What comes to mind when you think of theme park food? Probably a turkey leg, popcorn, and some forgettable burgers and chicken tenders. You’re not wrong, but you’re not completely right either!
Universal Orlando and Disney Resorts have made a concerted effort to step up their quick service food and beverage games. The payout for these upgrades is pretty top notch. And, take it from us at Magical Adventure Co, we have done the legwork! We’ll just say it: “You’re welcome.” It’s a sacrifice to eat all these foods and try all these drinks. But you know. We’re in it for the greater good ;)
In this post, we are going to be discussing the best “on the go” food and beverage options available specifically at Universal Orlando Resort.
This post is a part of our Disney (and Universal!) Friends Blog Hop! Once you finish reading, be sure to check out the next post in the chain by using the link at the bottom of the page.
Best Cocktails: Chez Alcatraz
Nestled in the San Francisco Wharf area in Universal Studios (right next to the massive, strung up Jaws), Chez Alcatraz is our favorite spot for an afternoon drink. With plenty of out of the way outdoor seating on the water, it's a great spot to get away from the crowds and enjoy a beverage. Chez Alcatraz has a full bar available, but we would recommend one of their signature drinks. We specifically enjoyed the Bruce and the Escape.
And kids. The drinks were strong. We mayyybe needed a snack and a walk after those drinks #nojudgmentplease
Best Drink: Butterbeer
If you went to Universal Orlando and didn’t get a Butterbeer, did you even go at all?! Butterbeer is the quintessential Wizarding World of Harry Potter beverage, and we would highly recommend getting the frozen version. It’s the perfectly themed pick up to cool off a hot day at Universal.
If you aren’t familiar, Butterbeer is a non-alcoholic butterscotch and shortbread beverage and is deliciously sweet. While there are many spots for getting this tasty beverage throughout both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, we recommend stopping at one of the Butterbeer Carts in Hogsmeade. These carts provide a fast place to stop, while you’re on your way to ride Hagrid’s Motorbike. A pro tip - these carts usually have two registers open; one on each end of the cart. Usually, the line on the other side of the cart is the shortest, so you can say “Accio Butterbeer” quickly!
Best Quick Dining: Three Broomsticks
Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure is the most popular quick service dining location in all of Universal Orlando Resort and rightfully so. Out of all the quick service at it has the heartiest options: ribs, rotisserie chicken, shepherd’s pie, beef pasties, and spare ribs. Our favorite is the chicken and ribs platter, but we’ve enjoyed pretty much all of their menu options.
As it is a popular location, this spot can have quite a long wait (up to 30-45 minutes) so we recommend trying to arrive as early in the day as possible. It’s plenty of food to split between two adults. However, if you’re feeling extra carnivorous, we would recommend each adult getting their own plate. And if you’re looking for a bevaragino to enjoy with you meal, we recommend ordering the Hog’s Head or Dragon Scale beer with your meal! These beers are specifically brewed for Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at Universal!
Best Food: Halloween Horror Nights Food Trucks
During September and October, Universal Orlando hosts their annual Halloween Horror Nights. As part of this ghoulishly creepy event, they have several creative food options, with many open to regular theme park guests throughout the day. The food and drinks offered at these carts are great choices and can make for a fun chance to enjoy some culinary creativity.
We loved the Arepas and the Banh Mi Chicken Tenders Sandwich at the food trucks around the San Francisco Wharf area - they are a stone’s throw to Chez Alcatraz. It is some of the best food we’ve had at Universal! If you do get a chance to visit Halloween Horror Nights, we’ve heard the Pizza Fries are a must eat!
Best Dessert: Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
It's not a day in the parks without ice cream, and Florean Fortescue’s in Diagon Alley is far and away the best spot for ice cream. The hard packed and soft serve options are the draw of this Harry Potter themed spot, but the unique flavors and deliciousness of the ice cream is what sets this place apart. It’s some of the best ice cream we’ve had. And, this cannot be stated enough: We have done the legwork! We loved the Raspberry & Chocolate and Strawberry & Peanut Butter flavors. Don’t be intimidated by the wait. The charming little shop doesn’t queue very well, but the service and line moves quick.
With so much to do, see, and explore at Universal Orlando Resort, choosing places that can keep you fueled on the go is a must. These are battle-tested, tried and true pick me ups for us. Each is uniquely themed, delicious, and keep us looking forward to another magical adventure at Universal!
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