*This dining experience took place in June 2017.
Dinner at Sanaa
Sanaa, located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, is a table service restaurant I go back to again and again. The food is delicious, the gluten free and dairy free options plentiful, and the atmosphere is amazing. Where else can you eat a meal with zebras, giraffes, and other animals? On this particular occasion, I met up with Alexis from Alexis’s Gluten Free Adventures and her daughters for dinner.
You really can’t go wrong with Sanaa for atmosphere and theming. In fact, it’s the restaurant I recommend most to anyone coming to Disney for the first time or for locals looking to have a unique dining experience that they can’t get anywhere else. Being able to dine on the savanna and view all of the amazing animals at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is pretty special.
I recommend dining at Sanaa a bit earlier for dinner. This way, you can still see out onto the Savanna in the daylight and not miss out on seeing the amazing animals there. Around 5-6 p.m. is usually feeding time for the animals, so they are also often pretty active during that time too.
Inside Sanaa is set to resemble the African forest, with trees and tree branches above you. Sanaa also means “work of art” in Swahili, so you’ll see plenty of African inspired artwork too.
Sanaa has some of the most consistent food options for gluten free and dairy free diners visiting Disney World. The food here is mostly African and Indian inspired, but, even if you don’t usually like that kind of food, I would encourage you to try it. I’ve taken even the pickiest of eaters to Sanaa, and they’ve really enjoyed it.
If you’re not sure what you might want to order, you can also take a look at their allergy friendly dinner menu before you go. But, I always recommend speaking with a chef about options. I have ordered several things off the regular menu that can easily be made gluten free and dairy free (including the dish I ordered on this visit).
One of my must-do’s on any Sanaa visit is their bread service. It comes with gluten free and dairy free naan bread, made using Cup4Cup Wholesome Flour Blend, and accompanied by a variety of sauces and dips. It’s just outstanding.
Believe it or not, you can actually just order the gluten free, dairy free, and vegan naan bread a la carte instead of ordering the whole bread service (which is around $15). I ordered 2 pieces of the gluten free and vegan naan, along with a side of roasted red pepper hummus.
This was a great way to enjoy naan without having to order a whole batch. I admit, that it probably wasn’t the most cost effective (I think it was around $5), but it’s nice if you don’t want a huge portion or don’t have a group to share it with.
For my entree, I ordered the Chicken Biryani, which can be made gluten free and dairy free by removing a few side accompaniments. They serve the Biryani with crispy fried onions coated in a gluten free and dairy free flour blend (I believe Cup4Cup Wholesome Flour Blend), which are super delicious.
This Biryani was different from the last version I ordered and was smaller in portion size and included a lot more sauce. I still preferred the other version, but I liked this one too. I adore the crispy Brussels Sprouts in it, along with the toasted almond slices, crispy onions, and seasonal vegetables. It’s nice for something different too.
I’d definitely get this again, though I might try shrimp on the next visit. You can also order this without protein to make it a vegetarian dish too (and I believe, it could be vegan, as well).
You really can’t go wrong with Sanaa. It’s a regular dining spot for me, and one I can’t say enough good things about. I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit dubious of their recent menu changes, but it’s nice to see the restaurant switching it up with a few new options. There’s always plenty for me to choose from and to try. If you want to read more about Sanaa, check out Alexis’s Gluten Free Adventures for her reviews of the restaurant too.
Have you been to Sanaa? What’s your favorite things to order there?