Downtown Disney District in Anaheim is not just the gateway to Disneyland and California Adventure. It has always been focused on a variety of shopping and dining experiences, including formal sit-down spots like Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and Catal, and more casual dining such as Tortilla Joe’s and La Brea Bakery.
Ever changing and evolving, Disney has announced several new restaurants and revamps of existing locations coming to the resort.
Din Tai Fung, the world-renowned Asian restaurant that originated in Taiwan and specializes in soup dumplings, will join the district with its authentic cuisine. It’ll be the restaurant’s second Orange County location, along with a spot at South Coast Plaza.
Porto’s Bakery and Café, an iconic Southern California destination known for its sweet pastries and desserts, as well as California-Cuban-inspired dishes, will also be coming to the Downtown Disney District.
Michelin-starred Chef Carlos Gaytan will bring his vision of Mexican cuisine to Paseo and Centrico in the locations currently occupied by Catal and Uva Bar, brought to life by Patina Restaurant Group.
In addition, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is scheduled to have a remodel of the restaurant space plus a menu refresh.
As a longtime Disney passholder, I have strolled often through Downtown Disney, occasionally dining at Catal or Jazz Kitchen, but more often than not I enjoy the themed options inside Disneyland and California Adventure.
That’s why it took me three years to finally check out Black Tap, which opened in Downtown Disney in 2019.
According to their marketing material, Black Tap is the new take on a classic burger joint with a downtown New York vibe—not surprising since Black Tap has three restaurants in New York, along with a location in Las Vegas and several in the Middle East.
The menu offers signature burgers like the All-American, The Falafel Burger, and the fan-favorite Wagyu Steakhouse Burger, along with chicken sandwiches, salads, wings, and snacks and sides.
Black Tap’s burgers have won numerous awards and are five-time winners at the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash competition.
Black Tap may be best known for their over-the-top CrazyShake milkshakes.
Black Tap Manager Daniel Lopez says a fair amount of training is required for the milkshakes alone.
“It takes three to five days because they are elaborate,” he said. “Some pick it up well. The hardest part is the whipped cream and making it stand up for a while. We have people who are dedicated to making these shakes, they help us brainstorm on how to do it.”
Black Tap offers a shake of the month. In November, their Pecan Pie CrazyShake included a slice of pecan pie atop the shake. Not sure of the upcoming flavors but you can bet they’ll be eye-catching and palate pleasing.
You can also get the shakes to go while you stroll Downtown Disney. They come with a special tray to catch any falling pieces of the dessert.
The OCBJ Review: By Christopher Trela
I dined at Black Tap in November with a friend and found the overall experience both fun and tasty. You place your order at the counter, find a table, and the food is brought to you. There’s also a to-go window if you just want a shake—but more about that in a moment.
I chatted with Black Tap Manager Daniel Lopez, who has been at the Black Tap restaurant since they opened. It was my first time and he went over the menu with me.
“Our most popular burgers are the Greg Norman, the Wagyu Burger, and the All-American. We also have a burger and a chicken sandwich that comes with truffle mayo.”
Truffles? Count me in. My dining companion and I ordered The Truffle Burger with wagyu beef, smoked Gouda, baby arugula, truffle-yuzu vinaigrette and black truffle mayo served with lettuce, tomato, a pickle, and of course french fries.
We also shared the Wagyu Steakhouse Burger with wagyu beef, pepper jack cheese, bacon, crispy onions, A1 sauce, and roasted garlic mayo.
Next, we ordered shakes, which can be tricky because the shake descriptions are all enticing.
There’s the Bam Bam shake which has a vanilla frosted rim with Fruity Pebbles topped with a Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispy Treat, strawberry Pop-Tarts, Laffy Taffy, whipped cream and a cherry. You can get a cake batter shake, and one with a chocolate frosted rim with mini chocolate chips topped with two chocolate brownies, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.
I went with the Cookies ‘N Cream Supreme: an Oreo shake with a vanilla frosted rim with crushed Oreo topped with a cookies and cream ice cream sandwich, crumbled Oreo, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.
My dining companion ordered the Special Edition CrazyShake, a strawberry shake with a vanilla frosted rim with Mickey Mouse-shaped sprinkles topped with a house-made Mickey Mouse-shaped Crispy Treat, white and red rock candy, whipped cream, red sprinkles and a cherry.
The shakes were, as promised, crazy looking and crazy good. They are essentially edible works of art and well-engineered: the ice cream sandwich appears to be magically attached to the outside of the shake glass.
Oh—and the burgers were excellent, too.
Overall, a great casual spot for a fun lunch or dinner. Black Tap has a nice patio along with a bar and full list of cocktails and beers.
Black Tap at Downtown Disney: 1540 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, (657) 276-2498, blacktap.com