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Best food at Universal

Universal Orlando: I know there's a lot of love for Mythos, but what about quick service and snacks? And how about City Walk, what's good there?

From Caroline Davis
Posted June 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM
I know there have been foodie threads for all the Disney resorts, but how about the Universal resorts in Florida. I know there's a lot of love for Mythos, but what about quick service and snacks? And how about City Walk, what's good there?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted June 13, 2010 at 5:43 PM
I can't remember the name of the place or exactly where it was located, but when I was at Universal (I'm not even sure which park!) in '04 or '05 on St. Pat's day, I had an awesome corned beef sandwich with fresh brewed iced tea at an Irish pub-type place.

From Hermione Potter
Posted June 13, 2010 at 7:15 PM
The best snack by far in all of universal is cold Butterbeer and chocolate frogs at WWoHP. If you aren't into waiting a potential 30 minutes to an hour for your snack this summer, I like Cathy's ice cream in toon lagoon when it's open or the dippin dots near there too.

At Studios I don't really eat there unless I have to. I know it's all the same food from both parks, but for some reason it just never tastes as good to me at studios. If I have to though, I go to Mel's for onion rings and a shake.

At Citywalk I've only ever been to the chains or Pastamore, which was alright. I'm usually there for a movie so I can say that the curly fries at AMC with a pack of nacho cheese is my favoite meal I've ever eaten at Citywalk ;)

From Rob P
Posted June 14, 2010 at 1:36 AM
We've eaten at most of the restaurants in CityWalk and would recommend Latin Quarter.Excellent food and reasonable rates.
The best food we've had was at Emeril's Tchoup Chop at the Royal Pacific but it doesn't come cheap.
But it's not always about the food though. The entertainment factor when you're on holiday is also important.
That's why Margartaville and Bob Marley's are worth a visit. Hearty fare and a fun time too.
Enough has been said about Mythos but what about some of the other outlets that are particular favourites of ours inside the gates of the Parks.
At IOA taking a coffee and cake in the morning at Croissant Moon should not be missed. Sit and watch the crowds arrive in anticipation of their day ahead while you kick back. It's great.
Likewise at the Studios. Grab a coffee and a sandwich at the Beverly Hills Boulangerie and watch the "I Love Lucy" performance. It really sets up the day.
Finnegans at the Studios is another favourite for a lunchtime break. A pint ( or half ) of the black stuff with a corned beef sandwich whilst joining in with the singing is a fantastic pick me up. The only problem is forcing yourself out again. It's that much fun. Try to time your exit to coincide with Jake and Elwood's arrival. A conga dance with the Blues Brothers will soon work off the effects of the food and drink.

From Neil Reece
Posted June 14, 2010 at 6:27 AM
Don't discount NBA City because of its name or theming. The wife and I tried it on our recent vacation. The service and food were exceptional and the bartenders came around to the tables (at least upstairs) and entertained us between drink orders. We will definitely go back there while in Orlando.
Food quality was 5 star.

From Tyler Bell
Posted June 14, 2010 at 7:58 AM
Louies Itailian Restraunt is the best park at USF.

From Kathryn Leigh
Posted June 14, 2010 at 9:04 AM
If you're looking for the best food that will be quick and (relatively) cheap at the parks, I've always had good experiences buying a few snacks throughout the day at the carts around the parks.

However, if money/time are no problem and it's the quality of food/atmosphere you're after, definitely Finnegan's at Universal and Confisco Grille at IOA. At CityWalk, I recommend Margaritaville for atmosphere. (All I can say is, skip Pastamore. Place sucks.)

From Caroline Davis
Posted June 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM
Finnegan's sounds really good, we'll probably eat there! Looking at the meal deal price compared to the food at places like Finnegans and Louie's the price isn't that much more and we're not the type of family to eat three entrees just to make the most of our money, when it's the same price as the normal lunch and dinner anyway!

How do ADRs work at Universal? I know Disney you can do it up to 180 (I think that's right?) days in advance and Sea World are the opposite, you can only do it in the day. Is Universal somewhere inbetween with it's *nicer* restaurants?

I will definately be one of the crazy people queuing up for a butterbeer, but I've heard you can get served much quicker in the Hog's Head than waiting at one of those stalls.

I find it strange how little there is on official and unofficial websites about the eating there. Thanks for all your advice, it's been very, very helpful.

From Robert Niles
Posted June 15, 2010 at 2:06 PM
You can call in advance of the day of your visit to reserve a time at a Universal restaurant: 407-224-4012. In practice, you've only needed call a few days in advance (if at all), but with Harry Potter bringing so many people into the park, I'd call at least a week or two in advance for the Islands of Adventure restaurants, Mythos or Confisco Grille. (Three Broomsticks in WWoHP is counter service, so no need to call about that.)

From Scott B
Posted June 16, 2010 at 5:41 AM
It was mentioned above and I agree that Finnegan's Irish Pub in Universal Studios is pretty amazing. Great traditional dishes, atmosphere and music. A perfect place to wind down, take a break, get some energy back, let your food digest and then get in line for Revenge of the Mummy.

Last time I was there, I got the Guiness Beef Stew, which was pretty amazing. Especially when served with a Guiness to wash it down with. ;)

Oh and they give you amazing bread before hand with this apple butter that was so good, our table devoured it and quickly asked for more. The waitress said, "We get that a lot!"

From Susan Jackson
Posted June 16, 2010 at 6:28 PM
I'm right there with most. We always eat at Finnegan
s when we go. The food is good and the service is good.

From James Rao
Posted June 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM
Okay, its been a while since my 2007 Universal Orlando visit, but we stayed onsite and visited a ton of food joints. Here's what I recollect liking:

Islands of Adventure
Croissant Moon Bakery - pretty good breakfast items, and decent sandwich platters for lunch.

Confisco Grille - full service option. Good burgers, salads, and desserts. The Confisco Fries appetizer was delicious.

Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous - great for families. Plenty to keep the kids entertained while you eat.

Green Eggs and Ham Cafe - when it is open, you have to try the Green Eggs and Ham sandwich!

Mythos - the best full service option. Pizza of the Day, Risotto of the Day, wraps, everything is good.

Thunder Falls Terrace - cafeteria style. Decent food, great views of the Jurassic Park River Adventure's splashdown.

Blondie's - subs like the Dagwood are pretty good fare for a hot day at the park.

Cafe 4 - BBQ chicken pizza was pretty good, actually.

Universal Studios
Beverly Hills Boulangerie - pastries and sandwiches.

Cafe La Bamba - cafeteria style BBQ place. Decent ribs and chicken.

International Food and Film Festival - there's something for everyone at this multicultural cafeteria.

Midway Grill - serves Nathan's Famous All-Beef dawgs. Yum.

Lombard's Seafood - full service, really good food. Try the Catch of the Day or the San Francisco Stir Fry, and definitely save room for dessert!

Richter's Burger Co - pretty standard burger fare, but some nice decor and views.

Finnegan's - full service Irish pub fare. Try the fish 'n' chips (not as good as Raglan Road for sure, but good) or the Shepherd's Pie.

Louie's Italian - good quality, Italian basics.

Classic Monster's Cafe - okay food, but great theming.

CityWalk
Hard Rock Cafe - burgers are real good, and the Twisted Mac 'n' cheese is great. Desserts are very solid!

NBA City - my favorite CityWalk restaurant. Great food, huge portions, great desserts (make sure to try the Cinnamon Berries and the fried Cheesecake).

Margaritaville - the food was just okay, the desserts excellent (Key Lime Pie!), and the setting was wonderful. If you consume adult beverages, this place is probably a lot of fun, but I don't drink.

Hope that info helps!

From steve lee
Posted June 16, 2010 at 8:50 PM
Holy crap - I've never seen the BBQ Chicken pizza at Cafe 4! I am full of jealousy.

From James Rao
Posted June 17, 2010 at 3:59 AM
Steve, that list was from my visit in 2007. The BBQ pizza may be gone by now, but it was definitely there when we went, and it was pretty good by Orlando standards (Orlando is known for having the worst pizza in the nation!).

From Kathryn Leigh
Posted June 17, 2010 at 9:24 AM
The pizza is DEFINITELY the worst in the nation. Does anyone know what happened to that one restaurant that used to be in Marvel Superhero Island? I can't remember what it's called, but I always see it closed and wonder...

From April C
Posted June 17, 2010 at 3:43 PM
Cafe 4? It's still open.

From Sara M
Posted June 18, 2010 at 6:17 AM
Although the Pizza at Louie's does leave something to be desired with some pepperoni on it the combo with the ceaser salad is a fairly good deal as far as theme park fare goes.

I must recommend the Bangers and Mash at Finnigans though! Amazing! Our waitress who was fantastic even brought us over some complimentary guiness gravy that she loves on it and it was so good i could have drank it. Also as we did a late dinner before the Train concert at Universal we had purchased some beers with dinner. She quickly brought over some to go cups so we could finish our drinks while watching the concert! Excellent service.

I would def try and stay away from the Toon Cafe. We had very awful burgers there one day.

We went to Pastamore as well as part of the movie and a meal deal while we were there and although the fettucini alfredo was a little well yuck (I over loaded it with salt pepper cheese) The fried ravioli and bruscetta appitizer was pretty good. We also got a pitcher of the Peach Sangria. Went down like water. Very dangerous!

If you have a AAA card don't forget to bring it! it'll get you a 10% discount on food purchases throughout the park. It may not seem like alot when you are only getting a dollar off here or there but by the end of the trip the savings really do add up.

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