Today we are sharing the best restaurants at Universal Orlando Resort that you need to try during your Universal Orlando vacation.
When visiting Universal one of the most common questions I hear is “Where should we eat?”
With so many places to eat at the Universal Orlando resort to choose from you might wonder which one is best for your vacation.
Luckily, there are so many options and places to eat at Universal Orlando. Between the two parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s CityWalk the options are really endless.
When visiting Universal Orlando with kids we like to mix full-service restaurant options with quick-service restaurant options to meet the needs of everyone in our group.
We’ve visited Universal Orlando many times over the years and have tried a lot of the restaurants at the parks.
There are a lot of choices and most of them are favorites we go back to each year.
If this is your first visit to Universal read this article to help you plan: Planning a Universal Orlando Vacation
These are our favorite restaurants inside Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk to include in your next Universal Orlando theme parks vacation.
Best Restaurants at Universal Orlando and Where to Find Them
If you are visiting for a few days you will have time to visit most of the restaurants on this list but I have grouped them into where you can find them in the parks so you can easily find the ones you are looking for.
If you are visiting the parks and want to have lunch or dinner at CityWalk it is a very short walk. You can leave the park and return after your meal.
I do recommend making reservations a week or two ahead of time for sit down restaurants. Check them here.
Tips for Dining at Universal Orlando Resort
If you are dining at a quick-service location check the Universal Orlando app to see if they offer mobile ordering. We have found this to be hit or miss on our visits.
When mobile ordering is working it can save you a lot of time waiting in line. You order food from the app and then go to the restaurant to pick it up.
Check the app to see if the restaurant you plan to visit is offering mobile dining on the day of your visit.
One thing I want to note is that we noticed the price differences are not that big when you are comparing quick-service to sit-down service.
Unlike Disney World that has a big price difference in their sit down meals.
Universal sit-down restaurants in the park are pretty comparable to the quick-service option. Check the menus if you want more price details.
Always be sure to purchase tickets to the Universal theme parks before you arrive. If you are eating at Universal CityWalk you do not need park tickets.
I’ve broken the list down by location to make it easier to plan your day at the parks.
Best Restaurants at Universal Studios Florida
Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck
Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck is located at The Simpson’s area of the park. The Bumblebee Man’s Korean Beef Tacos are one of my favorites when we visit Universal Studios.
I get them almost every visit.
It is a simple food truck with 3 different taco options, all under $10.00. There isn’t a kids menu but a great option if you have kids that enjoy tacos.
There is an area to eat near the Animal Actors show. This is usually quiet and shaded. It is a great secret spot we like to stop at when we are having lunch at Universal Studios.
The Leaky Cauldron
The Leaky Cauldron is located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley. It is immersive in the Harry Potter theme and serves traditional British foods.
If you are a Harry Potter fan you have to dine here!
They offer Mac & Cheese for the kids and the Fish & Chips are outstanding for kids and adults.
We have also ordered the Bangers and Mash plain. This is basically a hot dog with potato wedges. If you have young children that can split the dish, you will save a bit of money.
Unfortunately, there is not a kids priced option available. The Beef Stew is also a great dish.
Minions Cafe has replaced the Monsters Cafe dining space. It is part of a larger Minion Land upgrade that opened in summer 2023 at Universal Studios.
During our visit to Universal Studios Hollywood we ate at the Minion’s Café and loved it! The food was really good and had a fun Minion twist with banana infused dips.
We are planning a visit to Minions Cafe in 2024 but the reviews I am hearing have been mostly positive.
They have bowls, sandwiches, and even Minion themed tots. I can’t wait to try this for the food and theme!
Fast Food Boulevard
Fast Food Boulevard is located in the Springfield USA(Simpsons) area of Universal Studios. It is a food court area that consists of multiple places that offer pizza, chicken, and healthy food options. The Clam Chowdarr is a favorite.
- Krusty Burger (My kids like the foot long hot dog.)
- Cletus’ Chicken Shack (The Chicken and Waffle sandwich is a favorite.)
- Luigi’s Pizza
- The Frying Dutchman
- Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror (Healthier Options)
- Moe’s Tavern (If you are a Simpsons fan or a beer fan, you can order a Duff Beer)
This used to be our go-to but when the parks reoped after covid it hasn’t been as good. Hopefully they are working it out because this is a great option with lots of choices.
Central Park Crepes
Central Park Crepes is a really good quick service restaurant that offers sweet and savory options. On our visit we ordered the lemon-blueberry pound cake and the brisket crepe.
We shared this as a snack. It was so good!!
The big issue with this location is not knowing when it is open. On our visit it opened at 11:00am. Always check the app.
When I checked the app today for this article is wasn’t even showing up on the app, so I will have to check on our visit this month.
Hopefully it is still open because it is very good!!
Finnegan’s Bar & Grill
Finnegan’s Bar & Grill is an Irish theme restaurant located in the New York area of Universal Studios. It is a nice place to sit and cool down away from the heat.
The food is good and they have traditional Irish dishes. They also have burgers and kids meals.
At times there is live music so this is not always the best place to get away from the noise.
It is also a sit down restaurant. You can usually make reservations the day before and at times they accept walk-ins.
Special Events at Universal Orlando
There are many Universal Orlando restaurants to choose from but if you are visiting during a special event at Universal Orlando be sure to check out the food.
I cover all the events in this article: Guide to Special Events at Universal Orlando My favorite food event is Mardi Gras. The food booths are delicious and worth including in your day.
Expect specialty food options during Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Universal’s Holiday Event.
Best Restaurants at Islands of Adventure
Comic Strip Cafe
Comic Strip Cafe is counter service restaurant at Universal that offers a bit more variety. This is located in the Toon Lagoon area.
They offer burgers & hot dogs, pizza & pasta, Chinese food, and fish and chicken.
It is probably the most varied dining location in the parks and should provide options for everyone in your group. We recommend trying the Dragon Platter.
Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendus
Circus McGurkus is located in the Seuss Landing area of the park. It is one of the most fun areas of Islands of Adventure for kids.
What I really love about this Islands of Adventure food place is that it is a fun themed restaurant. You are eating under the big top with colorful Seuss characters all around.
The High in the Sky Trolley ride also goes through the restaurant from above. Circus McGurkus has a variety of options that include burgers, chicken, and pizza.
You can also order a full size pizza for your family.
Three Broomsticks is similar to Leaky Cauldron but it has a few different menu options. It is located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade.
I suggest trying both, especially if you have a Harry Potter fan in your family.
At Three Broomsticks you can order the great feast platter that serves four and includes a garden salad, rotisserie smoked chicken & spareribs, corn on the cob, and roast potatoes.
They also offer Chicken Fingers, Chicken Legs, Mac & Cheese, and Fish & Chips on the kids menu. Tip: If you want to try Butterbeer order it here. The lines at the small kiosks in the park tend to get long.
Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham is a quick service restaurant located at Islands of Adventure. It features tater tot dishes inspired by Green Eggs and Ham.
It is in the Seuss Landing section of the park. This is one of my favorite places to eat at Universal. They have Pizza Tots, Carnita Tots, and of course Green Eggs and Ham.
Keep in mind there is only outdoor seating. This can be an issue during the hot summer months.
It never stopped us from eating at Green Eggs and Ham but it is something to consider.
I am also very sad to say they got rid of the dessert in the picture below. There are no longer dessert options on the menu but their entrees are delicious.
Mythos Restaurant is located in the lost continent area of Islands of Adventure. We ate there a few years ago and felt the food wasn’t as good as other places and the prices are a bit high.
It has a cool ambiance and if you want to try it once it may be worth it. We felt one and done was enough.
Thunder Falls Terrace
Thunder Falls Terrace is located in the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure. We recently tried it and really liked it.
They offer rotisserie chicken and rice bowls. The black beans here were so good with the rice. We all were really impressed.
Best Universal CityWalk Restaurants
CityWalk is Universal Orlando’s entertainment complex and has a lot of great choices for best places to eat at Universal Orlando are located here.
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is the best themed restaurant at Universal Orlando. It is definitely a place to experience at least once.
Toothsome’s has unique dining options inspired by chocolate flavors. When visiting it is more of an experience than a quick dining option.
There are characters walking around the restaurant that are themed to the steampunk story of Toothsomes.
If you are planning on dining at Toothsome I highly suggest making a reservation and allotting 1.5-2 hours for your visit.
I do appreciate the ambiance of the restaurant but do not suggest it if you are in a hurry.
I loved the warm chocolate bread and the milkshakes are delicious. The menu has a lot of chocolate infused dishes and reservations are highly recommended.
We go into details of our visit in our Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Review. If you can’t stop in for dinner guests can visit the lobby for sweet treats and to order the famous milkshakes.
Pat O’Brien’s is a New Orleans themed restaurant. It is a sit-down restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Some nights offer dueling piano entertainment.
Pat O’Brien’s has a Mardi Gras theme and in the evenings caters to an adult crowd, but if you visit around dinner time it is a great place for families.
Expect Cajun inspired meals, that can be on the spicy side. They also offer a kids menu. Be sure to pick up beignets after your meal for dessert.
The Kid’s menu offers Mac & Cheese, Chicken Fingers, Shrimp, Burgers, and Grilled Chicken making this a great option to satisfy everyone in your family.
One of our favorite dishes is the Creole Chicken w/ Red Beans and Rice
Hot Dog Hall of Fame
Hot Dog Hall of Fame is a no frills counter service dining spot at CityWalk. It has outdoor seating only and you order from the counter.
The menu is extensive though, offering over 8 different specialty Hot Dog choices. It also has a classic foot long or Two Foot long. I recommend sharing the Two Foot long!
There are a variety of options and toppings as well. Keep in mind all seating is outdoors and can be really hot during the summer months.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
On our first visit to Antojitos I had the best burrito ever. On our next visit it wasn’t my favorite. That being said I would visit again for the chips and salsa they bring you as you wait for your meal.
Chips and Salsa are included with your meal and the fresh salsa was delicious. Kids options are quesadillas, grilled chicken, or tacos.
Overall the food is good and the price is comparable to what you would expect. I would give this another try and see if it was a one off experience. Everyone else in the family enjoyed their meals.
Bob Marley’s A Tribute to Freedom
Bob Marley is a restaurant that I hesitated on for a few visits because I wasn’t sure if would be kid friendly.
This Caribbean cuisine themed dining option offers spicy options, but you can always ask the chef to go easy on the spices.
The food was spicy but there were options for people who do not like too much spicy. I got the Jerk Chicken and asked to go light on the spice.
We all found something we liked on the menu and the outdoor seating was a nice quiet atmosphere. Some evenings they have live music playing too.
It was very good! The kids got chicken tenders and they were not spicy at all.
Overall we all really liked it.
Most restaurants at CityWalk offer something for everyone’s taste but we feel like you can’t go wrong with these places to eat at CityWalk during your Universal trip.
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
The Cowfish is a Sushi Burger Bar. We never tried it previously because we don’t eat sushi but we had heard great things and on our recent visit gave it a try.
It may have been a staffing issue but our service was very slow and we had a virtual ride time for Hagrids so we felt kind of rushed.
This made the entire experience a little stressed. The food was okay but the thing we really loved was the presentation of the kids meals.
NBC Sports Grill & Brew
If you are looking for a restaurant at Universal’s CityWalk that has a wide variety of options NBC Sports Grill is a great choice.
From burgers to tacos and more we were able to find something everyone in the family liked.
The one downside to NBC Sports Grill is it is a bit pricey. Not outlandish prices, especially for theme park standards, but this was one of our most expensive meals.
Be sure to check the menu before your visit to make sure it is a good fit for your Universal vacation budget.
Vivo Italian Kitchen
Vivo Italian Kitchen features fresh pasta dishes that are full of flavor. This is a great choice if you are looking for an Italian dinner. They also have a kids menu with pizza and pasta, as well as a dessert menu.
Red Oven Pizza Bakery
We tried Red Oven Pizza Bakery on our most recent visit to Universal and really enjoyed it. This is a quick service restaurant and reservations are not required.
Mobile Ordering is offered making this a great option as you exit the parks. Red Oven has specialty pizzas made to order. One pizza will feed 2-3 people depending on your party.
I wish I had photos to share but we were so exhausted and hungry after our day at the parks, the food was gone before I even had a chance to take any.
Overall we liked the value and the food making this a great choice for families.
Best Restaurants at the Universal Orlando Hotels
If you are looking for upscale dining you can visit the Hard Rock Hotel or Loew Portofino Bay Hotel.
The Palm at Hard Rock Hotel is an upscale New York steakhouse featuring an Italian inspired menu. Mama Della’s Ristorante is authentic family dining Italian. I recommend reservations for either restaurants
Loews Royal Pacific Resort offers Polynesian themed cuisine. Loews Saphire Falls Resort offers caribbean cuisine.
Quick Places to Eat at Universal Orlando
Sometimes after a busy day at the parks parents want something quick and familiar. At Universal’s CityWalk they have a Burger King, Panda Express, and Moe’s in a food court setting.
This is typical to what you would expect but it can be an easy option for families that I wanted to mention.
There are also a lot of great places to check out inside the parks that I mentioned above like Central Park Crepes and Green Eggs and Ham. Be sure to check the app for opening times.
You may also want to try VooDoo Doughnut for a sweet after the park treat. They offer mobile ordering which can save you time.
We took doughnuts back to our room at Dockside Resort during one of our visits.
Be warned: if it is very humid out you may have melted doughnuts. Try to keep them out of the sun as much as possible.
Character Dining Restaurants at Universal Orlando Resort
At one point they did have a character meal at Cafe Bamba with Dora, Minion, and Spongebob Characters.
With all the choices for great restaurants at Universal Orlando resort your theme park vacation doesn’t have to be bland food. It can be a awesome part of your vacation.
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