One of our favorite attractions in Southern California is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We’ve spent many a day there over the past 40 years! Our kids grew up attending the educational Summer Day Camps that are offered. And over time they’ve also observed their favorite animals grow from tiny babies to adults. The Safari Park itself has grown over the years both in size and scope.
Since choosing to eat vegan we’ve learned that vegan food options may not always be available on SoCal day trips. Very often we pack food and snacks to take with us. But we’ve discovered Safari Park has variety of delicious vegan options at several of their restaurants.
Just inside the entrance gate in Nairobi Village you’ll find Thorntree Terrace. It’s an inside counter service with an abundance of outdoor seating.
The Stir-fry Tofu ($12.95) is delicious! So far it’s our favorite vegan option at the park. We shared an order for lunch and loved it. Think crispy tofu, tossed with a vegetable medley, in a sweet chili sauce, topped with thinly sliced green onions.
Just beyond the Petting Kraal in Nairobi Village is Oasis Deli. You can order the Cous Cous Tabouli Salad ($10.99) but know that the dressing does contain honey. This isn’t an issue for David and me, but it could be for some vegans.
You can also choose the Roasted Vegetable Wrap ($10.99) is vegan, along with Fresh Fruit Cups ($6.49), which are quite generous. David and I shared both the wrap and the fresh fruit and loved both.
Next to Oasis Deli, again in Nairobi Village, is Mombasa Cooker. The Garden Vegetable Wrap ($10.29) is vegan along with the Corn on the Cob (3.99), sans butter.
The garden wrap is chock full of raw spring mix, bell peppers, shredded carrots, red onion, and cucumber. It’s wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and served on a bed of greens. Served along with a side of red pepper hummus spread and vinaigrette you have a well rounded meal.
There’s also a delicious Grilled Farmers Salad. A fresh salad blend with cherry tomatoes and grilled veggies but… it includes feta cheese which you might be able to order without or carefully pick out. It’s served with a white balsamic vinaigrette.
Samburu Terrace is located in African Woods just past Benbough Amphitheater (home of the Frequent Flyers Bird Show).
The only vegan option at Samburu Terrace is a hearty Black Bean Burger ($9.99). The delicious black bean burger is topped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, chimichurri spread and served on a sesame seed bun. Add the colorful tortilla chips and pico de gallo and it’s a delightful meal.
The big attraction here is Samburu Jungle Gym. We know first hand how much kids love to climb and explore in this safari-themed play area. We’ve spent many afternoons in the shade-covered picnic area while our grandkids and their imaginations have run wild.
~ The Nitty Gritty:
What: Vegan Eating at San Diego Safari Park
Where: San Diego Safari Park – 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
Type: Counter service
Park Hours: 9am – 5pm with summer hours 9am – 7pm. Restaurant hours vary.
Vibe: Safari Casual
Website: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
*We’ll continue to update the vegan options at San Diego Safari Park and add photos as well. We found that the menus on the Safari Park website are not current.
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