This is a tough blog post, as people define “Vegetarian” in so many different ways! To try to give you the most up-to-date and tested information, I’ve included readers’ top picks for table-service and counter-service locations and rounded out the post with some great feedback from travel-blogger SoloFriendly, who’s got some great ideas for meat-free Disney World dishes. Finally, I’ve listed a few other resources for you to check out if you’re doing Disney as a vegetarian or a vegan.
Reader Picks: Table-Service
Boma, Jambo House, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Boma was the landslide winner among food blog readers who chimed in about Vegetarian options. It’s a buffet, which automatically offers a wide variety of choices; but with an emphasis on African soups, hummus, salads, and grain-based dishes, it’s a great option for meat-free eating.
Reader Comment from Beth via facebook:
Hubby is vegetarian when out thanks to being Kosher at home. His favorite was Boma since there was so much to pick from. The staff there was amazing to walk around and tell everything that was safe if you requested it.
Sanaa, Kidani Village, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
One of the newer restaurants in Disney World, Sanaa has another African- and Asian- themed menu (dinner menu) on which every section has at least one (and usually many) mouth-watering vegetarian selections.
While I loved my meal there, I’ll quote SoloFriendly’s helpful comments:
They’ve got a lot of very creative menu items that are vegetarian, so if I was really sick of salads and wanted something totally different, I’d go here. They offer all sorts of wonderful breads and vegetarian accompaniments, more than one vegetarian appetizer (paneer cheese, roasted cauliflower, and potato and pea samosas) and entree, unusual salad choices, and a vegetarian soup. There is no doubt in my mind I could have a very filling and delicious meal here without eating meat. In fact, I could do so more than once without repeating the same dish twice. (By the way, here’s SoloFriendly’s Sanaa Review)
Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Downtown Disney
This well-known Downtown Disney restaurant features several meatless choices, including creative salads, vegetarian pasta dishes, and yummy flatbreads/pizzas. The most famous item, however, is the butternut-squash soup! Here’s the dinner menu, and for some photos, SoloFriendly’s Wolfgang Puck Cafe review.
Reader Comment from Jennifer via facebook:
Wofgang Puck’s. Between sushi, salmon, margherita pizza, and [pumpkin] ravioli, you have many options.
Tusker House, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Coming highly recommended by readers (and me!), Tusker House serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets in the Animal Kingdom theme park. Vegetarian options abound at all meals, and servers will gladly show you which items are vegetarian. This gives a quick list of some items that are routinely available on the lunch/dinner buffets, including Hummus and baba ghanoush, Jollaf rice, Pearl couscous with sweet basil essence, Spiced tandoori tofu, and Tunisian couscous salad.
Reader Comment from Erwin via facebook:
For ease of locating things, Tusker House. Last time we were there, the server pointed out that (facing the buffet from the dining room) everything to the left of the dessert island was vegetarian, with the obvious exception of the meats on the deli board. Everything to the right was not, which included the Israeli couscous side dish (probably made with chicken broth).
Reader Picks: Counter-Service
Tangierine Cafe, Morocco Pavilion, Epcot’s World Showcase
Another multi-vote winner, Tangierine Cafe offers numerous wraps and side dishes that are, or can be made, vegetarian. Check out SoloFriendly’s photo-packed review of her Vegetable Platter dinner, which includes “falafel bread, olive salad, hummus, lentil salad, tabouleh, and a tangierine couscous salad,” at the cafe.
Reader Comment from @jobber99 via twitter, recalling his favorite veggie meal at Tangierine Cafe: Falafel with hummus, pita, rice, taboueh, and baklava.
Sunshine Seasons, The Land, Epcot’s Future World
Sunshine Seasons always tops best counter-service lists, and this is no exception. The food-court-style restaurant offers different stations for different types of food, including Asian Cuisine-inspired foods, Soup and Salads, Sandwiches, Grilled items, and Desserts.
In addition to the standard vegetarian fare (soups and salads), you can find grilled vegetable sandwiches and other vegetarian entrees.
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom
Cosmic Ray’s is truly a favorite among vegetarians for its (actually quite good!) veggie burgers and vegetable wraps. Perhaps the out-of-this-world (sorry. had to do it.) burger fixin’s bar will sway your decision… .
Other reader suggestions included: Garden Grill (dish suggestion: tofu veggie noodles), Columbia Harbour House (dish suggestion: lighthouse sandwich), Yak and Yeti (make a meal of the veggie side dishes), Starring Rolls Cafe (dish suggestion: Veggie Wrap), Mama Melrose, Coral Reef (dish suggestion: Wild Mushroom Lasagna), Coronado Springs’ Pepper Market, California Grill, Chef Mickey, Kona Cafe, and Brown Derby. We’d love to hear your suggestions; contact Disney Food Blog via facebook, twitter, or email.
If these suggestions don’t strike your fancy, remember that Disney offers a whole website page about special dining options as well as phone numbers and email addresses to connect with dining personnel before your trip. This is a great way to get information and request special dining options for your vacation. Disney is very accommodating when it comes to ensuring your dining experience is a good one; it just may take a bit of pre-planning. Also, if you’re already in a restaurant and don’t see anything for you on the menu, mention to your server that you’d like to hear more about Vegetarian and Vegan options. Many Disney World Chefs are more than willing to put together a delectable dish just for you — even on short notice!
Disney Contact Information for Special Diet Considerations
General Disney Special Diets Contact: SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com, or 407-824-5967
Animal Kingdom: WDWAKSpecialDiets@email.disney.com, or 407-938-3288
Hollywood Studios: WDWSTSpecialDiets@email.disney.com, or 407-560-3551
Epcot: WDWECSpecialDiets@email.disney.com, or 407-560-6395
Magic Kingdom: WDWMKSpecialDiets@email.disney.com, or 407-824-5967
(thanks to WDWinfo)
Other Helpful Links, Books, and Tips
Helpful grid of Vegetarian and Vegan items in Disney World Parks: While this does not include all restaurants and dining locations (and no resort options), it’s still a VERY helpful guide for those visiting the parks.
Vegetarian Walt Disney World and Greater Orlando (2000): One of the only dining guides for vegetarians in Disney World
Vegetarian Walt Disney World and Greater Orlando, Second Edition (2003)
Website and Book Updates For Vegetarian Walt Disney World and Greater Orlando
As a disclaimer, in this blog post “Vegetarian” pretty much means the ingredients are “meat-free;” the qualification does not pertain to how or where the dishes are cooked, and does not take into consideration inclusion of eggs/dairy.
Check out the other “Best Disney World Restaurants” in our series!