Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure feature lots of exciting rides and lands to explore. The line-up of dining options is no different. In addition to the traditional theme park fare of burgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers, you can also feast on unique and excellent cuisine – if you know where to look. Here's our roundup of the greatest restaurants at Universal Orlando.
Finnegan's Bar & Grill
More than just an Irish pub, this full-service restaurant in the New York section of Universal Studios Florida offers some of the best food at the greatest value in the parks. Start your meal off with complimentary freshly baked Irish bread served with scrumptious apple jelly. Order up an authentic Irish dish like Shepherd's Pie or Guinness Beef Stew, or sample one of their classic salads and burgers. The Tipperary Corned Beef Sandwich is absolutely delicious. It's a warm corned beef sandwich served on a pretzel roll – you’ll forget you’re in a theme park! The prices here are better than the other sit-down locations, the service is always excellent and you can't beat the lively ambiance. Finnegan's often showcases musicians playing nightly as well.
Step into the world of Harry Potter in this recreation of the famous restaurant and inn from the books and movies. Located inside Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, the Leaky Cauldron offers traditional British foods including cottage pie, fish and chips and bangers and mash. These hearty meals are great for a weary wizard looking to relax inside the large dining hall. For the ultimate British experience, try the Ploughman's Platter for two. With a selection of imported English cheeses, crusty bread, greens salad, roasted tomatoes, pickles, apple and beet salad and Scottish eggs, you'll feel like you're in the United Kingdom. While this restaurant is quick-service, where you order at the counter, you're still shown to your table and your food is brought out to you when it's ready. It's a great place for lunch, dinner or even a quick breakfast before a big day at the park.
Three Broomsticks is also right out of the Harry Potter books and films – it’s in Hogsmeade, just south of Hogwarts Castle at Universal's Islands of Adventure. This is where Harry had his first taste of Butterbeer – and you can order one here as well. This restaurant serves a mix of delightful dishes like Cornish Pasties, a flakey pie filled with ground beef and veggies, and more hearty meals like Smoked Chicken and Ribs. Families of 4 (or more) can order the Great Feast. When this huge platter of food is brought to your table, it's an event to be celebrated. With generous helpings of rotisserie chicken, spareribs, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and garden salads, no one will go hungry. In addition to lunch and dinner you can get an English breakfast here. Stop by the adjacent Hog’s Head pub for a Frozen Butterbeer or Fishy Green Ale on your way out.
Mythos, a full-service restaurant at Islands of Adventure, is often called one of the best theme park restaurants in Orlando. As you take a seat in the mystical cave-like dining area, you'll enjoy amazing views of the lagoon through large picture windows, surrounded by waterfalls outside. The restaurant offers cuisine from around the world, including Mediterranean, Asian and American. Popular entrees include the Pad Thai, Lamb Burger and Grilled Swordfish with Yellow Pepper Coulis. Don't miss the delectable appetizers as well. The Mezze Platter is a sampling of housemade hummus, babaganoush, marinated fennel and kalamata olives served with charred pita. Save room for the Chocolate Banana Gooey Cake for dessert. Reservations can be made ahead of time to ensure you'll get a table.
Don't overlook this wonderful full-service restaurant in Port of Entry at Islands of Adventure. Decorated with artifacts from all the islands, Confisco Grille is the last stop for adventurers before embarking on their journeys through the park. If you look hard enough in the entryway you may spot items like the Cat in the Hat's iconic red and white striped hat, a wizard's wand, dinosaur bones from Jurassic Park and more! Since they serve a varied menu of Italian, Mexican, Asian, Greek and American dishes, there's something for every member of your family. Try the wood-grilled pizzas and sizzling fajitas, specialties of the house. The Trader Wings and Chicken Quesadilla appetizers are big enough to order as meals and the Loaded Nachos are fun to share. Stop by the adjoining Backwater Bar for happy hour specials daily and unique drinks like Confisco's Margarita and Navigator's Bloody Mary.
(Photos: Universal Orlando)
Orlando, FL – 7/26/17
By: Alicia Stella