22 Best Restaurants in Universal Orlando, Ranked by a Blogger

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When it comes to theme park dining, I think Disney World – on the strength of EPCOT – comes up first in many people’s minds. However, I think despite some odd chain choices, Universal Studios Florida’s cuisine can stand on its own. There are some legitimately great dining choices at CityWalk and also in the parks. Ultimately, there’s something for everyone. 


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Who is the famous chef at Universal Studios?

Emeril Lagasse – of BAM! fame – used to have a place at CityWalk. However, it is now closed. 

Additionally, there are a few famous people who have restaurants at Universal Orlando – Jimmy Buffet, Bubba Gump and Bumblebee Man, if those count.

Read Also: Is Universal Studios Worth It? An Honest Review 

What are the best restaurants at Universal Orlando?

This is a big category. All we can do is rank ’em. 

Editor’s Note: We’ve also created this printable checklist that you can take with you on your next Universal Studios adventure.

Moe's Tavern Exterior Universal
Moe’s Tavern in Springfield at Universal comes in last on our list (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

22. Moe’s Tavern (Universal Studios)

I wasn’t impressed by the grouped restaurants in the Springfield section of the park, including Krusty Burger, Cletus’ Chicken Shack and The Frying Dutchmen. I certainly regretted taking the family in there. It turns out that I don’t find the Simpsons vibe very appetizing, at least not most of it. 

Universal CItyWalk's Margaritaville
Margaritaville has the Jimmy Buffett vibe and style (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

21. Margaritaville (CityWalk)

I get that people like the whole Jimmy Buffett vibe and lifestyle. But I just can’t get down. I like some of his songs fine. Also, hanging by the beach and drinking rum is just fine. But surrounded by all these interesting restaurant choices? I think there are better places to eat. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t think you can get a good meal here. I would simply prefer to get a good meal somewhere else. 

20. Thunder Falls Terrace (Islands of Adventure)

Thunder Falls Terrace offers barbecued ribs and rotisserie chicken. You can find it in the Jurassic Park section of Islands of Adventure. It’s nothing unique necessarily, but it is good for theme park food.

green eggs and ham in orlando
This eatery offers tots with a variety of toppings (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

19. Green Eggs & Ham (Islands of Adventure)

I know some folks swear by this Seuss Landing eatery. However, to me, it was just okay. This quick-service restaurant offers a variety of tots with different toppings. I think the location could do with some more Truffala trees for shade.

NBC Sports Grill & Brew Universal CityWalk
NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal Studios (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

18. NBC Sports Grill & Brew (CityWalk)

This is another somewhat perplexing addition to Universal’s CityWalk family of restaurants. A giant sports bar dedicated specifically to sports that are on NBC? Ok. The food is fine. It’s even good. You won’t be displeased. But I don’t think you’ll be blown away, either. 

Interior of the Leaky Cauldron Universal
Try some bangers and mash or some Toad in the Hole at The Leaky Cauldron (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

17. The Leaky Cauldron (Universal Studios)

The Leaky Cauldron is the better of the two restaurants in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The menu is what you’d expect. It features black pudding, bangers and mash, Toad in the Hole, Cottage Pie, Scotch eggs, a couple of sandwiches and that sort of thing. But if all you want is the Butterbeer, there are plenty of other places in Diagon Alley to find it.

today cafe
This eatery is a convenient place to grab a bite and enjoy some shade (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

16. Today Cafe (Universal Studios)

This is a surprisingly good quick-service restaurant with sandwiches, pastries and the like. The cafe’s outdoor dining is an excellent spot to rest as long as you’re out of the sun. 

two tall milkshakes with full toppings over a jar
Toothsome Emporium has a wide selection of food on the menu as well as several dessert options (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

15. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen (CityWalk)

I like, very much, the Willy Wonka steampunk vibe of this place. And the food is quite good as well. 

Universal's CityWalk Bigfire Restaurant
Bigfire at CityWalk offers a satiating meal (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

14. Bigfire (CityWalk)

This is a good CityWalk option for the end of the evening. The menu is excellent, but it’s quite heavy. For example, I don’t think you want to eat a big meal at Bigfire and then go ride the VelociCoaster. 

Vivo Italian Kitchen at CityWalk Universal
Vivo Italian Kitchen offers really good Italian food (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

13. Vivo Italian Kitchen (CityWalk)

There are a lot of places to get really good Italian fare at the Universal Orlando Resort. Vivo serves its family recipes in a sleek modern setting. You absolutely can’t go wrong here. 

City Walk Universal's Bob Marley
Bob Marley is a great place to try some food you may not get in your hometown (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

12. Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom (CityWalk)

When you’re here, start with the Taste of Jamaica appetizer and go from there. I love the opportunity when I’m on vacation to get things I can’t get at home. Nobody at home serves Oxtail Stew or Curried Goat Stew. 

Louie's Italian Restaurant Sign Universal Orlando
The Jumbo Pizza Slice at Louie’s is worth the price (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

11. Louie’s Italian Restaurant (Universal Studios)

If you’re going to have a New York-themed section of your park, you better have someone selling a nice slice of pie. The Jumbo Pepperoni Slice at Luigi’s ain’t cheap. But it’s worth it. 

Universal Studio's Finnegan's Menu
Finnegan’s is a lively bar and full-service eatery with authentic dishes (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

10. Finnegan’s Bar & Grill (Universal Studios)

This traditional Irish American pub is both a lively bar and a full-service restaurant. It features authentic Irish dishes like Shepherd’s Pie and Guinness Beef Stew.

Confisco Grille's Tuna Nachos and Chicken Quesadilla
The Confisco Grille’s tuna nachos were quite good (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

9. Confisco Grille (Islands of Adventure)

This is an underappreciated dining experience in the park featuring Italian, Asian and Greek dishes. Also, we found that reservations are frequently available. 

Central Park Crepes Eatery Universal Orlando
Try a savory Street Corn Crepe at Central Park Crepes (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

8. Central Park Crepes (Universal Studios)

I love a good savory crepe. For the summer of 2023, Universal is rolling out a new flavor – street corn. It’s a crepe loaded with roasted corn, cotija cheese, jalapenos, marinated chicken and more. It’s fantastic. 

Scallop and Barley Risotto at Mythos, Universal Islands of Adventure
The Scallop Risotto at Mythos (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

7. Mythos Restaurant (Islands of Adventure)

Billed as the greatest theme park restaurant in the world, Mythos offers Mediterranean, Asian and American fare. It’s good. Maybe even great. But the greatest? That’s certainly a myth. It might not even be the best at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. 

Universal's CityWalk's Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe at Univeral’s CityWalk (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

6. Hard Rock Cafe (CityWalk)

I’m a member of Generation X. When I was growing up, nothing was cooler than getting a burger or nachos in immediate proximity to Jim Morrison’s codpiece. Give me a chance today to eat at a Hard Rock Cafe or stay in the Hard Rock Hotel and I will do it. I make no apologies. 

tacos from bumblebee truck with chips and salsa
The tacos at Bumblebee Man Taco Truck were a pleasant surprise (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Bumblebee Man Taco Truck (Univeral Studios)

Remember what I said earlier about Springfield food? This is the exception. The tacos from this food truck are so much better than they have a right to be. 

Gnocchi at Mama Della's
Mama Della’s gnocchi with Pomodoro sauce and cheeses (photo by Alaina O’Neal/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Mama Della’s Ristorante (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel)

Located in the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, this ristorante serves classic Italian dishes in an atmosphere that is instantly relaxing. The boat ride from CityWalk past the other Universal resorts really adds to the ambiance. 

Lombards Seafood Universal
This restaurant is so good that my family ate there twice in a row (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Lombard’s Seafood Grill (Universal Studios)

This San Francisco Wharf full-service restaurant was a massive hit with my family. The seafood is perfectly prepared. My picky-eater son liked it so much, he asked to go back the second day. And we did.

Antojitos Empanadas in CityWalk
Antojitos’ empanadas were top-notch (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food (CityWalk)

This Mexican place in Universal’s CityWalk is top-notch, top-shelf Mexican food. Do you like tacos? Of course, you do. This is your place. 

sushi from cowfish in citywalk
The food is always excellent at Cowfish (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar (CityWalk)

The service? Not great. But the food? Fantastic. It’s the best burger I’ve had in my life. This is the crown jewel of Universal’s CityWalk. 

Do you need reservations at the Three Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron?

They do have reservations, but it’s primarily first-come, first-served. Reservations, in my experience, won’t necessarily save you time. During my first visit to one of these eateries, I asked the hotel concierge if it was possible to buy reservations for the Three Broomsticks. He said yes and sold them to me.

When we arrived the next day, we were sent to wait in line with everyone else, including the family in front of us who had also paid for reservations. For us, the reservations simply meant that we paid for our meals in advance and waited just like the people who hadn’t paid for their meals in advance. 

What is your favorite meal at Universal in Orlando? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of author


John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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