26 Best Animal Kingdom Restaurants and What To Order, Ranked

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One of the things I get excited about when planning a Disney vacation is the dining options. 

Whether it’s the famously foodie-friendly EPCOT, the sneaky good Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I like the idea of exploring different table service restaurants, quick service restaurants and counter service restaurants for both new flavors and old favorites. 

It’s hard to say any park other than EPCOT is the best for Disney dining, but Animal Kingdom – with its African and Asian-inspired flavors – is a close second.


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What is the restaurant in front of the Animal Kingdom? 

There is a Rainforest Cafe located at the entrance to the Animal Kingdom.

If you’ve never been, it’s kind of like a Hard Rock Cafe but with animatronic jungle animals instead of classic rock memorabilia and just a dash of Cracker Barrel-style shopping and dining. 

What are the best places to eat in the Animal Kingdom? 

Any discussion of the best Animal Kingdom restaurants is going to have a wide variety of opinions.

That said, there are a lot of good options from which to choose but there are also some perplexing ones. Why are there so many salty snacks? Why so much coffee?

In my experience, the Animal Kingdom is one the more oppressive spots in the entire resort from a heat and humidity aspect.

Salty snacks like popcorn and hot drinks like coffee seem like they would be the opposite of what you’d want most days in the park.

Still, to each his own. Here’s my ranking. Feel free to let me know yours in the comments.

Navigating Africa is thirsty work, so be sure to grab some water from kiosks like Mahindi (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

26. Mahindi

The Mahindi kiosk offers popcorn, nuts, chips and cold drinks. It’s a good spot to refresh for the hot theme park day ahead.

The Himalayan Ghost
The Himalayan Ghost is a cocktail that features Snow Leopard Vodka, guava and Minute Maid premium lemonade (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

25. Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks

Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks is an open-air bar offering specialty drinks and beers, along with a selection of refreshing frozen beverages and snacks.

In the way of food, you’ll find the Mickey pretzel, chips, Uncrustables and ice cream on the menu.

For drinks, we highly recommend the Himalayan Ghost with Snow Leopard Vodka, guava and Minute Maid premium lemonade. It may be the coolest drink order at Disney. 

Animal Kingdom's Drinkwallah
Ice-cold drinks and also snacks are available at Drinkwallah (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

24. Drinkwallah

This one is just a drink stand with a variety of snacks. Still, when it’s hot in Animal Kingdom, ice-cold drinks are golden.

caravan road
Caravan Road is located near the Tree of Life (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

23. Caravan Road

This kiosk located in the shadow of the Tree of Life offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic shaved ice. It’s delicious on a hot Florida day.

Read Also: 16 Best Things To Do at Animal Kingdom

pizza slice
Pick up a slice of pizza and a Loggerhead at Terra Treats (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

22. Terra Treats

It’s pizza, but the real star of the show is the Loggerhead – a beverage of Granny Smith apple and Sprite with gummy worms and a sugar limed rim in a glow cube. It’s too much for me, personally. 

Dawa Bar Animal Kingdom
You can sip on South African wine at this bamboo bar, but you won’t find food there (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

21. Dawa Bar

Sip on South African wines in the heart of Harambe village at this bamboo bar by Tusker House Restaurant. But food? Nah, son. This is only a drink station.

Animal Kingdom Corn on a Stick
The corn is freshly grilled at Harambe Fruit Market (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

20. Harambe Fruit Market

I have genuine affection for the Harambe Fruit Market. First of all, it’s my go-to breakfast spot in Animal Kingdom. But for lunch? It’s hard to beat grilled corn on the cob with African spices along with a good hot dog. 

Buffalo Chicken Chips at Trill-Bites Animal Kingdom
Buffalo Chicken Chips make a tasty go-to snack at Animal Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

19. Trilo-Bites

This ranking may be unfair because I have not personally sampled the signature dish aka the Buffalo Chicken Chips – house-made chips served with buffalo chicken and blue cheese dressing topped with tomato and celery relish.

There’s something about the official photos and that pink chicken meat that really does not appeal to me.

The Trilo-Bites Twist, however, is one of the best Dole Whip options in the entire Walt Disney World resort complex. It’s a citrus swirl, and it’s great.

Creature Comforts at Animal Kingdom
Creature Comforts sells Starbucks coffee and Disney baked goods (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

18. Creature Comforts

This African-themed venue sells Starbucks coffee and Disney baked goods. 

an iced coffee
Enjoy an iced coffee from the Isle of Java at Animal Kingdom (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

17. Isle of Java

My father-in-law was a coffee man. He ordered coffee with every meal. It could be 100 degrees outside and he’d want coffee. Apparently, he wasn’t the only one.

There must be millions more like him. That’s the only reason why I can think of that this park would need this many coffee shops inside the Animal Kingdom.

an ice cream sandwich in front of dino bite snacks
This ice cream sandwich at Dino Bites Snacks features ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies, topped with fun edible treats (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

16. Dino-Bite Snacks

A great little snack stand for kids, Dino-Bite offers a variety of ice cream snacks, chips, a Mickey pretzel and a hot fudge sundae.

There’s nothing wrong with this option, but personally, if I want ice cream, I want the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck. 

Kusafiri Coffee Shop Animal Kingdom
The marinated flatbreads at Kusafiri Coffee Shop make a good quick lunch option (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

15. Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

Almost everything is in the name of this coffee shop and bakery. The marinated flatbreads make for a great quickie lunch option. 

Restauranosauris Exterior Animal Kingdom
The kid-friendly Restaurantosaurus has hot dogs, burgers and chicken nuggets (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

14. Restaurantosaurus

This Dino-Land eatery is kid-friendly with hot dogs, burgers and chicken nuggets. It’s a good option for picky eaters.

Tamu Tamu's Kings Cooler Dole Whip Animal Kingdom
The Kings Cooler Dole Whip from Tamu Tamu (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

13. Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu is the home of Animal Kingdom Dole Whips. They also offer some breakfast options like muffins, biscuits, croissants and the Mickey Cinnamon Roll.

rainforest cafe at animal kingdom
Animal Kingdom’s Rainforest Cafe is located across from Joffrey’s before you actually enter the Animal Kingdom park (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

12. Rainforest Cafe

This isn’t a bad option, but the Rainforest Cafe is more about the experience than the food. 

It’s fun, especially if you have small to medium-sized kids. Do adults eat at the Rainforest Cafe without kids? I’m sure they do. Should they? I don’t judge. 

The cafe offers Asian flavors, Caribbean flavors, seafood, pasta and burgers. 

Can you eat at Rainforest Cafe without going into Animal Kingdom?

Yes. The Rainforest Cafe is located outside the park entrance so you can enjoy your Anaconda Pasta without a park ticket or park reservation. However, you’ll have to pay for parking.

A reservation for the cafe, however, is advisable. 

Read Also: Is Disney World Moving? An Analysis of the Possible New Locations

The Pizzafari Board Menu Animal Kingdom
Pizza is almost always a good choice (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

11. Pizzafari 

You will often hear me say that Disney does barbecue well. But pizza? It’s a little hit-and-miss. Still, it’s pizza. Even average pizza is still pretty good.

the yeti sundae
Stop by the colorful Anandapur Ice Cream Truck for an ice cream treat. Pictured: The Yeti Sundae (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

10. Anandapur Ice Cream Truck

Is there anything better on a hot day than great ice cream? You can get a vanilla or chocolate waffle cone, a float or the popular Yeti Sundae, which is chocolate soft-serve topped with vanilla soft-serve, blue cake crumbs, sugar, sweet snowflakes and a chocolate Yeti image. 

Located in the Pandora section of the park, Pongu Pongu is famous for its Philippines-inspired Pongu Lumpia, which is a pineapple and cream-cheese-filled spring roll (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

9. Pongu Pongu

I really dig the created culinary worlds of theme park lands like Pandora or Galaxy’s Edge. I enjoy the ingenuity the culinary imagineers must use to come up with something exotic enough to be alien but also good.

There aren’t a lot of post-breakfast options at Pongu Pongu. But I love the Pongu Lumpia – a pineapple-cream cheese spring roll. I wash it down with the Night Blossom – a non-alcoholic beverage featuring layers of apple and desert pear limeade topped with boba balls.

It’s definitely worth seeking out. 

pulled pork mac and cheese
Try the baked macaroni and cheese with pulled pork at the Eight Spoon Cafe (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

8. Eight Spoon Cafe

This quick-service eatery on Discovery Island does wonderful things with baked macaroni and cheese, pulled pork and somewhat improbably – jelly donuts.

The Smiling Crocodile
Grab some tasty street tacos for lunch from The Smiling Crocodile (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

7. The Smiling Crocodile

Street tacos are one of the Lord’s holy creations. And the ones here are pretty good.

a rice bowl with chicken and a watermelon lemonade from the Harambe Market
A rice bowl with chicken and a watermelon lemonade from the Harambe Market (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

6. Harambe Market

Not to be confused with the Harambe Fruit Market, this open-air plaza offers African-inspired flavors in a variety of rice bowls served with ribs, chicken or both.

mickey interacting with child at tusker house in animal kingdom
Tusker House offers one of the best character dining experiences at Disney (photo by Elizabeth Cooper/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Tusker House Restaurant

Tusker House has some of the best character dining in the Walt Disney World Resort complex. We are especially fond of breakfast, but it’s good any time.

Buffet-style dining features entrees like spit-roasted Tandoori chicken, berbere-marinated pork, green curry shrimp, chicken curry, za’atar braised beef or chermoula salmon filets

Flame Tree Menu at Animal Kingdom
Flame Tree is a good place to try some Disney BBQ (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Flame Tree Barbecue

Disney does BBQ well. This quick-service restaurant offers dishes like ribs, pulled pork and barbecue chicken.

Sides include baked mac and cheese and the Flame Tree Barbecue’s signature baked beans.

I don’t typically consider baked beans an intelligent theme park culinary option, but when a menu zags so hard against the grain, you have to respect it. 

cheeseburger pod from animal kingdom
You can find these delicious Cheeseburger Pods at the Satu’li Canteen (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Satu’li Canteen

This counter-service restaurant in Pandora: World of Avatar is one of my favorites in any of the Disney parks, and it is one of the best quick-service restaurants in the parks.

Come for the Cheeseburger Pods and stay for the Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl. Then, thank me later.

Tiffins Exterior in the Evening Animal Kingdom
Tiffins offers international cuisine (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Tiffins Restaurant

This is fine dining, Animal Kingdom style. The menu is designed to be a culinary expedition devoted to international cuisine.

Try the Tamarind-braised Short Rib, which has brown butter-carrot purée, Cipollini onions, Medjool date jam, roasted heirloom carrots or Szechuan noodles.

The Szechuan Noodles are also good. It has grilled king trumpet mushrooms, Japanese eggplant, sugar snap peas, Napa cabbage, charred corn, marinated cucumbers, Chinkiang-sesame sauce and garlic-chili oil.

Be sure to ask your server about allergens at this restaurant.

Yak & Yeti Animal Kingdom
The Yak & Yeti offers lunch and dinner themed after Asian cuisine (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Yak & Yeti

This table service eatery in Asia is my personal favorite in the park, but I am especially fond of Asian cuisine.

There can be rational arguments made for several others on the list, but the Ahi Tuna Nachos – shareable for two – is one of my favorite options.

The Chicken Tikka Masala, the Bhaktapur Duck or the Korean Beef are also excellent options.

Animal Kingdom's Nomad Lounge
Nomad Lounge is an oasis service with specialty cocktails and apps (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Is the Nomad Lounge for adults only?

No. Although, I don’t know that I would bring a 5-year-old just in general practice.

It’s located next to Tiffins Restaurant. The lounge is an oasis service specialty cocktails and a variety of apps including a couple of bowls, sliders and pork belly options.

In other words, this ain’t a place for picky eaters. There ain’t no chicken tenders here.

What is the buffet in Animal Kingdom?

Boma – Flavors of Africa is based on a lively African marketplace. This restaurant features all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets at breakfast and dinner. 

What is your favorite restaurant in the Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

Photo of author


John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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