Animal Kingdom’s Best Counter Service Restaurants

We love quick service restaurants. For us, it all boils down to what is the best use of time when you are at the parks.

We enjoy grabbing a quick bite and getting back to the action as opposed to a longer sit down meal, especially for lunch.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some of the best quick service restaurants in all of Disney World! They are the most unique, tasty, healthy.

best quick service in animal kingdom

What is Quick Service Dining

Quick Service, also called Counter Service, are restaurants where you can walk up to a counter, order your food and eat it at the restaurant or take it to go. It is the “fast food” of Disney.

These restaurants are at each Disney Theme Park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Photo by Lisa Reese of Pixie and Pirates Destinations LLC

A newer option for ordering from quick service restaurants is mobile ordering, where you can also order your food in advance using your My Disney Experience app.

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use Quick Service credits for your meal. (note: Disney Dining Plan is currently unavailable. Disney says it will return but there is no date at this time.)

Best Quick Service Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

So what are the best places for great food? The following are the best Quick Service restaurants in the Animal Kingdom. Each of these dining areas have a kid’s menu, and offer full meals in a counter service restaurant (as opposed to table service restaurants).

Very important: you must have a valid theme park ticket and Animal Kingdom reservation in order to visit these quick service restaurants.

We are also sharing the counter service location so you can plan out where you want to eat while visiting the Animal Kingdom park. So without further adieu:

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest
Photo by Lisa Reese of Pixie and Pirates Destinations LLC

Satu’li Canteen

Food offerings: International-inspired cuisine, vegetarian options, hearty proteins, and specialty librations.

Theme: Intergalactically inspired restaurant designed to look like an old RDA mess hall of the Na’vi.

Location: In Pandora-The World of Avatar, next to Flight of Passage exit.

Why you should go: This is the newest restaurant, and one of the best themed in all of Disney World with the Nav’i artifacts and the backstory of being an abandoned mess hall. The food at Satu’li Canteen is truly “out of this world”! (sorry, couldn’t resist).

cheeseburger steamed pods bao buns
Cheeseburger steamed pods – Bao Buns

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

The signature “Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl” is very delicious and a top pick of all the menu items. You choose a protein, base, and sauce for a nutritious and delicious lunch. If you are trying to decide between beef or chicken, most people say the beef bowls are better. Great desserts as well.

This is definitely one of the top Animal Kingdom Restaurants! Many people consider this restaurant the best in the Animal Kingdom and is worth the stop.

Flame Tree Barbecue

Food offerings: Barbecue! You will find smokehouse items like ribs, chicken and pulled pork. You will also find Disney’s signature baked beans, coleslaw, and salads.

Theme: African jungle with colorful animal cavings and fun decor. This restaurant has wonderful outdoor seating where you will enjoy giving your feet a break.

Flame Tree Barbecue
photo from Tom Bricker of Disney Tourist Blog

Location: In Discovery Island, as you walk toward Dinoland.

Why you should go: Obviously if you are a fan of barbecue, the Flame Tree BBQ is the place to eat. Many great menu items including the famous ribs, chicken and pulled pork sampler – which is not only a great option but also a good value.

At the Flame Tree, you really get a lot of bang for your buck. Great portions of good food that is a rarity at Disney World but this place delivers well. The seating area is huge and a great spot to view Expedition Everest while dining.

One thing you should consider is there is no air conditioning as it is all outdoor dining. There are pavilions to protect you from the sun and rain and most days it feels comfortable. Overall, Flame Tree BBQ is a great place and has been a popular spot to eat from the moment they opened their doors!

Harambe Market

Food offerings: Harambe Market offers African themed meals that are unique, with many healthier and lighter options. For example, the Harambe salad is a Mediterranean influenced salad with pepperoncini, kalamata olives, cucumber, tomato, feta, Greek vinaigrette dressing and optional chicken.

The menu is smaller than some other quick service restaurants but the food is worth checking out. The Simba cupcake is served here as well!

Theme: Themed like an African marketplace made to look like an old train depot. Fun artifacts and decor that reenacts an African village. You will see a water tower in this area!

Location: Open-air plaza near the entrance to Rafiki’s Planet Watch in the African section

harambe market
Photo by Tom Bricker of Disney Tourist Blog

Why you should go: Quick Service options include salads, chicken bowls, and the plant-based “Hot Link Bowl”. Children can order chicken nuggets as well as a peanut butter and jelly (PB&J) Uncrustable.

The seating makes you feel like you are in an outdoor market in Africa eating authentic food. Though we feel this is a good place to eat, personally, we have it ranked just under the first two options.

The outdoor only seating, similar to the Flame Tree Barbecue can get hot in the summer and many prefer an air conditioned dining option. All that being said, Harambe Market is healthy and will be the perfect option for many guests.

Pizzafari

Food offerings: The menu is mostly pizza that is classic American fare – cheese, pepperoni, sausage and pepperoni. Be sure to check out the Bugs and Grubs Cupcake.

Theme: Colorful murals and mosaics in five themed rooms highlight this fun restaurant.

Location: Located in Discovery Island. If you head left from the Tree of Life walking into the park, it is one of the first places you will see.

pepperoni pizza

Why you should go: Don’t be scared off if you are not a pizza fan. They do, indeed, have pizza but they also have sandwiches, salads and a plant-based “Greens and Grains salad” which is very delicious.

Another plus about Pizzafari is that it is one of the best restaurants when it comes to allergy friendly menus. The menu is huge and includes gluten/wheat allergy friendly items, egg allergy friendly items, fish/shellfish allergy friendly items, milk allergy friendly items, soy allergy friendly items, and peanut/tree nut allergy friendly items.

Draft beer and fountain drinks are available. This is a great place for large families looking to save some money on food by sharing pizza.

Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe

Please note: this is different from Yak & Yeti Restaurant which is a table service option.

Food offerings: Asian cuisine with flavors from around the world! This cafe serves breakfast options such as breakfast bowls and English muffins as well as a ton of lunch options! You will find items such as a Korean fried sandwich, Sweet and Sour tempura shrimp, rib tips, and a teriyaki chicken salad.

Theme: Decorated with Southeast Asian artifacts. Bright and elegant

Location: Located in Asia near Kali River Rapids.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Asia
Photo by Lisa Reese of Pixie and Pirates Destinations LLC

Why you should go: One of the best things about the Yak & Yeti Cafe is there are many different offerings for everyone in your group. The full menu with many different options makes the restaurant a good option to eat lunch or dinner and a favorite place of many park goers.

Restaurantosarus

Food offerings: American fast food (Classic burgers, chicken strips, fries and hot dogs)

Theme: Cute theme. Backstory of College students in DinoLand U.S.A. for a dig

Kids in Dinoland Animal Kingdom

Location: DinoLand U.S.A

Why you should go: Come for the atmosphere, stay for a burger. This is nothing to write home about food wise with burgers and french fries but it is a super cute place to eat for adults and kids alike. There are other options including a cob salad and breaded shrimp but when you think of quick service meals, this is what we think of.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great place to grab a unique bite to eat. If you are in the area and are looking for a table service restaurant, we highly recommend Boma over at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You will need reservations in order to eat here!

Be sure to check out our 15 favorite snacks to try at the Animal Kingdom!

About disneywithdavesdaughters

Dave and his daughters have been going to Disney for 30+ years, all on a teacher's budget . They love helping families have the most magical Disney vacation ever by sharing all their expert family secrets. Feel free to send them a message or follow along on Instagram!