Universal Orlando {CityWalk & Theme Park Dining}

Over the course of our visits to Universal Orlando, I had the opportunity to dine quite a few times in CityWalk.  This dining, shopping and entertainment area lies directly between Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando theme parks.  There is no separate security and it is easy to pop out of the park for a meal. CityWalk is walking distance from Portofino Bay Resort and Hard Rock Hotel, and there is also a complimentary water taxi or bus from the other resorts.  The area is fun and accessible and a great option for dining on a Universal trip!

Voodoo Doughnuts

The boys absolutely love Voodoo Doughnuts.  The flavors are fancy and there is usually a line to get in. We have picked up a box in the evening after dinner and then enjoyed them in the room for the next morning’s breakfast.

The phenomenon known as Voodoo Doughnut is now serving more than 50 types of doughnuts daily at Universal Orlando. The doughnut shop with a cult following features signature originals and one-of-a-kind delectables like the Dirt Doughnut, the Memphis Mafia and the Bacon Maple Bar®.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium

Moving on to the dining reviews, we absolutely love Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and it is a must-eat for us in Universal Orlando!!!  The ambiance is memorable, the food is good and the service is great. Many menu items have some sort of chocolate ingredient. They are known for their incredible shakes and desserts. If you don’t want a full meal, you can also walk up and just order a dessert to take away. Favorite splurges are the chocolate almond bread and chocolate cherry mule cocktail.

Extraordinary foodstuffs abound at this new full-service restaurant, bar and confectionary. Indulge in classic dishes like steak and seafood, as well as an all-day brunch menu featuring crepes and quiches, each with their own novel twist. But save room for the grand finale: Our chefs create culinary alchemy with gourmet chocolates and one-of-a-kind desserts, ranging from artisanal milkshakes to sumptuous sundaes. Flavors like Chocolate Brownie Bark, Bacon Brittle and Salted Caramel Flan might make it impossible to choose just one. This Steampunk dream is an enchanting eatery topped with towering smokestacks and adorned with intriguing gizmos. It’s a fantastic feast for the eyes and the stomach.

Antojitos Authentic Mexican

Antojitos Authentic Mexican also ranks high on our list and we’ve never come to Universal without this on the itinerary.  We love the chips, cheese dip and salsa, which is pretty much how we judge a Mexican restaurant.  :-)  As an added bonus, they make their own tortillas.  The tableside guacamole is the shining star here so make sure to start your meal with that. The place has a fun atmosphere, live entertainment, good food and great service. 

You’ll think you’ve stepped south of the border when you discover the lively fiesta inside Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food. Only the finest ingredients are used to create the made-from-scratch Mexican street fare that has garnered attention from around the globe. The menu mixes flavorful favorites like tacos, empanadas, and fajitas with traditional creations like hearty Mar y Tierra Stew and bright Mahi Veracruzana. Tableside guacamole is as fresh as it gets, a delicious complement to warm chips and a cold cerveza. With live Mariachi music setting the tone on select nights, this is a festive dining experience every day of the week.

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Whit absolutely loves sushi, so we’ve dined at Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar twice. A few years ago our experience was meh. On our most recent trip, we thoroughly enjoyed it! The specialty rolls were great and the bento box was a lot of fun.

Dive into a custom-designed burger or saddle up to some sushi. Whether you keep them separate or embrace the spirit of Burgushi®, a cutting-edge fusion of sandwiches made with sushi stuff, and sushi built with burger stuff, this unique eatery offers the best of both worlds. You can also opt for a bento box to sample a little of everything.  The innovation isn’t limited to the entrees, though. Sip on spiked milkshakes, premium sakes, beers, and exotic martinis. There are also non-alcoholic specialties for the whole family.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville

The big whop whomp of everything we ate over the course of three trips and crossing the entire property was Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.  The place was not clean – sticky floors, sticky tables.  The service was awful.  And, the food was meh.  Even the margarita was not great, which is really sad!  The whole place was just a miss.

Whether you arrive by land, air, or sea, you’re always welcome at this ultra-relaxed ode to island life. Unwind to the tune of live musicians playing Jimmy Buffett covers, tropical sounds, and rock hits, all while awaiting the eruption of the margarita-filled volcano at The Volcano Bar.  Inside you’ll find your only worry in the world is deciding what to eat. Choose from items like Grilled Fish Tacos, a Cheeseburger in Paradise, the “Drunken” Shrimp Skillet, key lime pie and the landmark Chocolate Hurricane dessert. And don’t forget the main event; there are 10 variations of margaritas and a host of frozen concoctions on deck.

Mythos Restaurant

Mythos is located inside of Islands of Adventure and is renowned as the best theme park restaurant. I must admit, it is quite delicious and I highly recommend adding a dinner here to your Universal itinerary. Inside is well themed, the food is incredible and the service is top notch. You truly forget you are in a theme park.

This award-winning, full-service restaurant offers exceptional modern cuisine in a mythical setting that sparks the imagination. Featuring a mix of Mediterranean, Asian and American fare, Mythos’ casually elegant menu includes options like Greek salad, pad Thai, sandwiches, burgers, and more. 

One final thought on dining – I love that you don’t have to plan out where you want to eat and when 6 months in advance.  I also loved the priority seating perk so we weren’t waiting an hour every night for dinner.  Some of the restaurants do take reservations on Open Table and you can also call in to make them.  However, we liked the flexibility in our schedule and just showing up where we wanted to eat when we wanted to eat.

One final thought on dining – I love that you don’t have to plan out where you want to eat and when 6 months in advance. Like with Disney, I assist in making reservations for my Universal clients but it isn’t as cut throat as the park down the road. There is also a lot more flexibility when you stay at a premiere resort as one of their many perks is priority seating at restaurants.

Let’s Travel & My Services

As a Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, I am recognized for providing the highest level of customer service, experience, and knowledge in the industry.  I use my personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft bespoke trips for the most discerning clients.  On top of that, family vacations are expensive and I know how to get the best value for your time and money.  I’ve had a surge of Universal trip bookings since they lifted their outdoor mask mandate. If you’re looking to travel to Universal in the next 12 months, now is the time to plan!

Everything Universal

Most aspects of planning a Universal vacation look different and now, more than ever, it is crucial to have the most current, up to date information based on personal experience to plan your vacation!  My services for Universal are complimentary and your trip won’t cost one dime more than if you booked it yourself!

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One thought on “Universal Orlando {CityWalk & Theme Park Dining}

  1. I don’t know what has happened with Margaritaville in Citywalk. We used to eat here every trip to Orlando but over the past 5 years it has really gone downhill. So sad. In 2018 we tried Pat O’Brien’s and had a wonderful time. I think there were 11 of us from 18 to 70+. Everyone enjoyed the food, drinks and entertainment… dueling piano bars!

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