What’s New in Disney World? Chef José Andrés Opens Jaleo, Pepe at Disney Springs

Jaleo Disney Springs

Courtesy of Disney Parks

Jaleo by José Andrés finally opened the doors of its new location in Disney Springs this week, and with it came the opening of the fast-casual restaurant version of José Andrés’ famous food truck, Pepe. While Jaleo brings a rich assortment of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine and culture through its upscale menu and design, Pepe pairs the style and convenience of grab-and-go fare with Spanish flavors to provide an opportunity for all Disney Springs guests to enjoy the authentic cuisine during their visit.

After Downtown Disney underwent a complete renovation and reopened as Disney Springs in 2015, the outdoor strip quickly earned a reputation for the shopping, entertainment and culinary experiences it contributed to the Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando area as a whole. José Andrés, James Beard Award-winner and one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” is the latest celebrity chef to bring his talents to Disney Springs, staking his restaurant alongside those of culinary legends such as Morimoto and Wolfgang Puck.

When Jaleo opened officially on March 21st in Orlando, José Andrés threw a party that appropriately marked the arrival of Spanish flare and culture in Disney Springs. While toasting his guests and Jaleo’s fifth (and largest) location: “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!”

Jaleo translates to “revelry,” and the restaurant honors its name while crafting a lively culinary celebration for all of its guests. Their menu features an extensive list of tapas-style menu items, including authentic paellas (cooked in wood-fired paella pits), pollo croquetas, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, and Gambas al ajillo. They also serve a variety of sangrias and Spanish wines.

Pollo Frito Disney Springs

Attached to Jaleo, Pepe’s menu consists of a variety of Spanish menu items to-go, including gazpachos, salads, and sandwiches known as bocatas. Some of their most popular bocatas are the Pollo Frito (breaded chicken, aioli, bravas sauce, piparra peppers, gem lettuce, and sherry dressing) and the Bocata de Vegetales (roasted peppers, onion, green asparagus, spinach, and manchego cheese). Since Disney Springs permits on-property alcohol consumption, the quick-service site also serves sangrias (with sangria ice cubes) for of-age customers to enjoy as they explore.

To further infuse Disney Springs with the spirit of José Andrés’ native culture, Spanish designer Juli Capella drew inspiration for the restaurant’s architecture from Spain’s bold and playful nature. The design is modeled after opening petals that invite guests into the space, and form pergolas that allow light to flow and unify Jaleo’s community of diners with Disney Springs’ bustle of activity. From a distance, when able to take in the building’s design in its entirety, some say that the structure resembles an artichoke.

Right now, Jaleo is serving dinner and Pepe is open for both lunch and dinner service. To make a reservation at Jaleo, you can call (321) 348-3211 or you can book online via OpenTable. No reservation is necessary for Pepe.

Read More