Theme Park Insider

We Ate All the Main Courses at The Three Broomsticks

March 14, 2016, 5:35 PM · We needed several visits to complete the task, but in the interest of serving you, our Theme Park Insider readers, we ordered and ate every main course at Universal Studios Hollywood's The Three Broomsticks.

A sacrifice, we know.

There are nowhere near any bad selections among the eight main courses offered at the restaurant in Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is now open for "technical rehearsals" in advance of the land's April 7 official opening. But we will help you choose what to order on your first go around this enticing menu with our photos and notes below.

Keep in mind: These are not publicity photos — they are our original photographs of the food, as served at the restaurant. And we paid for it all — no special media invitation or accommodations for this one.

If you have visited either of the Wizarding World land in Orlando, we would recommend ordering the one dish that is unique to the Wizarding World Hollywood: The Sunday Roast ($21.99).

Sunday Roast
Photos by Brian Niles and Robert Niles

The roast beef is served to order and comes with vegetables, sliced roasted potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding, and au jus. It's just a stunning meal for a theme park counter-service restaurant and well worth ordering any day of the week.

The Three Broomsticks is supposed to be a Scottish pub, so you might wish to opt for the meals traditionally found on pub menus. My favorite among those is the Bangers & Mash ($12.99).

Bangers & Mash

The highlight of this dish is the deeply-flavored onion gravy that distinguishes a great bangers & mash beyond a simple plate of sausages and potatoes. This selection comes with minty English peas and a roasted tomato — two more delightfully British accents to the meal.

My love for the Bangers & Mash is not to take away from the equally tasty Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew ($13.99), though.

Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew

Rich with chunks of beef, lamb, and root vegetables in a Guinness-infused sauce, this stew just demolishes any other bread bowl meal we've had before in a theme park. It's enough to make you wish for colder weather in LA, to more properly enjoy the warmth of this dish.

You can't go wrong with The Three Broomsticks' Fish & Chips ($14.99), either.

Fish & Chips

With an airy, crispy batter providing a nice contrast with the rich, flaky fish, this meal also includes wedge-cut fries. The tartar sauce is a touch on the sweet side, but there's so much flavor in the fish that we usually just skip it in favor of a squeeze of the provided lemon, anyway.

The Shepherd's Pie ($12.99) is pure comfort food. (And yes, as it includes ground beef, it properly should be called a cottage pie instead of a shepherd's pie, which includes ground lamb. But we're not Gordon Ramsay, so screw it. For what it's worth, Universal does call this dish a Cottage Pie at the Leaky Cauldron in Orlando.)

Shepherd's Pie

Of the traditional pub meals on the Three Broomsticks' menu, this dish ranks below the meals above for me... mostly because as an American living in Los Angeles — where it's perpetually 70 degrees and sunny — Shepherd's Pie just doesn't push the emotional buttons that it would for someone who grew up enjoying this simple casserole of ground beef, vegetables, and mashed potatoes on cold, overcast days. But the accompanying mixed greens salad is amazing for a theme park side dish — we recommend highly the Stilton blue cheese dressing.

Now we get to three dishes that might not be authentic, but certainly hold their own on this menu.

The Spare Ribs ($16.99) might be among the best we've ever had — meaty without fat or gristle and with a tangy sauce that doesn't overwhelm the rich pork flavor of the ribs.

Spare Ribs

The half dozen ribs are served with corn on the cob and roasted sliced potatoes, as are the chicken and turkey leg entrees. That Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken ($13.99) is just as good as the ribs, with an accompanying garlic herb sauce for the half chicken that would drive Count Dracula out of his home studio, if he were ever allowed to get near it.

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

If you are interested, and visiting with family or friends, you can order the ribs and chicken together, along with a family-sized salad, in The Three Brooksticks' The Great Feast ($54.99), which serves four.

Back to the individual main courses, that leave us with the Turkey Leg ($13.99).

Turkey Leg

That the rest of the dishes at The Three Broomsticks can make a smoked turkey leg seem "meh" in comparison probably ought to tell you all you need to know about the quality and variety of this restaurant.

While we were eating all these main courses, of course we had to order all the desserts, as well. Here are Cold Butterbeer ($4.99), Butterbeer Potted Cream ($5.29), and a Sticky Toffee Pudding ($6.99).

Desserts

Pro tip: Wait a minute or two after you get your Butterbeer for the butterscotch foam to bubble up to peak volume before drinking it, to get the full experience of its flavor. The toffee pudding was my favorite of The Three Broomsticks' desserts, with its chocolate surprise lurking within.

Apple Pie

The Apple Pie ($3.89) was a close second for me, with abundant juicy apple slices within a warm cinnamon-laden crust. It pairs wonderfully with the Pumpkin Juice ($4.39), which tastes like you are drinking a pumpkin pie.

That Butterbeer Potted Cream tastes just like the liquid Butterbeer, too, making it a bit redundant if you're drinking one with your meal. But if you opt for the Pumpkin Juice, or one of The Three Broomsticks' adult beverages (draught beers are $10.99), wrapping up with a Butterbeer Potted Cream is a perfect way to get a taste of that flavor in your meal, instead.

Finally, we have the Chocolate Trifle ($4.39).

Chocolate Trifle

If you believe, as my daughter says, that "it's not really dessert if it doesn't have chocolate," this is the selection for you. Topped with shaved chocolate and a cocoa ladyfinger above a layer of raspberry sauce and a base of chocolate mousse, this trifle should satisfy any chocolate lover.

In addition these main courses and desserts, The Three Broomsticks serves a Roast Chicken salad ($9.89) and a Soup & Salad Combo ($9.49, with a choice of Corn, English Ale & Cheddar, or Leek & Potato soups). Children's meals are $7.29 each and the options are Fish & Chips, a Chicken Quarter, Chicken Tenders, and Macaroni Cheese. Ice cream is available for $4.99 and comes in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry and peanut butter flavors. As of now, there's no Butterbeer ice cream (or hot Butterbeer) available at the Wizarding World in Hollywood.

But what here is more than enough to move Universal Studios Hollywood's The Three Broomsticks into strong contention among the world's best theme park counter service restaurants. And along with last year's addition of the restaurants in the adjacent Springfield USA, Universal Studios Hollywood is now the place to eat for hungry theme park fans in Southern California.

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Replies (20)

March 14, 2016 at 6:20 PM · Is there a nutritional guide for all of these foods?
March 14, 2016 at 6:53 PM · USH really stepped up their food game with The Three Broomsticks. It is *so good*. Just had The Great Feast last night and when they say it can feed 4 or more, They Mean It. So much food. The ribs are phenomenal, flavorful and fell right off the bone, and I still dream about that sweet potted cream dessert. What's more, there's plenty to see inside the dining area (look out for some fun effects near the ceiling!), and the patio outside is nice too. I can't recommend it enough.
March 14, 2016 at 7:02 PM · We've tried most of these at either Three Broomsticks or the Leaky Cauldron at Universal Orlando. I think the only ones we haven't had were the Turkey Leg, Shepherds Pie, & the Sunday Roast, which isn't at Orlando. And, yes, they were all very good. The meal that surprised me, though, was the Beef, Lamb, Guinness stew. Generally restaurants don't do a very good job on stew, but this one was excellent. And it was loaded with beef & lamb. Very tasty. And all the meals had pretty sizable portions. Very good value.
March 14, 2016 at 7:08 PM · No mushy peas with the Fish and Chips? Bummer.
March 14, 2016 at 9:17 PM · I was reading through the archived articles from a few months ago.

Are you still planning to write articles on the different shops and restaurants in Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Los Angeles? It seems like all of a sudden, the articles stopped.

March 14, 2016 at 10:10 PM · I wrote several, and we will continue the series with a video report next week. We're editing it now. Thanks for asking.
March 14, 2016 at 10:31 PM · Why are the fish and chips so expensive? They seem like the most simple product on the menu.
March 15, 2016 at 2:04 AM · Who says the Three Broomsticks is meant to be Scottish? Makes little sense given that Hogsmeade is meant to be in England. Unless the Three Broomsticks is meant to be a theme pub inside a theme park?!
March 15, 2016 at 4:10 AM · Why is it so expensive? I can think of two reasons, 1) people have heard of it,and many are not adventurous in their dining habits. If they haven't heard of it, they won't try it. 2) people will pay that amount for it. They're comfortable paying more for comfort food regardless of if it is a good value. Wasn't there a fancy, ritzy restaurant in NYC a few years ago that charged something like $24.99 for a Swanson frozen tv dinner? It reminded people of their childhood, and people paid for it. Amazing. I can't believe that, for $14.99, they serve fish and chips without mushy peas! That's like serving Cottage Pie and calling it Shepherd's Pie (oh, wait, they do that too). Still, with all my whining, I wish that I didn't live 2000 miles away in Ohio- I'd be there for lunch today if I could.
March 15, 2016 at 9:38 AM · I don't think it's too expensive, rather it looks like about half the price or less than Carthay Circle, and this looks better. Somehow Disney is doing 'nouveau riche' food, this looks like old fashioned comfort food, which I think fits better in a theme park. Somehow America has gone the wrong path trying to be so chi chi with food.
March 15, 2016 at 9:38 AM · Hogsmeade is in Scotland.
March 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM · Everyone except Matthew seems to be crapping on this... which is why we end up with so many theme parks serving little more than burgers, chicken and pizza. If anyone thinks The Three Broomsticks is expensive, allow me to point you down the road to Knott's Berry Farm, where a cheeseburger costs $15. Give me a restaurant like this, instead, with food I'd drive across town to eat, side dishes that actually provide some nutrition, and an atmosphere unlike anything else in town.
March 15, 2016 at 12:38 PM · I agree with Rob, the stew was super-yummy, and with such a good salad to go with it. I've actually been thinking that, considering the quality, these meals were a bargain. And honestly, if we hadn't been trying to eat every item on the menu (Epic Harry Potter Pigout!), I do think that it would be possible to share a meal, especially something like the Sunday Roast or the chicken, and be very satisfied. That said, my teenage son inhaled the fish and chips, with none to spare for the rest of us!
March 15, 2016 at 1:28 PM · I just got back from a business trip to Huntsville, AL which is not exactly a high cost area, and on more than one evening while dining with co-workers, our entrees were more costly than the food at the Three Broomsticks.

I am so jealous, Robert that you got to try all of the selections and they were all good or great. What happened to the days of writers suffering for their art?

March 15, 2016 at 3:36 PM · In the summer, it would be hard to buy the stew and Shepherd's Pie. Just too filling. Harry Potter Land evokes the cool weather of Great Britain and Ireland. Maybe I'll buy the freeze version of Butterbeer. Bangers and Mash looks good as I love sausages.
March 16, 2016 at 11:17 AM · Robert is correct! I frequent the Orlando area parks weekly, and it's primarily cheeseburgers, mac&cheese, chicken nuggets, et cetera for quick service, or fast/casual table service. And it bores me. I am more than willing to spend on food with nutritional value, more variety, and so forth. Many reasons why i love flower & garden, food & wine festivals; you can easily rack up a few hundred (2 people, typically) but i find it worth it every time for the experience rather than the point of sustenance. Food should be about adventure and flavor.
March 16, 2016 at 12:13 PM · James, when I ordered the Bangers and Mash, I thought the same thing - no mushy peas!. However, the minted peas are outstanding! I was shocked that they were actually fresh peas cooked perfectly. To echo Robert, Laurie, and Michael; this is not your standard QS. Thought has been put into the side dishes where they are fresh and not an afterthought. They're as good or better than many TS dishes and sides. Kudos to Uni for building an oasis in the burger/chicken tender, quick service, theme park desert...
March 16, 2016 at 12:25 PM · $10.99 for a draught beer, I sure hope Orlando doesn't copy those prices, last summer I paid $8. $10.99 is more than I paid for Hog's tea too.
March 17, 2016 at 6:33 PM · I'm fascinated when people wonder why food in a theme park food is expensive. Perhaps because when I visit any theme park I do not anticipate value meals. A good plate of fish and chips in a themed setting for $15 seems reasonable to me.
March 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM · I'm not really complaining, just wondering why the fish and chips were pretty expensive compared to the other meals where you get more bang for your buck (I think you're right about non-adventurous guests James). However, Orlando only charges 13.99 for them, so there may be merit for a little questioning.

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