Guides and Tips

CityWalk After Dark: How to Plan Your Night Out 

November 8, 2023

Planning a night out can sometimes take quite a bit of work, whether you’re hanging out with friends, on a date, or flying solo and looking for something fun to do on the weekend. Not only do you have to find all the different options, but then you have to drive all over town to get there.

If only there was a place where you can have delicious food, plenty of drink options AND super fun activities… Oh wait, there is! At Universal CityWalk, you can have a full night out in one place — and don’t worry, I’ve done all the research so you don’t have to.

For a “Have Fun and Let Loose” Kind of Night

A group of women clap along to a mariachi at Antojitos

We all need one of those every now and then. And I don’t know about you, but I like to start with some food — after all, you can’t have a fun-filled night without a little fuel. And I know just the right place to start off that let-loose type of mood: one of my favorites, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food

Antojitos is a festive, cantina-style restaurant with delicious Mexican street fare, like tacos, enchiladas and fajitas — plus, a live Mariachi band that is sure to set the tone for a lively dining experience. From Tableside Guacamole to Tacos Al Pastor, Enchiladas Verdes, Chimichanga, and even Horchata Tres Leches,  you really can’t go wrong with what you choose here.  Don’t forget to grab a drink with your meal — there’s everything from a variety of margaritas to signature drinks, beer, wine and tequila flights — there’s something here for everyone! 

Watch Discover Universal’s Dine & Ride: Antojitos video for a deep dive!

To keep that lively mood going, head over to CityWalk’s Rising Star, where you and your friends can sing along to your favorite tunes. And, if you’re feeling brave, you can even take the stage to live out your popstar dreams. Plus, you can also get drinks here, like a Captain’s Mai Tai or Triple Rum Punch or you can enjoy a selection of beer and wine.

A drink from Fat Tuesday

If you want even MORE drink options, be sure to check out Fat Tuesday for its can’t-miss frozen daiquiri-style cocktails. Or stop by Lone Palm Airport Bar, a waterfront tiki bar serving up classic Margaritas and frozen boat drinks. Oh, quick pro tip for this one: you can order food from the menu at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville when you’re getting drinks at this bar. Be sure to enjoy the delicious flavors of island fare like Blackened Salmon or Jerk Chicken Pasta. Or, if you want a great dish to share, I’d recommend the Volcano Nachos (they are HUGE). 

And to end the ultimate night out, the Red Coconut Club is the perfect place to not only get a drink but to let loose and dance in this chic, two-level lounge (and if you’re lucky, you might catch it with a unique seasonal theme).

For a Romantic Date Night

A man and a woman are seen eating at VIVO Italian Kitchen

For a night out with that special someone, VIVO Italian Kitchen is a great option thanks to its delicious Italian food and chill, romantic vibe. With fresh pasta, pizza, homemade bread and an extensive wine menu, what more could you ask for? You can start off with some Fried Ricotta or Calamari, and if you’re in a sharing mood, go with the Quattro Formaggi Wood Stove Pizza as your main dish. But, if you’d prefer some pasta, a classic Bolognese or the Vegan Sausage Pasta are always delicious. Of course, you have to end with something sweet, so the Tiramisu or the Flourless Chocolate Cake are perfect for that.

An outdoor firepit at Bigfire Restaurant

Or you might want to go with Bigfire Restaurant for elevated American fare. The steaks are cooked using different woods for a smoky flavor. You can start with a Bourbon Cheese Fondue, then go for a 10 oz. NY Sirloin Strip or a Dutch Oven Beef Burgundy, and end your dinner with some fun Tableside S’mores (perfect for sharing with your special someone).

PRO TIP: Be sure to make a reservation for the full-service restaurants.

Then, you can relax and kick back while you watch a movie and share some popcorn with your favorite person at Universal Cinemark for a more easygoing night. If you’re feeling like you want something a bit more active, go for a round or two of mini-golf at Hollywood Drive-In Golf. Choose from two different 18-hole courses, The Haunting of Ghostly Greens or Invaders from Planet Putt, go for a double feature and play all 36 holes. Whether you go for movies or for mini-golf, you can stop by Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt or Cold Stone Creamery for the sweetest of endings to an amazing date.

For an “After the Parks” Chill Night

A milkshake from Toothsome Chocolate Emporium


If you’ve spent a full day having fun in the theme parks, you probably want to have a nice meal and some relaxation before heading back home or to your hotel room. One amazing option is The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, especially for those of you with a sweet tooth. Not only can you get a delicious meal, but you can also find a large variety of mouthwatering desserts. You can find classic dishes like steaks, salads, sandwiches and pasta or you can go the breakfast-for-dinner route and choose from a variety of waffles, french toast, quiche and crêpes. But make sure to leave room for dessert because your jaw will surely drop when you see these milkshakes — every flavor from Heavenly Hazelnut to Marshmallow Crisp and Right Side Up Shake (a great vegan option, btw) is sure to delight.

Now, what if you’re in the mood for sushi but your friends and family are in the mood for burgers? Well, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar has got you covered with everything from Parmesan Truffle Bacon Fries to fusion specialty rolls like the Firecracker Roll, or delicious burgers like the Jalapeño Popper Show-Stopper. And if you can’t decide between sushi or a burger, you can have both with the burgushi rolls, like the All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi (my go-to) or Doug’s Filet Roll. And the options for dessert range from milkshakes to spiked shakes to a Lucky Yuzu Cheesecake and more.

After dinner, you can check out the Universal Studios Store to grab a fun souvenir to remember your vacation, especially some cool retro merchandise. This is also perfect if you forgot to get something before leaving the parks.

For a Solo Night Out

A man playing piano at Pat O'Brien's

Sometimes you just need a night to yourself to do whatever you want, and CityWalk is perfect for that too. I don’t know about you, but Southern comfort food sounds like the best thing ever for a solo night, and Pat O’Brien’s will hit the spot. You can get a taste of Cajun cuisine like Crawfish Etouffee, a N’awlins Po’ Boy, and of course, a delicious Bag O’ Beignets

If you’re looking for a quick bite though, Bend the Bao is a great option. I recommend the Beef Brisket Bao, it’s just the right amount of food for one person. For some sweet desserts, you can place a mobile order to grab some VooDoo Doughnut

You can also stop by NBC Sports Grill & Brew and enjoy a drink at the bar while enjoying a game on the many (and when I say many, I mean nearly 100) TVs around the restaurant or you can just have a chat with the bartender. And I have to recommend you get the Large Warm Soft Pretzel because what’s better than having a pretzel that’s bigger than your face all to yourself? The answer is nothing.

Now, are you ready to plan a night out? Not only are there so many options to choose from, but the best part is you can create endless combinations with all of them. So, let me know what you plan to do for your next night out at CityWalk by commenting below or tagging us on social media.

Must be 21 years or older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages. Want to learn more about Universal Orlando’s CityWalk? Check out this blog post!

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