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Best Restaurants In Universal Orlando CityWalk for 2024

Wondering where to eat at Universal Studios Orlando? There are so many options that it can be hard to choose.

Our list of the best restaurants at Universal Orlando CityWalk will help you decide which dining reservations to get in advance, and how to budget for your meals during your vacation.

Best Restaurants In Universal Studios CityWalk in Orlando

If you are not familiar with Universal Orlando CityWalk, it is a free shopping, dining and entertainment district. There are plenty of free things to do at CityWalk that it is a great way to spend your arrival or departure day in Orlando.

Related Post: Disney Springs vs. Universal Studios CityWalk

All guests must walk through CityWalk to get to either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure theme parks.

If you park in Universal Studios’ parking garage, then you will walk through a big portion of CityWalk to get to the theme parks and to get back to your car. Which makes the restaurants in CityWalk a great place to enjoy at night as you leave.

However, many people come to Universal Studios CityWalk as a destination on its own. It is especially popular with locals who know when and how to get free parking at Universal CityWalk.

Whether you are coming for half a day or just want to know where to get a great meal, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • All restaurants are kid-friendly.
  • You don’t need to dress up for any of the restaurants. You can come in your shorts and flip-flops. Even if you look like a mess after being drenched on one of Universal’s water rides.
  • Reservations are HIGHLY recommended, especially during the most crowded times at Universal Orlando.
  • Looking for a morning meal? There are limited places to eat breakfast at Universal CityWalk and they will be different than the restaurant recommendations on this list, so be sure to see both of our guides.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen

My absolute favorite restaurant at Universal Orlando CityWalk is Toothsome Chocolate Emporium (although I always call it Toothsome Chocolate Factory, I don’t know why).

exterior of toothsome chocolate emporium

You can’t miss this massive restaurant that is located next to the Islands of Adventure entrance. It looks like a destination on its own, and it kind of is!

The 19th century Steampunk theme is found on the exterior and the interior. If you are lucky enough to see the characters at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, they also have an eclectic steampunk vibe.

What many new visitors might not understand is that most of the menu at Toothsome is actually savory. Not every entree or appetizer is chocolate themed.

The menu is huge and there is a lot to choose from. Just like when you were a kid, you have got to get your head around the fact that you will be eating a savory meal first before a sweet dessert!

This restaurant is very similar to the vibe of Cheesecake Factory, with their overwhelming menu and tons of great choices with over-the-top desserts. The bonus here is the incredible Disney-style theming which far exceeds what other themed restaurants offer.

Pork Belly Sliders on Pretzel Rolls appetizer

Of course, you can just go for dessert only, which is actually a smart way to enjoy this restaurant.

The over-the-top milkshakes are what Toothsome is known for and what makes this location Instagram-worthy. While you can get a milkshake at your table inside, you don’t have to.

Insider Tip: Order a milkshake from the walk-up window outside to avoid needing a reservation and to save time during your day at Universal Orlando.

The interior is dark and moody and industrial, with plenty of steampunk theming.

After several visits to this restaurant over the years, we have learned these helpful tips:

  • Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is one of the hardest Universal Orlando Dining Reservations to get. If there is a specific day or time that you know you will want to try this restaurant, grab a reservation as soon as you can.
  • A walk-up window is the perfect way to indulge in the unique foods here without needing a reservation or waiting for table-service.
  • A full-service bar inside has delicious cocktails, including many with chocolate
  • There is a gift shop inside the restaurant. It’s a great way to see the themed interior and grab a small snack.
  • Milkshakes start at $14.50, plus tax. It is wise to share a milkshake because they are so big! (Plus, it saves you money on food at Universal Studios, too.)
  • This milkshakes come in plastic mason jars with a Toothsome Chocolate Emporium logo on the outside. These make great souvenirs, so have room to tuck them in your bag for Universal Studios.

Menu Items to Try:

  • Chocolate Brioche S’mores French Toast
  • Warm Chocolate Almond Bread with Salted Caramel Butter
  • Coffee and Chocolate Stout Chicken Wings
  • Jacques’ Specialty Flight of Milkshakes (choose 5 flavors of milkshakes in this premium dessert experience!)


I remember visiting when Cowfish first opened at Universal CityWalk. This was the hottest new restaurant at the time and you literally couldn’t get a reservation.

Fast forward a few years and Cowfish hasn’t lost its popularity or the challenge of finding a seat without planning ahead.

This hybrid restaurant of burgers and sushi will satisfy everyone’s appetites. East meets West on Cowfish’s menu which is varied with many options for vegetarians, as well.

Bento boxes are one of the fun ways to enjoy both burger and sushi, along with a variety of other side dishes for a meal that is definitely different than most of Universal Studios Dining locations.

Helpful Tips

  • The milkshakes here are incredibly good and worth a visit on their own!
  • There is an open-air patio will plenty of space and great views over CityWalk!
  • Check out the virtual aquariums inside!

Menu Items to Try:

  • Burgushi (a fusion of burgers and sushi!)
  • The Cowfish Has Officially Left the Building (burger with peanut butter, fried bananas and bacon)
  • The King’s Roll fusion specialty roll

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville

When you want a fun restaurant that you can’t find at home with a laid back vibe, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is the place to come.

We love this dining location because it is not overly themed, but still feels like you might be on a Caribbean island.

glass shaker of salt on white margaritaville napkin
taco salad in white bowl at margaritaville orlando restaurant

We ate here a lot when wanting a great mixed drink and delicious food that wasn’t fancy. Their menu is a little bit traditional American fare, a little comfort food and a little Caribbean fare.

If you want to tap your toes while dining, or indulge in a fun cocktail, it is hard to beat Margaritaville.

interior bar with erupting volcano at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville restaurant

Our helpful tips after our visits:

  • The covered patio is a fun place to sit if the Florida heat isn’t too bad. It is a great place to people watch along Universal CityWalk.
  • Be sure to walk across the sidewalk and check out the airplane and ready the informational plaques.
  • This restaurant is located towards the end of CityWalk near the Loews Royal Pacific hotel.
orange cocktail in a glass held in front of blue sky with palm trees in the distance

Menu Items to Try:

  • Cheeseburger in Paradise (how can you not?!)
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Volcano Nachos
  • Crispy Coconut Shrimp
  • Who’s to Blame Margarita

VIVO Italian Kitchen

VIVO Italian Kitchen serves up pizza, pasta and Italian entrees. However, this ain’t no Olive Garden!

Set your expectations when dining at VIVO. It is delicious, but it is also a more upscale restaurant.

I think many people hear the word Italian and think they’ll get an inexpensive plate of spaghetti and sauce and some complimentary breadsticks. So manage your expectations. Be sure to look at their menu beforehand.

I have enjoyed a meal at VIVO Italian Kitchen with friends. The food and the drinks are delicious.

As a more refined and non-themed restaurant, this dining location is perfect for business dinners, meeting friends, or when you crave something other than burgers and nachos.

The open kitchen is also fascinating to watch as pizza crusts are pulled and shaped by the chefs.

It is definitely sophisticated and contemporary, but still kid-friendly. You don’t need to dress up to enjoy a meal here.

Menu Items to Try:

  • Squid Ink Seafood Pasta
  • Fried Ricotta
  • Quattro Formaggi Wood Stove Pizza
  • Bucatini with Meatballs
  • Short Rib
  • Baba al Rum dessert


If you love hearth-fired food cooked over wood flames, then you have got to visit Bigfire.

This restaurant has a lakeside feel with an upscale atmosphere.

One look at their menu and you know that flame-grilled is the theme here!

You definitely don’t want to miss the tableside s’mores where you can make your own campfire treats.

Menu Items to Try:

  • S’mores
  • Bison Burger
  • Beef Ribs

Hard Rock Cafe Orlando

The atmosphere and memorabilia are the stars of the show at Hard Rock Cafe.

Because, let’s face it, you can get a hamburger or sandwich in plenty of other restaurants at Universal Studios. The menu items aren’t very unique, which can be good for people who like meals without a lot surprises.

Hard Rock Cafe exterior at Universal Orlando CityWalk

This Universal Studios restaurant is the world’s largest Hard Rock Cafe, which makes it a must-stop for any Hard Rock fans!

The exterior of the building resembles a Roman colosseum and is perfect for pictures.

Inside, you will find an overwhelming amount of music memorabilia and a museum of American Rock.

The atmosphere is also very loud in this restaurant!

If you are into collecting souvenirs from Hard Rock Cafes across the U.S. and around the world, be sure to get their Hurricane signature cocktail. You can keep the collectible glass as a souvenir for an additional charge.

Menu Items to Try:

  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Hot Fudge Brownie
  • Original Legendary Burger

Bread Box

One of the most affordable Universal Orlando CityWalk restaurants on our list is Bread Box.

If you like Earl of Sandwich at Disney Springs, then you will love Bread Box at Universal Studios Orlando. Actually, Bread Box is better than Earl of Sandwich. There, I said it.

We love Bread Box because it is a great value for what you are getting. Not everyone wants to spend $20 on an entree, so you can get a substantial meal here for less.

If you don’t eat huge meals or are looking for lighter fare, then Bread Box’s sandwiches are the answer for you. Sides are not included with your sandwich, so you don’t need to pay for extra food that you don’t want or need.

We also love that you can get a lighter, somewhat more healthy meal that is perfect for those hot summer days.

Personally, I don’t want to eat a hot hamburger with a basket of fries when the temperature is 100 degrees outside with 90% humidity. A light chicken salad sandwich sounds much better on days like that.

As a quick-service restaurant, you won’t need to waste valuable time for table service. Mobile Food Ordering is available at this location, so you can shop as your food is being prepared.

Helpful Tips:

  • Gluten-free bread is available.
  • You can get milkshakes here for MUCH less than at other locations at Universal CityWalk. We suggest the Chocolate Hazelnut milkshake.
  • Grilled cheese, a kid-friendly favorite, is on the Child’s Menu!

Menu Items to Try:

  • Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich
  • BBQ Brisket Melt

Hot Dog Hall of Fame

It ain’t fancy, but Hot Dog Hall of Fame is actually one of our favorites!

Where else can you get a meal for under $10 at Universal Studios Orlando while also sitting in stadium seats from some of the most iconic baseball stadiums in the United States?

Hog Dog Hall of Fame is a celebration of all of the different types of hot dogs that can be found across America. See their menu for all of the cities represented.

From Chicago to Milwaukee to Kansas City and New York, you can enjoy the unique and iconic ways cities across the country make their hot dogs.

Helpful Tips:

  • You can really feel like you are at a ball park when you order the roasted peanuts or Cracker Jack boxes!
  • Combo meals are just $1 more, which makes this an incredible deal!
  • Vegan hot dogs are available.

Menu Items to Try:

  • Two Foot Dog (definitely picture-worthy!)
  • Detroit Dog
  • Chicago Dog
  • Kansas City Dog

Want more helpful guides for dining at Universal Studios Orlando? In addition to links in the article above, be sure to see these travel planning guides: