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Animal Kingdom Quick Service Lunch and Dinner – Ranked!

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Nothing can make or break a day of touring faster than forgetting to eat. You do not want to wait until everyone is so hungry they’re snapping, and then stop at the first place you come to. So, what’s good? Animal Kingdom has more than its fair share of great food, but today we’re going to focus on Quick Service lunch and dinner. Looking for breakfast? See Six Places For a Quick Breakfast in Animal Kingdom.

We’ve ranked these locations based on their ratings in TouringPlans user surveys. But before we get to the list, some general tips.

⭐ Quick Service locations get very busy around lunch; arrive by 11:30 or closer to 1 pm to avoid spending a long time in line and waiting for a seat. Mobile Ordering in advance can help, but when the line is backed up it takes longer to pick up Mobile Order too. And finding seating when it’s busy can be a challenge no matter how you got your food, although it’s less of an issue in this park.

⭐ The dinner crowd tends to be a bit more spread out, and particularly at Animal Kingdom, it’s lighter.

⭐ In Animal Kingdom, check the hours for Quick Service restaurants before making plans. Since the park tends to open early, most Quick Service lunch begins earlier than it does in other parks, often around 10:30 am. And some locations only serve dinner when the parks are very crowded.

⭐ One more thing: we’ve only included locations that serve a menu labeled lunch or dinner; these spots offer enough variety that most in a group can find something that appeals. But if you’re a smaller group (or solo), many snack carts in Animal Kingdom serve dishes hearty enough to make a meal of.

#1: Satu’li Canteen

Found in Pandora, the World of Avatar, Satu’li Canteen is ranked second out of all Disney World Quick Service locations by TouringPlans readers. But it’s not only us: it’s #19 out of 455 “Quick Bites” in the Orlando area on TripAdvisor, too. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available, but indoor seating can fill up if it’s hot out.

The interior of Satu’li Canteen is as heavily themed as the rest of Pandora.

According to Disney the cuisine is “American”, but only in the sense that America is a melting pot. Proteins feature chili-garlic shrimp (vaguely Asian, but beloved of Americans), chimichurri-braised beef (American, but definitely South American), and wood-grilled chicken (this one is global, but I’ll give it to them). There’s variety for everyone as the restaurant leans into the “Build Your Own” model. You’ll pick a carb or vegetable base, one of the aforementioned proteins to cover it, and a sauce to add flavor to the whole shebang. But for my money the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods (Bao Buns) are a sleeper pick: think steak-n-cheese flavors in a bao. See the menu here.

#2: Flame Tree Barbecue

Right on the Dinoland corner of Discovery Island, Flame Tree has been well-loved for over a decade. The outdoor, mostly covered, multi-level seating has beautiful views of the water, and of Expedition Everest on the other side of it.

Flame Tree’s Ribs are theme-park famous and have been for many years, but the rest of the barbecue options are just as solid.

What’s on the menu? Well, barbecue meats, barbecue meats, barbecue meats, baked macaroni & cheese, and a smokehouse chicken salad. If you’ve guessed that can make this pretty heavy eating on a hot day, you’d be right. But the food is delicious and most choices are large enough to share, which makes it easier to economize and also to have a frictionless heat vs. heavy food experience. See the menu here.

#3: Harambe Market

Harambe Market is in Africa, and has some of the best theming of any location in Animal Kingdom. Constructed around an “old colonial-era train depot”, the Wildlife Express train runs by outside the back fence from time to time. The all-outdoor seating area feels a bit like a market plaza. There are umbrella- and carport-shaded tables with bench or chair-style seating. And the walls are decorated with general advice, local notes, and posters advertising area businesses or events. Despite general approval of the food, Harambe Market usually closes in the late afternoon before dinner.

Sadly the opening-day curry style sausages are now only on the sign, but the current menu will still leave your taste buds happy.

The food is a mix of salads and rice bowls, and if you’re looking for something that feels lighter but still satisfies then Harambe Market is a great pick. With accompaniments like a Kachumbari Tomato Salad or grilled corn and black-eyed peas, it feels like food that’s made for hot weather. The decor could mislead you that you need to visit a specific window to order certain dishes, but that’s not true. See the menu here.

On any given day Harambe Market flip-flops with Flame Tree for the #2 spot. I suspect if it was open later and had better desserts it might hold down the second position with ease. Note: for dessert Zuri’s Sweet Shop is across the way and it’s easy to pop over and come back to your seats.

#4: Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes

It’s more than halfway down this list, but Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes still scores a “Much Above Average” 93% on surveys. I guess that just speaks to how strong the Animal Kingdom dining game is. The order window fronts the road, making it easy to walk away with a side of Pork Egg Rolls for a munch-as-you-go snack. But the all-outdoors seating in the rear has a lovely fountain that reminds you that you’re taking a relaxing break, in addition to refueling.

Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes seating is around the back – it says so, right on the sign.

The dishes are Asian-inspired, with selections such as Honey Sesame Chicken, Sweet & Sour Tempura Shrimp, and Teriyaki Chicken Salad that would feel at home on any mall food court menu. But the quality is high and even the fried food doesn’t feel as heavy as you know that it ought to. The dessert and Snack game is great here if you just want to grab a bite as you’re walking past. And there are not one, but two meatless options on the menu, besides the aforementioned salad. See the menu here.

#5: Restaurantosaurus

Restaurantosaurus anchors the relatively thin dining lineup in Dinoland. (Maybe the dining has gone extinct along with the dinosaurs?) After the #1-ranked Satu’li Canteen, this is the next Quick Service on the list with indoor, air-conditioned seating. The dinosaur theming is delightful for kids and adults, but there are several rooms. So if you send someone ahead for seating make sure you know where they’ve headed off to, or carrying an Airtag works too. There’s also a fair-sized outdoor seating area, but it features umbrella-table patio decor that won’t keep you dry if it’s raining or shaded if it’s hot out.

Theming wins the day at Restaurantosaurus

The fare at Restaurantosaurus will make you happy if you’re not out for any of that new-fangled high-falutin’ fusion food, and are instead looking for a plain old burger and fries. Or chicken nuggets and fries. Or a chili-cheese hot dog and fries. You’re getting the picture, right? See the menu here.

Restaurantosaurus holds down the first “Below Average” spot, fielding an 86% on surveys. But I think this is a case where numbers don’t tell the whole story. In our experience, this isn’t about dry cheeseburgers or burnt chicken fingers. The quality of the food is usually reasonable if not amazing, and it is all as-described. This feels to me a bit like it includes a lot of grudge ratings from people who wanted to eat more interesting food in Animal Kingdom and got outvoted.

#6: Pizzafari

Discovery Island is the only land in Animal Kingdom with two Quick Service restaurants. Flame Tree holds down the Dinoland corner and you’ll find Pizzafari on the Africa side. The indoor seating features multiple rooms decorated with brightly-colored animal-themed murals. Like Restaurantosaurus, you’ll want to know where you left your other diners if you split up when ordering. Outdoor seating is also available.

A sampler of typical Pizzafari fare

Also like Restaurantosaurus, the menu features ever-popular everywhere-available widely-appealing standards. We’re talking dishes like Pepperoni Pizza and Cheese Pizza, or a Caesar Salad with or without Chicken. (See the menu here.) Unlike Restaurantosaurus, you don’t need a grudge match to explain the 76% rating, the food is just not very good. It’s true that 76% is more than 3/4 of guests with a thumbs-up rating. But the words “cafeteria food” feature heavily in negative or neutral reviews; it’s hard to justify choosing that on purpose in a park with so much great food. If you happen to be eating here, the side Antipasto Salad is one of the few highlights.

What’s your favorite Quick Service lunch or dinner in Animal Kingdom? Are you on team Fusion Food or team Familiar Food? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

2 thoughts on “Animal Kingdom Quick Service Lunch and Dinner – Ranked!

  • Flame Tree FTW
    1/2 smoked chicken (almost always expertly slow cooked,) baked beans and coleslaw, 1 Safari Amber draft.
    An easy split between two people, lots of lakeside shaded seating, exceptional garden setting, and character boats cruising by occasionally.

    Reply
    • Smith Nellon can confirm! 🙂

      Reply

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