*This dining experience took place in February 2018.
Breakfast at Sanaa
Sanaa, located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, has long been one of my favorite table service restaurants for lunch and dinner. And, back in late 2016, Sanaa began offering a quick service style breakfast daily from 7-10 a.m. Given how much I love Sanaa, I can’t believe it took me this long (over a year!) to check out the Sanaa Kuamsha (which means “Awakening” in Swahili) Breakfast. But, now that I’ve been there, I know I’ll be back again soon. Their breakfast has easily become my personal favorite quick service option at Walt Disney World.
I absolutely adore visiting Sanaa for lunch and dinner not only for the food but the wonderful atmosphere and beyond amazing savanna views. But, visiting at breakfast gave me a chance to experience the Sanaa atmosphere in a totally new way.
I arrived around 8 a.m. — the perfect time of day to see the sun shining on the savanna with mild temperatures. The bright sunshine made for an impressive view inside the restaurant.
When you arrive at Sanaa for breakfast, you may or may not see cast members at the front podium. Because it is a quick service style casual breakfast, guests can leisurely walk into the restaurant and turn right into the ordering area and find grab and go stations.
Breakfast is currently offered daily from 7-10 a.m. and has a totally different vibe than any other meal at Sanaa. Things feel relaxed, quiet, and casual. There were hardly any other tables filled when I arrived and very few guests in the restaurant, making it a very low-key and easy-going meal, which I loved.
Our course, with the bright sunshine flooding in the restaurant, I chose a seat near the windows with a savanaa view. But, as you can see from this photo the entire restaurant gets plenty of sunshine in too.
Of course, what I was most excited about when visiting Sanaa for breakfast was the food. I’d read lots of reviews about the restaurant and saw that Josh from Easy WDW had given it a very positive review when it opened in 2016, so I was hoping that my experience would be the same.
When you first arrive, you’ll see several grab and go options, including drinks, and an ordering station. You’ll order any of the items that need to be freshly prepared, and they will be brought to your table by a cast member. It reminds me a lot of the newer quick service location offerings like Satu’li Canteen in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which we love.
Note, there is no allergy-friendly menu at Sanaa for breakfast (but there is for lunch and dinner). The cast member at the register said that she could let me know what options were available based on what the register told her were options. But, I did ask to speak to a chef. I always find that speaking with a chef gives you a better idea of what is actually available (sometimes menu items that are safe or just need a slight modification aren’t listed on a menu) or can be customized easily.
Chef Amy greeted me, and she let me know there were several options available gluten free. These included:
- Boere Breakfast (minus the Johnny Cakes)
- Savana Platter (minus the Johnny Cakes)
- Fruit Sosatie
- Fruit Plate
- Safari Waffle (served with Allergy-Friendly Simba Waffles)
- Sunrise Sandwich (served on allergy-friendly bread)
I was definitely interested in the breakfast platters and decided to get the Boere Breakfast with scrambled eggs and a Simba allergy-friendly Mickey waffle in place of the Johnny Cake. Chef Amy had suggested fruit as a substitute, but when she mentioned Simba waffles, I asked if I could have that instead and was super excited when she said yes. Once I had that decided, the order was placed, and I went to get a seat and wait.
One quick side about condiments. Sanaa’s breakfast includes individual containers of ketchup, maple syrup, hot sauce, and other options. Be sure to check all the labels to ensure they are safe for your dietary need. They may look cute but may not necessarily work for you. You can always ask for condiments from the kitchen that will be safe (including things like maple syrup).
Once you place your order, you are given a table marker and can choose any seat you like in the restaurant. I loved my little giraffe placemarker.
On a quick drink note, I am a huge iced tea fan. Oddly enough, Sanaa does not offer iced tea at breakfast. The cast member at the register suggested I make my own hot tea and add ice to it. I just thought that was a slightly odd thing about the breakfast. As you saw from the photos above, they don’t offer fountain soda either; guests will need to buy a bottle of soda if they want one.
My wait for my breakfast was short and soon I had an amazing looking plate of food at my table. The Boere Breakfast can be made gluten free and dairy free by omitting the Johnny Cake and making sure that the eggs served are made without dairy. I checked with Chef Amy and she said the Tanzanian Hash Browns are naturally gluten free and dairy free, which is amazing.
I have to tell you, this was hands down the best quick service breakfast I’ve ever had at Disney. The quality of the food was outstanding. And, of course, I’m partial to African and Indian flavors, so Sanaa’s breakfast was a home run for me. The Tanzanian Hash Browns were a highlight. They were crispy and super flavorful and had what I believe was cilantro and some other herbs in them. I could have eaten these all day.
My eggs were well cooked and very fresh. They clearly make these to order, and you could tell with every bite. The bacon was good — nothing special, but as the kiddo at the table next to me said, “Wow! Bacon! I love Bacon.” I can’t argue with that!
The other highlight to breakfast was the Boerewors Sausage a traditional South African style sausage. The flavors were outstanding, and there wasn’t anything pre-made about these. If you like breakfast sausage, the Boere Breakfast should be on your list!
Chef Amy had told me that she loves the Allergy-Friendly Simba waffles served at Sanaa’s breakfast. They are currently being made using Namaste Foods Pancake & Waffle Mix and Bob’s Red Mill Pancake & Waffle Mix. The mixes are blended together to make one outstanding waffle. Plus, the fact that they are Simba shaped makes them even better! Adding one waffle in to my meal made it the perfect sweet ending to the breakfast.
And, don’t forget to ask about 100% pure maple syrup. Mine came in this adorable little single serve cup of syrup!
I was beyond pleasantly surprised after having breakfast at Sanaa. Their quick service options were great for guests with special dietary needs and just plain delicious. I also loved the calm atmosphere and low-key vibe for breakfast. It made visiting Sanaa and the Animal Kingdom Lodge a real treat. If you’re a guest staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, this is a must-do for breakfast at least one of your days on your trip. The prices were reasonable, the food excellent, and the atmosphere was great. It’s definitely a spot I’ll be going back to again soon as a local for another delicious breakfast. In fact, I want to go back and order several breakfast items to split since my first meal was so great!
On a side note, they do not currently offer any discounts at breakfast (including Disney Vacation Club or Annual Passholder).
Have you been to Sanaa? What do you think of their breakfast options?