Frontera Cocina at Disney Springs Review

Today I’m talking about one of the most underrated restaurants at Disney Springs, Frontera Cocina. It was started by Rick Bayless and the name translates to Border Kitchen. Frontera Cocina strives to create authentic Mexican food and has succeeded in cooking up the best in Disney World.

Part of the reason it’s so underrated is because it can be hard to get a reservation here and they don’t take parties without a reservation. This is why we have only been a couple of times throughout the years. I recently visited with Andrew and my parents and was reminded how well done the drinks and food are here. Whether you want some apps and a drink, or a fiesta worthy meal, Frontera Cocina does not disappoint!

Frontera Cocina Drinks

Location and Atmosphere

You can find Frontera Cocina across from Sprinkles Cupcakes near the Springs waterway. The outside is very nondescript being just a building that matches the other stores around it. However, inside is beautifully ornate with southwestern art and colors.

The main seating area has tall ceilings and a gorgeous sun mosaic overhead. The colors of the restaurant are mainly orange, yellow and blue and everything sparkles when the sun comes in through the large windows. Art ordains almost every wall, from clay plates to vintage Mexico posters on canvas to shelves of colorful statues. There is so much to catch your eye here!

Frontera Cocina

We ended up sitting at the bar area, because we did not have a reservation and I was determined to eat here. Luckily, there were four seats on the corner of the bar, and it made for the perfect area for us to dine and socialize. If you want to eat here and can’t find a spot, definitely check the bar because there are twenty or so seats and it’s just as good of an experience.

Frontera Cocina also has a large patio for outdoor seating right by the turquoise “springs”. This was where we sat when we came a couple of years ago and it was a picturesque spot to enjoy a margarita. I was kind of frustrated this visit, because I could see the outdoor area was empty except for two small parties and yet they still wouldn’t seat anyone there without a reservation. I’m not sure why they are so strict with it because the restaurant never seemed overly full. I ended up being glad we sat at the bar though, because the bartender gave us some insight on the menu and a free taste of tequila!

Frontera Cocina

Drink Menu at Frontera Cocina

The drink menu has a huge selection for any taste, but obviously focuses on a lot of tequila drinks. When we were there, the menu had about ten margaritas to choose from and they all sounded so good! You can also get tequila or mezcal flights and choose which types out of the twenty plus options. There are a few specialties cocktails made with rum, bourbon, vodka and what not, as well as a selection of local beer and wine. I think your best bet is definitely the margaritas!

There were four of us and we all tried a different drink. Andrew and I ordered off the special Taste of Mexico City menu that was being promoted while we were there. I got the La Bandera, a blanco tequila drink made with a prickly pear purée, orange liqueur, lemon juice and lime foam! This came out in a stunning magenta color and was so flavorful and fruity. It was on the sour side like I like, and the tequila balanced it out.

Frontera Cocina Drinks

Andrew also got a stunning margarita as his beverage was almost black! This was the Dark Aztec and it is made of mixed mezcal, charcoaled pineapple juice, homemade piloncillo syrup, mole bitters, and served with a rim of powdered peanuts. It might not look it from the color, but the drink is so refreshing! The charcoal and the smoky mezcal are such an interesting combination and then the mixer adds juiciness to it. This margarita was unlike any we had tried before!

My mom couldn’t resist the watermelon pink flamingo. This was a watermelon, lime, orange margarita with a chili powdered rim. This is your typical fruity margarita, but ten times better! My dad decided to try one of the cocktails and went with the Frontera Old Fashioned which used rum and agave nectar instead of bourbon and sugar like a typical old fashioned.

Frontera Cocina
Frontera Cocina Menu

We were all very happy with our drinks as they tasted very high quality and were a decent size as well. Keep in mind, everything is pretty pricey here, especially the drinks. The margaritas and cocktails are at least $14 and the beer is $10. I think it’s worth it for the quality and find the drinks to be better here then the ones at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. However I wouldn’t plan to drink a lot here because that would add up quick!

Our Experience

After our drinks arrived, we ordered some chips and salsa. These are not complimentary unfortunately, but I always like them to go along with margaritas. The first basket they brought us was extremely stale, so we mentioned it to the bartender and he brought us a fresh basket that was a bit better.

We remembered the portions being big, but I really wanted to try some sides so Andrew and I decided to split our entree and a side. My parents did the same and this ended up workout out perfectly. We ordered the Pork Belly Tacos and the Queso Añejo Mashed Potatoes. My parents went for the Cochinita Pibil and the Three Chile Roasted Brussels Sprout.

Frontera Cocina Pork Belly

None of us could believe how good the food was! The pork belly for our tacos was extremely tender with a crispy exterior just how I like it. It was cooked with bacon and onions and came with refried black beans, guacamole and a three chile agave salsa.

My parents meal was a slow roasted achiote marinated pork which also came with corn tortillas to make tacos with. I tried some and loved the spiced flavors especially with the roasted poblano pepper and picked red onions. It also came with a habanero salsa that was insanely spicy! I love hot stuff and just the slightest taste of this one put my mouth on fire! I still kept going back for more though 😛

Frontera Cocina

The side dishes both stood out on their own as well. I seriously could have just eaten bowls of sides! The mashed potatoes were so cheesy and creamy with just a hint of spice. I would love to start making ones like these on Thanksgiving! We also want to figure out how to cook the Brussels sprouts. They were perfectly roasted and had a salty spice flavor from the bacon that was enhanced by the cojita cheese. The resulting flavors just melt in your mouth and we literally told the people next to us they have to order them!

Frontera Cocina Mashed Potatoes

The Rest Of The Menu at Frontera Cocina

I’m sure most people don’t expect to order Brussels sprouts or mashed potatoes at a Mexican restaurant, but that’s what I like about Frontera Cocina. They really push the envelope and try things many haven’t thought of. This is noticeable in almost dishes on the menu.

The lunch and dinner menu is exactly the same including prices. Your main choices for entrees are tacos, tortas, enchiladas, salads and fajita like dishes. I say fajita like because they are different roasted or grilled meats served with tortillas, sauces, and rice and beans. As you can see from our entrees, you can eat the meat on its own or use the corn tortillas to make tacos. They come with four per order.

Frontera Cocina

I have found everything on the menu to be a very large serving so I recommend sharing. The guacamole and queso are both delicious, so I think it’s worthwhile to order that and a side and split a dish instead of ordering two large entrees. It’s definitely economical this way.

There are very few options for vegetarians on the menu, although all the sides are vegetarian. The only two options are vegetable tacos or a mushroom torta. If you are wondering what a torta is, I didn’t know either! It’s actually a Mexican Style sandwich on a baguette. I was surprised they didn’t have quesadillas on the menu, but considering these sandwiches are filled with cheese and baked, they come pretty close to one.

Frontera Cocina Brussel Sprouts

The dessert menu looks good with chile chocolate cake and “cuatro leches”, but I have yet to get anything. As usual, I’m too full and prefer to walk around Disney Springs and then get a dessert from one of the bakeries. Frontera Cocina does have a limited kids meal with quesadillas and tacos. It seems just as pricey as the rest of the menu with prices between $10 and $14 for a kid meals. I don’t have children but that seems very expensive to me!

Frontera Cocina

Know Before You Go

Despite the price, Frontera Cocina is a fun and lively venue with plenty of delicious options. I would go as far as saying it joins the ranks of other favorites like Homecomin’ and The Boathouse. If you like Mexican Food and don’t mind sitting at the bar, then definitely add this spot to your list of Disney Springs must-dos.

  • Frontera Cocina is open for lunch from 11:00 AM – 3:45 and dinner from 4 PM – 10 PM.
  • Unless you want to sit at the bar, you should make a reservation. Reservations can be made here, up to 180 days in advance.
  • The restaurant is located in the Town Center of Disney Springs and is closest to the Lime Garage exit.
  • Seating is inside and outside.
  • You do not need a park ticket or hotel reservation to dine here and parking is free.
  • Frontera Cocina is part of the Disney Dining Plan and costs one table service credit.
Frontera Cocina

Between a Frontera Cocina and 4R Cantina, I am sure you will be able to satisfy any Mexican food cravings you have at Disney Springs! If you’ve been to Frontera Cocina, how does it compare for you? For more tips on where to eat at Disney Springs, check out my best restaurants guide here!