I had a chance to visit the new Giraffe Bar at Busch Gardens in Tampa the week after Easter and it was a great experience. The bar is in the Sarengeti Overlook with great indoor and outdoor spaces all with spectacular views of the animals and rides. The bartenders have cute giraffe headbands and the look is both fun and classy at the same time. Here’s a great promo video from the park to give you a taste of the vibe. I was a little worried being it was brand new and the park was decently busy (food lines were often longer than ride lines), but the line at the Giraffe Bar was surprisingly short and moved quickly.
The drink selection and beer selection was not extensive, but adequate with something for everyone. There’s a diverse group of 8 craft beers, 3 frozen drinks and 3 cocktails on draft. We sampled both beer flights, the mojito, the Tusker and the Puffin. The yummy looking Serengeti Sunrise was unfortunately sold out both days. The frozen drinks were good tasting, but my wife commented they felt a little weak on the alcohol. However, she absolutely loved the mojito and found it to be quite strong too. The beers came in two flights of four 7oz glasses each and 28oz total is a healthy amount of beer for sure. The Safari Graze flight was mostly hoppy or hazy IPA’s where the Toucan flight was a more diverse group of beer styles with fruit flavors. Both flights were excellent and came from local Florida breweries. They also had a temperature color changing pilsner glass. It’s just plastic but is fun watching the color match the level of your drink or seeing your fingerprints on the glass. They even had a promo for a free pilsner for season pass members when we were there.
The bar food was a great surprise. They serve pretzels, brisket Man N Cheese and a hummas plate. With some of the longest lines being for food the week we were there it was great to have these fast and great choices available. The only one we sampled was the pretzel and it was amazing. It was like an authentic German style pretzel and was HUGE! The beer cheese dip was awesome too, no cheap stadium liquid cheese here. This thing could rightfully be a meal for one person and easily shared by a couple. Servers call your name and bring the food to you. There were multiple types of seating available from bar seating indoors at the windows overlooking the animals and tables inside and out.
The views are of course what you come for and won’t disappoint. With all the glass you’ll have a great view either indoors our outside. The inside is air conditioned for the hot days and finding a table in any area wasn’t hard. There is something for everyone with the central area overlooking the animals, one side more looking towards Cheetah Hunt and one side more towards Cobra’s Curse. If you’re into people watching one of the later two could be lots of fun.
We spent easily an hour the first day in the indoor area at a table with drinks and a pretzel just recharging our batteries mid afternoon. The second day we sat outdoors late afternoon towards the Cobra’s Curse side. We could still see animals, but got to watch the roller coaster do its thing too which our young son loved. My wife even stayed behind at the bar while my son and I used a Quick Queue to get a ride in. She was able to watch us the whole way from loading to the end. She even got some great video below. If you have some non-riders in the group it’s a great place to hang out.
Overall this place is awesome and is a great addition to Busch Gardens. Be sure to leave some time to check it out your next trip to the park!