Image: Flickr, harshlight

For some people, one of the great perks of Walt Disney World is that every restaurant offers at least some version of the classic meat and potatoes entree. No matter where you are, no matter what your dietary desires, you can find something that will be to your taste.

But, for others, one of the great perks of Walt Disney World is its wide variety of culinary options — allowing you to taste flavors from all parts of the world, including combinations and dishes you couldn’t possibly have imagined.

For those guests, dining is as much of an adventure as any attraction, and a dinner of simple hamburgers and chicken fingers would seem like wasted time. Thankfully, Disney has plenty of dining options with them in mind.

Sure, you can find a good burger just about anywhere, but these are the best year-round restaurants for the most adventurous diners at the Walt Disney World Resort.


 harshlight, Flickr (license)

Image: harshlight, Flickr (license)

Our first three entrants to this list all come from the same resort hotel, but it just so happens to be arguably Disney’s finest. The Animal Kingdom Lodge embraces both the aesthetics and the flavors of the African continent, offering several restaurants that — in total — display the grand culinary tradition of one of the planet’s most beautiful areas.

Boma is the entry-level edition at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, offering a buffet that includes everything from Ghanaian Oxtail Stew to Durban-style roasted chicken. There are soups and sauces galore on the buffet, with many different regions and palates represented. The buffet is designed to be grazed upon — like the African savanna — tasting and trying everything that looks good to you.

I say it’s entry-level for a few reasons: For starters, the basic meat-and-potatoes concept is still available here, so those traveling with pickier eaters might find Boma to be the perfect compromise. Plus, the nature of a buffet means that dishes tend to be a bit more one-size fits all than you’d find at a table-service restaurant.

Still, Boma is an impossible reservation to get, meaning it walks the tightrope of appealing to a broad group of diners well — while still being unique and delicious.


 harshlight, Flickr (license)

Image: harshlight, Flickr (license)

At the intermediate-level, you’ll find Jiko — arguably the best restaurant on Disney property. At first glance, the menu looks not too dissimilar from what you might find at a traditional high-end restaurant, with flatbreads, steaks, fish, and chicken headlining. But, with Jiko, the preparation is what makes all of the difference.

With unique African flavors and spices, familiar components spring to life in surprising and delicious ways. Cocoa-rubbed bison and curry-flavored macaroni and cheese elevate the ordinary into something you won’t soon forget.

Jiko is an amazing dining experience, and if you’re someone who loves to be treated to an imaginative chef’s creations, you’ll be thrilled you stopped in.


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