Animal Kingdom is our second favorite park to get a great meal, with Epcot at the forefront. A lot of changes to Animal Kingdom have made it one of the best places to eat and we think you’ll enjoy what this park has to offer.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find lots of good eating locations at Animal Kingdom compared to other theme parks around Central Florida.
That’s why we created this big dining guide to share with you. We’ve ranked every table service restaurant, quick service restaurant, bars, snacks, drinks, and more.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Click the links below to jump directly to a specific section.
- Best Table Service Restaurants
- Best Quick Service Restaurants
- Best Snacks
- Best Drinks and Drinking Spots
- Character Dining
- Dining Experiences
- Private Dining
Best Animal Kingdom Tables Service Restaurants
#1. Tiffins Restaurant
Tiffins is one of our all-time favorite restaurants in Disney and it happens to be the best dining location in Animal Kingdom. It’s Animal Kingdom’s only Fine/Signature Dining locations, so you know you’re in for a treat here. We even recommend it in our list of 30 Animal Kingdom Tips and Secrets as the top date night spot at Animal Kingdom.
Tiffins is actually the newest addition in dining to Animal Kingdom and was beautifully designed by imagineers who went to Africa with a task to collect some of the most unique objects from the region. The interior looks like an approachable art gallery, complete with museum-worthy sculptures, paintings and decor with a cozy vibe.
The food at Tiffins is exquisite, pulling inspiration from Asia, Africa and South America. Here you’ll have options like Butter Chicken, Tamarind-braised Short Rib and Whole-Fried Sustainable Fish. We highly recommend starting your meal with the Tiffins Signature Bread Service appetizer and finishing with the Tropical Trifle.
The restaurant also comes fully equipped with it’s own sommelier who will visit your table upon request to give you the best wine pairings to suit your meal and palette. Tiffins is definitely built for adults first, which we cover in our in-depth guide to the Best Disney World Restaurants for Adults.
#2. Nomad Lounge
Nomad Lounge is directly connected with Tiffins and serves as the bar area for the restaurant. Here you can order small plates from the main restaurant in a more casual atmosphere on the water overlooking the Pandora section of the park.
This is also considered a table service restaurant where a waiter will serve you, but in a more casual lounge setting. Some of our favorite small plates include the Tuna Poke Bowl, Cuban Frita Sliders and the Tiffins Bread Service.
Take advantage of the bar while you’re here and indulge in some of the most upscale cocktails available at Animal Kingdom. Sip on the Annapurna Zing with gin, passion fruit and ginger beer, or the Snow Leopard Salvation featuring Snow Leopard vodka, pear liquer, lime and ginger beer.
Nothing beats the scenery on the porch at Nomad Lounge, so if you’re looking for a relaxing dining experience after the hustle and bustle of running around Animal Kingdom, this is your ticket to paradise.
#3. Yak & Yeti Restaurant
Yak & Yeti is another favorite of ours, better suited for a casual dinner or for gathering with the whole family. The food is unique and delicious and the decor in the restaurant will take you on a journey through Nepal.
We really love Yak & Yeti for the excellent Asian dishes like traditional steamed buns and rice bowls. Our recommendation is to start with the Pork Pot Stickers to share and choose from the Lo Mein, Honey Chicken, Malaysian Seafood Curry or the Miso Salmon for dinner – all are great choices.
Desserts include interesting choices like Mango Pie and Pineapple Upside-down Cake among traditional American desserts. Yak & Yeti also carries a large variety of beverages like Teas, Lemonades and Refreshers to freshen up your meal. But they also have a number of alcoholic drinks to choose from including wine, beer and cocktails like Yak Attack and Pink Himalayan.
Yak & Yeti is a go-to for us when we want a great meal without too much fuss. We’d say it’s a great choice for just about anyone, even picky eaters, since the meals here range from pan-Asian to more American style dishes.
#4. Tusker House Restaurant
Tusker House Restaurant is Animal Kingdom’s only character dining experience, which we’ll explain a little more fully later in this post. To sum it up, families are guaranteed to meet some of the fab 5 like Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy, dressed in their safari outfits.
It’s open for all dining hours from breakfast to dinner and is actually one of the only dining locations that will get you into the park early. We’d recommend Tusker House for families with younger children since the character experiences are going to be the main draw here.
The food is simple, mainly American with a little inspiration from Africa, and is served in an all-you-can-eat buffet style. Breakfast will include things like waffles, eggs and fruits, while lunch and dinner will have more interesting options like Basmati Rice, Peri Peri Whole Salmon and Tabouli and Hummus Dips.
When comparing this location with the rest, you’ll probably get a better meal for the money at the first places mentioned. The main reason to dine at Tusker House will be to see all the characters and take pictures with them without having to wait in line around the park.
#5. Rainforest Cafe
Rainforest Cafe is another great place to take your kids for an interactive meal in Animal Kingdom. It’s got all the makings of a fun experience while you eat amidst the animatronic jungle creatures. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with varying dishes to accommodate each meal time.
It’s also important to note that you don’t even need a ticket to Animal Kingdom to dine here, as the main entrance to the restaurant is located outside the gates. You can also enter Animal Kingdom through a secret back entrance, located outside the Rainforest Cafe shop.
The main draw for Rainforest Cafe is undoubtedly the theme with different rainforest animals and lifelike scenes all throughout the restaurant. Kids will really love when the rainforest comes to life once every hour.
The food here is not top-notch but it’s on par with what you’d find in most casual dining places. Dishes include things like Breakfast Omelettes, Rainforest Burger, and Rasta Pasta. The variety available is great for most families with varying tastes.
#7. Pizzafari Family-style Dining
Pizzafari, when available, offers Family-Style dining table service for the dinner period. You can book dinner on the My Disney Experience app when times are available.
We’ve listed Pizzafari last since it has the fewest options available for table service dining. They obviously specialize in pizzas and have a few other Italian favorites like Baked Ziti and Meatballs with Marinara.
The best part is that each of these dishes is served in a family-style meal, so you’re going to get enough for the whole family in one dish. Pizzafari is probably best in a pinch or for families who need a shorter, less expensive dining experience.
Best Animal Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants
#1. Satu’li Canteen
Satu’li Canteen is our absolute favorite quick service restaurant in Animal Kingdom. It’s located in the Pandora section of the park and offers a variety of great food options that should work for any dining needs your family has. This spot is a fixture on our list of 110 Disney World Must Do’s.
Satu’li specializes in bowls with ingredients like sliced beef, chicken, fried tofu or shrimp mixed with vegetable slaw and your choice of rice or potatoes as the base. These options are going to be the same breakfast through dinner.
There is a range of drink options to wash it all down with unique non-alcoholic and alcoholic options like the green Mo’Ara High Country Ale or the Pandoran Sunrise.
You can mobile order the food here and the restaurant has a large seating area indoors and some seating outside, too. They make a point to accommodate multiple food allergies and needs, as well.
#2. Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
Yak & Yeti has a separate quick service station just off the main restaurant, but is in no way attached, nor do they serve the same meals here. However, the dishes you can get at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes are easily some of the best dishes in the park.
If delicious Asian-inspired bowls or Tikka Masala is your style, this is going to be your favorite place. Breakfast items include Breakfast Bowls, English Muffins and Fruit Parfaits and lunch items include Teriyaki Chicken Salad, Honey Sesame Chicken and Sweet-and-Sour Tempura Shrimp.
This walk-up counter tends to have a long line as it’s a guest favorite and located right on the main pathway to Expedition Everest, so there may be a little bit of a wait to eat, but it’s totally worth it. All seating is located outside with a great view of the Asian wildlife.
#3. Flame Tree Barbecue
Flame Tree Barbecue is a little harder to spot, but it’s right there on Discovery Island, one of the first places you’ll come to near the Tree of Life after entering the park. It’s got excellent meals sure to satisfy your cravings for American food in a park with mostly international cuisine.
It’s not open for breakfast, only for lunch and dinner. We recommend trying the St. Louis Rib Dinner, the Pulled Pork Sandwich or Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork. Nothing fancy here, but the portions will surely fill you up.
The seating is also outdoors, but with one of the main walkways right in front of you, it’s possible you’ll spot Kevin (UP’s giant bird) in this area, or the Viva Gaia Street Band depending on the time of day.
#4. Harambe Market
Harambe Market is a staple in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom where you’ll find some delicious quick dishes at a simple walk-up counter with ample outdoor seating.
In our opinion, this eatery isn’t open long enough, so make it a point to stop by during operating hours between 10:45am and 3:15pm. Go to find things like the Ribs & Chicken Bowl, Harambe Salad or Simba Cupcake.
#5. Pongu Pongu
Pongu Pongu is another Pandora favorite with just a few delicious options. Mainly serving up drinks, the go-to menu item here is the Pongu Lumpia, which we’ll touch on more later.
It’s a great quick fix for a meal on the run when you order either the Pongu Lumpia or the Na’vi Sized Pretzel paired with one of their signature drinks.
Perhaps the most important thing to note is that Pongu Pongu is one of our top choices for quick service locations on our list of Best Breakfast in Animal Kingdom. If you get here before 11am, order the delicious Sausage and Egg Biscuit or the Cinnamon Roll.
Restaurantosaurus can be found tucked in the DinoLand, U.S.A. section of Animal Kingdom, between Asia and Discovery Island. It’s hosted by Impossible Foods and serves as the ideal place for vegans to get a good meal. That said, they mostly serve carnivorous meals for all other dietary needs.
The restaurant is all quick service and seating is open. You can also place orders on Mobile Order via the My Disney Experience app and pick up your food from the counter.
Restaurantosaurus has pretty standard burgers, hot dogs and chicken dishes, so if you’ve been craving a great burger while walking around Animal Kingdom all day, this is your best option for that. Finish up the meal with a delicious shake!
#7. Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery
Kusafiri is a great all-around place for breakfast, lunch or dinner in a pinch. You’ll find it in Africa, just south of the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride entrance.
Breakfast has a great variety of options like Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuits, Colossal Cinnamon Rolls, Pistachio Croissants and more delightful bakery options that you can pair with a cup of Joffrey’s coffee or Orange Juice.
Lunch and dinner offers curry dishes featuring Shrimp and/or Chicken alongside the same bakery items.
#8. Creature Comforts
Creature Comforts is essentially a Starbucks, serving up the typical Starbucks drinks and bakery items you’re used to finding in the real world. Animal Kingdom’s version is located in the Africa section of the park and offers a huge selection of Starbucks coffees, teas, refreshers, frappucinos and seasonal items.
#9. Eight Spoon Cafe
Eight Spoon Cafe is the place to go if you’re in the mood for fast mac and cheese. These gourmet cheese dishes are served hot to order and come in a range of styles.
Choose from the original Macaroni and Cheese or kick it up a notch with Shrimp and Sweet Chili Sauce or Pulled Pork toppings. They’ve also got a really interested Pulled Pork Jelly Doughnut Sandwich.
#10. Isle of Java
Isle of Java is similar to Kusafiri Coffee Shop, but features a lot less food. It mainly focuses on specialty coffee drinks, all by Joffrey’s – our favorite coffee in the park. Food items include things like Mickey Pretzels and the Tiger Tail Pastry.
Stop here on the way into the park for your daily dose of caffeine or swing by for a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day. Coffee drinks range from Cold Brew and Cappucinos to seasonal beverages like Peppermint Hot Cocoa or Gingerbread Lattes.
#11. The Smiling Crocodile
The Smiling Crocodile is an unassuming little walk-up stand that is rarely busy, but has some of the most special dishes available in the park for on-the-go consumption. At the moment, they’ve got a variety of Street Tacos with crunchy Chips & Salsa.
#13. Anandapur Ice Cream Truck
Anandapur Ice Cream Truck is our go-to counter for ice cream in Animal Kingdom. They have some of the best options to choose from, located right on the main Asia walkway – it’s a giant turquoise painted bus that’s hard to miss.
We recommend getting one of their delicious Floats, served with your choice of ice cream and soda. Or try their all new Yeti Sundae to enjoy while waiting in line for Expedition Everest.
Pizzafari’s walk-up counter allows you to order pizzas, flatbreads and salads to go during the lunch and dinner hours. They’re nothing spectacular but they’ll definitely fix your pizza cravings in Animal Kingdom. They’ve also got a few delicious frozen beverages.
Trilo-Bites doesn’t have a huge menu, but it does have one hidden gem – the Buffalo Chicken Chips. Parents will appreciate this little snack while watching their children enjoy the Chip & Dale Dino Dance party or play the fair games in DinoLand, U.S.A.
Other menu options include desserts like Floats, Soft Serve Ice Cream and Milkshakes.
#16. Terra Treats
Terra Treats is not extremely special, but it may hit the spot for those looking for a simple snack along the pathway from Discovery Island to Africa in the middle of the day.
They serve small Tomato and Cheese Pizzas, and have a signature Spaghetti and currently offer a Colossal Banana Caramel Cinnamon Roll that’s worth a try.
#17. Dino-Bite Snacks
Dino-Bite Snacks is an ice cream shop located in DinoLand, U.S.A. They offer treats like Floats, Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches and Haagen-Dazs scooped ice cream.
They often rotate their menu seasonally, so be on the lookout for special sundaes and ice cream cones to enjoy on your next trip.
#18. Harambe Fruit Market
Harambe Fruit Market is the place to be if you’re looking for some of the healthiest snacks in the park no matter the time of day. Here you’ll find fresh whole or chopped fruit, Hummus with Pita Chips, Yogurt and bottled waters to power you through a hot day.
You’ll want to stop by Drinkwallah if you’re craving a Frozen Coke or other slushie drink along with Cinnamon Glazed Almonds or Pecans – one of our favorite snacks. Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot to offer here.
The difference between Mahindi and Drinkwallah is that Mahindi serves Frozen Lemonade in place of Frozen Coke, along with the Cinnamon Glazed nuts. You can also get popcorn here with one of the souvenir popcorn buckets that are released seasonally.
Best Animal Kingdom Snacks
#1. Pongu Lumpia
The Pongu Lumpia at Pongu Pongu in Pandora is our absolute favorite snack in Animal Kingdom. It’s just the right handheld size for in between meals and it’s delicious. The Pongu Lumpia is a fried wonton with pineapple cream cheese stuffed inside.
#2. Dole Whip
Did you know that Animal Kingdom has Dole Whips, too? Except they have a couple offerings you won’t find anywhere else. They can be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa.
They serve the classic Dole Whip, but they also pair it with rum in the soft-serve version, as well as the float version. Tamu Tamu also serves a special Dole Whip called the Simba Sunset – Dole Whip with Watermelon, Strawberry and Coconut-flavored syrup – you can get this with or without the rum.
#3. Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries
Mr. Kamal’s is easy to miss on the walkway between Asia and Africa – in fact, Disney’s website doesn’t even list it on their quick service locations. For a long time, Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries have been a hit with park guests.
If fries are your thing or you’re looking for a quick snack to share, you’re sure to appreciate these seasoned fries. They’re currently served with a variety of dipping sauces, including Honey Kimchi Ketchup, Tandoori Honey Mustard, Saffron Aioli and regular ketchup.
#4. Tiger Tail Chocolate Twist
Isle of Java is a welcome reprieve as the first coffee shop you’ll see when you get to Discovery Island at the base of the Tree of Life. Not only do they serve up delicious Joffrey’s Coffee, but they also make these tasty Tiger Tails that resemble Tigger’s springy tail in pastry form.
#5. Buffalo Chicken Chips
We briefly mentioned them when talking about the Trilo-Bites earlier, located in DinoLand, U.S.A. The Buffalo Chicken Chips are a pile of crispy fried potato chips topped with buffalo chicken bites, ranch dressing and pico de gallo.
#6. Cheeseburger Steamed Pods
The Cheeseburger Steamed Pods can be found at Satu’li Canteen, which has the lunch bowls we love. The pods are an excellent way to fill up in between meals and you can find them on the Kids Menu. They’re made of dough and stuffed with hamburger meat and cheese.
#7. Macaroni and Cheese
Any of the macaroni and cheese dishes at Eight Spoon Cafe are a great go-to snack during the day. But our favorite and highly recommended dish is the Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese which is perfect for sharing and pairs well with the Corona Extra on tap.
#8. Pork Egg Rolls
Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe serves up a huge variety of lunch size meals, but you can also find a decent amount of snack sized portions, too. Our favorite is the Pork Egg Rolls, which you can order in one or two servings.
#9. Colossal Cinnamon Bun
You can find the Colossal Cinnamon Bun at both Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery and Tamu Tamu Refreshments in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. They are the perfect snack to satisfy your mid-day sweet tooth and it’s big enough to share.
#10. Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
The Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich at Dino-Bite Snacks is to die for. If you’re craving a sweet snack during the day, a simple ice cream could work, but the fresh baked cookie sandwich really makes it.
Best Animal Kingdom Drinks & Drinking Spots
#1. Nomad Lounge
There’s no doubt that Nomad Lounge is the best drinking spot in Animal Kingdom. It’s quiet and secluded toward the side of Discovery Island just before entering Pandora. Seating is right on the water, offering a serene and calming atmosphere that adults will love.
They have an excellent selection of wines and beers from all over the world, especially from South America, South Africa and Asia. The lounge also has a great specialty cocktail list with favorites like the exotic Tempting Tigress with bourbon, tamarind and lime, and the Boto-Rita featuring mezcal, grapefruit, guava and lime.
Not only can you get great drinks here, you can also order the best bar food at Animal Kingdom. Try the Tiffins Bread Service (highly recommended), along with the Chicken Manchurian Nomad Bowl and some Churros.
#2. Dawa Bar
Second on our list of hangouts is the Dawa Bar. You’ll find it right on the main pathway in Africa, just before you get to Festival of the Lion King. They’ve recently added more tables and chairs here due to it’s growing popularity.
All seating is outdoors under an overhang, but that adds to the experience of Dawa Bar. Often times, you’ll get to see the Tam Tam Drummers who perform every 45 minutes along the walkways of Africa, or hear a talented African singer or band who’ll draw a decent crowd.
Don’t expect any food at Dawa, but do expect great entertainment and drinks. They carry a small but phenomenal selection of red & white wine and domestic & imported beer. If you had to choose one drink, we’d definitely recommend the Ngumu Jungle Juice, made with Snow Leopard vodka and peach schnapps mixed with Tusker House’s famous Jungle Juice.
#3. Safari Bar
The Safari Bar is the last lounge on our list where you can actually sit and hang out. It’s only open from 3pm to 8pm most days and it’s located inside the Rainforest Cafe, so a little busier and noisier than the first recommendations.
Safari Bar is more on par with what you’d get with any restaurant bar, lots of draft beers, a decent selection of wine and a list of specialty cocktails. You can never go wrong with their Moscow Mule, Island Punch or the Beso Del Sol Red Sangria.
#4. Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Tamu Tamu Refreshments was mentioned earlier as the popular spot in Animal Kingdom where you can get your Dole Whip on. The best part about Tamu Tamu is that you can get your Dole Whip soft-serve or float with dark rum or coconut rum.
Seating is limited but you can find it on the backside of Tamu Tamu behind the bathrooms. They’ve got a quiet area with some tables and chairs, away from the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfare.
#5. Thirsty River Bar & Snacks
Thirsty River Bar & Snacks has a few snacks and a small list of good drinks. You’ll find it outside Expedition Everest in Asia. Not much seating to be had here, but it’s a great fix for a drink break between rides.
You can get popcorn, cookies, pretzels and hummus with pita chips for snacks, along with some non-alcoholic drinks for the kids. Adults will enjoy the craft beers brewed locally and internationally, as well as the cocktails like Himalayan Ghost, Dragon’s Breath, or our favorite Singapore Sling made with gin, brandy, sweet-and-sour, grenadine and Sprite.
#6. Warung Outpost
You can hit up the Warung Outpost just outside the UP! A Great Bird Adventure theater. It’s got the fewest options available on our list and no seating near the stand, but if you’re looking for quick drinks it’ll do. Grab a Maharaja Margarita or the Shangri-La Berry Freeze.
Animal Kingdom Character Dining
As mentioned before, the only character dining experience in Animal Kingdom is Tusker House. Here, you’ll dine on American and African inspired food choices in a carefully tailored all-you-can-eat buffet filled with plenty of allergy-friendly options, as well as options that kids will enjoy, too.
This is the only character dining location where you can meet Donald, Pluto, Minnie, Daisy and even Mickey or Goofy dressed in their safari garb. Characters are subject to change and will vary with each visit. Make sure you bring your best camera, since this experience does not come with a Photopass photographer.
If you could use some recommendations on cameras or camera gear, we created a list of best point and shoot cameras for Walt Disney World for you to reference.
Animal Kingdom Dining Experiences
Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience
This exquisite guided tour takes place in the evening on the African Savanna and is the perfect date night for couples who are celebrating a special occasion or want a unique fine dining experience.
A tour guide will take you through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve for an exclusive look at the African animals at night while traveling to a private dining room located in the middle of the Savanna. Here, you’ll dine on premium African cuisine and sip on fine wines and beers from the region.
Each guest will also be given a commemorative keepsake from the journey. The cost for this experience is around $169 per person.
Animal Kingdom Private Dining
Ever wonder about doing a family reunion, corporate party or even a wedding in Walt Disney World?
Private Dining can be booked for special family or business events where you tailor the food selection, location and even character meet-and-greets to the occasion. You can find out more by contacting Disney Meetings & Events about your next event.
Hopefully this comprehensive guide has you feeling more confident about which dining options are best for your group. It is a lot to consider as you’re planning, but eating well is one of the most satisfying things about vacationing in Walt Disney World!