Best Place To Eat At San Diego Zoo – Surprise! Safari Park has appetizing meals, a full bar, and a sit-down restaurant with stunning views. But before or after your visit it may not be the best choice for kids, breakfast, vegans or dining nearby. Which one is best for you?
The best restaurant in San Diego Safari Park is The Watering Hole at Kijamii Overlook. There is an extensive menu of appetizers, sandwiches and salads. Prices range from $15 to $20 for lunch per person with full table service and bar. The entrees are big enough to share. And the view is spectacular!
Best Place To Eat At San Diego Zoo
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Restaurant The Watering Hole San Diego Zoo Safari Park
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. But no matter how good it is, it may not be the best choice for everyone. So I also gathered information about the San Diego Safari Park and other nearby eateries.
(Going to the San Diego Zoo, too? Here’s an article I wrote on where to find the best food at the Zoo.)
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IMPORTANT: All of the park’s restaurants may close early or not open at all, depending on how many people attend that day. Call 760-747-8702 the morning of your visit to make sure your restaurant choice is open for you.
This restaurant has some of the most amazing views in San Diego. There are 180-degree views overlooking the Safari Park’s African Plains enclosure. No fence will block your view for rhinos, giraffes, antelopes, many different species of antelope, and single herds of Cape buffalo. Want to see more animals while you eat? Go to Africa.
Our waiter pointed out Thompson’s gazelles. He named them “Cheetahs” because they are cheetahs’ favorite snack in the wild.
There are no elephants there. According to the FDA, the Safari Park is required to have a certain percentage of shade trees for animals. Elephants would reduce that percentage to zero within a week. That’s why they’re limited to Elephant Valley.
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At the Watering Hole in Kijamii Overlook, you’ll have a much better meal than you might expect at a major tourist attraction. It’s delicious, solid, grown-up food, and it’s definitely not fast food. There is a full bar. The staff is attentive and friendly. But it is not cheap. Like everything else in the Safari Park, the proceeds go towards the conservation and care of the animals. Think of the extra cost as a way to make the planet a better place.
My favorite thing at Watering Hole is the home fried potato chips (also known as “chips” to my friends across the pond). Hot, thin, crispy and very crunchy. The portion is big enough to make a rhino happy. ok this is just a
Exaggeration to emphasize that the portion is large. This side dish makes any sandwich served here special.
Here is a short list of the dishes I copied from their menu (see their most recently released menu here). This list WILL CHANGE, so if you don’t see your favorite thing on the menu when you go to eat there, don’t howl at me like a monkey:
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The rhino sized pretzels are really BIG. It’s also soft and flavorful with bacon beer, cheese dip, and pub mustard.
(see photos below in the building and decor section) has a good selection of local craft beers, some on draft and wine.
With delicious-looking coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple, and grenadine. But if you’re going to watch the rhinos from your desk, you can ask for one of them.
Instead of beverages (California citrus vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, and kiwi puree). The Watering Hole is moderately priced…for San Diego
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If you’re not going to split them, expect to spend $15 – $20 for lunch per person for appetizers. And most of the plates
Big enough for two people. It will cost more if you order wine, craft beer or cocktails. Not crowded but accessible
In the middle of the park and away from the busiest crowd. It is relatively easy for people with mobility issues to reach. From Ranger Base, take an ADA bus (at map marker #2). The bus will drop you off at Lion Camp. There is a slight downhill and then a gentle ascent up to The Watering Hole.
The servers are friendly and knowledgeable about the food, drink and animals outside. All seating is under an airy open-air gazebo. The covered patio structure provides plenty of shade. There are water mists and fans to cool you off in the heat of summer. child friendly
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The grassy area in front of the restaurant between the indoor dining area and the animal exhibit will surround your little creatures. They can run like crazy without getting you there. The building and decor are exotically beautiful
The building was designed by Hubble and Hubble, an architectural firm founded by San Diego artist James Hubble and his son. They specialize in green structures that honor the earth and use natural, local materials whenever possible.
The architectural style is modeled on traditional Cameroonian African adobe thatched cottages. The (few) walls seem to have been hand sculpted with the occasional hand print embedded in the rough surface.
Head to Baobab Tree Bar for a beer. The building’s designers modeled some real trees from Africa and Australia and used the hollow as a meeting place.
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You will see polished timbers holding up a steeply sloped wood. Outside there is a “thatched” roof. It’s not really straw or thatch. No one in Safari Park is crazy enough to build a dry grass roof in Escondido. It’s like building a roof with unburned matchsticks.
There are gender-neutral bathrooms. There is also a large family bathroom to change babies’ diapers. Summary-Why Watering Hole Is the Best Food in Safari Park?
The food at The Watering Hole is definitely the best in Safari Park, but not outstanding 5 star. However, you’re not paying top dollar either. Service can be slow, but always friendly. Children can be running loudly everywhere. But there is usually enough room to allow you to choose a seat away from the louder groups.
But most people who went to The Watering Hole to eat would come back again. There is something magical about sharing food with rhinos…
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NOTE: Watering Hole is popular for weddings and corporate events, so be sure to check if it’s open when you get there. Make your reservations through Open Table. Best Places to Eat Breakfast in Safari Park
Because it is near the park entrance with plenty of shaded seating around the restaurant. They have limited breakfast, lunch and family sized selections. Check out their menu here.
A variety of burgers and fries are served throughout the day. The selection includes variations of cheese, bacon, and even a vegan.
Breakfast is served until 10:30. You’ll find breakfast burritos, bowls and English muffins. Bob & I shared a breakfast burrito and country fries. We were full afterwards and we are both tall people.
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Lunch appetizers at Thorntree Terrace are served from 11:00. They have a good Mandarin Orange Chicken salad and rice bowls. There is also a special family meal consisting of two rice bowls, drinks and two children’s meals.
: The best thing about dining at Thorntree Terrace is watching the coatimundi. I put one in the photo above this section. Think of a mix of a raccoon and a monkey and you have something like these crafty acrobatic magicians of South America. Find a table in the back of the restaurant and watch the pack members chase each other up the tree while you eat. Most Safari Park visitors don’t even know these clowns are there and are missing out on a fun experience.
Here you can buy espresso drinks, nitro coffee, mini scones and snacks. Sometimes the public is allowed in up to this point before the official park opening.
And if you succumb to the temptation of coffee and sweets, great! Remember that you are a “wildlife hero” when you shop at Safari Park. So throw diet out the window. Get two of everything!
San Diego Zoo Safari Park San Diego, California
Sit at the tables behind the police station and say hello to Max the Salmon Crested Cockatoo. People love it when you talk to it. It sounds like their squeaks are laughing with you. Best Places to Have Lunch in Safari ParkIf you’re arriving at lunch time
If you’re looking for the best experience, choose The Watering Hole. Getting there is a bit of a challenge but the food is the best in the park and the ambiance is unbeatable.
What to eat at Mombasa Cooker? Grilled or breaded chicken tenderloin with 4 different sauces, with french fries or toast. Two adults can cook from a 5-piece plate. You can also find hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and salads in this place. their menu
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