On our first trip to Orlando we didn’t have tickets to Universal Studios Resort and therefore debated whether heading to Universal’s CityWalk one evening would be worthwhile.
Universal’s CityWalk in Orlando is an entertainment complex with plenty of things to do including dining experiences, live music and shopping. If all that wasn’t enough there’s also a 20 screen cinema, mini golf course and a nightclub.
I’m so glad we decided to visit CityWalk during our first trip to Orlando. Today, we visit Orlando multiple times a year and always reserve an evening to eat, drink and dance here.
Table of Contents
- 1. Let The Feast Begin
- 2. Listen To Some Awesome Live Music
- 3. Try Unique Sweets
- 4. Shop Until You Drop
- 5. See A Show
- 6. Play Mini Golf
- 7. Catch The Latest Film
- 8. Party Into The Night
1. Let The Feast Begin
One of the best things about Universal Studios Citywalk is that you definitely won’t be leaving on an empty stomach.
There so many options to choose from and there is basically every type of cuisine that you can imagine. Whether you want something exotic, a good old hearty burger, or spicy Mexican food you’ll be able to get it here.
Bigfire is one of the more recent additions to CityWalk’s restaurant selection. It is a dine-in restaurant that boasts a nice rustic aesthetic, so you’ll feel like you went out camping and ended up in a lakeside summer house.
Their main specialties are steaks and burgers, so you’ll get to enjoy a familiar barbecue smell while waiting for your food. Bigfire is open from Thursday through Sunday form 4pm until 10pm.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
For those who crave an exquisite seafood menu, there is no better place than the iconic Bubba Gump Shrimp.
Enjoy a lovely throwback to the time when everyone was talking about the brilliance of Forrest Gump movie, and maybe try their award-winning barbecue ribs. Typically, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is open from 11am to 8pm.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
In the event, you wish to go for a full Mexican meal and enjoy a live mariachi band then stop by at Antojitos.
The food is delicious and the interior is very colorful, which makes a perfect setting for a nice family photo. Antojitos Authentic is open from 4pm – 10pm.
Hot Dog Hall of Fame
Finally, if you wish to get a nice and juicy hot dog, go to the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. It is one of the most famous hot dog places here and offers meals inspired by local favorites.
There are awesome sauces and dressing options, along with stadium-style interior aesthetics. Even if you don’t want hot dogs to make sure you check this place out.
Fusion Bistro Sushi and Sake Bar
Fusion Bistro is one of the best Sushi bars here and you can easily miss it. So, if you want to dine here you need to go above the movie theatre, or to a second level, and get some of those delicious California rolls. The restaurant opens up at 11am and closes at 10pm every day.
Red Oven Pizza Bakery
Everyone loves pizza, right? Go to Red Oven, pick one of their many delicacies, and within 90 seconds or so the order will be coming your way.
So, if you don’t want to spend too much of your time at the restaurant this is where you can get that quick meal. Red Oven Pizza Bakery working hours are 11am until 10pm.
VIVO Italian Kitchen
Experience true Italian cuisine in this sleek and modern setting. VIVO Italian Kitchen is a full-service restaurant that impresses its guests with heirloom family recipes and vino.
Get a true Italian dining experience and lose yourself in the authentic flavors achieved through the finest ingredients. Thursday through Sunday from 4pm until 10pm.
2. Listen To Some Awesome Live Music
If you are a music fan who only appreciates good music, then you will find a place or two where you can relax over amazing food and evergreen hits.
Hard Rock Café Orlando
As always you cannot go wrong with Hard Rock Cafe, regardless of where you are. Those who have excellent taste in food and music are always welcome here.
In addition to a versatile menu, you can also see the suit worn by the king of rock himself, Elvis Presley. You can visit the Hard Rock Café anytime between 11am and 10pm.
Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom
Those who love reggae music, or who admire Bob Marley in general, must visit this place. The restaurant is designed to look like a replica of Bob Marley’s home and does a great job of telling his story. Apparently, King of Reggae inspired more than hope and rebellion.
He also inspired many chefs here to prepare Jamaican-influenced meals. So, if you never had a chance to try Oxtail Stew, this is where you should decide to do it. Finally, you get to enjoy live reggae music in the courtyard every evening, when the restaurant is open for business. The restaurant works from Thursday to Sunday from 4pm to 10pm.
3. Try Unique Sweets
If you want to rate your trip to Universal’s CityWalk based on the quality and volume of sweets and incredible deserts alone then you’ll no doubt be giving this place a 10 out of 10.
Coming all the way from Portland, Oregon, and ready to serve all the pastry lovers with a sweet tooth. Voodoo Doughnut is a charming bakery with over 50 unique desserts.
Much like the name suggests their specialties are doughnuts and it is strongly advised that you bring a pink box of these treats along with you on a CityWalk tour. You can get the delicious doughnuts anytime between 8am and 10pm.
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
A truly unique and interesting restaurant with mesmerizing aesthetics and design. You can go for classic dishes like steak or seafood specialties, but you should definitely save room for the main attraction which is dessert.
Gourmet chocolates and milkshakes with all sorts of flavors will make this place unforgettable. The restaurant is open from Monday to Friday, from 4pm until 10pm and on weekdays from 11am to 10pm.
4. Shop Until You Drop
Anyone who takes a lot of pleasure in shopping will be pleasantly surprised by many Universal CityWalk. It’s not just souvenir shops, of course, there are plenty of places here where you can purchase more practical mementos.
There are multiple retailers that you will come across, but here is just a snapshot of what you can expect.
Universal Studios Store
First of all, if you wish to buy gifts and souvenirs you should probably do it here on your way back. The store has a plethora of Universal gear, and you won’t have to carry it around with you while exploring.
If you wish to shop for stylish watches, wallets, or jewelry, you should check out what Fossil has to offer. The items are of high quality and reasonably priced. However, there are other accessories here, so you will definitely find something to your liking.
P!Q is filled with unique items for decoration or that serve as awesome gifts. You can count on finding something crazy and funny for the desk, or a piece of art from your favorite show or movie. At any rate, you are unlikely to leave this store without buying something minor.
Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company
What better way to commemorate your unforgettable experience here than by getting a tattoo. This is one of the top tier tattoo parlors in Orlando, where you can get absolutely amazing and awesome ink jobs.
If you decide to eat or drink at Hard Rock Cafe, you’ll also have a chance to visit their souvenir shop. The merchandise here is Hard-Rock-themed, but the selection is most certainly impressive.
Quiet Flight Surf Shop
Lastly, if you wish to shop in order to get ready for the summer season then check out Quiet Flight Surf Shop. You’ll be impressed with how many of your favorite brands are here – Quicksilver, Ray-Ban, Roxy, Vans, Volcom, and more.
5. See A Show
Theatre play, comedy show, or a concert? Why not all of them at once! It should be fairly easy for you to get the tickets online or there in person, they are around $60. The Blue Man Group is an outstanding trio that managed to win over the hearts of the audience all over the world.
Over 30 million people enjoyed this show, and it would be a shame to skip it if you are visiting. Also, if you pre-purchase tickets you might be able to get a discount. It’s family-friendly fun and unique experience that is available usually between 6 pm and 8 pm but the schedule is subject to change.
6. Play Mini Golf
You have definitely never experienced this kind of golf game. A one of a kind interactive courses with sci-fi and horror themes. You can look forward to a flying saucer, a haunted house, a giant robot, and lots of other either ghoulish or galactical gags.
Should you choose to tackle both courses there will be 36 holes in total which means you’ll have loads of fun. The price of a ticket for a single course is around $18 but there is a discount if you opt for both courses. Drive-in golf is available from 9 am until 10 pm every day.
7. Catch The Latest Film
In case you are tired of all the shopping and sightseeing, and just want to sit back, relax and catch a movie, then go to Universal Cinemark. Here you can usually catch the latest blockbuster or a family movie, or some other genre you would like to see. Universal Cinemark working hours are from 3-8 PM.
8. Party Into The Night
Although a lot of family restaurants and entertainment centres close between 8pm and 10pm, there are selected bars and nightclubs that stay open until 2am.
If you love to sip on cocktails, and don’t want to spend too much cash you should go to Fat Tuesday. They have 2 locations at CityWalk, and regardless of the one you pick, you won’t wait up too long at the bar. Furthermore, you can get a souvenir cup, and use it to mix up all sorts of drinks.
If you are talented or just confident about your singing skills, then make your way to a bar called Rising Star. Here you get to enjoy an unforgettable karaoke night, with a live band and even back up singers.
If all that wasn’t enough Rising Star has a great selection of cocktails, so you will build up your confidence in no time, and have your moment in the spotlight.
In the event you are more of a dancing type, The Groove will be your go-to night out destination. This is a multi-level club for dancers with all the top tier lighting effects and latest music. Additionally, the club offers a VIP experience with bottle service, if you manage to get the reservation on time.
Red Coconut Club
Red Coconut Club describes itself as Vintage Vegas with a dash of Tropical flavor, which you have to admit sounds pretty good. The club has one floor dedicated to dancing and another floor dedicated to dining. So, if you feel exhausted after partying all night, you can grab a quick bite before you go home.