Buffets can be hit or miss for vegetarians. In many cases, the higher-priced foods on buffets tend to be meats (seafood, carving station, etc.), and some buffets only offer token vegetarian options. Salad anyone? One of the best buffet options for vegetarians is the one at Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge–Jambo House. Not only are the options plentiful, there’s a lot of diversity in offerings. Please note that the buffet menu changes daily, and so items shown here may differ on your next trip. This should give you some idea of the items available. Also, for those who have specific food sensitivities or are interested in a vegan meal, simply talk to the chef when you arrive for accommodations.
Although first impulse may be to skip the carving station, there are a few solid vegetarian options available including pap and chakalaka (think grits with a flavorful tomato stew) and fufu (a potato-sweet potato mix).
If cheese is okay by you, Disney’s mac’n’cheese is always a favorite for the younger set–and many “older kids” too. You can also often find plain pasta. Check the marinara sauce before dishing it up as it may contain meatballs.
Many of the hot foods on the buffet are vegetable-based, and many have unique flavors. The asparagus of the night featured a dusting of smoked paprika, for instance. On the night I visited, there was also a delicious dish made with roasted cabbage. A favorite of mine is the peanut rice they have — it sounds simple, but it is heavenly.
At many buffets, soups are a food that’s just put on the buffet to take up space, but some of my favorite dishes at Boma are the soups. The butternut squash and the carrot and ginger soups are favorites, and there’s usually some sort of lentil-based soup as well, if you’re looking for more of a hearty stew.
Salads and Cold Foods
In addition to items like fresh fruit and lettuce mix with dressing, the cold section at Boma contains several vegetarian-friendly salad dishes. I adore the “kool slai” (coleslaw) and there’s usually a curry-based salad that is often vegetarian friendly and quite good. One of the more unique options is the pickled watermelon rind. On my most recent visit, they had a roasted cauliflower salad that was incredible (and I hope becomes a regular option). It is possible to fill your plate well in this area with vegetarian options.
The bread station has everything from lavosh to dinner rolls (and my personal favorite the mealie bread, aka best cornbread ever). There’s usually several flavors of hummus available, too.
The best advice that you can get about dinner at Boma is “save room for dessert”. Aside from the iconic zebra domes desserts, there’s a whole lot to love on the buffet. (My favorite are the Malva pudding cakes. It’s the perfect end to a meal.) On my recent trip, I was also pleased to see that they had one item on the dessert buffet specifically listed as “plant-based” (the coconut-mango chocolate tart shown here). This is certainly a welcome addition for those trying to keep to a more plant-based diet.
As always, if you have questions or concerns about food or need to talk to a chef about dietary restrictions or allergies, I’ve found the chefs at Walt Disney World to be exceptional in their attention to detail. And thankfully they have a lot they can work with at Boma for those wishing to dine vegetarian.
Have you eaten vegetarian at Boma? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments.