Whether you’re planning to visit Universal Studios Orlando or just want to get inspired with some copycat recipes, this food bucket list will help you experience favorite treats at home or at the resort.
This post was written by the original founder of this blog, Natalie. She was a guest of Universal Studios Resorts during her family’s vacation.
Butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
We’ll go ahead and start with Butterbeer since it’s probably the most well known treat at Universal Studios!
This non-alcoholic drink can be found in Diagon Alley and in Hogsmeade so you can grab yourself a treat regardless of which park you’re in for the day!
Butterbeer, in its 2 most popular forms, can be ordered cold or frozen. If you order your Butterbeer cold, you’ll get a frothy, liquid drink that’s a cross between a cream soda and a butterscotch flavor. It’s a little bit carbonated and a whole lot of yum!
If you order Butterbeer frozen, you’ll get more of a slushy drink! Still delicious, especially in that hot Florida sun.
If you want to try Butterbeer at home, give this butterbeer copycat recipe a try!
And while cold and frozen are the most popular varieties of Butterbeer, Universal Studios now has some food options too. You can find Butterbeer ice cream, butterbeer fudge and even Butterbeer potted cream.
Just a tip, when you approach a Butterbeer stand, be aware that there is a line on each side of the stand. Every single time we passed a Butterbeer cart, the line on one side would be about 3 times as long as the other side. Be sure to check the other side and see if that line is significantly shorter!
Also, in case you have someone in your family who isn’t into Butterbeer (what?!), the stands also sell Gilly Water and Pumpkin Juice!
Lard Lad Donuts at Simpson’s Springfield
Located just past the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Springfield, U.S.A. You’ll find plenty of food options and restaurants in Simpson Land, but the gigantic Lard Lad Donuts are probably the most famous!
The donuts are massive and delicious and we had no trouble inhaling it! You can get it with pink frosting and sprinkles or chocolate frosting with sprinkles.
If you order them at Universal, be prepared to split it because they are bigger than they appear even in the pictures!
Or you can make them at home!
Fast Food Blvd in Springfield, U.S.A.
We’re going to stay in Simpson land for a little bit longer, because you have to stop by Fast Food Boulevard! You’ll get to see Moe’s Tavern (where you can try a Duff beer if you’re over 21!).
But more importantly, FOOD!
In addition to Moe’s Tavern, Fast Food Blvd. is also the home of Krusty Burger and Cletus’ Chicken Shack. The line for Krusty Burger was long on the day we visited, but my son said it was well worth it (copycat here)
I happen to think I made the right choice, though, with my Chicken and Waffles sandwich from Cletus’ Chicken Shack! A crispy, fried chicken breast between two waffles with a maple syrup mayo… I wish I had one right now!
The picture doesn’t really do it justice, it was sooo good! My family kept trying to sneak bites!
My husband joined me at Cletus’ Chicken Shack with the Double Batter Chicken Platter as his meal. Before we ordered, he said he wanted an actual meal not just another fast food sandwich. He wanted a meat and sides and Fast Food Blvd. delivered!
Two pieces of fried chicken, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes with gravy and coleslaw… he inhaled this meal and loved every bite of it!
Little Italy in Universal Studios
Luckily for us, we ended up in Little Italy during a meal time and Louie’s Italian Restaurant delivered! It was air-conditioned, it had plenty of seating and most importantly… it had delicious food!
Three of us went with the largest pizza slices I think I’ve ever seen. Seriously, if you’re going for pizza, only order one slice. It’s like a quarter of the entire pizza and SO good!
My son went with the meatball sub, and let us all know that we had made the wrong choice! I make a pretty mean homemade meatball and he said this sub ranked right up there. He actually asked us later if we could go back for another one. Try Louie’s… everyone in your family will love it!
Restaurants at Universal CityWalk
The entrances to Universal Studios and Island of Adventure are connected by the Universal CityWalk. CityWalk is packed with dining options! If you’re looking for more of a sit-down meal rather than quick service, then definitely head out of the parks and explore CityWalk a bit.
We highly recommend NBC Sports Grill & Brew. I’ll be honest, our kids picked this and I was internally rolling my eyes a little because I thought it would just be another generic bar/restaurant. I ended up having one of my favorite meals there, though!
We got the Burger Supreme Flatbread, Calamari appetizer and French Dip sandwich. We would order every single one if we went back again! To top it off, we had the friendliest waiter and didn’t feel rushed at all!
It was so nice to sit for a more relaxed meal during the middle of our vacation!
Voodoo Donuts at Universal’s CityWalk
Right around the corner from NBC Sports Grill & Brew, is Voodoo Donuts. If you happen to miss the line wrapped around the side of the building, you’re sure to see the Voodoo Donuts chair that’s perfect for photo opps!
Don’t be intimidated by the line! It moves quickly and is well worth it! Plus it’s hopping any time of day or night, so just get in line!
The Memphis Mafia Fritter, ODB and Voodoo Doll were our favorites (maple bacon is another Voodoo classic). Here’s a maple bacon copycat recipe!
Galaxy Bowl at Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Galaxy Bowl is located at Universal Resort’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, but you can visit the restaurant even if you happen to be staying at a different Universal resort. Just hop on the complimentary dining shuttle and it will take you to Cabana Bay.
Galaxy Bowl is a great restaurant to visit on a rainy evening because you can grab dinner, play a round or two of bowling and make an entire night of it!
We recommend the Steak Sandwich and Black & Bleu Burger.
The fries were delicious too – you’ll definitely want my air fryer french fries method to recreate these!
Toothsome’s Chocolate Emporium
I saved Toothsome’s Chocolate Emporium for last because it is the one most of my reader’s recommended more than any other! And they did not disappoint!
Not only it is an incredibly cool, steampunk building that you’ll want to take the time to walk around, but it is filled with the most amazing treats!
You can go in just to visit the chocolate shop at the front of the building where you can buy treats to take with you. Or you can actually head to the restaurant portion and have a sit-down meal. Not planning our meal schedule by when we’d be at the Chocolate Emporium might be one of my biggest regrets of this vacation!
Warm chocolate almond bread, pork belly sliders, baked brie en croute, short rib flatbread….
I’m not kidding! I have to stop reading the menu, because I am totally kicking myself for not having an entire meal there!
We did, however, enjoy one of their famous milkshakes and it did not disappoint! We got the Key Lime Pie Milkshake and had 3 different families stop us on the way out to ooh and aah over it!
Try making your own key lime pie shake with this recipe!
Make sure when you’re walking around Universal’s CityWalk that you head over to the Chocolate Emporium and indulge! You won’t regret it!
Dining Options at Universal Studios Orlando
With over 120 food stop options at Universal Studios Orlando, this is just a SMALL sampling of everything they have to offer! You have to make a trip there yourself and tell me what your favorites are!
Tuesday 29th of November 2022
We visited Universal Studios Orlando for Thanksgiving 2021 and loved Vivo Italian Kitchen on the CityWalk. I loved having Italian food for Thanksgiving dinner. Steer clear of Finnegan’s Bar & Grill in Universal Studios. My husband got food poisoning from their Shepherds Pie. It was NOT fun to spend a day at the Dr. Phillips Hospital ER.