5 BEST CityWalk Orlando Restaurants You Don’t Want to Skip

Are you ready dine at some of the best restaurants in CityWalk Orlando?

Before walking into the theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort, you’ll walk through CityWalk, a bustling dining and entertainment district.

While you might think to walk past all of the restaurants and bars in lieu of getting something inside either Universal Studios Florida or Universal’s Islands of Adventure, I’m here to tell you it’s worth it to leave the parks to eat at CityWalk Orlando.

In fact, the food is actually better at CityWalk than inside the theme parks in my opinion. Not only is there a better variety of cuisines and vibes, but it’s typically easier to get a table if you dine while the parks are open.

These are the top five restaurants you should be making a reservation for at CityWalk Orlando.

CityWalk View overlooking Lagoon at Universal Orlando Resort

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1. Bigfire

Located on the Islands of Adventure side of CityWalk Orlando you’ll find Bigfire. This relatively new restaurant has a large menu where most dishes have been kissed by a wood-burning grill or smoke in some way, even down to the desserts.

Bigfire Grill next to Margaritaville at CityWalk

This is a great spot for a date night, if you’re looking for a big meal after exploring the parks all day, or just to treat yourself to something tasty.

What meals are served at Bigfire in CityWalk Orlando?

Currently, Bigfire is only open for dinner service, which starts at 4:00 p.m. This makes it a great option for an evening meal after having a thrilling day at the theme parks.

Bigfire CityWalk Orlando Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants
Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Top Dishes on the Menu at Bigfire:

  • Filet mignon served with fire grilled baby carrots, crispy smashed potatoes
  • Beer Glazed Scallops served with bacon, fire grilled vegetables, charred hearth bread
  • Colorado Lamb Shank served with hearth grilled and braised lamb shank, parsnip purée, baby carrots, natural jus, butternut squash, cipollini onion and gala apple compote, micro arugula
  • Wild Salmon served with fire grilled seasonal vegetables, crispy smashed potatoes, creamy tarragon aioli
  • Campfire Chili served with sour cream and cornbread
  • Tableside S’mores: Marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, peanut butter cups

Is Bigfire open for late-night dining in CityWalk?

Yes, on Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant is open until midnight, making it a perfect spot to grab a drink and a few appetizers after leaving both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Are reservations needed for Bigfire in CityWalk Orlando?

Yes, reservations are highly suggested, especially later in the evening or on busy weekend days.

Bigfire Grill and Margaritaville Entrance at Citywalk Orlando Universal. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

CityWalk gets extremely busy in the after everyone is leaving the parks and are looking for food at the end of the day.

My Top Foodie Recommendations

I always start off with the Bourbon Cheese Fondue, which is served with crispy cauliflower, blistered shishito peppers, grilled bread, lavosh, and grilled baby carrots.

Bigfire Grill Smores in Citywalk Universal Orlando Resort
Tableside S’Mores (Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort)

Then for an entree, you can never go wrong with your favorite cut of steak, each of which comes with a side of crispy smashed potatoes. When it’s time for dessert I never miss an opportunity to indulge in classic s’mores.

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2. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Burgers and sushi, two of my favorite things to eat, are what’s on the menu at The Cowfish.

While you can order them separately, you can also get the two entrees fused together into one delicious bite.

Cowfish Universal

The vibe inside The Cowfish is like any other theme park restaurant, loud and a little busy, but the food is worth it.

What meals are served at The Cowfish in CityWalk?

You’ll be happy to know that you can enjoy both lunch and dinner at The Cowfish while visiting Universal Orlando CityWalk.

Top Dishes on the Menu at The Cowfish:

  • Tropical Storm Roll: Kani, avocado, and cucumber inside, topped with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, Japanese mayo, sweet eel sauce, sriracha, and tobiko. Served with wasabi yuzu dipping sauce
  • Rainbow Roll: California roll topped with assorted fish, spicy mayo and fish roe
  • Black & Brie: Beef burger, brie cheese, fresh blackberries, thyme infused honey, sake marinated Asian pear, micro greens, brioche bun
  • The Taste Explosion Roll: Certified Angus beef, applewood bacon rolled and coated with tempura flakes and topped with Roma tomatoes, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, then baked. Drizzled with spicy mayo cashew cilantro pesto.
  • Chef’s Deluxe 15 Piece Mix: Chef’s mixed selection of premium tuna, salmon, yellowtail, mackerel, surf clam, sweet shrimp, eel, lobster, and octopus. Served over ice

Is The Cowfish open for late-night dining?

Yes, on Friday the restaurant is open until midnight and on Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant is open until 1:00 a.m.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Citywalk Universal Orlando and Vivo Italian Kitchen. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

So, you have plenty of time to make your way over to one of the best restaurants in CityWalk Orlando.

Are reservations needed for The Cowfish?

Reservations are highly recommended, especially if you want to eat here during the standard lunch or dinner time.

The Cowfish is a super popular restaurant inside of CityWalk so you’ll definitely want to have a reservation.

My Top Foodie Recommendations

Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends, it’s always a good idea to get the Creamy Crab Rangoon Dip that comes with crispy wontons to scoop up all of the delicious dip.

The Cowfish Instagram Page Universal Orlando Resort
The Cowfish Instagram Page

Then for entrees, I’ve found that you can never go wrong with any of the fusion specialty rolls.

My favorite is Mark’s Roll, which has fresh tuna, jalapeno, cream cheese, krab, and scallions on the inside, then it’s rolled in crispy panko and fried, then topped with kewpie mayo and sriracha.

3. Pat O’Brien’s

What’s better than dinner and a show? Nothing in my book. At Pat O’Brien’s you get just that with a menu of southern cuisine paired with a nightly dueling piano show.

Pat O Brien's Citywalk Orlando

After a night in the theme parks, this is the place I go if I’m not quite ready to go to bed yet.

What meals are served at Pat O’Brien’s in CityWalk Orlando?

At this time, a New Orleans inspired dinner is the only meal served at Pat O’Brien’s. However, it’s perfect spot to unwind (or turn it up) after the parks with one of their famous cocktails, The Hurricane.

Hurricane Cocktail Drink Poster from Pat O'Brien's New Orleans

Top Dishes on the Menu at Pat O’Brien’s in CityWalk:

  • Crawfish Étouffée: New Orleans sauce, andouille sausage, crawfish, white rice
  • Cajun Shrimp & Grits: Cajun Shrimp, andouille sausage, roasted corn, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, herbs, smoked cheddar grits
  • Pat O’Brien’s Wings: Crispy wings, signature sauce, blue cheese, celery
  • Cajun Mac N Cheese: Penne pasta, blackened chicken, shrimp, Cajun cheese sauce
  • N’awlins Shrimp Po’Boy: Crispy shrimp, Cajun mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, hoagie roll
  • Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane: The house specialty made with Pat O’Brien’s 151 rum and Hurricane mix served in a souvenir glass

Is Pat O’Brien’s open for late-night dining in CityWalk?

Absolutely! Pat O’Brien’s is open for late-night dining every day! On weekdays you can go here until midnight, then on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the restaurant is open until 2:00 a.m.

Are reservations needed for Pat O’Briens in CityWalk?

You’ll be happy to know that reservations are not needed for Pat O’Brien’s: however, it may be helpful to get a table on busy weekends as CityWalk is known to get an influx of visitors ready to party it up for the night.

My Top Foodie Recommendations

Almost everything on the menu here is decent, but you’ll really want to think about what you order because you’ll definitely be up singing and dancing through the night.

Pat O'briens CityWalk Orlando Florida
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Items like soup or Shrimp and Grits that could make a bit of a mess so you may want to pass on those dishes and get something like a burger or a classic Po’boy.

4. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen

Chocolate lovers will want to get to Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Exterior Daytime View

The restaurant is conveniently located in the middle of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, making it a great lunch spot for those who want a bit of a break from the theme parks.

What meals are served at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium?

At Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen you can enjoy an array of American savory and sweet dishes for both lunch and dinner!

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Loaded Tater Tots next to Manhattan. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants
Totchos with a Classic Old Fashion Cocktail

Top Dishes on the Menu at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen:

  • Wild Mushroom, Chicken Risotto with white truffle oil, parmesan crust
  • Philly Cheesesteak Rolls with peppers and onions in a crispy wrapper, cherry pepper aioli
  • Baked Brie en Croute with raspberry marmalade, served with fresh fruit, toasted almonds, chocolate almond bread and oven baked lavash
  • Waldorf Chicken Salad with grilled chicken breast, grapes, Granny Smith apples, sundried cranberries, celery, candied walnuts, shredded romaine, blue cheese, Dijon vinaigrette, crunchy apple chips
  • Quiche Lorraine with applewood bacon, gruyère cheese, fresh fruit and choice of side salad or soup
  • Avocado Bruschetta: Fresh avocado, tomato bruschetta, avocado cream, balsamic reduction, crispy fried onions, toasted crostini
  • Truffle Fries: Shredded parmesan, fresh herbs, white truffle oil
  • Totchos: Fried tator tots, spicy green chili, crispy pork belly, andouille sausage, queso
  • Confetti Milkshake: Vanilla ice cream, confetti cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, rainbow sprinkles, whipped topping
  • Classic Old Fashioned: Woodford Reserve whiskey, sugar, Angostura bitters

Is Toothsome Chocolate Emporium open for late-night dining?

You’ll be happy to know that on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen is open until at least midnight.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at Night. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

This makes for a great place to stop when looking for the best CityWalk Orlando restaurants.

Are reservations needed for Toothsome Chocolate Emporium?

Reservations are highly recommended for this Universal Orlando restaurant since it’s one of THE most popular spots at CityWalk Orlando.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Penelope robot friend

As soon as you know that you want to visit this place, then make your dining reservation ASAP!

My Top Foodie Recommendations

I love starting out my meal here with the crispy-fried Philly Cheesesteak Rolls that are served with a sweet and spicy cherry pepper aioli.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls with Fries and Avocado topped Toast Universal Citywalk. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants
Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, Truffle Fries, and Avocado Bruschetta

Then I move onto any one of the flatbreads, which are loaded with toppings and come out of the oven with a super crispy crust.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Birthday Cake Milkshake. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants
Confetti Milkshake: Vanilla ice cream, confetti cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, rainbow sprinkles, whipped topping

And before I leave I try to grab one of the over-the-top milkshakes that doubles as dessert.

5. VIVO Italian Kitchen

There’s nothing better than sitting down to a bowl of fresh pasta, and that’s exactly what’s on the menu at VIVO Italian Kitchen.

Vivo Italian Kitchen Universal Orlando. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

The modern setting is a nice spot to relax and wind down with a glass of wine after trekking through the theme parks all day.

What meals are served at VIVO Italian Kitchen in CityWalk?

If you’re ready to enjoy a delicious Italian meal, then you should know that dinner is the only meal that’s served here.

Vivo Italian Kitchen Chicken in Universal Orlando City Walk

Top Dishes on the Menu at VIVO Italian Kitchen:

  • Mussels Marinara with white wine, garlic, basil, tomato, crostini
  • Antipasto with salami, calabrese, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, imported parmesan, grilled zucchini, caponata, olive tapenade, gorgonzola, provolone, roasted peppers, crostini
  • Margherita Pizza with tomato sauce, basil, extra virgin olive oil, buffalo mozzarella
  • Bolognese with classic meat sauce, spaghetti
  • Marsala with sautéed mushrooms, marsala wine sauce, linguine

Is VIVO Italian Kitchen open for late-night dining?

The only days that VIVO Italian Kitchen are open late night are on Saturdays and Sundays which makes sense because this the time of the week that CityWalk is the busiest.

Vivo Italian Kitchen Universal CityWalk

During this time, VIVO Italian Kitchen is open until midnight.

Are reservations needed for VIVO Italian Kitchen in CityWalk?

Making a reservation is HIGHLY encouraged for visiting VIVO Italian Kitchen, especially on busy weekends or at prime seating times (5 p.m. until 9 p.m.).

My Top Foodie Recommendations

I love coming here with friends so we can all order different things and make our own makeshift Italian buffet.

Vivo Italian Kitchen Shrimp Mussels and Noodles at Universal Orlando CityWalk. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

A few of my personal favorites are the Quattro Formaggi Pizza that’s topped with mozzarella, fontina, italico, and ricotta cheeses, and sage, and the Cachio e Pepe Pasta.

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Final Thoughts on the Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

CityWalk Orlando is a great spot to stop and have a bite to eat if you’re visiting the Universal Orlando Resorts.

Welcome to Universal Orlando Resort Sign in CityWalk. Best CityWalk Orlando Restaurants

There’s plenty of options in terms of dining style and cuisine, so you’re sure to find something that you like. Before your trip be sure to remember these Universal Orlando dining tips:

  • If reservations for your chosen restaurant are gone, it’s worth it to walk to the restaurant and ask if their bar is open for seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Most restaurant bars will serve the entire menu to guests.
  • Another way to secure a seat without a reservation is to be at the restaurant right when they open before they get too busy with parties who were able to make a reservation.

What’s one of the best CityWalk Orlando restaurants to you? Let us know in the comments section below!

What's the best place to eat in Citywalk universal

For more theme park tips and tricks, follow ThemeParkHipster on YouTube.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

About the Author

Megan DuBois Theme Park Writer

Megan is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She covers all things Disney and Universal and runs marathons for fun.

She thinks you can tell a lot about someone by the name of their signature lipstick, and hers is NARS Dragon Girl.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

Are you planning a Universal Orlando vacation soon? Get the Universal Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

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