Dining Options

​​​​​​​​​​Fresh tastes, local ingredients, healthy options — that's what the Healthy Food Initiative presented by Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health​ is all about. Along with the traditional Zoo fare, you'll also find new culinary creations with a focus on farm-to-table practices. When you're dining at one of our many eateries, just look for signs featuring "Riley's Recommendations for Healthier Eating" and know you're making smart food choices. You can find these at several stops around the Zoo, including Café on the Commons, the Farm-to-Table Stand near the White River Junction Train station, and our seasonal cart location in front of Dean's Arena. Our revamped menu also includes national favorites and gourmet options that are sure to please any palate. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted at all Zoo eateries, which are managed by Centerplate, the Zoo's exclusive caterer. For healthy tips for you and your family, authored by the experts at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, visit Riley Connections.

Click here for a list of food ingredients and allergy information.

Café on the Commons

Located at the heart of the Zoo, Café on the Commons is the Zoo's primary food service location. This restaurant is open year round and serves traditional fare, like, burgers and barbecue, new salads with a variety of topping choices and other healthier menu items, snacks, drinks and more. The Café has indoor and outdoor seating and is open 10am to closing.

Nana's Gourmet Snack Shop

Located next to the Kroger Splash Park near the center of the Zoo, the newly opened Nan​a's features a selection of Nathan's Hot Dogs, gourmet treats, healthy meal options and more. You'll find everything you need for a quick lunchtime meal. 

Westside Café

Located near the entrance/exit to Plains, the Westside Café is the perfect place to pick up a cool beverage or favorites like Donatos pizza, breadsticks and other treats.

Encounters Snacks

Need a refreshing frozen beverage to cool off on a hot day? Then make your way over to this seasonal location in Encounters where you'll find multiple fruity flavors of ICEEs plus other drinks and snacks.

Farm-To-Table Stand

Open during the summer season, our newest dining spot near the White River Junction Train station and rides ticket booth offers healthy and delicious salads and snacks perfect for dining light at the Zoo! Newly added to our cuisine is the build your own salad option. You can still munch on your favorite yogurt parfaits, veggies with hummus and fruit cups, but now you will be able to add a diverse selection of 17 different toppings to a tasty salad as well.

Flora Café at the Gardens

When you visit White River Gardens, come to the Flora Cafe for lunchtime snacks, delicious sides and desserts. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Flora Cafe is open 11am to 3pm. Dining is available on the terrace outside and in the Grand Hallway. Seasonal offerings are also available with special late hours during Christmas at the Zoo.

Dining Carts

During the summer, guests can pick up a quick treat at one of the many food carts located throughout Zoo grounds. These convenient food stops offer bottled drinks, frozen treats, pretzels and other snacks. Featured carts offer favorites like frozen lemonade, Dippin' Dots and other temptations.

Picnic Areas

Enjoy a picnic at one of two picnic areas, located just outside the Zoo's Entry Plaza and behind White River Gardens along the Riverwalk. Though visitors cannot carry food into the Zoo, these convenient areas allow guests to take a quick break before returning to the Zoo for more fun and adventures. Just present your receipt or get your hand stamped for re-entry anytime on that day. Refillable water bottles are permitted inside the Zoo. For the safety of the animals, the Zoo does not provide disposable straws or soft drink lids.  ​