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I’m a big fan of quick service (aka counter service) dining at Disney World so it’s easy for me to pick my favorite Animal Kingdom quick service restaurants.
I love quick service dining because you don’t need a reservation and it’s MUCH more affordable than table service. And I think the quick service options at Animal Kingdom are the best of any of the four theme parks!
Read on to learn all about my top picks and which restaurants you should avoid…
Animal Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants Ranked
Here are all of the Animal Kingdom quick service restaurants ranked from best to worst (in my humble opinion, of course):
- Satu’li Canteen
- Flame Tree Barbecue
- Harambe Market
- Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe
I’ll highlight my favorites below and why I think they shouldn’t be missed.
Best Animal Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants: Satuli Canteen
My first pick for the best Animal Kingdom quick service restaurant is Satu’li Canteen in the new Pandora World of Avatar. It is one of the best themed quick service dining locations in all of Disney World.
It was a close call because I also love my second pick – but the atmosphere and storytelling at Satu’li Canteen tips the scale for me.
The food definitely looks like it is from another planet – but don’t worry, it’s delicious, too!
The backstory for this restaurant is that it’s an old abandoned mess hall that has been turned into a restaurant for tourists by ACE: Alpha Centauri Expeditions. It fits perfectly into the storyline of Pandora.
You will walk past some Nav’i “artifacts” as you enter the restaurant and can grab a menu to check out while you wait to order.
There is plenty of seating both inside the restaurant and outside in a few covered areas. You order and pick up your food at the same place, then get your own fountain drinks and find a place to sit. I like that you get real plates and silverware at Satu’li Canteen, as opposed to disposables.
Satuli Canteen Menu & Food
The adult menu is a build-your-own-bowl concept. You select a protein, base, and sauce to build your meal.
We tried two different bowl combinations and were pleased with how both turned out.
This is chili-spiced tofu on a salad base. It came with an intense black bean vinaigrette on the side that I used as a dipping sauce.
The tofu was crispy and only slightly spicy. This is likely the best vegetarian meal I’ve ever had at Disney World. Everything was fresh and flavorful!
We also tried the chicken and beef combo on the sweet potato hash. The meats were tender and smoky. The portion was big but not enough to share.
We liked the sweet potato hash base as well. I want to get back there soon to try the noodle base.
Here’s a look at the rest of the menu. The kids’ options are just smaller versions of the adult entree bowls at around $7 each.
We tried both desserts on the menu and liked them both. The chocolate mousse was VERY intense and chocolaty – I only recommend it if you love dark chocolate. I don’t think many kids would like it.
I loved the blueberry mousse dessert – here’s a peek inside. Most kids would love this dessert – it is light and fruity without any strange flavors or textures.
The themed atmosphere and excellent food at Satu’li Canteen make it one of my favorite quick service restaurants in all of Walt Disney World. Another Animal Kingdom counter service option is also on that short list, so on to #2…
Best Animal Kingdom Quick Service Restaurant: Flame Tree Barbecue
Before Satu’li Canteen opened, Flame Tree Barbecue was hands-down my favorite restaurant in Animal Kingdom. I feel like I am spoiled from their ribs and now no other ribs will do. 🙁
As you probably guessed, Flame Tree serves smoked meats – ribs, chicken, and turkey to be exact. Their signature dish is the rib meal that comes with a slab of ribs, baked beans, coleslaw, and sometimes a corn muffin (this seems to always be changing).
These prices aren’t current but the menu has stayed pretty consistent over the years. I’ve tried almost everything on the menu and I’m happy to report that I’ve never had a bad meal here.
Flame Tree is located to the right of the Tree of Life when you are entering the park and is easy to get to from many parts of the park.
There is plentiful seating behind the restaurant, mostly in covered pavilions like this one.
The grounds around Flame Tree are lush and lovely. If you head down by the water you’ll be treated with this view of Expedition Everest:
The atmopshere and view is excellent, but all of the seating is outside. This is another reason Satu’li Canteen edges out Flame Tree – the AC there is OH SO nice in the summer.
I think you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at Flame Tree. Plus it is an excellent use of a quick service credit on the dining plan – you can get almost $30 of value from one credit there!
My third pick is Harambe Market, a newer quick service dining area in the Africa section of the park.
The story here is that this is a local market close to the train station and water tower in the town of Harambe.
The menu here seems to always be changing, but you can usually expect to find grilled meats, sausages, and veggies in some combination. Here is the current menu at the time of writing:
Roasted Vegetable Bowl – Roasted Vegetables on Cilantro Rice and Salad Greens Bowl finished with Salsa – $9.99
Chicken Bowl – Grilled Chicken on Cilantro Rice and Salad Greens Bowl finished with Salsa – $11.79
You can order from one or multiple windows at Harambe Market then pick a place to sit outside. I love the attention to detail and color in the dining area.
I’ve haven’t heard a bad thing about the food here and the offerings are creative and fresh. There are some mainstream offerings for kids (corn dog, chicken skewer, or ribs).
The only dessert offered here is a Safari Cake (coconut cake with pineapple-coconut mousse coated in chocolate) for $4.99.
The next three quick service offerings at Animal Kingdom have either left me disappointed with food quality or have an uninspired menu. That said, if your family is looking for pizza and cheeseburgers for picky eaters, then one of the next few restaurants will be a better choice.
Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe
Yak & Yeti is located in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom and serves standard Chinese take-out food.
Popular dishes are Honey Chicken and Teriyaki Beef served with rice. The food here is okay, but it doesn’t compare to the top choices in quality or setting. The seating is all outdoors, so it doesn’t even have AC to offer.
There are some recent additions to the menu that shows they are trying to up their game, including a Vegetable Tikka Masala and Korean BBQ Rib Tips.
Pizzafari is located on the walkway between Discovery Island and Africa, and serves up mostly pizza and salad. The pizza is average and definitely not worth going out of your way for.
The building is the best part of this restaurant – it is beautifully decorated and has rooms themed for different animals. It is also entirely inside so is a good bet on a super hot day.
Restaurantosaurus is located in Dinoland and serves up burgers, fried shrimp and chicken, and a BLT. It has both indoor and outdoor seating.
I haven’t had a cheeseburger here but they are the standard Disney quick service burger that you can get at any of the parks or food courts. There isn’t much of a reason to get one here when there are much better dining options at Animal Kingdom.
That wraps up my overview of the best and worst Animal Kingdom quick service dining. If you want to know what other quick service restaurants I recommend in Disney World, check out my quick service series here.
If you want advice on where to eat in the other theme parks, get it here:
- The Best Magic Kingdom Quick Service Dining (And The Worst)
- The Best Epcot Quick Service Dining (& The Worst)
- Best Hollywood Studios Quick Service Dining (And The Worst)
Please join the conversation in my free private Facebook group for readers and listeners here – we’d love to have you!