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When visiting a theme park, one of the most important questions people have is where to eat! Not only do we want good options, but we need something affordable. After covering the cost of admission, flights, and hotel stays, most people are hoping to find ways to save money. After a long day of enjoying rides, the last thing you want is waste time trying to figure out where to get some food. If you\’re planning a visit down to our favorite park, here are some tips for the best places to eat at Universal Orlando Resort!
Having visited multiple times, once with the kids and then again for a couples getaway, we can honestly say that most guests will be able to eat well without breaking the bank. It\’s one of the things we love most about Universal parks and resorts.
Of course, nothing is super cheap at theme parks, but Universal gives you great variety of choices. That goes a long way towards keeping our travel anxiety under control, and we can come home feeling like a trip to Universal gives good value for your dollar. So, here are some of our favorite places to eat, listed in alphabetical order.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
On our first couples trip to Universal Orlando Resort, we wanted to find a full-service restaurant to celebrate Josh\’s birthday. Several people told us to check out Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food at Universal CityWalk. We love Mexican food (I\’m always craving carne asada!) and are happy to say that this place did not disappoint. I don’t know if it was just the long day of traveling but the chips and salsa were absolutely incredible. We could eat that again every day of the week!
Despite being connected to a major theme park, the menu and prices were pretty much in line with what you would find at any typical higher end Mexican place. We were impressed that it also included a robust kids menu.
Here’s what we ordered at Antojitos:
- Chicken Burrito
- Combinación Especial
The Chicken Burrito comes with house rice, pico de gallo and menonita cheese, topped with three chile sauce and house made queso, guacamole, and black beans. It didn’t, however, come with a side of rice, but I was happy overall. Okay, I was better than happy. This was a pretty great burrito and I\’d definitely have it again!
The Combinación Especial includes a pork tamale with beef machaca, enchilada verde, pork stuffed chile ancho, pickled onions, black beans, and house rice. It was different than Josh was expecting and he enjoyed it, but he definitely was jealous of my enormous, queso-covered burrito!
Just like Antojitos was recommended to us, we would recommend it to anyone visiting Universal; the portions were very generous, especially for the price. My delicious (and mega-sized) margarita, combined with the fantastic live band, truly topped off a great experience (and it was Josh’s birthday)!
Located right across from Red Oven Pizza, we had to make our way over to Cinnabon for some sweet treats after we finished out meal (there’s another location inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure). If you\’re where to eat at Universal Orlando Resort when you\’ve got a craving for something sweet, this will do the trick!
It wasn’t really any different than most Cinnabon counters you\’ll find. It\’s in a great location in the middle of CityWalk, so it\’s perfect whether you\’re taking a break from the parks, going to a movie, or heading back to your hotel. There was both indoor and outdoor seating, but we chose to stay out in the sun and watch people walk by. Josh got one giant bun and I stuck with the minis. Perfect way to fuel up before getting back on the rides!
Croissant Moon Bakery
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Croissant Moon Bakery in Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a great counter service option for a light meal or snack. If you\’re not sure where to eat at Universal Orlando Resort, this bakery\’s baked goods, which include croissants, danishes, muffins, and cookies, will hit the spot!
The Croissant Moon Bakery has a decent menu and we were able to find something for everyone. In addition to baked goods, they also offer soup, salads, sandwiches and an assortment of drinks. Here’s what we ordered:
- Peppered Roast Beef and Smoked Turkey Combo
- Italian Paninis and Rosemary Melt Combo
- Half Croissant Sandwich & Soup or Salad Combo
We didn’t have a single complaint, and everyone greedily gobbled down their food before heading back on the rides. I will say, though, that if I could do it again, I’d get a whole croissant sandwich!
Want to know a great place for Harry Potter Fans? Head over to the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. It\’s definitely one of the best places to eat at Wizarding of Harry Potter! While we prefer the Three Broomsticks because it\’s so open and airy, this restaurant fills us with nostalgia. I can just see Harry, Ron, and Hermione tucking into some pumpkin juice and sticky toffee pudding!
You don\’t even have to be a Harry Potter fan. This is a good option for anyone who wants to try some traditional British food. You\’ll be absolutely stuffed after Cottage Pie, Toad in the Hole, Bangers & Mash, or the Plougman\’s meal (which serves two people!). There\’s also a kids menu for little ones. Just save some room for something sweet. We love a pint of butterbeer on a hot day!
Red Oven Pizza Bakery
When it comes to finding a filling, quick meal, it’s hard to beat pizza. After the first time we spotted Red Oven Pizza Bakery at Universal’s CityWalk, we knew we’d end up there at some point. Sure enough, on a day when we were short for time and would be eating again in a few hours, we stopped in and were pleasantly surprised.
Red Oven Pizza has salads, white pizza (white sauce), and red pizza (tomato sauce) so we opted for the Big Eye Pepperoni and added sausage. To save money, we ordered water and they gave us the biggest, coldest glass of water of anywhere in the resort. Thank you!
We shared the pizza and were more than satisfied with our meal. The crust was the perfect texture, the ingredients tasted fresh and, for just $14, two adults left with full bellies. I’d call that a win!
Okay, so Starbucks isn’t exactly cheap anywhere, but at least you know you can grab a coffee and a pastry for a somewhat reasonable price. Plus, if you’re a regular Starbucks patron, you’ll be familiar with the menu items so that you can be in and out and back to the fun in no time!
There are two great things I want to point out about the Starbucks at Universal Orlando Resort (located at the CityWalk and both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure). First, they usually have water sitting out in a dispenser free of charge (Florida can get pretty hot and humid!). Second, their collectible mugs make for great souvenirs! I\’m partial to the location near New York in Universal Studios Florida because it\’s right next to Transformers: The Ride 3-D!
The Three Broomsticks
The serious Harry Potter fan inside me is giddy with excitement from just writing about this! My nerdy dreams came true when Josh and I ate at The Three Broomsticks (located inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure). It was everything I’d hoped for, and more! If you\’re wondering where to eat at Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can\’t miss this spot! You\’ll feel like a Hogwarts student preparing for the great feast as you step in the door!
Large screens behind every ordering station make it easy to see what options are available, which is great if you aren’t familiar with the menu. Replicas of the meals are also on display behind a window, so you can see exactly what your order will look like. This is something I love very much about eating in Japan, so I was super grateful to see it at Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
In the morning, the restaurant offers a traditional English breakfast, pancake meals, and more. For lunch and dinner, the menu features a variety of dishes including fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, smoked chicken legs, soup, salads, and a kids menu.
Here’s what we ordered:
- Chicken and Ribs Platter (we both ordered this because it looked delicious!)
- Side of Cornish Pasties
Honestly, we couldn’t have enjoyed the meal more. We LOVED our rotisserie chicken and ribs, the corn on the cob was so much fun to eat, and the potatoes were flavorful. Everything was served hot and fresh. We also enjoyed our side of cornish pasties (it’s a meat pie)! Being Canadian, I love a good meat pie. While this doesn’t quite rival the tourtières I grew up eating, I’d order them again!
When we went back to The Three Broomsticks with Caleb, we checked out the kids menu. He ordered (of course) the macaroni and cheese with a side of potato wedges. It was MORE than enough for a four-year-old (he didn\’t finish it) so I\’d say it was worth the money.
To save money, we asked for water and there was absolutely no problem. We still sipped out of Harry Potter branded cups in the fantastically themed (but slightly cramped) dining hall. Eating at The Three Broomsticks felt like our own little visit to Hogsmeade and it was so much fun!
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
Wondering where to eat at Universal Orlando Resort when you\’ve got a sweet tooth? You can\’t miss the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen at Universal’s CityWalk! There’s an entire menu devoted to milkshakes and desserts! The steampunk theming is really cool and, inside, the place is lively and spacious, making it the perfect place for the entire family (there’s a kids menu!).
The first time we went, Josh had a hard time narrowing down exactly what he wanted, but I knew I wanted something stewed. In the end, here’s what we ordered both times we visited (a year apart):
- Warm Chocolate Almond Bread (was less than $4 and totally worth it!)
- Cheddar Bacon Burger
- Chicken Bourguinon
- Brookies, Cookies & Cream Sundae
Let’s take a moment to recognize the magnificence of the Warm Chocolate Almond bread, shall we? It’s served with salted caramel butter and I could have eaten several orders of this as my appetizer, meal, and dessert. It was THAT good! We were fighting over it.
The Cheddar Bacon Burger includes a half-pound, housemade patty with bibb lettuce, roasted tomatoes and a signature sauce on a toasted brioche. Josh enjoyed it but said he’d probably order it medium next time because it was a little dry, but he absolutely loved the fries! My Chicken Bourguinon was so delicious! The boneless breast was juicy, the red wine demi-glace was spot on, the bacon was the perfect texture, and everything worked beautifully with the Yukon mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was the perfect comfort food without feeling too heavy.
We were completely astounded by the Brookies, Cookies & Cream Sundae. It. Was. Massive! It included brookies (brownies mixed with cookies), chocolate chip cookies, Oreo cookies, ice cream, fresh whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate shavings. Even for a couple people traveling with anxiety, this made us forget our worries for a few minutes!
For less than $10, four people could share this and be very satisfied. When we went back with Caleb, that\’s exactly what we did. We didn’t even come close to finishing half of this but we giggled and had the best time trying. Overall, the visit was fantastic and money well spent!
We\’ve been to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. We\’ve even driven all the way to the location in Portland. For a million reasons, it took years for us to finally try one. Some part of me really wondered if these donuts deserved all the hype. I\’m a donut fan, and I\’m really picky so it takes a lot to impress me. Now that we\’ve tried these treats, though, we\’re believers!
Oh my goodness. After some debate, Josh went in to order on the final night of our most recent trip. We were staying at the Surfside Inn and Suites with Caleb, and thought we\’d take one last treat back to the hotel. Caleb and I chose a strawberry sprinkles donut to share and Josh picked one covered in Froot Loops.
When he came back and there was a third donut in there, I was annoyed. These things are expensive, right? NOPE! The small, regular donuts were just $1.75 and he got all three for less than $9!!! If I\’d known the prices were that good, I\’d have gotten one more myself! It was around Halloween, so they had that cute little vampire and Josh couldn\’t resist. We all shared that donut and it was phenomenal. Cannot wait to go back to Voodoo Donuts!
Other Great Universal Orlando Restaurants
- Bar 17 Bistro– A rooftop hangout spot offering food and drinks at Universal’s Aventura Hotel which is near Volcano Bay. Dance under the stars and watch Disney’s fireworks display.
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co – This is a great spot at Universal Citywalk for everything from baby back ribs to seafood and fried chicken. Fresh ingredients and live music on the boardwalk.
- Bumblebee Man\’s Taco Truck – Head to Universal Studios Florida for a quick bite of some of the best tacos you\’ve ever had!
- Cletus\’ Chicken Shack – You can\’t miss the Chicken & Waffle Sandwich, tater tots, and Chicken Thumbs (chicken tenders) at Universal Studios Florida. So good!
- Hard Rock Cafe – Located near the Toothsome Emporium in the Hard Rock Hotel, we love the Legendary Steak Burgers and shareables!
- Hot Dog Hall of Fame – Sometimes, you just want good hot dogs, and this is a great option. It\’s a little pricy, but delicious!
- Krusty Burger – Unleash your inner Homer Simpson with some delicious American fare like burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.
- Lard Lad Donuts – You\’ve got to get the iconic giant donut with pink icing and sprinkles!
- Mel\’s Drive-In – A lot of people call this Mel\’s Diner and we saw this place (known for its burgers!) at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan.
- Mythos – This Greek eatery was voted best theme park restaurant many times! If you\’re walking from Jurassic Park to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or riding the Incredible Hulk Coaster) at Universal\’s Islands of Adventure, you can\’t miss it!
- Panda Express – We’re pretty familiar with Panda Express and this had everything we normally order and the price was relatively the same as it is at home.
- Today Cafe – This is one of the best places to find healthy options at Universal Studios Florida. Grab a smoothie, fresh fruit, breakfast sandwiches and more!
- Urban Pantry – The layout will remind you of a food court but your tastebuds will be delighted. Also located at Universal’s Aventura Hotel, the Urban Pantry is great for groups who want to eat affordably but have different cravings. You’ll find burgers, noodles, pizza and more. Josh really loved the gelato!
- Vivo Italian Kitchen – Craving an amazing Italian meal at Universal Citywalk? You have to check out Vivo. They even have a fantastic kids menu!
There is also a Burger King Burger Bar. It felt an overpriced regular Burger King, though, so we don\’t recommend it. That said, if you really want Burger King, it\’s there waiting for you! We really want to try Bob Marley — A Tribute to Freedom, but it\’s never been open when we\’ve tried to go. Maybe next time!
Best Places to Eat During Halloween Horror Nights
It seems that, over the past five years, we tend to be at Universal Orlando Resort during Halloween Horror Nights. We always do the R.I.P. Tour (see below!), so we don\’t typically try food outside the café. On our most recent trip, we decided to grab a few iconic items. While we\’re not sure we would buy them again, they were definitely worth trying.
What\’s Halloween Horror Nights without Pizza French Fries and a Stranger Things Christmas Lights Cupcake? Okay, the event is still awesome regardless of what you eat, but this was a tasty addition. I\’d suggest, though, grabbing food earlier in the evening or when it\’s freshly made because things can get stale.
Café La Bamba
We were invited to do the R.I.P. Tour during Universal Studio Florida’s Halloween Horror Nights Event. We didn\’t know much about it going in, but we were pleasantly surprised (and amazed) by the experience. Café La Bamba is home to the park’s VIP Experience dining, so our pre-tour meal was there.
The venue is really gorgeous and wonderfully decorated for the occasion. Despite all my germ-avoiding hesitation about eating self-serve food, we really enjoyed what we had. We just served ourselves from platters that had been replenished before anyone else had a chance to touch them!
While we were there, a bartender was also on hand to mix up some signature drinks. I had to try one of the special, themed drinks for Halloween Horror Nights. The Long Island Tea was literally L.I.T. because it came in a blinking, souvenir cup!
If you\’re looking for tater tots, this is not the place. If you\’re looking for an amazing way to satisfy your taste buds, check this out. We absolutely love these flash fried ribbon potatoes that are thinly sliced and skewered. There are four options for flavors: seasoned salt, garlic parmesan, sour cream & chives, and ghost pepper.
You can even get different varieties like the Twisted Franken Coil (a foot-long hot dog and potato entangled and skewered together), Blood \’N\’ Guts Tater (potato smothered with chili and roasted red pepper queso), and Twisted Blood \’N\’ Guts (Twisted Franken Coil smothered with chili and roasted red pepper queso).
Best Food at Universal Orlando Resort
We hope you enjoyed this list of our top picks for restaurants and Universal Orlando Resort. There are always new things opening up every day, so we\’ll keep updating this post. In the meantime, we hope we\’ve helped you have any even more delicious time on your next trip!