One of our favorite Disney signature dining locations is Jiko in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This restaurant has an abundance of unique vegan options and features cuisine inspired by India, Africa and the Mediterranean.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lode is a deluxe resort on the outskirts of Walt Disney World adjacent to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
When pulling up to the hotel you actually feel as if you’ve been transported to the African savanna.
The interior of the resort is grand. Upon entering, take the stairs past the Victoria Falls Lounge to the ground floor. We sometimes start our evenings here with a pre-dinner cocktail.
Jiko Vegan Dinner Review in Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World
You’ll find Jiko right next door to Boma. You can read our review of Boma here: Vegan Disney Food Review: Breakfast at Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The restaurant entrance is tucked into a corner near the elevators and exit doors to the pool.
Jiko does have its own bar and lounge, however it is extremely small with maybe two or three tables and about six barstools.
The wine list here is extensive! The restaurant houses the largest foreign collection of South African wine. The list contains on average, 120–140 selections, and several are exclusive to Jiko.
The restaurant even has a private wine room that is sometimes open to guests during peak season.
The atmosphere at Jiko is warm and inviting and is supposed to mimic an African sunset in its design. The ceiling with its birds in flight is a dark blue hue which sets off the bright yellow rear accent wall.
You’ll find rich tones and textures with a mixture of wood and wrought iron.
One entire wall has huge picture windows which look out onto a water feature and the perfectly manicured grounds.
Seating options include stand alone tables, banquettes and a handful of booths.
We always request to sit at “The Cooking Place” show-kitchen counter by the twin wood burning ovens to watch cooks prepare flatbreads, salads and starters. Jiko is Swahili for “the cooking place”. There are only six stools here and it’s by request only.
Full disclosure, there will be non-vegan items being prepared in this area so keep that in mind when requesting to be sat here.
Check out the hidden mickeys where the oven flues meet the ceiling.
Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Vegan Food Options
Your Jiko dinner service will start with warm scented towels to wash your hands with. We’ve also often times been presented with a mint tea palate cleanser to start.
As I mentioned before, the Jiko wine list is rather large. Not into wine? No problem. The bar is mixing signature cocktails here as well.
This is the African Old Fashioned ($13.50) with Bains African whiskey, bitters, orange bitters and Madagascar vanilla.
The complementary bread service here is a gorgeous cake like loaf topped with herbs and thinly sliced tomato. It’s served with a parsley infused olive oil.
The bread is vegan as is.
We used to love to start our dinner service off with the modified Taste of Africa ($15). Sadly this offering has been discontinued, but we’ll leave the photos here in case the chefs come to their senses and bring it back. This normally came with three bread options but only one was vegan.
You got several very crisp pappadum and had to skip the sesame fatir and flax seed naan as they weren’t vegan friendly. The trio of accompaniments that came with them included a hummus, mango chutney and one spice heavy tomato based dip.
Our favorite entree here is the Bo Kaap Malay Vegetable Curry ($30) with tofu and seasonal vegetables in a rich coconut curry sauce with basmati rice.
Veggies will often times include peas, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. This offering is warm and filling and has always been presented to us as a generous portion size.
Another mainstay is the West African Koki Corn ($30). Think of this one as one large African tamale.
It’s filled with mushrooms and peppers and garnished with fresh greens. The Koki Corn sits on a base of roasted red pepper sauce and poblano-tomatillo puree.
Another option, while not as good as the previous two is the modified Maize Crusted Tofu ($30) it comes with vegetables of the moment, which happened to be beans, corn and peas on the evening we dined. Specify that you want this prepared vegan and swap out the tomato buerre blanc for a vegan friendly sauce.
This dish was completely underwhelming in comparison to the curry and corn entree.
You’re going to want to skip the Egyptian Kushari ($30) altogether. It is NOT good. The Egyptian Kushari is a medley of ancient grains, pasta, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, olives and chakalaka. We found this item to be extremely bland. It’s also available as an enhancement ($11) but you’ve been warned.
There are three, yes three, vegan options when it comes to dessert.
The first option may sound a bit odd in its ingredients, but actually all of the components work very well together.
This is the African Drum ‘Beets’ ($13). This dish starts with a base of candied red and golden beets and coconut strawberry beet mousse. On top of that is a chocolate cake shaped like a drum covered in cocoa butter. The dish is garnished with freeze dried passionfruit and balsamic strawberries with more chocolate cake crumbled on top.
We love that this option isn’t overly sweet while still reading like a dessert.
Another option is the Coconut Milk Panna Cotta ($10) with mixed berries and a berry drizzle.
Perhaps the least exciting option, which is why we saved it for last, is the Sorbet ($8) with seasonal fruit. But hey, it’s an option.
And that my friends is our epic review of the vegan options at Jiko in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Loge. This is by far one of our favorite restaurants on Walt Disney World property. They are only open for dinner service so keep that in mind when planning.
LOOKING FOR VEGAN OPTIONS IN THE THEME PARKS, WATER PARKS AND DISNEY SPRINGS?
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LOOKING FOR VEGAN OPTIONS IN THE WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS?
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