The Best CityWalk Restaurants You Must Try at Universal Orlando

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Hard Rock Cafe - Universal CityWalk Orlando

You’ve spent the day riding roller coasters. Or splashing in pools. Perhaps you had fun in the sun at one of the Orlando area beaches. Now you’re hangry. Satisfy your cravings at Universal CityWalk. It’s a highlight of Universal Orlando and you don’t need to pay an admission fee to explore the many dining options. Some of the really popular restaurants book up quickly; make a reservation in advance. Prefer to wing it? There are familiar quick service options too. Here are the top restaurant picks at CityWalk in Orlando. Be prepared to drool.

Read More: Planning a Trip to Universal’s Orlando Resort? Start Here!

But how do you decide where to eat? To make choosing a little easier, here’s our list of the best restaurants on CityWalk you have to try. From Italian to sushi to a classic American cheeseburger, CityWalk has it all. And admission to CityWalk is free, so you can come back to try different restaurants!

Read More: Where are the best hotels near Universal Studios Orlando?

1. Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food

Mexican food is almost always a crowd pleaser, and Antojitos is no different. Several friends and colleagues jumped at the opportunity to recommend Antojitos when asked about the best CityWalk restaurants.

For lovers of fajitas and margaritas, look no further. Antojitos has some of the best food on CityWalk and is a must try when visiting Orlando.

2. Vivo Italian Kitchen

This recommendation goes out to all the carb lovers out there. Two words: Handmade. Pasta. Yes, you read that right. They make their pasta in-house daily. You can watch the meals being prepared through the semi-open kitchen. In addition, the restaurant can accommodate those with allergies.

some of the best CityWalk restaurants
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen is a CityWalk must-do! Photo credit: Sarah Gilliland

3. The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen

Next on our list is The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. It’s a mouthful to say, so I’ll just stick to Toothsome for short. Toothsome is not just a chocolate factory. Yes, do go for the sweets and treats, but stay for the savory foods!

Do yourself a favor and order the warm chocolate almond bread as an appetizer. Served with salted caramel butter for spreading, the bread will knock your socks off with its unique, semi-sweet flavor. It’s a great departure from typical bread service!

Toothsome is famous for its incredibly large and sweet milkshakes, so make sure you save room for dessert (or at least get a macaron to go)!

CityWalk restaurants
Enjoy multiple macaron flavors at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. Photo credit: Sarah Gilliland

4. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this restaurant! The Cowfish is a restaurant my girls love too, which makes deciding on a lunch or dinner location that much easier.

What’s good at The Cowfish? Since I can’t just say “everything,” I will recommend the All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi. For first-time visitors, the bento boxes let you get the best of both worlds with a mini cheeseburgers and a four piece sushi roll.

My kids love this restaurant because their meals all come in bento boxes. Entrée, two sides and a cute “sushi” dessert make little ones feel like they can hang with the grown-ups!

Read More: Dockside Inn and Suites: A Value Option Resort at Universal Orlando

5. Red Oven Pizza Bakery

At some CityWalk restaurants you can watch the chefs at work and Red Oven Pizza Bakery is one of our favorites which does this.

“All the pizzas are made while you wait. They use fresh ingredients and then cook it in a stone bake oven. Kids love watching the chefs work, and the food is over the top delicious every time,” says one former SheBuysTravel contributor.

Red Oven Pizza Bakery may not be out of the box, but sometimes you just need something that’s familiar and satisfying at mealtime. And you can never go wrong with pizza.

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Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville – Universal CityWalk Orlando. Photo  credit: Yvonne Jasinski

6. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville

Beach vibes without the sand are what you’ll get at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Food, fun and entertainment abound at this nostalgic crowd-pleaser. Enjoy live indoor music on the restaurant’s main stage, along with a live outdoor guitarist on the Porch of Indecision.

What would a trip to Margaritaville be without a margarita? Choose from 10 distinct varieties of margaritas to satisfy your tequila fix. If you can’t make up your mind, order a margarita sampler featuring some of the most popular versions of this classic drink.

Save room for dessert! Traditional key lime pie and their famous Chocolate Hurricane dessert are the perfect finish to a great dining experience.

7. Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom

Working with the Bob Marley Foundation and Rita Marley, Universal Orlando recreated Bob Marley’s home on 56 Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica, right at the start of Citywalk. Featuring artifacts, photos and videos from the legendary singer’s storied career, Bob Marley-A Tribute to Freedom is as much as a place to eat flavorful Jamaican food as it is a walk through history.

SheBuysTravel contributor Yvonne Jaskinski shares, “[The restaurant] would be my first choice of entertainment at Universal CityWalk, but on the day I visited, it was closed for a private event. From what I heard, it happens quite often, so check your dates in advance.”

CityWalk Restaurants Honorable Mentions

A round-up list of CityWalk Restaurants wouldn’t do without some honorable mentions. The following restaurants are great choices, albeit less unique choices. If reservations are hard to find at the ones listed above, these eateries will do in a pinch.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is one part good seafood, one part nostalgic memorabilia. Photo credit: Sarah Gilliland

8. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Our first honorable mention is Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Themed after the movie Forrest Gump, you’ll find each restaurant playing the movie on loop as well as displaying some of the memorabilia unique to the film.

The food is typical seafood, and it is consistently good seafood, no matter which location you visit. It is also the first CityWalk restaurant you come to when entering the Universal Studios Florida property from the parking garage, so it is conveniently located for easy access.

9. Hard Rock Café

With locations all across the world, Hard Rock Café is a familiar favorite for many. Just like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Hard Rock Café has unique memorabilia housed in its Universal Orlando location.

Universal CityWalk is spectacular at night and must be included on your one-day itinerary to visiting Orlando. Photo credit: Melody Pittman.

10. BigFire

Located between the Universal Studios Store and Margaritaville, BigFire focuses its food offerings on items that can be cooked over an open flame. Menu offerings include mouthwatering Hearth Oven Baked Bread and delicious Campfire Chili.

Guests can also get a soothing mug of hot cocoa and make s’mores over the fire. Making one with a peanut butter cup is a must.

11. NBC Sports Grill & Brew

For sports enthusiasts, NBC Sports Grill & Brew is the place to be. With over 100 high-definition screens, be prepared to immerse yourself in the world of sports.

Even though it is geared more towards adults, they do have a great kids’ menu of familiar favorites that kids love to eat. For the grown-ups, there are over 100 bottles and drafts of beer to choose from that pair perfectly with loaded nachos or traditional wings served with your favorite sauce.

12. Quick Service Restaurants

Sometimes, you just don’t have time to enjoy a full-service restaurant. That’s where the quick service options come in. Familiar choices like Moe’s Southwest Gill, Burger King’s Whopper Bar, Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches, Hot Dog Hall of Fame, Panda Express and more are all available, and just a few short steps up from the CityWalk full-service restaurants area.

For some sweet treats to end your awesome day, you can choose from Cold Stone Creamery, VooDoo Doughnuts, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Cinnabon. There’s also a Starbucks near the front of CityWalk if you need a pick-me-up caffeine boost for your drive home or to your hotel.

Neon sign for Voodoo Doughnuts at CityWalk
One of the most popular CityWalk Restaurants is actually a doughnut shop called Voodoo Doughnuts. Photo credit: Sarah Gilliland

Where to Buy Discounted Universal Tickets

SheBuysTravel recommends purchasing your Universal tickets through Get Away Today. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, it offers a best price guarantee. If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it. If you call to make your purchase be sure to mention SheBuysTravel!

Sarah Gilliland is a mom to fraternal twin girls and a baby boy, lover of road trips big and small, and a passionate SEC football fan (War Eagle!). Although her father’s military service took her all over the world as a child, Sarah’s family now calls Birmingham, Alabama home. Sarah happily shares the ups and downs of her parenting journey at On the Road with Sarah. When she’s not writing or traveling, Sarah is digging deep into a good book, binging on Netflix, or planning other people’s vacations.
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