If you’re anything like me, planning a Universal Studios Florida family vacation means you need to plan your snacks! Today, I’m sharing with you my Top 15 Must Eat Foods at Universal Studios Florida – plus a free printable checklist to take with you to the park.
Best Food at Universal Orlando
One of the best parts of visiting a theme park for me is the food. Scratch that, it’s definitely the best part!
I spend so much time before any vacation researching my food options and planning it into our schedule. The majority of the time can be spent on what Ella wants to see and do, as long as I get to eat everything I want!
We’ve been to Universal Studios Florida several times now, and have eaten at most of the restaurants and tried all of the highly recommended foods, so it’s about time that I share all of my top picks with you. (Plus at the bottom of this post, I’ve created a free printable checklist you can take with you to the parks!)
There are many things that we tried at the park that just didn’t do it for me (some of which came recommended on other “Must Eat” lists), and as much as I have gorgeous pictures of the food, I would feel dishonest encouraging you to spend your hard earned money on those foods or drinks – and I kind of think of it as me taking one for the team! I spent that money so you don’t have to.
I want you to feel confident when I recommend something to you – and know that if you liked the foods recommended on this list, then you’ll probably like my other recipes or travel pieces that I share on Sugar, Spice and Glitter.
This blog post is our latest instalment for helping you plan the ultimate Universal Studios Florida vacation. Definitely check out our other posts:
- Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Universal Studios with Kids
- Universal Studios Packing List for Families
- Interactive Wand Experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- 25 Things You Must Do at Diagon Alley
- Everything you need to know about Diagon Alley
- Everything you need to know about Hogsmeade
- Cabana Bay Resort Review (also includes write-ups of the other Universal hotels)
- Cowfish Restaurant Review
- Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Restaurant Review
Before we get to the list, I wanted to share an awesome resource with you that I use when booking my Disney World or Universal Studios vacations.
Undercover Tourist is a family-oriented travel agency that offers authorized, discounted park tickets for Disney World, Universal Studios, and over 40 other attractions in the Orlando area.
You can book your park tickets, hotels, transportation and more activities to fill up your vacation through them – and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. (You actually usually end up saving a ton more than if you were to try to book all of these things on your own.) They are fully accredited by Disney and Universal and I have also had the pleasure of meeting the owners while on vacation and they were just awesome, theme park-obsessed people dedicated to amazing customer service.
You will save way more money booking through them than booking directly with Universal. The tickets also have a 90-day flexible return window, so if your plans change, you can get your money back.
Where you can find it: Several locations in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Inspired by the mouth-watering sounding treat in the books, Universal’s Butterbeer recipe was developed by top Orlando chefs and approved of by JK Rowling herself. It’s available cold, as a hot latte, and as a frozen slushy-style drink. I prefer the frozen or regular Butterbeer as the Hot Butterbeer is a bit too sweet for me.
Where you can find it: Koka Poroka Ice Cream (at Volcano Bay)
This rainbow ice cream is such a fun way to cool down while at Universal Studio’s waterpark, Volcano Bay. Unlike some soft serves, this one has great flavor and is really creamy.
Cotton Candy Clouds
Where you can find it: Honk Honkers (in Seussville)
At Honk Honkers, you can customize your giant cotton candy with flavors, mix-ins, and even a unicorn lollipop base. This was such a fun purchase for Ella and reasonable at around $6.
Emack and Bolio’s Ice Cream
Where you can find it: Hard Rock Hotel
Some of New York’s finest ice cream, Emack and Bolio’s has so many fun flavors and is such a treat after a hot day in the Florida sun.
(Check out our Best Frozen Treats in NYC post if you’re planning a NYC family vacation, too!)
Where you can find it:
This Portland-based donut chain has a cult following for a reason! The donuts here are amazing – from flavors you’d never dream of and mouth-watering takes on classic options. We didn’t love every donut we tried (I’m looking at you, Mango Tango) but the Apple Fritter and Maple Bar (or Maple Bacon Bar) are so worth the line up!
Where you can find it: Mytho’s Restaurant
This gorgeous restaurant has been named the Best Theme Park Restaurant in the States for years, and for good reason! The ambience is gorgeous and the food is something you’d expect to find at a gourmet restaurant. I am not a huge pork chop fan, but the Blue Cheese Cranberry-crusted Pork Chop was amazing. The banana cake is a cult-favorite, but definitely don’t skip having a main meal here.
Pork Belly Sliders
Where you can find it: Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
Everything we ate at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium was amazing and there were so many fun, unexpected options that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one recommendation for a meal, but if I had to, I think the Pork Belly Sliders with caramelized onions, mustard aioli, arugula, chocolate dipped bacon on pretzel buns will definitely be a crowd favorite.
Jacque’s Specialty Milkshakes
Where you can find it: Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
Whether you opt for a Shake for dessert, or just pop in for one to go, the fun combinations and decadence of these Freak Shakes are definitely worth the calories.
Check out our full Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Review here. (We also made our own copycat versions of their Chocolate Stout Chicken Wings and Chocolate Almond Bread with Caramelized Butter.)
Where you can find it: Cowfish Restaurant (Citywalk)
The ultimate mash-up, cheeseburgers and sushi! It doesn’t sound like it should work, but it was delicious (as was everything else we ate at Cowfish). You can see how it’s made here.
Crab Rangoon Dip
Where you can find it: Cowfish Restaurant (Citywalk)
A decadent and cheesy crab dip served with wonton chips – this dip is so good, we had to return to the restaurant just to eat it again and even made our own copycat version of their Crab Rangoon Dip here.
Korean Beef Tacos
Where you can find it: Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck
Asian inspired braised beef in a warm flour tortilla and finished with a zesty cucumber and radish topping. So satisfying yet not too heavy on a hot theme park day.
Shake, Burger and Fries
Where you can find it: Mel’s Drive In
This option may sound boring, but there are so many bad theme park burgers out there that this one deserves to be recognized. It is everything a good diner burger combo should be – the cheeseburger is flavorful, hearty and loaded with your choice of toppings. The fries are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and those milkshakes – thick, amazing chocolate flavor, and not at all icy. The combos are a little pricey, but they totally hit the spot.
Where you can find it: Candy Stores throughout the parks
There are so many cute designs and flavors available – Ella’s favorite was the Cookies and Cream candy apple. There are also some decadent options at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.
Florean Ice Cream
Where you can find it: Diagon Alley, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Both soft serve and hard scoop ice cream are available here – I prefer the Butterbeer or Clotted Cream flavors for the hard scoop and the Green Apple for soft serve.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Where you can find it: Leaky Cauldron
A rich, hearty bread pudding-like dessert with chopped dates, toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This dessert is huge, so plan to share.
Giant Donut – we always grab one of these each time we visit because I think they are so much fun. In terms of taste it’s a good standard, glazed donut, but if you’re looking for something exceptional you’ll have to hit up VooDoo Donuts.
Character S’mores – these always look so fun and tasty, but Ella doesn’t like s’mores so we haven’t ordered one yet.
Cletus’ Chicken n’Waffle Sandwich – apparently, the maple mayo on this sandwich is what makes this a must-have for other park goers. We haven’t tried it yet, but it’s definitely on our list for our next trip!
Hot Dog Hall of Fame’s 2 Foot Hot Dog – I promised Ella we would get this on our last trip, but by the time we were done at the parks she was too exhausted to consider the small additional walk for this legendary dog. We’ll report back once we try it!
Poke Poke Bowl – we’ve only managed to visit Volcano Bay once and this restaurant was closed, so we’re hoping we get to try this next time!
Moose Goose/Goose Juice – our last visit was in the middle of a polar vortex and it was freeeezing at the parks, so we skipped these Seuss-themed slushies, but they sound like a delicious way to cool off during a warmer visit.
Sapphire Falls Caribbean Carnaval – Amber from Global Munchkins recommended this amazing looking feast which we had planned to check out on our first Universal trip (you know, the one we had to be evacuated from a hurricane during…) It’s still on our list, as is the Pacific’s Luau.
Snickerdoodle Cookie – I think I’m too big of a fan of my own snickerdoodle cookie recipe that even though this one is featured on nearly every other “must eat list,” it was too dry and didn’t pack enough buttery flavor for me.
Mar Y Tierra Skillet – this fun twist on a classic can be found at Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, which also has some incredible appetizers.
Turkey Legs – I’m not a turkey fan, so these weren’t for me, but if the thought of walking around a theme park with a limb-sized turkey leg is your thing, you can find some epic offerings at Thunderfall Terrace.
Grab our free printable Must Eat Universal Studios checklist to help you ensure you get to try all of these must eats on your Universal Studios vacation!
I’d love to hear from you! Which of these options have you tried – any thing you’d add or take off of this list?
Be sure to check out some of our other Universal Studios posts, like Everything you need to know about Diagon Alley or Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Universal Studios with Kids.