Food to AVOID at Universal Orlando Resort

in Universal Orlando

A burger topped with two types of cheese and a pickle, next to an order of curly fries.

Credit: Universal

There are a lot of good food and drink options to choose from during your Universal Orlando vacation. The dining options there aren’t as iconic as, say, those at Walt Disney World, but they also don’t require nearly as much planning. You could go on an entire Universal Orlando vacation without making a single dining reservation. Not to mention, there are all sorts of delicious restaurants and iconic snacks like Lard Lad Donuts and Butterbeer.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to what you’re eating! An Orlando theme park vacation can get very expensive, and when you’re spending your money on food and drinks, you not only want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck but actually enjoying what you’re eating. Not every snack or restaurant at Universal Orlando Resort is worth your money. We’ve recently covered what food and restaurants to avoid at the Walt Disney World Resort, and now, let’s take a look at the dining options at Universal Orlando that you can skip.

Hard Rock Cafe
Credit: Universal

Chain Restaurants

You can do your Universal Orlando vacation however you and your family want to, and you should! However, a general vacation sin is choosing to eat at restaurants that you have in your local strip mall. Universal’s CityWalk has a lot of dining options and restaurants, including a lot of familiar chains where you’ll find familiar options. Panda Express, Burger King, and Moe’s Southwest Grill are all connected on the second level of the CityWalk. Although they can provide a quick and easy option for picky eaters, why would you spend time on your vacation eating at mall food court restaurants? Skip those and try BreadBox Handcrafted Sandwiches or Red Oven Pizza Bakery for delicious quick service instead.

CityWalk also has restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Hard Rock Cafe. These are familiar to tourist and vacation towns, and if you’ve never been to one, they’re worth a try. But you can find these restaurants in pretty much every major city or vacation spot in the country, and there’s nothing special about the Universal Orlando versions. Try Bigfire or Cowfish for good American and Seafood options instead.

Seuss Landin
Credit: Universal

Sub-Par Quick Service

Universal Orlando quick service restaurants have a reputation for being somewhat hit or miss. Classics like Three Broomsticks or Mel’s Drive-In are delicious and well-themed, but other locations are simply lackluster. Many quick-service menus are entirely too big, confusing, and have poor food quality. In Universal Studios Florida, Richter’s Burger Co. serves up burgers, fries, and chicken sandwiches, but is generally disliked by Guests. You can get a much better burger at Mel’s Drive-In or Fast Food Boulevard in the same Park.

Islands of Adventure has a lot more quick service options, but more doesn’t always mean better. In fact, it’s home to some restaurants Guests consider to be the worst in the Parks; namely, Cafe 4 and Captain America Diner, both in Marvel Superhero Island. They serve up Italian fare and burgers, respectively, and are both poorly rated. Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Seuss Landing and Comic Strip Cafe in Toon Lagoon are also very poorly received. Try the food options in Jurassic Park or Hogsmeade instead.

a Universal Studios Florida popcorn bucket
Credit: Universal

Basic Snacks

Universal Orlando has all of the classic theme park fare; pretzels with cheese sauce, churros, popcorn, and more. However, they’re all pretty simple and nothing to write home about. The Parks also feature Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Starbucks, Cinnabon, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream, but reference the same point as above; mall food court. There are much more unique snack options you can get in the Parks.

You can’t go wrong with the iconic Butterbeer, available in several different varieties. Instead of Haagen-Dazs, go to Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for unique, Harry Potter-themed flavors. The Crepe cart at Universal Studios Orlando also provides a wide variety of sweet and savory crepes, which is a great option for breakfast, lunch, or a snack. Voodoo Doughnuts or Lard Lad Donuts are a better alternative to Cinnabon.

Of course, you should eat the food you want on your vacation. But don’t miss out on the opportunity to try something new or get something you can’t get at home!

in Universal Orlando

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