We understand how planning meals during your vacation and finding cheap food at Universal Orlando can be a bit of a challenge. Just as important as your park tickets or hotel booking, food is a major expense that needs to fit within your budget.
If you’re not too careful, money will be flying out of your wallet faster than you can wave your wand and say, “Evanesco,” aka the vanishing spell. That said, it’s not impossible to figure out how you can stick to your limit.
When it comes to saving money on dining, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. Here are our favorite spots where you can find cheap food at Universal Orlando. To us, we define “cheap” as $12 or less per person for a meal or $5 or less for a snack.
Our Froggy-Favorite Cheap Food at Universal Orlando
Note: all prices were accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change.
Universal Studios Florida
London Waterfront Food Stand
Cleverly designed as an English cabmen’s shelter, this unassuming food stand sells four different kinds of jacket potatoes. You can take your pick from beans and cheese, broccoli and cheese, shepherd’s pie or a loaded jacket potato. Each costs $9.79 (the annual passholder discount cannot be applied). As for the size, the jacket potatoes are large enough for a filling individual meal or a snack to split!
This “American Graffiti”-inspired '50s drive-in restaurant boasts a budget-friendly menu, which includes typical diner fare, such as burgers and chicken fingers. The platters come with a side of fries and all except the BBQ Brisket Burger have a price tag between $10.99 and $13.99.
I also wanted to give a special shout-out to the chili cheese fries. A side of these chili cheese fries cost $6.49 and is pretty filling all by itself. Tad once substituted the regular fries that came with his cheeseburger with the chili cheese fries, and he had leftover food that Lily hoppily munched on.
Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck
The Bumblebee Man is serving up cheap food at Universal Orlando! It’s impossible to miss his black-and-yellow food truck topped with flashing letters and his giant head in Springfield. The truck offers three kinds of tacos, but all come in a serving size of two tacos (and tortilla chips) per order for $10.99. The Korean Beef taco consists of braised beef and a zesty cucumber and radish topping. The Carne Asada taco is filled with grilled skirt steak, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese and salsa. And you can’t go wrong with a classic chicken taco topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce and salsa.
Louie's Italian Restaurant
If you’re in the mood for Italian food, you’re in luck! Louie’s has several low-cost options, including spaghetti and meatballs, pizza and a side of minestrone soup. The spaghetti and meatballs entree is served with a breadstick for $9.29, and a side of minestrone soup costs $5.99. Skip over the drinks — you can pour yourself free water with the small, clear cups provided.
Pizza can be served by the slice or as a whole. If you want to get the best value, split a whole pizza! You can order half-cheese and half-pepperoni, vegetable or supreme to please everyone in the family. Whole pizzas range from $35 to $40, while a jumbo-sized slice costs $9.99 for cheese, $10.99 for pepperoni, $11.99 for vegetable or $12.99 for supreme.
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Dine like wizards and witches at the Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. At first glance, the prices seem fairly high. The only entree under $11 is the beef pasties meal with garden salad. However, the other main course meals, such as the Rotisserie Smoked Chicken platter, are typically large enough to split between two frogs.
Croissant Moon Bakery
If you don’t end up eating breakfast at the hotel, you can find reasonably priced items here, including cereal, fruit cups, danishes, muffins and — you guessed it — croissants. For dessert or a snack, there are jumbo cookies and cheesecake, cake or pie slices to choose from. All of the Passport Pastries & Baked Goods stick to $5.50 or less. In case you’re in need of a caffeine fix, you can grab coffee for less than $4.69.
Fire Eater’s Grill
The gyro helps Fire Eater’s Grill land a spot among the best places to get cheap food at Universal Orlando. The gyro entree costs $9.99, and there is a vegetarian alternative available with falafel. Other food options include chicken fingers, chicken stingers (hot wings) or a chili cheese dog. These platters — which come with fries or hummus — range from $9.99 to $12.49, hopping slightly over our maximum.
Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
Just looking for a simple, quality sandwich? Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches has a few offerings $10 or less, including a tomato & mozzarella melt, a tuna salad sandwich, a BLTA sandwich (the ‘A’ stands for avocado) and a Caesar salad. Meanwhile, the rest of the menu stays under $12.99, so you’re not even spending THAT much more if you opt for something outside of this list. You can add a side of fries, tater tots or coleslaw to any sandwich for an extra $2.50.
Hot Dog Hall of Fame
If you’re a fan of hot dogs, this Universal CityWalk spot will be a home run for you (and your wallet). The Hot Dog Hall of Fame’s starting line-up consists of 10 different hot dogs. If you only want the hot dog, it’ll only cost you $8.49. But you can add fries or chips for a dollar more. Vegetarians can even find something here, as there is a veggie dog option available. Want to go big or go home? Try either a foot-long or two-foot-long hot dog for a bit extra ($12.49 and $16.99 — hot dogs only). You can always split it!
It's also worth noting that Universal's CityWalk food court area includes budget-friendly fast food chains, such as Moe's Southwest Grill, Burger King and Panda Express.
Have a favorite cheap eat at Universal Orlando? Tips for eating on a budget? Share them with your fellow frog friends in the comments below!