On our first trip to Orlando, we didn’t have tickets to Universal Studios Resort and debated whether heading to Universal’s CityWalk one evening would be worthwhile. Spoiler alert, it totally was!
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 are so many options to choose from, and there is every type of cuisine that you can imagine. So 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 with a lovely rustic aesthetic, so you’ll feel like you went out camping and ended up in a lakeside summer house.
The restaurants main specialities 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 from 4 PM until 10 PM.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
There is no better place for those who crave an exquisite seafood menu than the iconic Bubba Gump Shrimp.
Enjoy a lovely throwback to the time when everyone was talking about the brilliance of the Forrest Gump movie, and maybe try the award-winning barbecue ribs. Typically, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is open from 11 AM to 8 PM.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
If you wish to go for a complete Mexican meal and enjoy a live mariachi band, stop by Antojitos.
The food is delicious, and the interior is very colourful, making a perfect setting for a nice family photo. Antojitos Authentic is open from 4 PM – 10 PM.
Hot Dog Hall of Fame
Finally, if you wish to get a lovely 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 favourites.
There are fantastic 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 11 AM and closes at 10 PM every day.
Red Oven Pizza Bakery
Who doesn’t love pizza?
Red Oven Pizza Bakery is one of City Walk’s most affordable dining locations, with fresh pizzas coming out of the oven every 90 seconds.
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 11 AM until 10 PM.
VIVO Italian Kitchen
Experience authentic Italian cuisine in this elegant and modern setting. VIVO Italian Kitchen is a full-service restaurant that impresses its guests with heirloom family recipes and vino.
Get a genuine Italian dining experience and lose yourself in the authentic flavours achieved through the finest ingredients. Thursday through Sunday from 4 PM until 10 PM.
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 fantastic 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 11 AM and 10 PM.
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. The 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 4 PM to 10 PM.
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.
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 specialities 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 8 AM and 10 PM.
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is a unique and exciting restaurant with mesmerizing aesthetics and design. You can go for classic dishes like steak or seafood specialities, but you should save room for dessert’s main attraction.
Gourmet chocolates and milkshakes with all sorts of flavours will make this place unforgettable. The restaurant is open from Monday to Friday, from 4 PM until 10 PM and from 11 AM to 10 PM on weekdays.
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 mementoes.
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 jewellery, 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 that you will find something to your liking.
P!Q is filled with unique items for decoration or that serve as excellent gifts. You can count on finding something crazy and funny for the desk or a piece of art from your favourite show or movie. At any rate, you are unlikely to leave this store without buying something minor.
Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company
Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company is one of the top tier tattoo parlours in Orlando, where you can get fantastic ink jobs done. There is no better way to commemorate your unforgettable experience at CityWalk than heading in and getting a tattoo.
If you decide to eat or drink at Hard Rock Cafe, you’ll also have a chance to visit the 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 to get ready for the summer season, check out Quiet Flight Surf Shop here; you’ll be impressed with how many of your favourite 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 in-person; they are around $60. Again, the Blue Man Group is an outstanding trio that managed to win over the audience’s hearts 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 a family-friendly, fun and unique experience, 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 course with sci-fi and horror themes.
Should you choose to tackle both courses, there will be 36 holes of flying saucers, haunted houses, giant robots, and lots of other either ghoulish or galactical gags.
Ticket prices are $18 per course, but there is a discount if you opt for both courses. In addition, drive-in golf is available from 9 AM until 10 PM every day.
7. Catch The Latest Film
If you are tired of all the shopping and sightseeing and want to sit back, relax and catch a movie, 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 many family restaurants and entertainment centres close between 8 PM and 10 PM, there are selected bars and nightclubs that stay open until 2 AM.
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 backup 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.
If you are more of a dancing type, The Groove will be your go-to night out destination.
The Groove 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 flavour, 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.