Food and Fun

Explore, Relax, Unwind, and Enjoy

Every visit to the zoo should be a treat. You can work up a serious hunger exploring the wild wonders of our grounds, and we want to make sure your adventurers have all the provisions they need.

Multiple dining and snacking options are conveniently located onsite. The main restaurant, the Chakula Café, serves a delicious array of favorites for the whole family. Perched atop the African Overlook, the café offers the best patio in Tyler. Enjoy a hearty lunch or sweet treat surrounded by incredible views.

If you just want to grab a quick drink or snack, you have multiple options. Outside the Wild Bird Walkabout, an assortment of tasty fare is available on another lovely deck. And vending machines strategically situated throughout the park provide cool drinks, scrumptious ice cream, and other snacks.

Take your time to enjoy the scenery. Find a bench beneath a shade tree to relax and revive your energy as you continue your journey.

Chakula Café

Come enjoy our beautiful and spacious café, located in the African Overlook area. The Chakula Café offers a variety of tasty American cuisine to satisfy the entire family. Both indoor and outdoor dining are available for your comfort, accompanied by spectacular views.

Outside Food and Drink

Our animals come from all around the world, and many have very specific diets. With this in mind, guests may only bring bottled water and baby food into the zoo. For those who want to bring their own lunch or snacks, there are 2 picnic areas in the main parking lot that are available for guests. After your picnic, please discard waste in the trashcans provided, return any coolers or ice-chests to your vehicle and re-enter the zoo by reconfirming your entrance reservation with a member of the Visitor Services team.

Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters

Get close–really close–with some of our most famous and adorable animals in a special behind-the-scenes introduction. Space is limited, and reservations must be made in advance.

Giraffe Feeding

Giraffe Feeding

Venture up to the African Overlook to get eye to eye with our reticulated giraffes and give them their favorite healthy treat. Make sure to check the feeding schedule ahead of time.


Special engagements are planned through the year like Spring Break, Elephants’ Birthdays, World Giraffe Day, Boo at the Zoo, International Cheetah Day and more!

Make sure you check out our event calendar to plan your visit!

AZA Logo
Tyler Logo