Ella and I just had an amazing family vacation at Universal Studios Orlando and I was shocked at all the amazing food we found both in the parks and at Universal CityWalk. Today, I’m sharing our honest family review of Cowfish, a fun burger and sushi bar located just outside the gates of Universal Studios!
Cowfish Restaurant Review
I had the hardest time deciding where to eat during our four short days at Universal Studios Florida.
I wanted to find a combination of sit-down restaurants where we could relax and indulge our foodie side, but I also didn’t want to spend all of our time in restaurants and miss out on the fun of the theme parks. Luckily, Universal’s offerings are all pretty close to each other so we didn’t have to add in transportation time to our plans.
I think we struck the perfect blend of quick service restaurants and more leisurely fare, and one restaurant that I’m so glad we made the time for was Cowfish.
Cowfish is a sushi-burger bar with some amazing menu offerings, including their cheeseburgushi which is a sushi-inspired take on a classic cheeseburger. (They also spin it the other way, with sandwiches made with sushi ingredients, as well.)
The vibe is upscale but laid-back, and the wait staff were unbelievably accommodating and fun.
We actually ended up eating at Cowfish twice during our vacation – because the first time, Ella and I had excitedly ordered a few plates of sushi to share and in the time it took for the sushi to be prepared and brought to the table, she fell asleep.
Theme parks can be exhausting…
It was a quiet meal to myself (the bartender brought me a drink to really enjoy that quiet time), and I saved a couple pieces of each roll for her, but when she woke up she wasn’t in the mood – she just wanted to head back to the hotel and sleep in a bed. (I can’t blame her.)
So, the next day we stopped by and she ordered their version of an “Elvis burger” and we shared the legendary Crab Rangoon dip (creamy crab rangoon with parmesan panko crust, wonton crisps, sweet chili sauce and chives) and the Florida Key Lime Cheesecake (graham cracker crust, mango sauce).
We loved every single thing we ate at Cowfish, but hands down Ella’s favorite was the Crab Rangoon Dip with deep-fried wonton chips. She’s talked non-stop about those wonton chips since we got home so of course, I had to attempt my own Copycat Crab Rangoon Dip!
Blackened Tuna Nachos
Crispy wonton chips topped with crab rangoon dip, avocado salsa, tomatoes, seared blackened yellowfin tuna and microgeens.
These nachos were probably my favorite fish item that we ordered. All of the flavors combined really well – it seemed so natural to pair these Latin and Asian influences.
I know “fusion” is a dirty word for most foodies, but when food traditions come together in a natural way, it can be a truly wonderful thing – and this dish is the epitome of that. There was nothing “forced” and you didn’t have to understand the backgrounds of all of the different influences on the plate to enjoy it – it just tasted good.
The Cowfish Has Officially Left The Building
Full-pound beef burger, creamy peanut butter, fried bananas, applewood bacon, brioche bun
This was Ella’s order when we went back the next day – which is funny because she’s not a fan of Elvis sandwiches when I make them at home…
I love Elvis sandwiches, I love peanut butter and bacon on burgers, so this burger was right up my alley – and Ella loved it, too, even if she was a sticky mess by the time she was done.
The All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi
Seasoned premium black angus beef, yellow cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, and applewood bacon wrapped in soy paper and potato strings, then flash fried. Topped with dill pickle, red onion, Roma tomato, and Cowfish sauce
When I told my friend at Cabana Bay resort that I was heading to Cowfish later that day, he insisted I try the Cheeseburgooshi – Cowfish’s sushi-inspired take on a cheeseburger.
I was doubtful, but this was such a fun dish! The attention to detail was amazing, and I loved the addition of the fried potato strings to mimic French fries.
This would be a great dish for kids if you’re not comfortable yet allowing them to eat sushi, but they are curious and adventurous.
Fresh lobster, tempura fried shrimp, Japanese mayo, topped with ahi tuna, lemon zest, marinated cucumbers, with a side of eel sauce
This roll is so understated but decadent, just like it’s namesake! The flavor of the eel sauce is sweet with a smoky, hickory-like finish and it’s an interesting alternative to your standard soy sauce.
Neon Dion OMG Roll
Tempura coconut shrimp, kani, English cucumber inside, coated in tempura flakes. Topped with fresh mango, avocado, spicy honey marmalade and coconut flakes
Ella was so excited for this roll and she did manage to eat one piece in her tired, post-nap state. All of the fresh flavors made for a fun tropical take on a classic roll and it was really interesting having the mango sliced that way to resemble the texture and mouthfeel of sashimi.
Pin this review of Cowfish for your future Universal Studios Florida vacation planning:
Cowfish was such a fun family restaurant with upscale foodie selections. It’s the perfect choice if half of your party wants sushi and half want burgers – because they do both really well. There is also a good mix of “safe” options for the picky eaters in your crew, and I can’t speak highly enough of the staff and their commitment to making us feel welcome and comfortable (even when one of us decided to take a nap in the booth).