Breakfast at Kona Cafe: Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes

A few weeks back, I stopped by the Grand Floridian Cafe at the Grand Floridian Resort for breakfast, where I had the amazingly delicious Citrus Pancakes. Many guests have raved about Kona Cafe’s Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes for years, and of the two visits paid to Kona in the past,  we’ve ordered The Samoan and the Tonga Toast, but never these pancakes. I decided to brave the construction happening at the Polynesian Resort – without a reservation – and managed to beat the rush that would eventually arrive at the restaurant and snag a table for myself while Matt was off playing golf.

Kona Cafe

Kona Cafe

I placed my order for the Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes, and as I waited for my food to arrive, I was brought a plate with whipped butter and syrup.

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A few minutes later, my pancakes arrive. They are topped with Macadamia Nut Butter, Pineapple Sauce, and your choice of Ham, Bacon or Sausage served on the side. I went with bacon.

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The Macadamia Nut Butter has a subtle sweetness to it, and is studded with pieces of chopped macadamia nuts. The Pineapple Sauce is more like crushed pineapple that may have been doctored or reduced, or maybe just heated up a bit. Still, I like it this way as opposed to a more “true” sauce.

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The pancakes themselves were stuffed with pieces of Macadamia as well. I love Macadamia Nuts; in fact on my trips to WDW in the 80s, we’d always spend some time exploring the Monorail resorts, and I’d get a small bag of them to bring home. Sometimes I’d even share them with my Dad if we didn’t bring home extra for him. Their use in the pancakes themselves, however, leaves me a bit torn. The pancakes are light and fluffy, so biting into a forkful with nuts mixed in makes it a bit texturally odd, at least for me. Since the color of the nuts blends in with the pancake, you almost aren’t expecting them, and then you get the crunch while you chew. Flavorwise? They’re fantastic. I managed to stuff myself with almost half of the order, so I can certainly get by the aforementioned textural contrast.

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I ordered bacon as my side, and they do not use the flimsy stuff here. The two strips were nicely cooked and had a much thicker cut than you’ll find at quick service. It also added the salty element to an overall dish that featured a lot of sweet components.

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Here is a look at the breakfast menu from my visit:

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Kona Cafe definitely has some unique breakfast options among table service restaurants, from the Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes, to Tonga Toast, to the Samoan. It’s a restaurant I’ll certainly return to, especially for breakfast. There are some other breakfasts I’d like to try (the Egg White Omelet with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese sounds delicious), but also one I’d like to revisit for a second chance (The Samoan). I’m sure it will be a game time decision on my next visit to Kona Cafe. 🙂

Which item is your favorite to order from Kona Cafe? Do you go with one of the fan favorites, or prefer a more simple yet classic dish?

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14 responses to “Breakfast at Kona Cafe: Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes

  1. BETTER THAN TONGA TOAST. (She said blasphemously.)

    Only 5 months until my Kona ADR!

  2. I think I’d probably order this over Tonga Toast myself. Matt would definitely go for the Tonga Toast, though, simply because he doesn’t like nuts in food lol.

  3. Stupid question, but did the construction take away from the atmosphere of the restaurant? I’ve completely avoided the Polynesian for a few months now, but I miss Kona’s breakfast!

  4. There are walls up outside of the entrance, blocking the lobby where the work is happening. Not having the view does change things, but on this visit, I was somewhat tucked away. There was still plenty of natural light coming in from the windows, however, so it didn’t feel cramped. Hope this helps! 🙂

  5. Is it possible to get breakfast or lunch here without making an ADR?

  6. Yes – As I mentioned in the post, I arrived without a reservation and managed to get in. This isn’t necessarily the norm, though. Party size, time of arrival, demand for the time slot, etc. all play a role in whether or not you’ll be able to be seated here or any restaurant at Disney, especially during busier times. If a restaurant is a must-do on your list, I think it’s important to make the reservation. It might end up being empty when you go, but you might find yourself more aggravated if you didn’t make the reservation and not make it in. In fact, when I was taking photos for the Magic Kingdom Menu Update, I asked for a menu at The Plaza to review. The Cast Member obliged, but promptly told me there were no walk-up availabilities, and that all dining accommodations were by reservation only.

  7. Fruit plate with banana bread is my favorite!

  8. That dish sounds really great for a lighter meal, especially in the warmer months!

  9. The pancakes! With lilikoi juice! BEST BREAKFAST IN DISNEY. Hands down, no contest, looking forward to going there in November.

    I love the macadamia nuts and I really, really, really love the macadamia nut butter so this whole breakfast is just one giant win for me.

  10. I prefer these pancakes over the Samoan… perhaps we just got a poor version when we tried the Samoan, or maybe we’re just pulled pork snobs! I thought the flavors were too sweet and not enough savory (on the Samoan).
    While I really like Tonga Toast, I’m with you, the Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes are better.

  11. I’d try the Samoan again, but I just wasn’t impressed by it when I ordered it several years ago. Worth another try, I suppose, but there are other items I wouldn’t mind trying first.

  12. We tried the Samoan a couple of years back, around Valentine’s Day when they were offering the red velvet pancakes (neither of these items impressed us AT ALL). If we’d been good food-bloggers, we would have tasted not eaten these two breakfast offerings.

  13. I loved the egg white omelet when I ate breakfast at Kona Cafe last November! I also split the Tonga Toast with my dad, and you can never go wrong there!

  14. I definitely have to try it myself next time then! Thanks for the input! 😀