This past December, I had the chance to escape the cold, snow, and icy climate of Pennsylvania. I traveled many miles to Florida’s warmth and sunshine-filled days.
Over the holiday season, my family and I spent a week in Orlando, Florida. There, we enjoyed the roller coasters, food, souvenir searching, and interacting with the characters from Harry Potter, Spider-Man, The Transformers, Fast & Furious, Jimmy Fallon, The Simpsons, and more.
During our time on vacation, we had the opportunity to try new restaurants and foods.
From sit-down restaurants to quick snacks, here is a list of some of the most delicious and memorable places to eat while vacationing inside Orlando, Florida’s theme parks.
This fierce fire-breathing dragon can be found atop Gringotts bank. The main reason for my family’s Florida travels was to soak up the magic of Harry Potter World. This is the location of where my first two food recommendations are located.
The Leaky Cauldron
The Leaky Cauldron boasts interior and exterior details similar to London architecture and Harry Potter design. I ate inside this establishment twice and enjoyed the cuisine that felt homemade.
Meal #1: Cottage pie and pumpkin juice
Meal #2: Banger sandwich (sausage) with French fries and peach tea
My Review: The cottage pie was delicious and is the perfect meal to feast on if the weather is a bit cooler that day. The pumpkin juice, I admit, is an acquired flavor, but is certainly worth a taste test. The banger sandwich was my favorite platter I ordered here and is something I could order again if I returned. The peach tea was refreshing and is a great drink to sip on during a warmer day.
This photograph above is a window display of cauldrons and other cooking pots and pans. This display can be seen inside of The Leaky Cauldron. The display was spruced with green and pine in celebration of Christmas time.
Three Broomsticks also holds similar appeal and design that is seen in the Harry Potter movies and described within the books.
Meal #1: The Great Feast (Garden salad, rotisserie chicken, spareribs, corn on the cob, roast potatoes, and cold pear cider
My Review: My family and I ordered The Great Feast. The food was plentiful and mimicked the feasts served across the tables inside the films, magically appearing in front of the guests.
Both of these photographs above is the exterior and interior of Three Broomsticks. This restaurant is larger than The Leaky Cauldron. The food in both locations are similar with a few unique differences.
Within Harry Potter World are carts that line the pathways of the park. At these stands, you are able to purchase smaller treats and drinks that relate to the franchise. It is here that many purchase butterbeer in its various forms, such as frozen, cold, and hot. Butterbeer in ice cream form can be bought in Harry Potter’s ice cream shop.
The photo above is of a butter beer-serving cart, while the image below is a window display of a Harry Potter-inspired store that solely sells butterbeer.
Taking a step outside of Harry Potter World, there are plenty of other food locations to dine at.
This was our second time in Florida. The first time we ate at Bubba Gump twice. Unfortunately, we did not make it back for round three. Still, this establishment had certainly earned its own spot on my recommendation list.
A fan of Forrest Gump or not, this restaurant is still full of delicious dishes that burst with flavor. Both times dining at Bubba Gump, I ordered the same meal.
Meal #1 & #2: Veggie mushroom burger
My Review: Burgers with a side of fries is often my go-to in restaurants. What I loved about this burger most was the mushrooms and avocado, two ingredients I always enjoy. Something unique about the experience of eating at Bubba Gump is the trivia questions your waiter or waitress will ask as you wait for your food. The more knowledgable about the film, the more fun the quiz game can be.
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
At the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, visitors are able to order entrees or just sip on milkshakes and other abundant desserts. This establishment is newer and was the first time we tested it out.
Meal #1: Super Foods Salad (Spinach, arugula, avocado, quinoa, asparagus, sun dried roasted tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts, feta cheese, and citrus vinaigrette)
Meal #2: Espresso Buzz milkshake
The first time I ate at the emporium was for an early lunch. I wanted something more healthy and that would fuel me for the day ahead, which without a doubt, included a lot of walking and standing in lengthy lines. I thought a salad with a lot of greenery would do just that. The second time I went to the emporium was for sweet treat to top off the night.
In my opinion, the meals at the emporium were better than the milkshakes. The milkshakes are toppled high with many ingredients, which causes the restaurant to focus more on display and presentation rather than taste. If you are looking for something cold and sweet, this milkshake will satisfy, but I do not consider it “the very best.”
One of my favorite parts about Toothsome is the beautifully and meticulously designed and illustrated menus. The visual appeal of the menu is stunning.
Lombard’s Seafood Grille
At Lombard’s Seafood Grille, the interior can make anyone feel as if they are truly seaside. Just like the name of the restaurant suggests, there are many seafood platters to devour.
Meal #1: Portobello quinoa with Salmon
I enjoy fish and this salmon was prepared pleasantly well! All of the flavors of this dish blended together perfectly. The serving sizes are plentiful.
Hard Rock Cafe
I first ate at this establishment years ago during our first Florida vacation. We did not make it back to this restaurant, but the food was something I remember well, along with the musical decor and framed photographs of many legendary artists.
Meal #1: Barbecue Bacon Burger
I remember the tasteful meal quite well. I also remember this restaurant being one of my favorites and wanting to return. Upon visiting, you have the chance to take a family photograph with instrumental props.
I never did have the chance to eat at every location that Universal Studios has to offer. There are still some restaurants on my list in which I hope to eat at the next time I return.
- Mythos Restaurant
- Mel’s Diner
- The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
- Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom