. He is one of the big fish.
The Homecomin’ at Disney Springs takes you to his hometown– a little town in Hamilton County called Jasper. The recipes are inspired by his mother’s cooking which included a lot of local ingredients.
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What to Expect at Homecomin’ at Disney Springs?
Expect the unexpected. This old saying works well for Chef Art’s Homecomin’. Let me give you an example: Suppose you order the fried chicken off the menu.
You can expect a crunchy, chewy, and maybe a really good sauce accompanying it.
But what you probably don’t know is that fried chicken is Chef Art’s specialty. You will be tasting tender chicken that melts in your mouth after the first citrusy crunch.
Your mind will be well and thoroughly blown.
Let’s move on to the ambiance.
The restaurant is a cross between a country club in Charleston and a tavern from New Orleans.
It is made almost entirely of wood and glass– with an indoor and outdoor seating area. The kitchen area is separated from the dining area by a wall of glass so you can see the chefs in action.
The tables are made of rough-hewn wood with uneven edges and the wooden chandeliers are truly beautiful. It somehow looks classy and homey all at the same time.
From the time you enter to the time you leave, you will only see the happy, satisfied face of people slowly eating their way to a food coma. The atmosphere (especially around the bar) is very jovial and friendly.
Solo ThemeParkHipsters can expect to make friends here and with the right amount of moonshine, maybe more.
The Menu at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Homecomin’ at Disney Springs brings together authentic southern flavors with a modern twist at three different meal times– brunch, lunch, and dinner.
You can view the brunch menu here. However, these are the ThemeParkHipster recommendations:
As far as individual items go, you cannot do better than the pecan-smoked bacon. It is utterly decadent. It pairs especially well with over-easy eggs.
If you are looking for a main, however, I would go with the Thigh High Chicken and Biscuit. It combines the traditional southern open-face biscuit with Chef Art’s world-renowned fried chicken.
You can view the lunch menu here. However, these are the Theme Park Hipster recommendations:
If I had to pick only one item to eat on the lunch menu, it would be the chicken biscuits. They are more than food. They are an experience– a savory biscuit with the famous fried chicken, butter pickles and drizzled with hot honey. *Chef’s kiss*.
As for the main course, the Fried Chicken and Doughnuts would be my pick. The chicken itself is crumbed and cooked to perfection. What more can a girl as for?
You can view the dinner menu here. However, these are the Theme Park Hipster recommendations:
Remember when I told you that most of the recipes are based on Chef Art’s mother? Well, her special dumpling soup is actually on the menu for you to try!
It’s named after her– Addie Mae’s Chicken and Dumpling Soup. And if reviews are to be believed, it tastes even better than Chef Art’s food! (Well, almost..)
And before you go, try the Deviled Eggs too. I promise you will not regret it.
For dessert, you absolutely MUST try the fresh homemade doughnuts! I can bet you will never buy a doughnut from 7/11 again after that religious experience.
Does Homecomin’ at Disney Springs Have a Happy Hour?
Unfortunately, the Southern Shine Bar does not have a happy hour. There are, however, a whole host of other bars that do. House of Blues has an especially sweet deal with $2 beers, $5 wines, and $6 margaritas. Who can say no?
And let’s be honest, the Southern Shine Bar is not a place to get plastered. It’s a place to get fuzzy and relaxed while enjoying a home-cooked meal.
You can hit Chef Art’s Homecomin’ for dinner and a glass of moonshine. Then you can set out and paint Disney Springs red!
(Or crawl back to your hotel room with a full tummy and have the best night’s sleep ever. We don’t judge.)
How to Get Reservations at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’?
If you’re like me, you would want to plan your entire stay out down to the last detail. Luckily for people like us, Disney allows us to make dining reservations up to 60 days before we get there.
But don’t worry, you can still make a reservation during your stay. You have to be smart about it though *wink*.
What to Know Before You Go
Let’s go over a few things you need to know before your visit.
Is Chef Art’s Homecomin’ on the dining plan?
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When is the brunch at Chef Art’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs?
The special brunch at Homecomin’ in Disney Springs takes place only on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
After 11:00 a.m., you can order anything off the lunch and dinner menus as well. So, make sure you make reservations!
Is Disney Springs free to enter?
Yes, Disney Springs is completely free to enter since it’s basically a huge outdoor mall.
However, you should keep in mind that every service/restaurant/activity you do there will charge a premium AKA will be high-priced. So it kind of makes up for the lack of an entry fee.
Hipster Power Tip: There’s free parking! (And it’s out of reach of the Floridian sun too!)
And there we have it!
Now you know everything there is to know about this wonderful southern restaurant at Disney Springs. How’s that farm-fresh brunch sounding now?
Remember, DON’T miss out on the fried chicken and the doughnuts. You will regret it if you do. Personally, I think I’m going to give this Homecomin’ at Disney Springs a Chef’s Kiss.
Final Score for Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs
- Ambiance: 8
- Food: 10
- Prices: 7.5
- Drinks: 9
- Service: 10
I give this restaurant a 8.9 out of 10 on the ThemeParkHipster dining scale and I know you will definitely enjoy it too!
What about you? Will you visit Chef Art’s Homecomin’? (if you do, please send me pictures or post them down below so I can live through you).
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!