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Boma – Flavors of Africa is one of the most unique restaurants in one of the most unique settings at Walt Disney World. I’m not quite sure what the term “Boma” has to do with a restaurant, but this is a pretty good place to eat whatever it’s called.
Boma is a relatively new addition to the Walt Disney World restaurant scene (it opened along with the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House in 2001), but in just a few years it has become one of the most popular destinations for breakfast and dinner at WDW.
Its casual and breezy atmosphere coupled with a staggering variety of flavorful and adventurous (but not intimidating!) fare make for a great destination for picky eaters and culinary enthusiasts alike!
Located in the main building of the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, you’ll find Boma by proceeding through the lobby and taking the stairs on the right near the fire pit.
On the way down, you’ll pass Victoria Falls lounge (where you may wish to stop for a pre-dinner drink on date night!) before arriving a few stories down at the shared entrance foyer for Boma and the signature dining restaurant Jiko.
About Boma – Flavors of Africa
In its short lifespan, Boma has become quite famous for a few unique items, including Jungle Juice (a delicious concoction of orange, passion fruit, and guava juice that you can find at select other Animal Kingdom locations), Zebra Domes (little chocolate and Amarula flavored mousse domes – tip: if you can’t get a reservation at Boma, head over to the Mara, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s counter service location, where these are available to go!), and of course – their wide variety of homemade soups (which, as a self-proclaimed soup fanatic, I can personally assure you are all they’re cracked up to be!) Check out one of our favorites on Dad’s Blog’s Foodie Friday.
The variety and the African culinary influence with a focus on vegetables and legumes makes this a particularly excellent choice for vegetarian guests!
Boma is an African word to describe an enclosure, typically make from sticks – and you’ll see this motif throughout the restaurant with different visual interpretations of a fence – separating dining sections from one another, as well as the seating area from the buffet line and entrance walkway.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant itself is lively and casual.
The soaring open air seating allows guests to peak down from the main lobby, and beautiful canopies strung from the ceilings really lend to the feeling of being in an African marketplace. Lots of wood, wrought iron, and natural textures make this a warm and inviting spot to dine. The decor is rustic yet refined with splashes of subdued colour. A wood grill and the liberal use of aromatic spices engage your senses even further into the restaurant’s narrative.
Seating at Boma is made up of mixed tables – smaller intimate tables for two, substantial wooden tables for large family gatherings, cushy banquettes and sturdy chairs, quiet window views, and energetic locations in the middle of the action. There’s something for everyone, but if you have a specific seating arrangement in mind be sure to ask when you check in at the podium.
This buffet is structured as pod stations instead of a traditional “cafeteria” style line. You’ll find a station for each type of menu item: soups, salads, breads and dips, carved and rotisseries meats, warm sides, kids’ specialties, and desserts. The dishes are served in smaller buffet vessels than you would typically see, allowing the chefs to continually refresh the dishes. You’ll also have plenty of opportunity to interact with the chefs and ask any questions you may have about the buffet items.
Editor’s note: While many buffets at Walt Disney World are character buffets, Boma does not provide a character experience, so ensure you consider that when making your reservation if you are looking for a meet-and-greet opportunity.
Moving on to the very best part of Boma – the food! This buffet has what is possibly the largest assortment of items available at any buffet on WDW property with over 45 items served at breakfast and over 60 items served at dinner! You’ll find a combination of authentic African dishes (pap and chakalaka), western dishes with an African inspired twist (spice crusted beef striploin with various sauces), and American buffet staples (like macaroni and cheese). With so much variety, it’s a great chance to try new things while still having a “safety net” for picky eaters!
Breakfast is served from 7:30am-11:00am and costs $20-25 for adults and $11-14 for kids (including your choice of non-alcoholic drinks). Dinner is served from 4:30pm-9:30pm and costs $38-43 for adults and $18-21 for kids (including your choice of non-alcoholic drinks).
Pastry Chefs at Work
Take a Tour
If you’re particularly interested in the inspiration for the décor and menu for Boma and Jiko, you can take a complimentary tour, beginning each day at 4pm at the Boma podium. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and you’ll learn about the design inspiration for the two restaurants, and even get a chance to sample a few dishes!
The Best of WDW
Boma – Flavors of Africa is so good it was one of the first ever Best of WDW restaurants in WDW Magazine. Here’s an image right out of the magazine …
Dad’s Bottom Line
Even if you’re not staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, it’s well worth the trip to the resort for a meal at Boma – it’s a wonderful experience that your family will not soon forget!