Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Disney World when I’m in it. The theming is incredible. I could wander around just looking at things there for days! But the other thing that keeps me coming back to Animal Kingdom again are some seriously awesome restaurants. This place has it all!
Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.
If you haven’t booked a meal at Tusker House, then you’re missing out.
This sprawling restaurant sits on the main thoroughfare in Harambe Village within the Africa section of the park. And with some of the best immersive theming anywhere at Disney World, it’s hard to take in all of the intricate details and Imagineering here with just one meal.
But it’s not just the surroundings that are interesting. Tusker House has some incredible food as well. Inspired by the flavors of Africa, you’re in for a treat whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
We especially love the Spit-Roasted Meats. And taking advantage of the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet may save you on other meals during the day.
Oh, and did we mention that one of your fellow Tusker House visitors is MICKEY MOUSE?!?
That’s right! Tusker House offers Character Dining to Animal Kingdom guests, and Mickey and friends (Donald Duck among them) are dressed to go on a Kilimanjaro Safari with you!
Just before the bridge into Pandora — The World of AVATAR, there is an oasis by the name of Nomad Lounge.
Love of travel is the theme for this beautiful bar, inspired by the adventures of the Disney Imagineers who designed the park itself.
Indoor and outdoor seating are both plentiful and beautiful.
While the small bites menu doesn’t blow us away, the drinks — both cocktails and mocktails — are creative, unique, and refreshing, and unlike offerings you’ll find elsewhere in Disney World.
We love the Hightower Rocks — a watermelon twist on your typical margarita!
Make sure your inner traveler plans a visit to Nomad Lounge!
Yak and Yeti Restaurant
Looking for something exotic with an Asian twist? Then check out Yak and Yeti Restaurant. You can’t miss the big purple building in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom!
Themed as a grand home that’s been converted to a hotel, guests to the town of Anandapur are guaranteed to find
all kinds of interesting things when they spend some time wandering through the rooms.
But as much as I love all the detail, it’s the food that really captivates me at Yak and Yeti. The menu focuses on Asian specialties, and just about everything I’ve had here has been absolutely delicious.
I can rarely pass up the opportunity to order the Dim Sum Basket for Two. The beautiful presentation and variety always makes this one a hit.
But it was the Firecracker Shrimp that seriously impressed on my last visit.
And be sure to save room for dessert! The Fried Cream Cheese Wontons with Pineapple are a guest favorite among sweet Disney World offerings!
Personally speaking, I haven’t had a bad meal here yet.
Flame Tree Barbecue
If you’re looking for a place to relax and sit a spell with some seriously delicious eats, then check out Flame Tree Barbecue.
You might not even know it from looking at the ordering area, but the open air dining pavilions here stretch on and on throughout the park adjacent to the restaurant, and offer some of the best views the park has to offer.
Each pavilion is covered with ceiling fans, making them a great and often quiet place to take a break from the park hubbub. And be on the lookout for all of the whimsical — and kinda creepy — circle of life themed artwork throughout.
And just like its name says, you’ll find — and smell! — some delicious barbecue eats here. Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork are the headliner items.
And don’t forget the extra sauce! At Flame tree, they have sauce dispensers near each dining area — choose from regular or spicy!
Even if you’re not quite up to tackling one of those meaty and seriously sizable entrees, I highly recommend stopping by for one of Flame Tree’s fantastic, savory, and substantial snacks: golden, crispy Onion Rings or — my new personal favorite — French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese!
It’s hard to go wrong with a stop at Flame Tree Barbecue.
And YOU’RE invited! The menu features primarily drinks, and the one you HAVE to try is the Night Blossom (pictured here in a souvenir cup, but you can get it without).
The unique pear flavor is what makes this colorful frozen treat stand out from the rest.
Pongu Pongu serves only one food item, but it’s a doozy….
Pongu Lumpia is a spring roll encompassing sweet cream cheese and pineapple for a sweet and salty treat.
If your stomach is roaring with hunger, it’s time to head to my personal favorite restaurant in Animal Kingdom — Restaurantosaurus.
Located in Dinoland USA, Restaurantosaurus is the hangout for a group of paleontology students on a dig — and provides some of the quirkiest, most interesting surroundings I’ve ever seen in Disney.
Having lunch in the Airstream is my favorite! But be sure to look around when you eat here. It’s totally worthy of a few Disney minutes.
And even though I come here to explore, there are some decent food choices as well. But me? I rarely go interesting when I’m here. Who can pass up Disney Chicken Nuggets?
Although I should DEFINITELY mention, this place has added a totally amped up Premium Toppings Bar for your hot dog, hamburger, fries, or whatever else you choose to top!
Restaurantosaurus remains one of my favorite classic Counter Service experiences in any park.
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Tamu Tamu Refreshments specializes in two things: Cold Drinks and Good Eats!
Okay, so maybe that’s generalizing things a bit . What makes Tamu Tamu a must-visit? Tucked in the heart of Africa’s Harambe, Tamu Tamu offers a beautiful, peaceful respite of a seating area that is almost hidden from passersby.
But it’s also the treats you are able to bring back there with you that land this spot on our list. We’re talking about Dole Whip — also known as Pineapple Soft-Serve — with RUM in your choice of dark or coconut…
… AND the Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich!
These epic treats really hit the spot if you’re searching for outstanding snacks or sips in Animal Kingdom.
Bradley Falls and Mr. Kamal’s Kiosks
By the way, you don’t even have to go to a restaurant to score some excellent eats at Animal Kingdom. Just check out some of their terrific kiosks for a meal on the go!
Find both Bradley Falls and Mr. Kamal’s on the back side of Tree of Life, right on the path between Africa and Asia. Bradley Falls is typically open just for peak crowd days, but no worries. When it isn’t opened, many of the same snacks are available at Mr. Kamal’s.
Now, a snack for carnivores has been known to show up on the menu, such as the Teriyaki Beef Slider. But these kiosks excel at providing truly tasty snacks for vegetarian guests, like the packed-with-veggies Asian Noodle Salad and Falafel.
Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries is a more recent, and certainly unique, addition!
Tiffins is Animal Kingdom’s solo Signature Restaurant.
Similar to Nomad Lounge, this beautiful restaurant reflects the travels of the Animal Kingdom Imagineers.
The international flavors offer some unique choices for more adventurous eaters — which is why Tiffins is listed as a Runner Up on our Tops at Animal Kingdom list.
The menu here may not hold broad appeal for everyone in your party, so if a Signature Dining experience is on your list, there are other spots I would recommend.
However, plenty of folks disagree with me and have enjoyed an incredible meal at Tiffins, so be sure to read up and see if it might be for you!
Located in Pandora, Satu’li Canteen is the primary dining establishment for Animal Kingdom’s newest land.
But it’s not the food here that stands out (which is why it lands in our Runners Up category). It’s the theming.
In keeping with the story of the land, Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) took over the former Resource Development Administration’s mess hall and transformed it into a cultural center showcasing Na’vi artwork and items in celebration of the now peaceful relations between humans and the Na’vi.
Like the rest of the land of Pandora, dining at Satu’li Canteen is a completely immersive experience.
Dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is as much of an adventure as exploring the park! Be sure on your next visit to carve out some time and check out the varied restaurants and eats at this awesome spot. So much good food — so little time!
What’s your favorite Animal Kingdom Restaurant and dish? Leave a comment and tell us all about it below!