Yak and Yeti Counter Service
I haven’t written about this one in a long time, and I was excited to go back. Anandapur Local Food Cafes in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom — also known as the “Yak and Yeti Counter Service” by many folks — has the most interesting counter-service options you’ll find at Animal Kingdom. (I didn’t say “best,” I said “most interesting.”)
This restaurant is tucked waaaaay back into Asia — pretty much as far back from the entrance to Animal Kingdom as you can get without being at Rafiki’s Planet Watch — and is a great stop if you’ve just toured the Maharaja’s palace on Maharaja Jungle Trek or gotten doused on Kali River Rapids. It’s also just a short walk from Expedition Everest.
This all-outdoor eatery offers fantastic themeing and decent food. You’ll order at registers lined up over an overhang; but while you’re waiting, be sure to take in some of the “props” used by Imagineers to make you feel like you’re in an Indian market.
Once you have your food, it’s time to head over to the seating areas. Several outdoor tables are arranged in a courtyard book-ended by marketplace shops (selling not-at-all exotic things like flip flops, dresses, towels, socks, and other sundries that may be needed by folks who’ve just emerged sopping wet from Kali River Rapids) and punctuated by a lovely fountain.
Some tables are actually under covers and some are shaded by trees or umbrellas.
As you can see, this is not a place to be when it’s 1.) Crowded, 2.) Excessively Hot, or 3.) Raining. But if you’ve successfully avoided those three things (a feat in central Florida, and Disney World particularly), then we can recommend swinging by for a bite.
Be sure to look around the courtyard to see the themed advertisements on the walls.
Ordering might be difficult for picky eaters, but even though this can be considered “ethnic” food, it’s definitely not all that exotic.
Once you have your food, it’s off to the wheel-o-condiments, of which there are many. Choose from duck sauce, hot sauce, Chinese mustard, soy sauce, other kind of soy sauce (low-sodium?), mayonnaise, ketchup, regular mustard, etc., etc. OK, it’s not actually a wheel. But they are definitely condiments.
I found a table in the sweltering July heat (I know, I know, I don’t even take my own advice) and dove in.
On our past visit, we tried the Honey Chicken, Pork Egg Rolls, and Chicken Fried Rice. You can read that Yak and Yeti Counter Service review here.
We went for different options this time, and got the Sweet and Sour Chicken and the Asian Chicken Sandwich, served with Sun Chips.
The Sweet and Sour Chicken looked a lot like the Honey Chicken to my untrained eye — just a little bit orange-er. In the fun little “take-out” boxes, the chicken dishes are served with rice and veggies/fruit on the bottom and fried chicken bits on the top, all covered in sauce. You’ll need to mix well if you plan to get a little bit of everything in each bite, which can be hard to do since the food is packed pretty densely.
While this dish wasn’t anything to write home about, I did enjoy it. The textures were good, and the sweet and sour flavors were as expected. I liked the abundance of fruit and veggies buried beneath the chicken.
But I did have to dig a bit to get to that rice!
The Asian Chicken Sandwich was pretty disappointing, though, I have to say. First of all, it’s boring to look at. After the fun take-out packaging of the other menu options, this is kind of a dud.
And I’m not sure how this sandwich is actually Asian. It has lettuce, tomatoes, onions, deli sliced chicken, and a mayonnaise-y sauce. That’s…pretty much it. While it wasn’t a bad sandwich, it was a boring sandwich.
Definitely go for one of the other options like the chicken or beef dishes if you’d like a bit more pizzazz with your trip to Asia.
Speaking of pizzazz, one of the things I love about this spot is that it has it’s own drinks window — and I’m not talking soda-pop, my friends.
These drinks are “high-octane” as they say in Cars Land.
Once again, I bypassed this window because I needed to stay awake for a few more hours, but I’ll show you the Yak Attack, which you can still get here.
This features mango daiquiri, bacardi light rum, and wildberry. The most shocking part? The price has stayed the same for the past 2 years. A miracle.
While my loyalties lie with Restaurantosaurus and Flametree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this place is no slouch. For more interesting food and fun themeing, Yak-and-Yeti-Counter-Service-Anandapur-Local-Food-Cafes is definitely a fine option.
I’d love to hear your reviews and opinions of Yak and Yeti Counter Service! Let us know in the comments below!