When you step into the Universal Orlando Resort, outside of attractions and meeting Woody Woodpecker…you’re probably thinking about your next meal!
Setting out to write this article was actually pretty interesting for me because unlike Walt Disney World, you don’t have to choose from 400+ dining locations…which helps deciding which are the best and what you should avoid.
Please note that this is not a ranking. Dining is 100% subjective and there’s no way for me to tell anyone what they will enjoy and not enjoy. Take this as a starting point for your vacation planning:)
Universal Orlando Resort is NOT Disney World
After spending time at the Universal Orlando Resort and really digging into the operations, it’s important to be 100% clear on the fact that UOR isn’t on the same level as Disney.
Like – it’s not even close.
Once you come to grips with the ‘comparison factor’, it’ll make the rest of this list more palatable in expectations. We actually cut our days early from Universal on our last trip in order to do dinner back at Disney property (with reservations at Boma and Trails End) after leaving early to spend a couple hours at Disney Springs.
All that being said, let’s look at the handful of Universal Orlando Resort quick service restaurants that aren’t just burgers and fast-food quality cuisine.
LEAKY CAULDRON – DIAGON ALLEY IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
Dark and grubby-looking, this hidden dining establishment in Diagon Alley is actually a place that folks can walk right past without even knowing what’s inside.
From Bangers & Mash to the Toad in the Hole, you’re going to find classic English pub fare that may (or may not) appeal to all pallets. Just know beforehand to check the menu and if all you end up doing is grabbing a Butterbeer and soaking in some air conditioning and theming…you’re completely on the right track!
The only thing that we would suggest is to mobile order or go early – the system to order with cash (or non-us based credit cards) is horrible. You definitely don’t want to be stuck in a line that doesn’t seem to move…
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THREE BROOMSTICKS – HOGSMEADE IN ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE
Harry Potter and British cuisine…just accept it and give it a shot!
Shepherd’s Pie, Potato Leek Soup and various platters are available, but the best part about this restaurant is the hidden outdoor seating area in the back. Remember that all parts of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter reflect the imagination of JK Rowling and her universe!
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Thunder Falls Terrace
Located in the Jurassic Park part of Islands of Adventure, this BBQ location is a hidden gem in a park full of cafeteria-style food courts.
In addition to rice bowls and salads, you can also grab BBQ ribs and a good option for vegetarians as well.
SIMPSONS FAST FOOD BLVD – SPRINGFIELD USA IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you just HAVE to eat at the food court in Springfield USA!
We’ve been known to pick the line of least resistance, so know ahead of time what to look forward to.
- Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror (veggie/healthy)
- Luigi’s (Pizza)
- The Frying Dutchman (Seafood)
- Cletus’ Chicken Shack (really?)
- Krusty Burger
- Flaming Moe’s
Because it’s cafeteria-style, your party is able to stand in different lines for food and then meet at the cash register and pay for everything at once. This means that you can get your Flaming Moe (they don’t have the Flaming Homer…I’ve asked), Ribwich and maybe a salad before sitting in the dining area and watching a loop of classic Simpsons episodes!
Remember to keep your Flaming Moe’s cup as a souvenir!
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OTHER QUICK SERVICE DINING OPTIONS AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT
- Panda Express
- Red Oven Pizza Bakery
- Hot Dog Hall of Fame
- Burger King Whopper Bar
ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE
- Cafe 4
- Captain America Diner
- Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoopendous
- Comic Strip Cafe
- Green Eggs and Ham
- Marvel Character Dinner
- Mythos (Table Service & Reservations Required)
- The Burger Digs
- Thunder Falls Terrace
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
- Finnegan’s Bar & Grill
- Mel’s Drive-In
- Richter’s Burger Co.
- Lombard’s Seafood Grille (Table Service & Reservations Required)
- Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe
With over 125 dining locations on property, you’re able to choose your budget and cuisine without really over-stressing. Because we’re usually on the lookout for a vegetarian-friendly menu, it’s more of a challenge but it’s taken us to locations that we most likely wouldn’t have tried.
That’s why it’s all about doing your research ahead of time and knowing where you want to eat and what menus just aren’t appealing. Don’t worry – it’s all about your taste and not about popular opinion:)