What are your must do dining spots at Universal? It’s our first time and I need all the help please! Thanks!
Leaky Cauldron is probably the only one we go to every single time for me. I also like Voodoo Donuts and get the pink one every time I go there. Cowfish is always decent and we’ve been there many times. In IoA it’s not a must but my fave is probably Mythos.
Strong Water Tavern at Sapphire Falls is really good.
For starters, each park has only 2 TS locations:
Lombards Seafood Grill
They are all pretty good. Mythos and Finnegan’s are the most popular.
For QS, there are a bunch of mediocre theme park food places. So it’s good to be aware of that, but here are some of the best:
Central Park Crepes
Green Eggs and Ham
Thunder Falls Terrace
If you visit Volcano Bay, the food and drinks there are better than average.
Most of the CityWalk restaurants are TS, with many good choices. Bread Box Sandwiches is a great QS option.
There are a fair amount of good hotel/resort restaurants too. Of course Portofino has good ones.
I like to look at the TP restaurant ratings, they seem pretty accurate and will warn you of the bad ones.
Leaky Cauldron is one we do most visits.
New to us last trip we’re Mythos and Bigfire. Both were great. Bigfire is now on my must do list. We love Cowfish. We must get Voodoo Donuts. The Kitchen at HRH is a favorite for breakfast (lunch and dinner are also good).
For a first visit I’d prioritize either of the HP areas. We love Mythos because the food is always amazing.
This might just be our thing, but we like to have a leisurely meal at Toothsome mid-afternoon. We’re usually visiting for a week. We turn the meal into family-style, multi-course meal. We could do that anywhere, but starting off with chocolate waffles just really sets to mood. Not a fan of their ice cream.
Off the top of my head:
- Three Broomsticks (we often eat here multiple times on a trip)
- Toothsome Emporium is fun to try. Food is hit or miss so research the dishes before you go.
- Louie’s has good pizza and is one of the more economical options.
- Everything I’ve had at Portofino Bay was good. The quick service market has surprisingly good pizza (better than Louie’s actually)
- The Kitchen at Hard Rock Cafe is very good but it was one of our most expensive meals for some reason.
- We loved Antojitos in CityWalk. Nothing special but a good place to get relatively good Mexican in Orlando.
One thing I’ve found is that it is less stressful to have TS for lunch and QS for dinner. In general even if you have a reservation you will wait longer for dinner at TS whereas QS is less busy for dinner than lunch.
This is similar to Three Broomsticks but at least when I’ve gone the menu is much more “British” than Three Broomsticks, so me and my picky eaters tend toward the Hogsmeade location.
Antojitos in City Walk. We love it there. Sometimes there is a live mariachi band that plays as well.
Yeah after my last experience there it’s a no go for me but before that we’d usually do both but the cheese platter and the toad in the hole are top notch choices for me over typical American bbq (and I can’t stand the Mac and cheese. It’s not even as good as Kraft and that’s saying something) but for my entire family except me they can get a butterbeer at either so that’s what counts lol. (I don’t like butterbeer so I get the real thing and both places have decent beer too)
*if you do three broomsticks I do highly recommend eating outside as you can see the top of the castle and watch VelociCoaster. It’s usually less crowded out there but you do need to spend a little time walking around indoors too. Supposedly elf shadows happen on the stairs but I’ve never caught them.
I have never been and want to. I will prob be a hard sale on Mexican given where I live though.
I assume you usually go in the winter.
a healthy mix actually LOL but it is shaded back there
and for dinner after dark it’s nice always with the top of the castle lit up
Just an FYI, OP is visiting in January
Minion Cafe was a stand out for me my past trip. Good food.
This is, imho, the best bar on property and up there as best restaurant. It’s incredible.
It’s just the same burgers from Burger Digs, it’s just not open as much so people hype it up.
Surely it’s not the french fries that gave the Burger Digs a pretty bad TP rating
In city walk, we like Cowfish and Vivo.
We like Mythos and Finnegans for in park food. City Walk - Toothsome is hit or miss, but we all have something we have found that we like and it’s fun. The kids love the Wok experience at Islands at Royal Pacific.
Try the shakes!
I second strong water! It’s my most anticipated dining reservation for my trip next week