Best Animal Kingdom Restaurants and What to Skip

Best Animal Kingdom Restaurants and What to Skip

We love Animal Kingdom. The restaurants at Animal Kingdom however run the spectrum of not great to amazing. So we threw together this little list of the best places to eat at Animal Kingdom that we’ve found so far. And a few places you’d be forewarned to skip instead. Mind you, as foodies we come with some pretty high expectations. Yes, even for theme park food. At the same time we don’t necessarily need food to be exotic to be impressive, just good. 

satuli canteen quick service food at disney

Where to Eat in Animal Kingdom

If you’re looking for the Best Animal Kingdom Restaurants look no further. .We’d done a roundup of where to eat in Animal Kingdom, no matter what you’re craving! Here’s everything we recommend and don’t for your next Animal Kingdom visit. 

Animal Kingdom Restaurants We RECOMMEND

The restaurants we like in Animal Kingdom come with a little atmosphere and lot of flavor. Unfortunately, our SKIP list is bigger here than we care to admit. 

Satu’li Canteen

  • Where: Pandora: World of Avatar
  • Views: Base cafeteria decor and Na’vi artwork
  • Theme: Avatar, Environment-centric
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Protein bowls, and whole fresh foods

We Recommend it Because:

Satu’li Canteen has gotten praise from just about everyone, so we’re going to jump on that bandwagon and say- yes, it is absolutely that good. Blame on it on the special sauces, or seasoned meat and veggies. With generous portion sizes of very good, whole, healthy foods its easy to love these dishes. On a vacation its the closest you can get to fresh food in the parks. We visit this restaurant without fail almost every trip to Walt Disney World because its a restaurant that does not disappoint, and has a varied enough menu we can get something different every time. 

Mr. Kamal’s Food Cart

  • Where: Africa to Asia Bridge
  • Views: Africa
  • Theme: African Street Food
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Appetizer-type snack foods for on-the-go eating

We Recommend it Because: Let us be clear this is a cart, with some cute seating stuffed in small surrounding areas, but mainly just a cart. While we spent many vacations just walking past this cart, we’ve recently discovered Mr. Kamal’s as the place to grab falafell with tzatziki, seasoned fries and hummus and veggies. Though the small menu is not a monumental achievement in the culinary arts, you can depend on decent food at a decent price here. 

pongu pongu night blossom drink at pandora

Pongu Pongu

  • Where: Pandora
  • Views: Floating Mountains
  • Theme: Avatar, Environment-centric
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Mostly drinks…

We Recommend it Because:

Home to the Pongu Lumpia and the Night Blossom ( both with and without alcohol), this walk up counter service restaurant has offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But mostly, its the home of Instagram-worthy drinks hailing from the World of Avatar. Since we sorta love spring rolls, this one had to make our list. The Pongu Lumpia is a combination of pineapple and cream cheese and a perfect pick-me up snack or quick breakfast. You can also grab a giant pretzel, french toast sticks and a breakfast sandwich here!

Kusifiri Coffee Shop and Bakery

  • Where: Africa
  • Views: Harambe
  • Theme: American, Bakery
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Basic Lunch and breakfast foods

We Recommend it Because: With a lovely assortment of baked goods and coffee you can also grab the Colossal Cinnamon Roll here. There’s also a couple curry options and deli sandwiches. Not a flashy little bakery cart, but good food without the need for reservations or lines. Head to the the gift shop seating area across the midway to eat outside.  

Eight Spoon Cafe

  • Where: Bridge from Asia to Discovery Island
  • Views: Asia
  • Theme: American
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Basic snacks that can substitute for meals

We Recommend it Because: Perfect as a quick lunch or to hold you over for a later dinner, the dishes here to keep an eye on are the loaded Mac and Cheese options. You can grab this mac with nothing on it or load it up with shrimp or pork. As a flavorful substitute for your standard Mickey Pretzel, its well worth the 6 bucks. 

nomad lounge at animal kingdom

Nomad Lounge

  • Where: Walkway to Pandora
  • Views: Stream, Trees
  • Theme: Adventurer
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Basic snacks that can substitute for meals

We Recommend it Because: On a recent visit to Nomad Lounge for appetizers and drinks, we were pleasantly surprised at the small plates ( like sliders, bread service, and poutine) and churros available. We also loved that Nomad Lounge is super-kid friendly! Whether you’re grabbing cute non-alcoholic drinks, so your little one can sip something pretty with you, or just need a quiet spot for rest and renewal, Nomad lounge is the place. With a deck out back lined with couches, its the perfect place to get away from the crazy. 

Animal Kingdom Restaurants that ALMOST MADE THE LIST

Tusker House: Character Dining at it’s best, you may want to experience this African-inspired buffet just to get the Fab 5 all in one place! But as character dining goes, there isn’t really a great backdrop for your photo ops here, just more guests eating at the tables in the background of your photos. But what about the food? We’ll take the snobbish route here and say if you’re looking for African inspired food, trying Boma ( another buffet) or dare we say Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a better bet. The experience here is more about the characters and less about the cuisine.

Flame Tree BBQ: Ok, so we know everyone loves Flame Tree BBQ! And as BBQ lovers ourselves we were disappointed to not be able to jump on the bandwagon with this one. So it almost made the list for those interested in dishes loaded with meat and baked beans. Since we don’t rate food based on how much it costs or how big the portion sizes are, we couldn’t give this one a glowing review.  Flavors weren’t interesting and the sides were basic. For better BBQ head to the Smokehouse/ House of Blues at Disney Springs instead. Or dare we say the newest Regal Eagle BBQ Smokehouse over at Epcot.

Trilo Bites : This snack cart over in Dinoland has the most surprising Nacho offering! With regular chips, loads of toppings, jalapenos included and enough to share, this little snack made out Best Non Dessert Snack list for good reason.

Animal Kingdom Restaurants On Our List TO TRY

Animal Kingdom Restaurants YOU CAN SKIP

Rainforest Cafe: We were always a little confused about the Rainforest Cafe in Animal Kingdom. Since theme wise it doesn’t really match the wilds of Africa, Asia or even Pandora.

Restaurantosaurus: Also known as the “worst restaurant in Animal Kingdom” by some Disney veterans, Restaurantosaurus is just fast food. Burgers and fries at their most basic. Since we like to make every meal an experience, if we wanted burgers and fries we’d head to D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs.

Pizzafari: Just Pizza and Flatbreads here and there isn’t much to write home about.  A fine go-to place to eat, we’re rather spoiled with our pizza expectations. We do have a few pizza places we like on Disney property with hopes of them getting even better. For now, we’ll stick to that list for our pizza-fix.

The Best Restaurants in Animal Kingdom

So there you have it. The best restaurants we’ve found so far in Animal Kingdom. Always a work in progress, these favorites could change based on menu changes so we’ll keep this post up to date as we experience more to share! 

The best restaurants in Animal Kingdom offer the best flavors, most authentic cuisine and lots of atmosphere! See our favorite Animal Kingdom Restaurants and a few worth missing. #polkadotpixies #animalkingdomrestaurants #disneytips #waltdisneyworld #polkadotpixies


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