25 Best Food Items at Animal Kingdom You Don’t Want To Miss

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One of the things we do when planning a Walt Disney World vacation in Orlando is identify which of our favorite foods we want to get and what new flavors we want to try. That said, Disney often adjusts menus and frequently debuts new snacks and food options.

But we have the classics. In Magic Kingdom, we must have a hot dog from Casey’s and a Dole Whip from one of the two stands in Adventureland.

In EPCOT, we must get a crepe from the France Pavilion and also a full meal from Italy, Mexico or Morocco.

Hollywood Studios? Ronto Wrap, baby.

So what’s our favorite go-to in the Animal Kingdom? If you want to order the best of the best from the various restaurants in the Animal Kingdom, I recommend these top food items:


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What is the best food at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

There are a lot of options from which to choose. Animal Kingdom is probably Disney’s second-best park for foodies with African and Asian flavors as well as the created flavors for Pandora: World of Avatar.

You could eat at Animal Kingdom every night of the week and not have the same meal twice, and they’d all be good.

Cheeseburger Steamed Pods
The popular Cheeseburger Steamed Pods from Satu’li Canteen are available on both the lunch and dinner menu (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Cheeseburger Pods

Satu’li Canteen, Pandora

Can I pronounce the name of this alien counter service restaurant? I cannot. The goal in creating alien cuisine is to take something familiar and make it seem foreign. But Disney also retains the parts of familiarity that make it good.

These Steamed Cheeseburger Pods were a success. They have ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle and cheddar cheese served with crunchy vegetable slaw and vegetable chips.

Pulled Pork Atop Mac and Cheese Animal Kingdom
Disney does barbecue very well as demonstrated by this baked macaroni & cheese with pulled pork (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork

Flame Tree Barbecue, Discovery Island

Disney does two things consistently well, and they’re both in this dish.

The first is barbecue. In fact, across the parks, Disney barbecues well. The second is slaw. Disney must have a massive cabbage-growing operation somewhere because Disney really seems to like to serve up slaw.

This baked macaroni and cheese dish topped with smoked pulled pork BBQ is served with onion rings and coleslaw. The meal is on the heavy side, but it’s well worth it.

Animal Kingdom Yak & Yeti Menu
The Chicken Tikka Masala at Yak & Yeti is a wonderful, filling dish served with garlic naan (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Chicken Tikka Masala

Yak & Yeti, Asia

One of my favorite restaurants in Orlando is Yak and Yeti. The pan-Asian cuisine is quite good.

If you’re not familiar with the wonder of Chicken Tikka Masala, it’s boneless chicken breast marinated in yogurt and freshly ground herbs cooked in a traditional Masala sauce, jasmine rice and garlic naan. It’s a beautiful thing.

Tiffins Exterior in the Evening Animal Kingdom
Tiffins offers delicious Honey-Chili Glazed Pork Belly (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Honey-Chili Glazed Pork Belly

Tiffins Restaurant, Discovery Island

Animal Kingdom certainly has some excellent table service restaurants. For example, there are several appetizers on the menu at Tiffins that you could argue are among the best food options at Animal Kingdom.

Specifically, though, the Honey-Chili Glazed Pork Belly is among the best. It has a chorizo-manchego cheese biscuit, soft-poached egg and tasso gravy.

child with donald duck in safari gear at tusker house in animal kingdom
Tusker House has great food along with character dining at breakfast (photo by Elizabeth Cooper/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Green Curry Shrimp

Tusker House, Africa

We like to do the character dining buffet that features Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Daisy at breakfast. However, there are more interesting flavors on the buffet later in the day for lunch and dinner.

Read Also: 21 Best Disney Restaurants for Kids, According to a Dad

Pongu Lumpia at Animal Kingdom
The Pongu Lumpia is a pineapple cream cheese spring roll (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

6. Pongu Lumpia

Pongu Pongu, Pandora

This pineapple-cream cheese spring roll is a surprisingly good breakfast treat, but it is also available all day as a snack.

Animal Kingdom's Nomad Lounge
The Chicken Manchurian Nomad Bowl is a small plate offering at Nomad Lounge (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

7. The Chicken Manchurian Nomad Bowl

Nomad Lounge, Discovery Island

This lounge next to Tiffins mainly serves drinks but it does also have a variety of small plates to go with your specialty cocktails.

The Chicken Manchurian Nomad Bowl is steamed rice, red cabbage kimchi, ginger-scallion oil and crimini.

the yeti sundae
Stop by the colorful Anandapur Ice Cream Truck for the pretty and delicious Yeti sundae (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

8. Yeti Sundae

Anandapur Ice Cream Truck, Asia

This sundae has chocolate soft-serve topped with vanilla soft-serve, blue cake crumbs, sugar, sweet snowflakes and a chocolate Yeti image.

It’s delicious and also a work of art.

9. Szechuan Noodles

Tiffins Restaurant, Discovery Island

Here we have another delicious Tiffins food item. Szechuan Noodles features Yakisoba noodles, sesame chinkiang sauce, Japanese eggplant and Szechuan chili-garlic oil.

It will surely add a flavorful kick to your Disney day.

mouse with blue, yellow and white toppings
This colorful mousse is served with passion fruit curd (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

10. Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse

Satu’li Canteen, Pandora

As one of the first desserts on the list, this is precisely how it sounds.

It’s a creamy mousse served with passion fruit curd. I think it’s another home run created by Disney chefs with a new twist on a familiar dessert.

11. Pork Egg Rolls

Yak & Yeti, Asia

Not everything has to be new or complicated. When I want pan-Asian cuisine, I want a good egg roll, pot sticker or bang bang calamari.

Basically, that includes all the appetizers at Yak & Yeti.

a night blossom drink from pandora
The Night Blossom with boba balls is Instagramable and also tasty (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

12. Night Blossom

Pongu Pongu, Pandora

This non-alcoholic specialty beverage has layers of apple and desert pear limeade topped with boba balls.

I didn’t know how I’d feel about the boba balls at first, but I’m all in. It’s a delicious and refreshing beverage from another world.

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

13. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Harambe Fruit Market, Africa

This grilled corn on the cob is available with or without African spices. It’s a staple food item available in the market.

Eight Spoon Cafe Animal Kingdom
Eight Spoon offers a jelly doughnut sandwich with pulled pork that is surprisingly good (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

14. Pulled Pork Jelly Doughnut Sandwich

Eight Spoon Cafe, Discovery Island

I’m not a food scientist. I don’t know how and why things work when they seem like they shouldn’t.

However, I do know the pulled pork jelly doughnut sandwich works so I don’t question it.

Ocean Moon Bowl Satu'li Canteen Animal Kingdom
This colorful and healthy dish can be found in the land of Pandora (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

15. Ocean Moon Bowl

Satu’li Canteen, Pandora

This is another fun, creative dish from the land of Pandora.

It’s made with blue noodles, tuna, watermelon radish, pickled daikon, rainbow carrots, avocado, cucumbers and red cabbage with miso and sweet soy drizzle topped with micro cilantro.

Animal Kingdom's King Cooler Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu
The King’s Cooler Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu is a variation of the original delightful snack (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

16. King’s Cooler

Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Africa

There’s nothing like a little Dole Whip alcoholic drink, of course. King’s Cooler is Dole Whip Pineapple topped with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum and strawberry flavors.

17. Ahi Tuna Nachos

Yak & Yeti, Asia

The Yak & Yeti is legit. In fact, these nachos with sushi-grade Ahi tuna with Asian slaw, crispy fried wontons, wasabi aioli and sweet soy glaze are proof of how deep the bench is.

It’s also shareable since there’s enough for at least two.

18. Cuban Frita Sliders

Nomad Lounge, Discovery Island

Another Nomad Lounge small plate, these slides come with shoestring potatoes, spiced ketchup, yuca fries and sour orange mojo.

Animal Kingdom Yak and Yeti Outdoor
Try the Korean Fried Chicken when dining at Yak & Yeti (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

19. Korean Fried Chicken

Yak & Yeti, Asia

In truth, I could go to the Yak & Yeti each night of our vacation.

This delicious shareable features hand-breaded tenders tossed in gochujang maple syrup and dipping sauce. It’s certainly a staff favorite.

tray of food with chicken and ribs with salad
Harambe offers ribs and chicken with rice and slaw bowls (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

20. Ribs and Chicken Bowl

Harambe Market, Africa

Honestly, I would like a few more options from the Haramabe Market. For instance, I’d love a beef bowl and some other flavors. But what they do have, they do well.

The Ribs and Chicken Bowl has cilantro rice and mixed greens served with ribs and grilled chicken, topped with salsa.

Flame Tree Menu at Animal Kingdom
The St. Louis Ribs are worthy of your time (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

21. St. Louis Ribs

Flame Tree Barbecue, Discovery Island

I was a late convert to the holy church of the well-prepared rib. But I have made up for it later in life at some of the finest barbecue rib establishments across the South.

Personally, I’m more of a Memphis dry-rub guy, but these St. Louis ribs are worthy of your time.

Restauranosauris Exterior Animal Kingdom
Restaurantosaurus has a Cobb Salad in addition to burgers, fries and nuggets (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

22. Cobb Salad

Restaurantosaurus, DinoLand USA

Honestly, if you want a good Cobb Salad, get on the Disney bus and head to the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios.

Still, it’s a good option for the Animal Kingdom. I figure you’re gonna need something good to eat while the kids enjoy their Restaurantosaurus burgers, fries and nuggets.

Read Also: What Is the Best Food at Hollywood Studios? 11 Snacks You Must Try

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

23. Pie of the Viper

Rainforest Cafe, Rainforest Road

Start your morning off with a little kick with this Mexican-style breakfast pizza. This menu item has salsa, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, spicy and sweet peppers, cilantro, cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

You can also add applewood smoked bacon, chorizo or maple sausage.

Pizzafari Animal Kingdom
Pizza is usually a safe option for picky eaters (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

24. Blue Lagoon Lemonade with Rum and Glow Cube

Pizzafari, Discovery Island

The pizza is not bad at this quick-service restaurant in that it is pizza, and almost all pizza is fine.

However, you don’t want to skip the Blue Lagoon Lemonade. It has Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Minute Maid lemonade, citrus and gummy worms with a souvenir Glow Cube.

It’s fun and can also brighten up an otherwise dull pizza.

an ice cream sandwich in front of dino bite snacks
The 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)

25. Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Dino-Bites, DinoLand USA

This snack stand is a saving grace for families. I love the ice cream sandwich at this Disney eatery. It features vanilla ice cream served between freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

What restaurants do I need a reservation at Animal Kingdom?

If you want to guarantee a spot, be sure to make reservations at Tiffins for sure, as well as the Tusker House.

You’re also rolling the dice if you don’t have a reservation for Rainforest Cafe, Nomad Lounge or Yak & Yeti.

What food can you bring into Animal Kingdom?

According to Disney, at the time of this writing, guests can bring outside food and nonalcoholic beverage items into the park for self-consumption.

The food items should not be in glass containers and should not require heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration or have pungent odors.

Does Animal Kingdom allow water bottles?

As long as they’re not made of glass, you should be good.

Do you have a favorite food at the Animal Kingdom? If so, 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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