If you’re anything like us, you’re the type of person who looks up the menu the day of your dinner reservation, hatches a plan, then fantasizes about what you’ll be eating all day. And before going to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk, we do the exact same thing. It’s called strategy, people!
With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, it’s hard to face the fact that you can’t possibly taste everything there (at least not in one visit). Luckily, we’ve tried it all for you, and we’ve comprised a list of the crème de la crème of L.A.’s most unmissable theme park. You can snack on everything from Costa Rican-inspired fare to ice-cold Butterbeer during your next visit. Here are our top must-try food and drink experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Dig into a Lard Lad Donut
There comes a time in everyone’s life where it’s important to opt for the donut as big as your head. Luckily, your time has come. Visit Lard Lad Donuts in Springfield U.S.A. and enjoy the Big Pink Donut, a truly giant circular confection. They’re big enough to share, but we understand if you want to save it all for yourself.
Pull some pork apart at Jurassic Café
There are tiers to fandom. When it comes to Jurassic World, there’s “enjoys watching dinosaurs,” and then there’s “enjoys watching dinosaurs so badly you want to become a dinosaur.” If you fall into the latter category like we do, then look no further than the meat-based dining options at Jurassic Café. The whole menu is inspired by Latin American cuisine, as dinosaurs famously love Costa Rican food. (OK, maybe it’s just that Isla Nublar, where the dinos roam, is situated 120 miles west of Costa Rica.)
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, from the Half Roasted Adobe Chicken to the Dino Leg — erm, we mean, the Turkey Leg. But we’re huge fans of the Mojo Pork ourselves. Deliciously juicy pulled pork, seasoned rice and roasted veggies, with a side of chimichurri.
Delight in a wizarding feast
Not only does Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter make us feel like we are actually in the “Harry Potter” series, but it dishes up some of the best food in the entire theme park. The menu is based on hearty British feasts. Think: a Traditional English Breakfast, Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, Pumpkin Juice and, of course, Butterbeer.
You really can’t go wrong at Three Broomsticks. But we recommend you and your crew go in on The Great Feast together. The platter includes roast chicken, spare ribs, corn on the cob, and roasted veggies, plus you can order a few side salads. With The Great Feast, you can maximize the number of delicious Wizarding World items that hit your taste buds. And, psst: You definitely don’t want to skip dessert here. We always go for the Sticky Toffee Pudding. You’re welcome.
Enjoy some suds at the Duff Brewery Beer Garden
When in Springfield, U.S.A, do as the Springfieldians do. Kick back at Duff Brewery Beer Garden, an outdoor oasis in the heart of the land. Grab some Mexican food to go with your beer at Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, or a snack at Suds McDuff’s Hot Dog Stand next door.
Enjoy a Krusty Burger
There’s a reason Homer always returns to Krusty Burger: it’s delicious. When in Springfield, U.S.A., we recommend going with the classic Krusty Burger, a ⅓ pound patty topped with Secret Sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles and American cheese. If you want to kick it up a notch, try the Clogger Burger: a two-patty Burger with applewood smoked bacon. Vegetarians and vegans will be pleased to know there’s a great meatless option on the menu, the Mother Nature Burger.
Get a sugar-high with the Felonious Float
An outrageous day at Super Silly Fun Land calls for an outrageous treat. Pop into the Minion Café (or just walk up to the side window, Despicable Delights) for a Felonious Float, a Minion-inspired sugarbomb that’s not for the faint of heart. The treat is made up of a Raspberry Icee with banana frozen yogurt, topped with whipped cream and banana candies. Despicable Me? More like Delectable Me.
Discover Your Favorite Way to Enjoy Butterbeer
In our experience, the first question people will ask when you tell them you’ve been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is, “Soooo did you try Butterbeer?!” We highly recommend you don’t let the answer be anything but an enthusiastic YES. A favorite among Hogwarts students and professors alike, the drink has a nice fizzy feeling combined with a sweet taste reminiscent of butterscotch and cream soda.
It comes in three varieties: hot, cold and frozen. All are delicious, but cold is our go-to. Wait, no, actually, it’s frozen. Actually, the hot Butterbeer is great when the weather cools — OK, never mind, you really can’t go wrong with any choice. You can find Butterbeer all over the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: at Three Broomsticks, Hog’s Head, or at one of the Butterbeer carts located throughout the snow-capped village. You can also enjoy the delicious flavor in multiple other forms, like Butterbeer Fudge, Butterbeer Ice Cream and Butterbeer Potted Cream, available at Honeydukes and Three Broomsticks.
Take a sip of paradise at the Isla Nu-Bar
First, take a few minutes to really appreciate the perfect pun that is this cocktail stand’s name. OK, great. Now you’ve earned yourself a drink. And dang, does the Isla Nu-Bar have some delicious options.
Any of these rum-based concoctions will have you feeling like you’re floating in the tropics. We’re big fans of the Tiki Tai (pineapple rum, dark rum, white rum, passionfruit puree, lime juice and orgeat), but you also can’t go wrong with a classic, blended Piña Colada. Or, their take on a Mexican classic, the Tropical Margarita. Yup, that’s margarita + rum. Get your bev in an etched, wood tiki mug to really bring the island breeze to Universal Studios Hollywood.
Treat yourself at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
This steampunk-inspired CityWalk eatery has an extensive dining menu, sure. But for us. it’s all about the milkshakes. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium boasts a plethora of specialty milkshakes, with flavors ranging from Key Lime Pie to Marshmallow Crisp to Cookie Jar—and even a vegan Pineapple Upside Down (non-dairy) milkshake. With so many options you’re sure to find a flavor to match your mood. Even more enticing, these decadent desserts are available for purchase at the milkshake bar, so you can take ‘em to-go. Exploring CityWalk is so much tastier with a towering Cookie Jar milkshake in hand.
Get superstitious at Voodoo Doughnuts
Are there two doughnuts on this list? Yes. Is that too many doughnuts? Absolutely not. We’d argue it’s not enough doughnuts. But with nearly 40 menu items at Voodoo Doughnut, we don’t think you’ll feel cheated out of circular confection availability at Universal Studios Hollywood. There are classics like glazed old fashioned and double chocolate, sure, but we recommend you go harder. Order an Oh Captain, My Captain for one topped in vanilla frosting and Cap’n Crunch, or the Bacon Maple bar, which mixes sweet and meat. But our favorite is the classic Voodoo Doll, a yeast donut in the shape of — you guessed it — a voodoo doll, filled with raspberry jelly.
Oh, and if you really want to make your visit to Universal unforgettable, you can even get married at Voodoo Doughnut. Seriously.
These are just some of the delicious food and drink offerings at Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk. Which iconic items did we leave off the list? C’mon, we know you have thoughts. Drop us a note in the comments!
Must be 21 years and older with valid photo identification to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. Drink responsibly.