This article is your complete guide to the best restaurants in Animal Kingdom in 2023! We know if you’re heading over to Animal Kingdom for one of your park days while on your Disney vacation, you’re curious about all of the terrific food choices. We rank the best places to eat in Animal Kingdom only behind Epcot. And it’s a good thing, because Animal Kingdom is also the largest park, so you’re sure to work up a substantial appetite while you’re there. So, join us as we review the Animal Kingdom restaurants and let you know what we think are the best places to eat in Animal Kingdom.
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So if you’re ready to learn everything there is about the 2023 best restaurants in Animal Kingdom read on!
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Before we dive into details, below is a quick list of our best restaurants in Animal Kingdom 2023 in the order from our favorite to least favorite. Making the top 10 list of best places to eat at Animal Kingdom was super easy because … there are only 10 restaurants in Animal Kingdom! It is important to note that there are more than 10 Animal Kingdom dining 2023 options – we just didn’t include snack carts or lounges.
In this next section, we are going to rank the best Animal Kingdom restaurants in Walt Disney World from the worst to best. Our ranking of Animal Kingdom restaurants is determined by their quality of food, the theme and overall experience you will get when visiting.
So, without further ado, our ranking of the best places to eat at Disney Animal Kingdom are:
If you want to know the reasons behind our ranking of the best places to eat at Disney World Animal Kingdom in 2023, keep reading on! We include all the information behind the restaurants and why we ranked the 2023 Disney Animal Kingdom restaurants like we did!
Because we like to save the best for last (like dessert!), we’ll review them in reverse order here, starting with our least favorite, and ending at the restaurant we think has the best Animal Kingdom food.
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Type of restaurant – Quick-service restaurant serving basic American theme-park fare but mostly pizza.
Location – This brightly-colored restaurant is located in Discovery Island. It’s one of the first places you come across if you head left when you see the Tree of Life. Pizzafari was closed almost all of 2021, but has made a debut just in time for the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Throughout the closure, we are interested if Pizzafari updated its menu and improved the food quality. If so, we might have to stop by and update our best places to eat in Animal Kingdom in 2023!
Best food options – There are a variety of pizzas available here, some of which, remind us of cheap take-out pizza. Pizzafari also offers relatively cheap salads and sandwiches for those who don’t enjoy generic pizza. We also enjoy those buttery garlic knots.
What we like about it – Pizzafari is one of the better restaurants when it comes to allergy friendly menus. They have a pizza available for just about any allergy, making it a rather family friendly restaurant. As for Animal Kingdom dining 2023, this restaurant has truly improved its quality and is a great choice for families or those in large groups looking to save money.
What don’t we like about it – The food is just stereotypical theme park food and Animal Kingdom has so many better options. If you’re looking for something more unique or exciting, try one of the snack carts around like 8 Spoons Cafe for some of the best food at Animal Kingdom in 2023.
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Type of restaurant – Table-service restaurant serving American Food in a highly-themed restaurant with lots of animatronics and multiple salt-water aquariums throughout the restaurant. As for Animal Kingdom dining 2023, you aren’t going to find anything unique or mind-blowing.
Location – The Rainforest Café is located at the entrance of Animal Kingdom. You can either enter before you enter the park (thus, not needing park passes) or you can enter from the park using the back entrance.
Best food options – While many of the food options here look great on the menu, they’re often a disappointment once they reach your plate. For some reason, under seasoning seems to be the theme here. We recommend the pork ribs (Mojo Bones) for a good-tasting meal. Perhaps look at sharing a main course item (most servings are large) and splitting a non-offensive appetizer to hold you over.
What we like about it – The best part of Rainforest Cafe is the theming. You’re not going to have spectacular or unique food here, but we definitely feel like this restaurant ticks all of the Animal Kingdom theming.
What we don’t like about it – It’s overpriced and under delivers. You can find Rainforest Cafes all over the US, therefore, we don’t really think it belongs in Animal Kingdom. We really want to like it and consider it one of the best food places at Animal Kingdom, but it simply never is.
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Type of restaurant – Quick-service all American food, such as burgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets.
Location – This restaurant is located in Dinoland USA and is supposed to be the hang-out place for the local paleontology students who are searching for dinosaur bones in the area.
Best food options – For a little while before the pandemic hit, this restaurant offered a fun Burgers and Sundaes option where you would reserve your spot to enjoy gourmet burgers and a build-your-own sundae bar. It wasn’t high-end, but it was one of the most fun Animal Kingdom places to eat on a “budget.” Without that option, we think the rest of its options pretty much is all on the same level of okay-ness.
Side note* While the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration is going on, there are special menu items that might make this restaurant more worth while! Walt’s Main Street Fried Chicken Sandwich has landed on the menu for the next 18th months.
What we like about it – If you’re a Disney geek like us, and love the backstories that Disney creates with so many of its areas, you’ll understand why we really just like to go here and look around. Whether it’s the chairs on the roof (with a pyramid of cans behind it) or the kitschy décor on the inside, it’s just plain fun. If you’re looking for plant-based Animal Kingdom dining options, you can find a few palatable meals here like the Impossible burger!
What we don’t like about it – Mostly, it’s the food. You can find this food just about anywhere and while it’ll probably make most kids happy, it leaves most parents wishing they could eat somewhere else.
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Type of restaurant – Quick-service restaurant featuring Pan-Asian take out food.
Location – Located next door to the table-service restaurant of the same name, this restaurant has tons of seating, but it’s all outdoors.
Best food options – There are really some tasty offerings for quick service meals at Animal Kingdom. We love the slightly spicy vegetable tikka masala as well as just getting a couple sides of egg rolls and fried rice. If you’re looking for places to eat breakfast in Animal Kingdom in 2023, this is a great place to stop! It has large breakfast servings for a reasonable price. Try one of the breakfast bowls. Just take our advice and wait a little bit before you hop on Expedition Everest!
What we like about it – It’s good food and most people can find something they like here. We think you’ll find it one of the better quick service restaurants at Animal Kingdom in 2023.
What we don’t like about it – It’s all outdoor seating. Why Animal Kingdom has so much outdoor seating options only, we’ll never understand. Nothing worse than trying to eat rice with chopsticks in the rain. This location is also VERY busy, and you typically will be waiting a while in line to order.
Type of restaurant – Quick-service restaurant showcasing African-themed meals, drinks and snacks.
Location – This open-air (which means outdoor seating again) plaza is parked in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, near the entrance to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
Best food options – Depending on how busy the park is, this area is somewhat unpredictable. There are several store fronts that offer a variety of delicious dishes, but they’re not always all open for business. We love the Mediterranean Harambe Salad that has olives, cucumbers and feta cheese for a meal that seems lighter and healthier than many in the park.
What we like about it – The food is unique and not your typical theme park food. It has lots of flavor and if the weather is nice, it’s a fun place to sit that makes you feel like you’re really at an outdoor market in Africa. We consider it to be one of the top restaurants in Animal Kingdom 2023 because if you’re wanting to slightly step out of your comfort zone, this market has plenty of options to try something new!
What we don’t like about it – Very little shade or covering. Those giant fans just can’t cool you off when the heat index is in the 100s.
Type of restaurant – Character dining with African inspired family-style meals.
Location – Located in Africa near the Lion King theater.
Best food options – Now that the menu has changed from buffet to family-style, we aren’t sure that the food options are as good as they used to be. But, there are plenty of meat options that come with your meals, which carnivores will love.
What we like about it – Seeing Mickey and friends in their safari outfits was the best! The characters roam around the restaurant and it’s the only character dining at Animal Kingdom Disney World 2023. We’re also hoping that it’ll continue to be a great option for breakfast at Animal Kingdom Disney World like it was in the past.
What we don’t like about it – Buffets and all-you-can eat meals are expensive. Add in some characters and the price can really skyrocket. If you have a large family but you aren’t all big eaters, this Animal Kingdom table service dining may not be the best for you.
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Type of restaurant – Huge quick-service smokehouse.
Location – Located on Discovery Island, you’ll come across it as you head over to Dinoland. It’s a sprawling restaurant and the back yard seating goes all the way out to the lake for some beautiful views of Expedition Everest.
Best food options – It’s got to be that barbecue! Because the portions are so large, it’s one of the best deals in Animal Kingdom. Grab a ribs and chicken combo to share with your loved one and you’ll be enjoying some of the best food in Disney Animal Kingdom in 2023 for a very reasonable price.
What we like about it – The food is pretty good, and the serving sizes are even better. Even though the lines can get long, there’s always plenty of places to sit and enjoy your meal. Mobile ordering has made eating at this location very convenient and there is plenty of shaded seating by the water. If you’re visiting for the 50th Anniversary Celebration, you can grab a spot by the water and watch Disney’s Kite Tails shows, which happen about once an hour.
What we don’t like about it – If you don’t like barbecue, you’re kind of out of luck. Also, again, it’s all outdoor seating! We seriously don’t understand why so many food places at Animal Kingdom only have outdoor seating.
Type of restaurant – Signature table-service restaurant offering global cuisine.
Location – it’s located on Discovery Island right before you head into Pandora.
Best food options – Would it be strange that we recommend bread and wine at this fine dining establishment? Both are amazing, but in truth, we love it all – from the charred octopus appetizer to the whole-fried sustainable fish to South American chocolate ganache. You feel like you can travel the entire world in one meal. This is seriously the best food at Animal Kingdom, but be prepared to pay for it!
What we like about it – The décor is amazing, and the food is spectacular. It takes you away from the theme park for awhile and places you in the a relaxing wonderful atmosphere. And here’s a tip: if you can’t get a reservation for this restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, see if you can spend some time at Nomad Lounge attached to it. It’s another wonderful oasis with delicious food options and incredible drinks.
What we don’t like about it – If you understand that you’re going to pay a premium to enjoy the incredible food here, there’s nothing to not like. If you weren’t prepared for the prices, your wallet may not be happy when you leave this Animal Kingdom table service restaurant.
Type of restaurant – A quick-service (or fast casual) restaurant serving healthy and unique American food.
Location – It’s located in Pandora: The World of Avatar, right next to Flight of Passage exit.
Best food options – We love the bowls served up at this restaurant. They are flavorful and customizable. Think of Chipotle, only with tons of other options. And we have to give a quick shout out to those cheeseburger pods (a cheeseburger tucked inside a Bao bun). Without a doubt, this is the best quick service Animal Kingdom restaurant.
What we like about it – Besides the fresh and flavorful food, we love this quick service restaurant because it has indoor seating! Indoor places to eat in Animal Kingdom 2023 that are quick service and have great food are almost non-existent.
What we don’t like about it – We don’t like that they discontinued their breakfast menu! Of all of the Animal Kingdom restaurants’ breakfast offerings, this place had our favorite items. Bring back the goat cheese frittata!
Type of restaurant – Table-service restaurant serving pan-Asian food in a Nepalese-style restaurant.
Location – This restaurant is located in Asia, next door to the Anandapur Theater.
Best food options – We’re not exaggerating when we say we love it all. Favorites include the incredible sharable Ahi Tuna Nachos for an appetizer, Chicken Tikka Masala or the Kobe Beef Burger for an entrée and every meal MUST end with fried wontons (skewered fresh pineapple served with ice cream and cream cheese wontons drizzled in honey). It has the best food in Animal Kingdom in 2023 without being overpriced.
What we like about it – The authentic décor collected and displayed throughout the restaurant is beautiful and time after time, we have the best service here of any of the Disney World Animal Kingdom restaurants.
What we don’t like about it – Not a dang thing. That’s why it’s listed as our favorite place for Disney World Animal Kingdom dining.
So, where can you find the best Animal Kingdom desserts and snacks? While we could probably write an entire article on the best snacks in Animal Kingdom, we can give you a quick rundown right here of our favorite places to stop!
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A: The offerings are lower than normal for breakfast at Animal Kingdom right now, but other than grabbing something from a kiosk or Starbucks, you can currently get breakfast at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes. There are few places in Pandora and a stand in Asia that offer sausage biscuit sandwiches guests can purchase, as well as Joffrey’s Coffee stand, which is called the Anandapur Cafe.
A: We think there are several that are tied for this award. We really like the theming of Restaurantosaurus and Satu’li Canteen for Animal Kingdom quick service food places. For table service restaurants in Animal Kingdom, nothing can beat the gorgeous theming of Tiffins.
A: None of the restaurants have live animals. The closest you’ll get to experiencing animals with your meal is at Rainforest Café where there are aquariums and plenty of animatronic animals to keep you company. If you are trying to find one of the best restaurants close to Animal Kingdom with animals we recommend checking out the Animal Kingdom lodge which is a Disney hotel.
Our favorite part about Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Wild Africa Trek, where guests get to go on a guided tour around Kilimanjaro Safari’s. For $199 per guest, you can sample delicious food like chicken curry, hummus, shrimp and more as you make your way around the grounds.
A: We’re so excited to say “Yes!” The only character meal at Animal Kingdom is Tusker House. Make those reservations for Tusker House as soon as you can because this one is sure to book up fast!
A: By Calling (407) 939-3463. Phone reservation lines are open from 7:00AM-11:00PM Monday-Friday and 7:00AM-8:00PM Saturday and Sunday EST. Guests can also make reservations on the WDW Website/The My Disney Experience App.
We hope our list of Animal Kingdom restaurants ranked will help you decide where to eat at Animal Kingdom the next time you visit the park. Be brave and try a new restaurant Animal Kingdom. You might find some new favorite places to eat in Animal Kingdom Disney.
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