Last week, I shared with you everything we experienced in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so this week for Part 6 of our Walt Disney World series, I am sharing everything we ate. There are a lot of interesting and unique food offerings in the Animal Kingdom, so I feel like we barely touched the surface. Keep reading for more details and click the headers for links to the menus!
Yak & Yeti is a pan-Asian, Nepalese-style restaurant in the fictional village of Anandapur located at the base of the Himalayas in the Asia area. This was the only table-service restaurant we ate at in Animal Kingdom. The story of Yak & Yeti (as everything in Animal Kingdom has a backstory) is that the owner of the establishment created a boutique hotel to house and feed travelers on their way to the Himalayas. The restaurant feels like walking into someone’s house, with personal photos and artifacts gathered from travels. It looks awesome and is a very popular restaurant with a long wait, unless you have an advanced dining reservation, which we did.
Zach and I love Asian food, so we were excited to try this. We ordered the Firecracker Shrimp ($11.99), Dim Sum Basket ($15.99), and Potstickers ($9.99). The Firecracker Shrimp was one of their more popular items and included fried shrimp covered in a creamy sweet and spicy sauce. They were okay, except the shrimp did not taste fresh and were more like reheated frozen fried shrimp. It was pretty mediocre and disappointing. The Dim Sum Basket and Potstickers were even more disappointing. We have eaten a lot of dim sum and potstickers, and this was probably the worst we have ever had. Everything was so bland and not at all better than what you can get frozen.
Overall, while the interior and exterior of the restaurant looked awesome, it’s definitely not worth the wait or price, at least based on the options we tried.
Counter Service & Snacks
Eight Spoon Cafe is a small counter-service eatery that serves a few different macaroni-and-cheese dishes, including plain Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Shrimp and Sweet Chili Sauce, and Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork. We got the Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Shrimp and Sweet Chili Sauce ($6.49) and thought it was delicious. I have said multiple times that Disney excels at making macaroni-and-cheese dishes (see our Festival of Holidays and Food & Wine Festival reviews), and this held true at Eight Spoon Cafe. The baked mac was flavorful and super cheesy, and while I thought it would be weird to have it paired with shrimp and sweet chili sauce, it actually worked really well and was delicious. It was a delightfully sweet and salty pairing. I would love to go back and try the pulled pork version!
Flame Tree BBQ is a counter-service restaurant specializing in barbecued meats. This restaurant is highly rated and well reviewed across Disney sites, and we would have actually liked to try more if we had had the time or space in our stomachs. We tried one of their popular snack items, French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese (pictured). Did you hear (or, I guess, read) me? Fries with pulled pork AND CHEESE. As you can imagine, this was absolutely delicious. It was hot and fresh, and we ate them on a particularly cold evening, which made them even more satisfying.
Harambe Market is counter-service restaurant in an open air plaza located in the Africa area, in the fictional village of Harambe, and serves African-inspired eats. The first thing we tried there was Bibo ($3.29), a kiwi and mango juice drink. Reading about Bibo on Wikipedia, it was developed by the Coca-Cola company and was primarily made available in Canada, Turkey, South Africa, and Mozambique. This was delicious! Very sweet but super fruity and refreshing. Both Zach and I loved Bibo.
For a snack one day, we decided to split the Beef and Lamb Gyro ($10.99). It consists of thinly sliced gyro meats served open-faced on naan and is topped with cucumber and tomato salad and Tzatziki sauce. It’s also served with a side of black-eyed-pea salad. This was pretty good and a decent size for the price, so overall it was a good value. Everything was flavorful and tasted fresh. If anything, it might have been a bit average, as in good but nothing to write home about.
Sat’uli Canteen was our favorite counter-service restaurant in all of WDW. Sat’uli Canteen is supposed to be a former RDA mess hall but is now being used as a dining location for the Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE). The theming inside is consistent with Pandora but is not quite as impressive. It has a pretty big dining area and more resembles a cafeteria with some loose theming, including some boulders and plant life. However, it is an indoor dining room, which is great, as most dining areas in Animal Kingdom are outside. If you need to escape the heat or cold, it’s a great place. It’s pretty busy, too, but we never had a problem finding at least one table.
The most popular option at Sat’uli Canteen is the create-your-own-bowl option, which allows you to pick a protein, base, and sauce. We ordered a bowl with beef, rice and grains (a mix of brown rice and quinoa, I believe), and chimichurri sauce ($12.49). The beef was slow-roasted and thinly sliced, cooked at a perfect medium-rare. It was so delicious, moist, and flavorful. The chimichurri sauce was also so flavorful and tasty, pairing perfectly with the beef and grains. The bowls are a decent size, as well, making them a good value, and they’re very filling without making you feel gross or heavy. It’s definitely a fresher and healthier option than some other counter-service locations and was just so tasty. We ended up eating here twice and loved the bowl we got so much that we just got it again!
We also ordered the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods–Bao Buns ($10.99), which were bao buns filled with seasoned ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and cheese. The filling actually tasted very similar to a McDonald's cheeseburger, which to some may sound gross, but we actually thought it was delicious paired with the soft, sweet bao bun. It’s also served with a vegetable slaw and homemade potato chips, which were both delicious. We also ordered these a second time because they were that good! My only complaint is that they are kind of small, and if we had not also been sharing a bowl, it might not have been enough food.
Pongu Pongu is a small drink stand just outside of Sat’uli Canteen that serves both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. While writing this post, I also discovered that Pongu Pongu has a backstory! Apparently, it’s run by an expat who fell in love with Pandora. We ordered the Night Blossom ($5.99), which is a nonalcoholic slushie beverage that includes layers of apple and desert pear limeade, topped with fruit boba balls. This drink was pretty good, but I didn’t love it. It was very sweet ,and I think it would have actually been a lot better if it had alcohol in it. Zach enjoyed it a lot more than I did. My favorite part was probably the fruit boba, which were quite tasty.
Pongu Pongu also serves a couple of snacks, including the Pongu Lumpia ($2.99), a pineapple cream-cheese spring roll, which we ordered. Sounds weird, right? Well, it kind of was. It tasted pretty good, but I think it would’ve been better if they had picked a fruit other than pineapple.
The Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a small drink stand in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom in the fictional village of Anandapur. It serves a variety of teas around the world as well as a few specialty drinks. I ordered a chai tea latte ($4.89) on a particularly chilly morning, and it was delicious. It was great to enjoy a hot beverage while walking around and enjoying Asia’s scenic landscapes and peering out at Everest.
Drinkwallah was another drink shop in Anandapur that offered both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink offerings. We tried two of the alcoholic options: the Coconut-Lychee Lemonade ($8.50) and Frozen Coco-Cola ($9.00). The lemonade had Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, lychee, and Odwalla Lemonade. It was so, so good ― probably our favorite drink in the entire park. It was super refreshing, and I enjoyed the mix of lemon and lychee quite a bit. The extra “oomph” the rum gave it was also a nice touch. The Frozen Coca-Cola was a Coke slushie with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. If you like a Coke icee or slurpee, like my dear husband does, or are a fan of rum and Cokes, you’ll love this. It was delicious and refreshing. Drinkwallah was a wonderful place to buy a drink and find some relief from the harsh Florida sun. It also sells cinnamon-glazed almonds and pecans, which we didn’t get, but they smelled heavenly.
Thirsty River Bar is another open-air drink and snack stand offering up classic Disney snacks (pretzels, ice cream bars, etc.) as well as specialty alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. I tried the Himalayan Ghost ($10.25), which was made with Snow Leopard Vodka, guava, and Odwalla Lemonade. I definitely have a thing for lemonade cocktails, but this one was also a stellar choice ― it was sweet, flavorful, and refreshing.
We got this at a small stand outside of the now-canceled bird show, Flights of Wonder. We bought this simply out of exhaustion, which is why we were sitting in on the bird show in the first place. WDW requires a lot of walking, so it is a blessing from God that they serve alcohol all over the park to relieve your body from some of the aches and pains. The slushie mango margarita was tasty, super mango-y, and refreshing. I have no idea what the stand was called, but there were a few of these throughout the park that served frozen margaritas, beer, and chips.
This is just a Starbucks in Animal Kingdom, but we loved the name “Creature Comforts,” so I added it to the list. We stopped here on multiple occasions to refuel with coffee!