/ Friday, May 31st, 2013

The restaurants in Animal Kingdom Lodge are known for their service and accommodation towards vegan guests. This is due largely to actually having vegan items already on the menu. Jiko has a whole separate vegan menu for those who ask!

Jiko, the Cooking Place is an expensive place to eat for dinner, and once you enter the dining room, you get that sense right away. Because of this, I would save it for a romantic night for two instead of a family outing. As a Cast Member escorts you to your table, you will notice that the restaurant is dimly-lit, which actually accents the earth tones that so elegantly represent the African theming. I love the extra touch of magic here when the Cast Member begins to explain to you the meaning behind the little touches that Disney does so well.

Once you get the vegan menu, the prices might shock you – though any menu here will have that effect. With almost $30 per plate, you’ll either be willing to skip the dessert or just go all out and splurge on a bottle of wine. Ask your server to recommend one, that’s always the best way to go – and you can bring it back to your room if you don’t finish it!

My favorite item on the vegan menu is sadly no longer listed (but maybe they will make it by request) – the Curried Summer Vegetables with Coconut Basmati Rice and Durban Curry Sauce. The Taste of Africa is also a must-try, this appetizer is dipping sauces for bread (and if you are gluten-free like me, they will bring you your own special bread – and don’t worry it’s not the bland, dry Tapicoa Rolls!)

For dessert, the typical vegan ice creams available around the park are offered here. They also have sorbets which are good, but not very exciting.

Overall, Jiko is one of my favorite places to dine in the parks. The flavorful and variety of vegan dishes here and the romantic theming make it, in my opinion, one of the best places to dine on WDW property!

Angie has been a WDW addict since her first visit at age 8, and since then her life has never been the same! She lives in New Bedford, MA with her 3 dogs, Flip, Josie, and Hildy, where she currently owns Zen Dog Training and is a professional dog trainer.  Please join Angie every week in “Fish Are Friends, Not Food: Eating Vegan in WDW!” Angie believes that WDW is the most magical place for people with special diets, so, should you have any special diet questions (especially about vegan and gluten-free dining) she’d be happy to help! Angie is also an artist, and you can see her work at www.angiecarreiro.com! 

Disclaimer: This blog post, and all past and future Fish Are Friends, Not Food blog posts, are written with my most recent knowledge of the food in WDW parks. Please note that things are constantly changing, so this information might not always be up to date. Also note that I do not take into consideration refined sugar, cross contamination, or impure food items. With that said, always ask a chef before ordering if you are unsure about something, because the recipe may have changed or you may have a different way of defining your vegan lifestyle.

5 Responses to "Fish Are Friends, Not Food: Dining Vegan at Jiko"

  1. Suzi says:

    YAY you’re back!! I was worried last week that maybe this column got cancelled but I’m so happy it did not! Jiko was already on my list of places to try on my next trip, great to have my choice confirmed by your review, thanks! :)

  2. Richie says:

    I’m not a vegan, but “the Curried Summer Vegetables with Coconut Basmati Rice and Durban Curry Sauce” sounds awesome.

  3. Teresa says:

    One of my best meals ever was at Jiko. I was on my own, so the host put me at the little bar area where the chefs were preparing food. They chatted away to me and I enjoyed learning about the foods they were preparing (as well as tidbits about their own lives!), but then, along with the meal I had ordered, they began serving me small portions of all the other vegan options on the menu and some of the side dishes they were prepping, just so I could try them. That was so much fun and I loved everything they gave me – but I was so full by the time I left. I had been hesitant about going to the restaurant alone but it is one of my best-ever mealtime memories!

  4. Josh Taylor says:

    This article turned out really good Angie! It makes me want to head to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, since I’ve never been there before.

  5. Suzi- I’m glad you like it enough to miss it, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon! I’m just going through some changes and didn’t get a chance to catch up on some things!

    Richie – Doesn’t it?! I bet they would make it if it isn’t on the menu anymore. I think about it all the time… haha

    Terea – what a great story! I love having special experiences like that! It’s the magic of Disney!

    Josh – you can take me there when we go! and maybe we can stay for a night!! (When our businesses make us millionaires)

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