Dining That's Universal. Diverse Options Abound at CityWalk, the Parks & Beyond

So, where to dine when you're at Universal? First let's get specific. For this 10Best list's purposes, Universal is defined as the entire 840-acre Universal Orlando Resort: its multiple theme parks, its on-site hotel properties and its Universal CityWalk entertainment complex. As you can imagine, choosing a dining venue in a place this vast can be daunting. Lucky for us, we live here. And we know eating at the parks isn't one-size-fits all. Some people want fine dining and others something more kid-friendly. And pretty much everyone likes to keep at least one eye on the budget. For enthusiasts who want to do as much as possible, sit-down meals are less of a concern than the best venues to get in, get out and get back on the roller coasters. Whether your tastes run more toward tapas-driven menus like that of the Strong Water Tavern at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, family-friendly, pub-like surrounds like those at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill or painstakingly themed wonderlands like Three Broomsticks at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade, you're in for some stellar choices.



With views of the Loews Royal Pacific pool (not too shabby) and the sensual and lovely orchid court for which it is named, the Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar does double-duty as a relaxing lobby bar. Triple duty, actually, if you count the...  Read More



Searching for your lost shaker of salt? Or perhaps a version of this classic cocktail that comes on the rocks and salt-free? Either, or, no matter, and you can pair it with a Cheeseburger in Paradise, too. Margaritaville is just what you'd...  Read More



Its exterior calls to mind ancient Greece, the Kraken, "Clash of the Titans," and the menu does include Mediterranean influence, but so, too, will diners find fare that touches the cuisine of Asia and items far more homespun. Mythos is an...  Read More



Much like its grandfather, New York's famed restaurant of the same name, The Palm's walls showcase the same caricatures and cartoons made famous by its earliest regulars. Unlike its predecessor, however, this venture's location inside the Hard...  Read More



It is said that J.K. Rowling herself (not to mention the Harry Potter films' art director and production designer) had a hand in every facet of the recreation of her young wizard's world here at Universal Orlando, and so it's no surprise that a...  Read More



Sleek and contemporary on the outside, the menu at Vivo Italian Kitchen belies its traditional soul. Serving up Italian classics, this Universal CityWalk original-concept dining venue opened with fanfare in 2014, offering visitors a taste of...  Read More



Sit-down, full-service dining within a theme park is semi-rare. The sort you'd go out of your way to recommend, rarer still. Finnegan's is just such a place, serving up simple Irish-American fare (be sure to sample the soda bread and apple...  Read More



Steampunk fantasy and SERIOUSLY HUGE MILKSHAKES, await at this towering eatery and candy outpost at Universal CityWalk. Serving lunch and dinner and loads and loads of dessert, Toothsome is a wondrous Wonka-like factory of family fun. The...  Read More



Who's up for "burgushi?" Confused? The Cowfish is a burger and sushi joint – a fun and funky one – located amid the hustle and bustle of Universal Orlando and an ideal place to grab a bite before a night out hitting the various hotspots...  Read More



Strong drinks and small plates are the order of the day at this Caribbean rum bar/restaurant at the lovely Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Tasty tapas make sharing fun and the servers (and rum captains) really know their stuff. Mexican tapas and...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster...  More About A.D.