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Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood

by Mommy Frog on January 3, 2023 4 Los Angeles

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If you are visiting Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, chances are you’ll start and end your day passing through Universal CityWalk Hollywood. This three-block promenade for shopping, dining and entertainment is a great place to eat, drink and do some souvenir shopping before heading back home or to your hotel. If you’ve visited Universal CityWalk Orlando, you’ll find that the Hollywood version has less of a tropical resort feel and more of an LA vibe with a blend of modern and classic Hollywood architecture. Here's what to expect at CityWalk.

Universal CityWalk Hollywood

Universal CityWalk Hollywood Location and Parking

Universal CityWalk Hollywood is located at the entrance to Universal Studios theme park at 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. Parking for CityWalk is the same used for the theme park.

Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood-Young adults with King Kong

Daily parking fees per vehicle:

  • General parking before 5 p.m. — $30
  • General parking after 5 p.m. — $10
  • Movie ticket parking — $5 (Pay for general parking and present your general parking receipt at the Universal Cinema ticket window for a refund.)

If you need to charge an electric vehicle, each lot has some ports, but only on certain floors of the garages, so ask an attendant to direct you.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (the rate is $0.35/kWh):

  • Frankenstein Garage: 4 ports (Level 2 and Level 7)
  • Jurassic Parking Garage: 8 ports (Level 1 and B1M)
  • ET Garage: 16 ports (Level B1)
  • Woody Woodpecker Lot: 1 port (near Front Gate Parking)
  • Curious George Garage: 2 ports (Level 1)

If all of those parking structures are killing your vibe, you can use valet parking … for a cost.

Universal CityWalk is within walking distance of a couple of nearby hotels: the Hilton Los Angeles Universal City Hotel and Sheraton Universal Hotel. This makes CityWalk a great spot to get dinner or visit when staying near Universal!

Universal CityWalk Hollywood Restaurants

After you leave the theme park, you may as well have dinner at CityWalk. You’ll find many types of cuisine, from sit-down restaurants to quick bites. A few hail from other California locations, allowing you to get a taste of California, from San Diego to San Francisco, without leaving LA.

Table-Service Restaurants

Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood-Shake at Johnny Rockets

Whether you want a sit-down meal or a fun drink, here’s a look at your CityWalk table-service choices:

Our Hopping Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - Drinks on the bar at Bubba GumpAntojitos Mexican Restaurant — Because when you are in SoCal, you have to try some authentic Mexican dishes!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. — “Run, Forrest, run!” to this home of Southern favorites just like Mama makes ‘em. Bubba Gump features a versatile seafood menu, as well as other down-home favorites — including gluten-free and kids' menus. If seafood isn’t your thing, be sure to grab the award-winning BBQ ribs.

Bucca di Beppo — Are you a fan of half-pound meatballs almost the size of your face and Italian food? Then, you'll want to hop into Bucca di Beppo!

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville — Feel free to waste away with a frozen beverage, or a specialty margarita and a cheeseburger.

Dongpo Kitchen — Meizhou Dongpo has been serving Sichuanese cuisine to millions of customers across China since 1996. Now, you can feast on traditional Chinese fare based on Meizhou Dongpo's first casual dining concept in the U.S. at Dongpo Kitchen.

Johnny Rockets Hop back to the 1950s with kid-friendly burgers, shakes, fries and fun!

NBC Sports Grill & Brew Hop in for beer, cocktails, sports and classic eats, such as burgers, ribs, steak chicken and more. With an array of HDTV screens, it's almost guaranteed that your game is on.

Vivo Italian Kitchen — For Italian cuisine, stop by for dinner at VIVO Italian Kitchen. Hearth-baked pizza, pasta, bread and, of course, vino (wine) are sure to satisfy your palate.

Wasabi at CityWalk — Follow the red and white lanterns to sushi, sashimi, rolls and hot house specialties.

Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - Toothsome interior

NEW! Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen — This frogtastic, new location has officially opened in place of the Hard Rock Café. The Victorian Steampunk-themed restaurant features its founders, Professor Dr. Penelope Thibeaux-Tinker Toothsome and her robot best friend, Jacques, who put a spin on classic, sweet treats and savory dishes by infusing them with chocolate.

Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - Pineapple Upside Down shake

In addition to appetizers and entrees, such as the Avocado Bruschetta and Wild Mushroom Chicken Risotto, the eatery allows guests many ways to innovate when it comes to its food, serving up delicacies such as Chocolate Almond Bread, Chocolate Potted Cream, Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding and many others. Don't forget to check out its famous specialty shakes, available in over 12 flavors! Toothsome even offers vegan shake options, in particular, the scrumptious Pineapple Upside Down shake. Stop at the gift shop on your way out to take a tasty treat to-go!

Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - chocolate treats and pastries

Quick ‘N’ Easy Bites at Universal CityWalk

Our Hopping Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - Box of four colorful VooDoo Doughnuts

If you are looking for a quick meal or snack, these unique snack shops and restaurants are worth hopping by. These options will give you a taste of California, or they're not widely available elsewhere.

The Crepe Café — Straight from the Pier 39 location at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is this CityWalk location, serving up tasty sweet and savory crepes.

Mini Monster — It’s the spot for flavorful teas, boba and dessert drinks (we see you Rainbow Cloud, with cotton candy and Fruity Pebbles, and we are chasing that rainbow on our next visit!).

Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs — No need to head into Hollywood to the original 1939 location when you can pick up a Pink’s Famous Hot Dog at CityWalk!

Popcornopolis — Hop in to sample flavors, such as cinnamon bun, rocky road and strawberry, and take home a flavorful souvenir.

Sparky’s Mini Donuts and Chocolates — Watch them make your mini doughnuts right in front of your eyes.

Voodoo Doughnut — Good things come in pink boxes. This quirky bakery serves over 50 unique, fresh pastries daily. We feel pretty hoppy that Voodoo Doughnut made its way to Universal CityWalk Hollywood from Portland, Oregon. Indulge in a triple chocolate doughnut topped with Cocoa Puffs, or opt for the vegan version of classic doughnut flavors. The vegan lemonade is our favorite and not one we have been able to locate at the other Voodoo Doughnut locations we’ve hopped to.

If you like to know what you can expect when it comes to food, these locations may be familiar to you:

  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Cinnabon
  • The Habit Burger Grill
  • Jamba
  • KFC Express/Pizza Hut Express
  • Menchies
  • Panda Express
  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels

Family Entertainment at CityWalk

Our Hip, Hoppin' Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood-Kids play in fountains

In terms of entertainment, get a jump on the fun with these options.

Universal Cinema

Chances are if you’re visiting Universal Studios, you’re a movie fan. See a movie in comfort with reserved power-reclining seats, laser projection and Dolby Atmos multidimensional sound. There’s $5 movie parking. Bring your parking ticket and get reimbursed when you purchase a movie ticket. We may be guilty of escaping the heat on a summer day at Universal Studios Hollywood by hopping out of the park and into the movie theater.


Our Hopping Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - Person and instructor inside wind tunnel

Here’s your chance to experience skydiving without the risk. Put on a flight suit and step into the wind chamber. Lift your feet off the ground and float in the air. If you get nervous, just put your feet back on the ground. Did you know we have hopped into selling iFly tickets?

Splash in the Fountains 

Save some green and just let the tadpoles splash in the colorful fountains for good, free fun. Don't froget to keep your shoes on.

5 Towers Stage

If you are lucky, you just might catch a free concert!

Shopping at Universal CityWalk Hollywood

Our Hopping Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood - Tons of candy bins at IT'SUGAR

You can pick up some souvenirs, do some shopping and look through comic books at some of the retail locations at CityWalk. Some you may recognize as national chain stores. We’ll fill you in on the rest if it's not obvious what they sell.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Billabong
  • Dodger’s Clubhouse Store – This place is a home run for finding LA Dodgers fan gear.
  • Fossil
  • Francesca’s - Women's boutique
  • Hot Topic
  • IT’SUGAR – Satisfy your sweet tooth at this giant candy store.
  • Lids
  • Locker Room by Lids
  • Nectar Bath Treats
  • Sephora
  • Shoe Palace
  • Sunsations
  • Super Nintendo World Store
  • The Los Angeles Sock Market – Stock up for crazy sock day. Or every day!
  • The Raider Image – Tackle gifts for all of your Raider fans.
  • Things from Another World – Discover comics, toys and collectibles.
  • Tilly’s
  • Universal Studios Store – Here’s your first and last chance to get those Universal souvenirs, including Wizarding World gear and wands.

Top Universal CityWalk Hollywood Tips

Los Angeles has a low-key, casual vibe, so you do not need to do much advance planning to have fun at CityWalk. Here are a few tips for a hoppin' good time:

  • Many Universal Studios restaurants close early, and before the park closes, so plan on eating dinner at CityWalk.
  • Ask if your pass offers any discounts.
  • Many restaurants offer discounts for guests with Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood tickets. Arrive early and eat before you enter on HHN nights.
  • Get a reservation if you have a large group or will be pressed for time.
  • During Christmas time at Universal, look for the giant tree and meet Santa near the theaters.

Hopfully, you are getting excited for your visit at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. If you'll be visiting Universal Studios Hollywood that day, you can save some green with discount Universal Studios Hollywood Resort tickets!

Related: Frogtastically Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Related: Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Jul 19, 2023 at 2:35 p.m. Kimberly Says...

If I leave Universal to go to dinner at citiwalk, can I get back into Universal? Or am I done for the day?

Jul 19, 2023 at 11:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kimberly!

Yes, re-entry is allowed on the same day that your ticket is valid!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 25, 2023 at 7:39 p.m. Fariza Says...

Hello. can i just come in and watch a movie at AMS, i dont have a car, i am a backpacker. Thanks

Jun 28, 2023 at 10:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Fariza!

Yes! Anyone can walk up to CityWalk and shop, dine or go to the movie theater.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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