Between the incredible shows and thrilling attractions, you’re bound to work up an appetite while making your way around Universal’s Islands of Adventure. We frogs always do. Thankfully, there are more options than just hot dogs and turkey legs to fill you up at the park — although you can easily find those, too. Counter-service restaurants are ideal when you’d rather not spend the extra time and money at a table-service restaurant. So when your stomach starts growling, remember these top five Islands of Adventure counter-service destinations that will surely satisfy everyone’s hunger.
Top 5 Islands of Adventure Counter-Service Restaurants
Best for Breakfast: Croissant Moon Bakery
Imagine that you wake up early to beat the crowds, and your frog squad is super excited and eager to get to the park. But as you’re walking through the entrance, you realize you forgot about breakfast! Don’t worry — we’ve all been there. Fuel up at the Croissant Moon Bakery, located at the Port of Entry near the front of the park. This mystical little nook serves pastries and the essential cup of coffee. Grab a continental breakfast meal on the go, which includes a fruit cup, Danish or muffin and a breakfast beverage. There’s plenty of shaded seating to sit and enjoy breakfast if you can fit it in to your touring plan.
Best Place to Try Something New: “Doc” Sugrue’s Desert Kebab House & Fire Eater’s Grill
If hunger strikes while you wander the Lost Continent, go see the doc — “Doc” Sugrue’s, that is — for Mediterranean delights. You can choose between three different kebab combos: beef, chicken or vegetarian. This is a great place for the health-conscious family members who can take their pick of wholesome snack options, such as Greek yogurt, fruit cups or hummus.
Maybe I’m cheating by mentioning two spots, but I’d like to add that Fire Eater’s Grill is just a few steps away, and these two eateries share a common outdoor dining area. You can find gyros here if you’re feeling adventurous. But this restaurant also tests your bravery in another way: fiery Chicken Stingers (hot wings). Best of all, if someone’s not feeling too daring, they can still get chicken tenders and fries (perfect for tadpole tummies).
Best Themed Eating Experience: Three Broomsticks™
Muggles with the munchies will find tasty bites from across the pond at the Three Broomsticks restaurant in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™: Hogsmeade™. This immersive restaurant will make you feel like a wizard in training as you enjoy British favorites such as Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie or Rotisserie Smoked Chicken. In fact, Stuart Craig, the production designer from the films, worked closely with Universal Creative to make sure details did not go unnoticed. If you look up in the rafters, you may even see the shadows of house elves shuffling around.
Famished families might indulge in the Great Feast, a massive platter of garden salad, rotisserie smoked chicken and spareribs, corn on the cob and roast potatoes. Wash it all down with some Butterbeer (try it frozen!) or stop by the Hog’s Head next door for some adult libations.
Best Place to Please a Crowd: Thunder Falls Terrace
When visiting a theme park with a crowd, the group will inevitably hit a point in the day when everyone wants to do something different, which can prove challenging when it comes to mealtime. Thankfully, you can hop over to Thunder Falls Terrace on Jurassic Park Island. There’s a little something for every appetite with chicken and ribs platters (Leap's favorite) with spicy beans and rice, corn on the cob or seasoned fries. For lighter fare, I usually opt for the chicken wrap or a rice bowl, which consists of your choice of chicken, pork or jackfruit with black beans, cilantro rice, Cotija cheese, plantains and salsa. For dessert, the genetic engineering team from Jurassic Park tried their hand at baking, resulting in the Brookie, a chocolate chip cookie filled brownie. It's a big hit with Lily!
Best Place to Beat the Summer Heat: Captain America Diner
With air-conditioning, plenty of indoor seating and creamy milkshakes, Captain America Diner in the heart of Marvel Island is the best place to cool off on a hot Florida day in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Avengers fans will enjoy the floor-to-ceiling comic book décor featuring favorite characters from the Marvel Universe. The restaurant offers some great views of the lagoon along with American favorites like burgers, chicken sandwiches, onion rings, milkshakes and apple pie.
There are plenty of places to get the usual theme park eats, but these stops offer a little more than the ordinary fare. Make your visit to Universal’s Islands of Adventure extraordinary from playtime to mealtime with our top 5 best Islands of Adventure Counter-Service picks! Have a favorite Islands of Adventure counter-service spot that wasn't mentioned here? Be sure to share with us in the comments!