You’ll soon find out that Orlando is one of my favourite holiday destinations in the world. I can’t get enough of the good weather, the food and of course the amazing theme parks. There will be posts upcoming about all aspects of Orlando life but this one is focusing on the restaurants in Universal CityWalk. When we travel to Orlando, we always make sure we have a couple of days at least at Universal Studios and this means we have to eat there.
CityWalk is where you’ll find most of the restaurants, shops and bars when you visit Universal Studios. You have to walk through it from the parking garage so you’re bound to notice a few places that catch your eye and tingle your tastebuds on your way to the parks. Here are my top 3 places to eat and why.
3. The Cowfish
What do you do if you can’t decide between some sushi or a burger? You go to The Cowfish of course! Your eyes will be instantly drawn to the huge digital fish tank when you arrive where you’ll see digital fish swimming around. Weird huh? You can add your own fish to the tank by using the touchscreens on the bar or downstairs at the entrance. We spent a good chunk of our time deciding what features our fish should have.
Speaking of fish, I couldn’t decide between the sushi or the burger, so I went for one of the Bento Boxes which contain both the burger of the week, and a choice of a 4 piece roll of sushi. A perfect way to combine both. It was absolutely delicious as well although a tad expensive at $18. You probably could argue that’s not bad for a theme park price though. The menu has a wide variety of both burgers and sushi as well as a vast selection of tasty starters. Plenty to keep you choosing.
It would be rude not to talk about the cocktails at the Cowfish as they are out of this world. We’ve often just been in here for a quick drink on our way to the car. The menu contains just about every type of spirit or liqueur you could imagine and crafts them to perfection. If you go, I recommend the Gin Sing.
2. Vivo Italian Kitchen
Whenever we’re on our holidays, we always try and fit in a date night of sorts. This is one of the best places to do so in CityWalk. What’s not to like: a huge selection of Italian food, accompanied by a glass or two of red wine. Perfection! I won’t lie to you, we only chose this place because we had a bad experience at the Italian restaurant in Disney Springs, so we wanted to put that right at CityWalk. This restaurant actually sits right underneath The Cowfish funnily enough so you can stand back, look at them both and make that hard decision on which to try first.
The staff are extremely friendly, knowledgable and make you feel part of the family from the get-go. I know absolutely nothing about wine but they pointed me in the right direction and chose us one that suited us both. The portions are massive (as everything is in America), as demonstrated by my 3 huge meatballs to start with. I also have the debate of whether to have pizza or pasta at an Italian but opted for the pasta this time and it was to die for: Fresh, homemade and out of this world. I really can’t recommend this restaurant enough. The food is spot on, the staff are friendly and the decor is beautiful. It’s the perfect place for date night whilst still staying within your budget.
1. Bubba Gump Shrimp
My absolute favourite restaurant in Orlando! I don’t know whether it’s because of the food or because of the setting and staff. It’s most probably a mix of these! All I can say is that you NEED to go here if you’re in CityWalk Orlando. Forest Gump is one of, if not my favourite film of all time so when I first heard they had a restaurant themed around this, I had to go.
As the name suggests, the main thing on the menu is Shrimp, and when I say Shrimp, I mean it. They have it every single way possible.
Boil it, broil it, bake it, sautè it, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, stir fried, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, shrimp and potatoesBubba (Forest Gump)
As a massive shrimp fan, I’ve been trying different items from the menu each time I visit, but my favourite is by far the Shrimp Gumbo! It’s delicious in every single way! There are a number of other items on the menu if you’re not a massive seafood fan, such as ‘Mamas Fried Chicken’ which comes with a fabulous gravy!
The main selling point for me is the service, just like all American service (I find) they go beyond expectations. Whilst you’re waiting for your meal, they will come and give you a quiz to test your knowledge of Forest Gump. It’s an entertaining way to pass the time. They have a unique way to tell if you’re ready to order as well. A set of two registration plates sits in your cutlery and condiment display on the table. On one side it says’ Run Forest Run’ which means stay away, we aren’t ready to order yet. The other side says’ Stop Forest Stop’ which means you’re ready to order or you would like something.
I could quite easily talk about Bubba Gump all day but I’ll leave it there for now! All I’ll add is that YOU MUST VISIT on your next trip to CityWalk Orlando.
Next time you’re in CityWalk Orlando, why not try out one of my top 3 restaurants and let me know what you think! If you’ve got any other recommendations for my next trip, then share them in the comments below and I’ll look forward to eating my way round CityWalk.
Thanks for reading!