Though still available, theme park dining has long since separated itself from days of only hamburgers and french fries, diversifying menus and creating must-experience restaurants that stand against the best anywhere. Universal Orlando Resort has been at the forefront of this dining overhaul across theme parks. But when its parks are connected to each other by a dining and shopping district, where should you start? How do you separate the best?
Let's show you our favorites in each spot.
CityWalk is home of Universal Orlando Resort's best dining, bar none. With new restaurants opening regularly and fast food staples like Burger King, Panda Express and Moe's, there are options to suit everyone in the part in relatively close proximity. You can pick almost any location in CityWalk and get a good meal, but some stand out above the rest.
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
Responsible for making enormous, indulgent milkshakes popular, the full menu of food here is just as good as the desserts. With a creative twist on most bar-style foods, this restaurant elevates simple ideas with a killer setting and top-notch theming.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
Antojitos is as good as Mexican-American food gets, with their nachos and fajitas being the stars of the show. It's set in one of Universal's most gorgeous venues, and provides an awesome backdrop for a night with friends and enormous margaritas.
At the heart of this restaurant is a custom-built wood fire grill that sees most of the restaurants meats. A little more upscale than some of the more casual table service restaurants in CityWalk, Bigfire is perfect for a nice meal or a date night to cap off a day at the parks or nearby resorts.
NBC Sports Grill & Brew
On the other side of the spectrum is NBC Sports Grill & Brew, a sports bar elevated all the way to the maximum. This is the perfect restaurant for a family with a lot of different tastes or with a craving for beer and a great view for a big game.
Cowfish represents the most creative, most representative-of-its-location restaurant in all of Universal Orlando Resort. Cowfish takes everything about burger and sushi bar concepts and melds the two, often within menu items, to create a hybrid restaurant that is unlike anything else the theme parks offer.
Universal Studios Florida
Though not as robust as its outside district centered around its dining locations, Universal Studios offers a couple restaurants that pack just as much of a punch as its CityWalk counterparts.
If you're looking for a quick-but-quality breakfast spot, this is the place to go. Simple, but good, it has everything from pastries to breakfast sandwiches in a simple-but-fantastic place to stop in the early morning.
The Crepe Stand
Located in a small green stand all on its own, this spot has affordable, but loaded crepes of both savory and sweet flavors to match all sorts of cravings. It's great for an on-the-go or sit-and-enjoy meal, and is the perfect portion to keep you full, but not weighed down, for a busy day in the Florida sun.
Krusty Burger, and the rest of its Simpsons dining counterparts, provide the better heavier options in the park. Superior to the other burgers and chicken sandwiches you'll find throughout Universal's parks, this is the place you'll want to stop if that hits your craving.
Both Harry Potter restaurants are great, but Leaky Cauldron is the better of the two. With bangers and mash on the menu, it feels like the more UK-true of the restaurants, and provides a quality, home-style meal unique to its location
Islands of Adventure
Where Islands of Adventure is good, it's great. There are two options in particular that stand out above the rest, and are where you'll likely want to prioritize dining if eating in the park.
This Harry Potter location serves the likes of baked chicken, ribs and fish and chips and is just as good as it sounds. The theming and bar inside wrap it into a perfect package of slow-down time and a great meal.
Fire Eater's Grill
Gyros and falafel make up the core of the menu here. It's the most casual experience on this list, but has some of the best quality food on it, too. It's a true quick-service-style window, so you'll have to forgone some theming and find a seat nearby, but it's worth the quality of the meal.