Jiko is incredibly special. It is one of my favorite restaurants on Disney property and I love it for so many reasons. Here are 8 things you’ll love about Jiko:
Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite resorts on property. This resort is absolutely gorgeous and gives its guest a one of kind experience. Between its friendly staff, amazing culture, and, of course, animals, there is always something to do. And luckily, even eating is a great experience because of Jiko.
The theming of the Lodge it followed into the restaurant itself, but still leaves room for its own flair. The dining room is open and its décor flows through. The giant gourd ovens demand attention. They have gold loops around the tops of them to symbolize the gold necklaces worn by women in certain tribes in Africa. On the walls are flocks of birds flying throughout the sky. As your meal progresses, the colors change to bring you from dawn to dusk. Wherever you look there’s a piece of décor to capture your attention during your meal.
6. Unique Menu
You don’t go to Jiko for pizza. You go to Jiko for quail, or lamb, or a coffee-rub, or something you can’t get anywhere else. Jiko is a restaurant for adventurous eating, without scaring anybody. All of the meals served here are authentic African dishes used with ingredients and spices unique to the culture. Another cool thing about the Jiko menu is that it is seasonal and therefore changes throughout the year.
Jiko is definitely a higher up restaurant for Disney property. While the service at all of Disney’s restaurants is amazing, Jiko’s goes above and beyond. Because of the unique menu, servers have to be very knowledgeable and patient. The servers at Jiko go out of their way to ensure that your family not only has a great dining experience, but also truly has a wonderful appreciation of the culture that they just dined.
All of the wine in Jiko is wine from Africa, especially South Africa. This is wine that can be found in the US (and the wait staff and Jiko can help point you to a location) but they often have to be hunted down. Because the wine is from Africa directly, it pairs with the unique menu beautifully in a way that you’ll only find at this restaurant.
3. Wine Room
The wine is so great at Jiko that they even have a wine room! Shrouded by a massive wall of displayed wine is a secluded room for private seating. This room requires more than a normal reservation but is incredibly special for events or even a big family.
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2. Counter Seating
Jiko has a terrific open layout that is still intimate, but a really cool feature of the restaurant is its counter seating. The counter allows you to sit up by the open kitchen and overs to get a close up view of the action. This is a great option for a small party who wants to get away from the crowd and have a slightly different experience.
Jiko has its own, special, beautiful elegance. When you add up all of the things on this list, you will get elegance. From the décor, to the music, to the intimate atmosphere, Jiko is one for the books. And despite all of this, Jiko is still inviting. The cast members still welcome you to the restaurant as friends so you can relax and enjoy. Having dinner at Jiko is truly an experience – an experience I’ll have over and over again.