Close Banner

Both Disney© Resort Theme Parks

more savings
disneyland GET MY TICKETS

Top 5 Universal Studios Florida Counter-Service Restaurants

by Mommy Frog on August 22, 2023 17 Orlando

Universal Studios Counter Service - PinterestPark guests are bound to work up an appetite between screaming at the top of their lungs on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and practicing their wand form in Diagon Alley, part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While Universal Studios Florida is known for its thrilling rides and spectacular shows, the food is toadally delicious too!

Universal Studios counter-service restaurants are generally fast, and most entrees cost about $10 to $20 per person. When you don’t want to spend valuable park time at a table-service restaurant, counter-service restaurants are a quick and convenient way to eat well and save time and money in the park. Here are our top five Universal Studios Florida counter-service restaurants, from "Best Theming" to "Best Place to Try Something New."

Best Universal Studios Florida Counter-Service Restaurants

Best Theming: Mel’s Drive-In

Universal Studios Counter Service - Mel's Drive-In

Just like you see in the movies, Mel’s Drive-In is a classic 1950s-themed diner, complete with a black-and-white checkered floor, flashing neon signs and several vintage cars parked outside. In addition to being our pick for Best Theming, the diner’s food is one of the best values, as most of the entrees are only $12 to $17 (meal combos with fries and a shake are a few extra dollars). Mel’s has the typical diner grub, including burgers, chicken fingers and shakes, but it also serves healthier options, such as salads and plant-based burgers. Finish off your meal with a root beer float or a slice of apple pie!

Best for Families: Louie’s Italian Restaurant

Universal Studios Counter Service - Louie's

Feeding a family in a theme park can get expensive fast! Luckily, at Universal Studios, there’s our Best for Families choice, Louie’s Italian Restaurant. With a 1920s vibe, this Italian eatery has lots of table space and a variety of hearty dishes that will satisfy the whole family. This restaurant offers whole pizzas for around $38 to $44, which usually ends up being cheaper than buying individual meals for everyone. But if each person wants something different, there are also filling pastas, sub sandwiches, salads and pizza by the slice. Louie’s is located in the New York area of the park, near The Mummy and Starbucks.

Best Place for Healthy Options: TODAY Cafe

Universal Studios Counter Service - TODAY Cafe

Just because you're at a theme park doesn't mean that your healthy hopits have to leap out of the window. There's no better place for a nutritious meal than our Best Place for Healthy Options pick, TODAY Cafe. Located near the entrance of the park, you can pick up breakfast on your way in. There are numerous pastries, as well as avocado toast, an egg white Florentine sandwich or overnight oats. For lunch or dinner, take your pick from a hearty lineup of scrumptious salads and sandwiches, which includes several vegan and vegetarian options.

Best Variety: The Simpsons Fast Food Boulevard

Universal Studios Counter Service - Fast Food Bouelvard

For the families who can’t decide on tacos, pizza or burgers, there’s our Best Variety pick, the Simpson’s Fast Food Boulevard. The cafeteria-style setup includes a string of eateries: Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror, the Frying Dutchman, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, Krusty Burger, Luigi’s Pizza and Flaming Moe’s. Bumblebee Man’s Taco truck is also outside nearby, making this area a jackpot for friends and family who all want something different from a Universal Studios counter-service restaurant. 

Seafood favorites, such as fried calamari and coconut-crusted shrimp, can be found at the Frying Dutchman. Cletus’s Chicken Shack has chicken in almost all of its forms: fried chicken, chicken and waffles, chicken tenders, chicken wings and, of course, a chicken sandwich. Krusty Burger is the go-to place for towering burgers and Nathan’s Famous hot dogs.

Flaming Moe’s serves specialty drinks like Groovy Grove Juice and Mt. Swartzwelder Apple Drink. Bumblebee Man’s Taco truck has a taco for every taste, from Carnitas to Carne Asada, and it comes with a side of chips. Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror is the place to grab some lighter fare, including hummus and pita with veggies, salads, fruit and veggie sandwiches. You can also grab some healthy hydration here, such as Honest Tea, Odwalla juice, orange juice and vitamin water.

Everyone gets in one line to avoid congestion, but the line moves quickly. Once it’s your turn, you simply choose what you want, take it to the register and you’re ready to eat! There is a lot of seating here, so finding a table shouldn’t be an issue, and then you can be back on your way. (We'd just advise against immediately getting on The Simpsons Ride, as you don’t want to experience possible motion sickness on a full stomach.)

Best Place to Try Something New: Leaky Cauldron

Universal Studios Counter Service - Leaky Cauldron

Roller coasters and thrill rides push you to your limits, so why not challenge your taste buds as well? Expand your gastronomical horizons at the Best Place to Try Something New in Universal Studios, the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. This Wizarding World restaurant serves up classic English dishes, such as Bangers and Mash, Toad in the Hole and Cottage Pie. The Leaky Cauldron has some of the best food in the park and comes with an experience unlike anything else. Step into the world of Harry Potter and sample some of the favorites of Hogwarts students and London muggles alike.

It’s so hard to choose one, so I always end up with the Mini Pie Combination: a mini Fisherman’s pie and a mini Cottage pie served with garden salad. If you’re really hungry, try the Banger Sandwich, a huge crusted baguette stuffed with roasted English sausage and served with wedge fries. For dessert, the Sticky Toffee Pudding is a crowd favorite, or head around the corner to Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour for unique ice cream flavors, such as Butterbeer, clotted cream, chocolate chili or Earl Grey and lavender.

Whether you have a strong craving for a burger or are looking to expand your food horizons with new flavors, these Universal Studios counter-service gems are there to satisfy your family’s needs.

Have a favorite Universal Studios counter-service restaurant we haven't listed? Share with us in the comments below. You'll find more information about planning your visit to Universal Orlando inside our Orlando Planning Guide.

Related: Best Universal's Islands of Adventure Counter-Service Restaurants

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Oct 22, 2020 at 10:51 p.m. Lu Goslinga Says...

I purchased the quick service meal plan for my family. It says it comes with 1 entree and drink, snack, and 1 other drink. Is it possible at lunch to do a sandwich from Crusty's and a drink from Moe's as your "entree with drink?" Or does the meal and drink have to be from same establishment?

Oct 26, 2020 at 2:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lu!

Yes, you would be able to get a sandwich from Crusty’s and a drink from Flaming Moe’s (not Moe’s Tavern – it’s a separate bar) because they both fall under Fast Food Boulevard (if ordering from Mobile Order) or paying at the same register (if paying in person). In general, the quick-service meal (entrée with drink) would have to be from the same establishment.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Nov 1, 2020 at 7:19 p.m. Lu G Says...

This is the best site. Thanks for you timely expert answers. Are drinks like the Flaming Moe or Fishy Green Ale/Pumpkin juice, Lavender Elixar possible as beverage or are those snack credits like Butterbeer?

Nov 3, 2020 at 11:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lu G!

This is a tricky one, so we're hoping others in the Frog Pond may have experience and can weigh in! We aren't sure, but our best guess is that Pumpkin Juice & Lavender Elixir would count as beverages, but the Flaming Moe and Fishy Green Ale may be snacks.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 9, 2019 at 5:57 p.m. Lija Says...

I agree with your Best for Family choice, Louie’s Italian Restaurant. We fed pizza to five adults and two children for a very reasonable price. We had three different varieties of pizza, and they were all delicious.

I'd say 70% of the customers in Louie's ordered pizza, so you know it's a good value.

Jul 9, 2019 at 5:50 p.m. Lija Wills Says...

I'm sorry but I have to say, the Simpson’s Area has some of the worst foods I've ever tasted. The hamburgers are like eating cardboard. The bumblebee tacos aren't much better.

However, Mel's and The Leaky Cauldron are two of our favorite places. I love the breakfast pastie.

Aug 29, 2018 at 6:10 p.m. Gian Mosca Says...

I`m going to Universal Orlando in October, can you recommend the top things to do or most see (shows, rides,) for a party of 4 that want to do both parks (Universal Studios and Island of Adventure) in one day. Thank You!

Aug 31, 2018 at 3:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gian!

Great question! It totally depends what your group is into. Harry Potter fans MUST check out Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley ... thrill seekers need to ride the Incredible Hulk and Fast and Furious: Supercharged. Check out all of the attractions at both parks to see what you're most excited about and make a checklist of priorities!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Aug 9, 2018 at 3:40 p.m. Buffie Says...

Is it possible to purchase dining plan for universal here?

Aug 9, 2018 at 10:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Buffie,

We aren't able to offer dining plans at this time!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Aug 25, 2016 at 7:22 p.m. Kate Says...

I wish I could tell what is on the table in front of the cauldron in the picture of The Leaky Cauldron. It wasn't there when we visited.

Mar 20, 2015 at 2:17 p.m. Kim Says...

Between Krusty Burger and the Leaky Cauldron, I think I might actually prefer Universal's quick-service options to Disney's (with the exception of Pizza Planet!). And they usually seem a lot faster. This list definitely makes me wish I were there right now!

Mar 16, 2015 at 12:04 a.m. Sheri Says...

Are there gluten-free options at Universal Studios Orlando?

Mar 17, 2015 at 10:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sheri,

Each counter-service restaurant is supposed to have a booklet with all of the nutrition/ingredient information for each menu item so that you can determine what you can eat. Counter-service foods that I know are gluten-free are whole fruit, most salads (w/o croutons), and french fries. At table-service restaurants, all you have to do is ask, and the food can be prepared in accordance with your dietary needs.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Dec 8, 2016 at 6:21 p.m. Tonya Says...

I can assure you that NONE of the restaurants (counter service or sit-down) in Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure have any nutritional menus. My son is Type 1 diabetic and we NEED carb counts of everything that he eats so we know how much insulin to administer. I was simply told "Sorry. That's not something that we can provide." Thanks Universal.

Jun 9, 2021 at 8:24 p.m. aeroberator Says...

That's awful. Get on board Universal! People have dietary restrictions. If I eat gluten, I'll be sick the rest of the day.... looks like I'm packing my lunch :(

Jun 9, 2021 at 3:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Fortunately, Universal has since provided full menus on its website. You can view each restaurant's menu on its individual page (for instance, here's Mythos Restaurant where you can navigate to its everyday menu). If a menu item is gluten-free, it will be designated as GF. Additionally, if you have any questions after viewing the menus, you can contact a Guest Services team member at [email protected]. Hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Leave a comment
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!