Top 8 Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

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!

Mickey-Mouse-Tusker-House-417x625

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.

Tusker House

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.

Tusker House -- Outside View

Tusker House — Outside View

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.

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Oh, and did we mention that one of your fellow Tusker House visitors is MICKEY MOUSE?!?

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

See Your Favorite Disney Friends in Safari Garb

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!

Nomad Lounge

Just before the bridge into Pandora — The World of AVATAR, there is an oasis by the name of Nomad Lounge.

Nomad Lounge

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.

Travel Banners

Travel Banners

Nomad Lounge Menu Intro Page

Nomad Lounge Menu Intro Page

Indoor and outdoor seating are both plentiful and beautiful.

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge Patio

Nomad Lounge Patio

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.

Nomad lounge Specialty Cocktails

Nomad lounge Specialty Cocktails

We love the Hightower Rocks — a watermelon twist on your typical margarita!

Hightower Rocks

Hightower Rocks

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.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

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.

Dim Sum Basket for Two

Dim Sum Basket for Two

But it was the Firecracker Shrimp that seriously impressed on my last visit.

Firecracker Shrimp

Firecracker Shrimp

And be sure to save room for dessert! The Fried Cream Cheese Wontons with Pineapple are a guest favorite among sweet Disney World offerings!

Fried Wontons

Fried Wontons

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.

View of Expedition Everest from waterside dining pavilion Flame Tree Barbecue

View of Expedition Everest from Waterside Dining Pavilion

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.

Circle of Life Theme at Flame Tree

Circle of Life Theme

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.

Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler

Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler

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!

French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese

French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese

It’s hard to go wrong with a stop at Flame Tree Barbecue.

Pongu Pongu

What does Pongu Pongu mean, exactly? It translates from the Na’vi language of Pandora — The World of AVATAR into “Party Party”!

Pongu Pongu

Pongu Pongu

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).

Night Blossom in Pongu Mug

Night Blossom in Pongu Mug

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

Pongu Lumpia

Pongu Lumpia is a spring roll encompassing sweet cream cheese and pineapple for a sweet and salty treat.

Restaurantosaurus

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.

Eat here!

Eat here!

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.

Seating Inside the Airstream

Seating Inside the Airstream

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?

Restaurantosaurus Chicken Nuggets

Restaurantosaurus 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!

Toppings!

Toppings!

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!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

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.

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

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…

Pineapple soft-serve with Coconut Rum

Pineapple soft-serve with Coconut Rum

… AND the Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich!

Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Cookie 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!

Bradley Falls

Bradley Falls

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.

Mr. Kamal's

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.

Asian Noodle Salad at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Asian Noodle Salad at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Falafel and Tzatziki

Falafel and Tzatziki

Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries is a more recent, and certainly unique, addition!

Mr. Kamal's Seasoned Fries

Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries

Runners Up

Tiffins

Tiffins is Animal Kingdom’s solo Signature Restaurant.

Tiffins sign

Tiffins sign

Similar to Nomad Lounge, this beautiful restaurant reflects the travels of the Animal Kingdom Imagineers.

The Grand Gallery of Tiffins

The Grand Gallery of Tiffins

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.

Roasted Market Vegetable Curry at Tiffins

Roasted Market Vegetable Curry at Tiffins

Lobster Popcorn Thai Curry Soup

Lobster Popcorn Thai Curry Soup

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.

Marinated Grilled Octopus

Marinated Grilled Octopus

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!

Satu’li Canteen

Located in Pandora, Satu’li Canteen is the primary dining establishment for Animal Kingdom’s newest land.

Satu'li Canteen

Satu’li Canteen

Customization is the name of the game for the Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowls at Lunch and Dinner, which present healthy fare for a Counter Service location. (And they serve breakfast, too!)

Satu'li Canteen outdoor menu

Satu’li Canteen outdoor menu

Slow-roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl

Slow-roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl

But it’s not the food here that stands out (which is why it lands in our Runners Up category). It’s the theming.

Na'vi Artwork

Na’vi Artwork

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.

Na'vi Artwork

Na’vi Artwork

Satu'li Canteen atmosphere

Satu’li Canteen atmosphere

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!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

The 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition, is now available!

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6

With more than 650 pages, the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World  Dining, Second Edition is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition E-book — and use code SAVE2017 for a 20% discount for a limited time!

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Comments

  1. Tiffany says

    I did not know AK had so many cool choices! I will be there in 4 weeks and all my ADRs are already made but now I’m second guessing my choices. I’m eating breakfast at Tusker House and dinner at Sanaa but now I really want to eat at Yak and Yeti too! I guess now I know for my next trip to WDW. So many good choices….so little time. Thanks for all the great info, A.J.!

  2. Claire says

    Our family ALWAYS like to eat so we’ve eaten at most of these places at least once. We happened to be at Yak and Yeti for its opening day. When we were seated our host made sure to point out that we were the first guests to ever sit at this particular table (well, as long as you don’t count the cast member soft openings they had before it officially opened). And after we got seated, who was ushered in a couple of tables away but John Lasseter!!!! And just to make it cooler, after a few minutes Joe Rohde (the creative mind behind the whole Animal Kingdom!), came in and was introduced to John Lasseter! Two Disney mega-minds in one room…meeting for the first time!!! And I was too polite to interrupt, I wish I had, but being an uber-polite Canadian, I didn’t want to intrude.
    After that, I’ve always kind of had a soft spot for Yak and Yeti.

  3. Paul C says

    We found the Yak and Yeti take out to be much better than the table service.

    Remember, your Tables in Wonderland discount applies to most counter service places in AK.

  4. Max says

    Would you consider the falafel sandwich an alternative for the vegeterians? Or is it recommended for everyone?

    Thank You (:

  5. Tristen says

    My husband and I always get reservations at Tusker House, but during one visit, where we did not and the wait was very long, we discovered Yak and Yeti and fell in love. I actually daydream about those Fried Cream Cheese Wontons and the Honey Crispy Chicken is awesome. At Tusker House, I look forward to the desserts, most especially the Passion Fruit tarts. We haven’t tried Flame Tree BBQ yet, but that’s on the list for our visit in 2015. We’ve definitely had some of our best meals at AK and love trying out the ones we haven’t visited yet.

  6. Wendy says

    Claire — just had to say what a COOL STORY!!!

    Yak & Yeti rocks, and I’m addicted to the Fried Wontons, too.

  7. Sherrie says

    Flame tree is the place I HAVE to have lunch anytime I am in AK! I LOVE IT! One of my favorite counter service places in all of Disney

  8. Laura says

    And don’t forget that Flame Tree, Restaurantosaurus, and Y&Y all accept Tables in Wonderland. Or if you don’t have that, keep in mind you can save $25 off your first meal at Y&Y if you sign up for a Laundry’s membership!

  9. says

    AJ, thanks for highlighting the good eats in my favorite park! And a BIG thank you for mentioning Bradley Falls and Mr. Kamals- my two go-to spots for fresh, relatively healthy eats.

    Yak and Yeti is a must- for the air conditioned, cushy bar seating, and for the Lettuce Wraps. Unfortunately, they don’t take Tables in Wonderland, though.

    Claire- what an awesome, awesome story. I would be star struck, too. Joe Rhode is someone I would love to meet and have a conversation with.

  10. says

    Now that the pulled beef and house made chips are back at Tamu Tamu, that needs to be on this list. I’d kick off Flame Tree, the bbq has slipped the last few years

  11. Ellen Goodman says

    I booked lunch at Tusker House to get the Character greeting experience and the buffet was a bonus treat. We are South African’s so chose not to eat the South African choices but the rest of the selections were very yummy and we didn’t need to eat till later that night cos we were like stuffed turkeys. :) Well worth the advanced booking I had to make.

  12. jane says

    So people know, the Landry’s card isn’t exactly $25 off. You have to buy the card for $25, and then they put a $25 credit on your card to use at a restaurant. Then you can build points. They also will give $25 credit to you during your birthday month, which is good until the 15th of the following month. We managed to coincide our trip with the Bday month and had that extra $25.

  13. Lori says

    Yak and Yeti is always a must! If you get the Landrys card you can jump to the head of the walk up line. The pink Himalayan is one of my new favorite drinks anywhere on property! The airstream is the only place to dine on Restaurant asorous. Esp at Christmas. They play all the funny, quirky Christmas songs !

  14. Judy Peek says

    Tusker House is one of our favorites. Yak and Yeti, I think, is still an undiscovered gem. If you go there take the time to explore. In fact all of Animal Kingdom is a great park to walk and look here and there. Great park.

  15. Lorraine says

    I would like to see more food photos. These look good, but they’re all starch/sugars. Felafel (starch) in pita bread (starch) with potato chips (starch). Or Samosas: peas (starch) and potato (starch) in dough (starch) with a side of dipping sauce (sugar). The photos of Tusker House I saw on this blog site were also a majority of breads and desserts (starch & sugar). Isn’t there anything in the Animal Kingdom for diabetics? I’d like to see someone get to the MEAT of the matter.

  16. Marc says

    We are thinking of booking Tusker House for dinner. Are there character appearances at dinner?

  17. says

    Marc — Yes, Tusker House has extended character dining to dinner as well. I’ve made a note at the top of the post to reflect the update. Thanks for reading!

  18. Sandra G says

    Just seeing this article now and wanted to comment concerning Lorraine’s remarks that everything is starch. My husband is diabetic and finds plenty to eat at AK. The buffet at Tusker House has several meat and fish choices along with veggies, fresh fruit and salads. Flametree BBQ has good meat choices too as do Restaurantosaurus and Yak and Yeti counter service. In fact, the real problem is for vegetarians like me, so I love when I find a great veggie burger or falafel. Falafel is actually a vegetable protein-rich food made from garbanzos, with lots of soluble fiber, so it can be a good choice in moderation for a person with diabetes. Meat alone is not a healthy solution for diabetics; in fact, your brain needs some carbs to function well. Moderation, balance, carb counting and making good choices throughout the day as the key to good control. AK is a great place to dine as a diabetic or vegetarian person!

  19. Lorraine says

    Sandra G, you did not read my comment. I SAID I would like to see more food photos because those provided were all starches/carbs. I DID NOT SAY that the MENU consisted of only carbs. Furthermore, I do not accept your idea that “the real problem” is for vegetarians like you. I would not demean your choice to be a vegetarian, but unless you suffer from gout, your choice to be a vegetarian is just that – a choice, and one I neither question nor criticize. Furthermore, your choice does not dictate that the carbs in every morsel of food that goes into your mouth must be counted and accompanied by insulin. I ALSO DID NOT SAY that I only eat or can only eat meat. ALL I SAID WAS THAT I WANTED TO SEE MORE FOOD PHOTOS! How did that set me up for being judged by you?

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