Vegan Walt Disney World – Part 2
It’s time for Part 2 of my report on our recent Disney World trip! Let’s start in Epcot, specifically the World Showcase area, where there are plenty of treats for vegans to enjoy. Unfortunately we weren’t able to try as much as I’d have liked to (like the Kaki Gori at the Japan Pavilion), but it just gives me even more reason to go back!
Italy & France
We did get a chance to eat in both Italy and France (at the Tutto Italia Ristorante and Les Chefs de France), and they both have great vegetarian options that can be made vegan if you order them without cheese. We were happy to do that, but I’m sure that with some advance notice the chef would be happy to make you something vegan that might not be on the menu. Tutto Italia Ristorante had plenty of veggie side dishes and really good salads, and Les Chefs de France had a tasty ratatouille “lasagna” that you can order without the cheese.
We didn’t get a chance to eat there, but the Sunshine Season Food Fair in the Land Pavilion is also supposed to be great for vegans. It’s in the same building as the ride Soarin’, one of my favorites, but we were there in the morning and didn’t stop back for lunch. Also, on a side note, the pretzels and popcorn at all four theme parks are vegan, so if you’re just in the mood for a quick snack you still have some choices.
Kouzzina by Cat Cora
One of our favorite meals was at Cat Cora’s Kouzzina, which is a short walk from the World Showcase on Disney’s Boardwalk. We ate here with my sister and her husband, and we had such a great time. The chef was awesome. She couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful, and she came back to our table several times throughout the meal to check in and make sure we were enjoying everything.
The cuisine here reflects Cora’s roots – Greek with the influences of growing up in Mississippi. There are tons of options for vegetarians and vegans, and the vibe of the place is really fun. We got a bunch of veggie appetizers to share before the meal, including a plate full of different kinds of spreads and dips (like hummus and baba ganouj) served with really yummy pita bread. They also have a ton of veggie side dishes that you could make an entire meal out of as well, which Ryan did. I definitely recommend trying to eat here if you’re headed to Walt Disney World.
And finally we move onto Boma – Flavors of Africa, one of the most veg-friendly restaurants on Disney property. This buffet is located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can also find the restaurant Jiko. We didn’t get a chance to eat there on this trip, but it’s another great choice for vegans as it has an entirely separate vegan menu.
I’d read a lot about Boma before our trip, so Ryan and I were excited to try it and also to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time. It’s a little out of the way, but it’s definitely worth the trip, because it’s absolutely stunning and completely transports you to another world. We headed over with my parents and all of us loved the atmosphere. I wish we’d had more time to check out the hotel before we ate, but we did get to enjoy a drink at the bar while we waited for our table. Tropical Mojitos, ya’all. Now that’s vacation!
Once again, our server was awesome and the chef who walked us around the buffet was incredibly nice and helpful. My mom is allergic to cilantro and had read that it’s used a lot in African food, so she also got a tour of all the dishes. I loved getting to visit the whole buffet before filling up my plate, because I could plan out what I wanted to try – I tend to go a little nuts at buffets and eat way too much before I’ve seen all the options.
Boma has entire sections that are vegan, by far the most veggie options we saw at any of the buffets. I also liked that a lot of the food was new to me, like watermelon rind salad. I don’t know that I’d ever had African food before eating at Boma (though I’m sure it’s a diverse cuisine that varies by region so just saying “African” probably doesn’t even cover it all…). It was fun to be able to try so many interesting and exotic dishes. Neither of my parents are even close to being vegetarian and they also really enjoyed the meal.
I hope these posts have shown you guys that if you’re headed to Walt Disney World anytime soon you will eat very well, whether or not you’re vegan. They do their best to be accommodating to all different kinds of diets, and they even recently added a BabyCakes counter in the Downtown Disney area. You can stock up on some vegan baked goods to eat during your trip, or for the plane or car ride home. (I made it over before we had to head to the airport and got a donut, brownie bite and chocolate chip cookie sandwich. I wish I’d gotten more donuts!)
I highly recommend you check out the sites Vegan Satori and The Bashful Vegan before your trip. Both are great resources, and the authors are incredibly nice and great about answering comments and emails. They were a huge help to me. Other sites that I found helpful were PassPorter, AllEars, DIS, MouseBuzz, Touring Plans and Easy WDW, which was super useful for figuring out which days were best for visiting which parks. And if you don’t feel like doing any research, why don’t you just bring me along on your trip? I’ll do whatever research you want me to, and we’ll have a great time together. It’s a win win!