Universal CityWalk Orlando is a bustling entertainment complex that offers something for everyone. With over 30 shops and restaurants, plus entertaining nightlife spots, Universal CityWalk has something to suit every taste.
From shopping to dining to thrilling bars with music and dancing, guests can find plenty of ways to enjoy the night. There’s also an array of live shows and events featuring the hottest stars in music, comedy, and magic. It’s no wonder Universal CityWalk has been named to “America’s Most Loved Attractions” list by USA Today!
- Dining at Universal CityWalk
- Things To Do At CityWalk
- How To Get to Universal CityWalk
- Frequently Asked Questions About Universal CityWalk Orlando
- Is CityWalk in Universal free?
- Can you walk from CityWalk to Universal theme parks?
- Can you get into CityWalk without tickets?
- Is Universal CityWalk Orlando like Disney Springs?
- Does Universal CityWalk Orlando have a dress code?
- Can you get Butterbeer on CityWalk?
- What are the best places in CityWalk to grab a drink?
Dining at Universal CityWalk
Universal CityWalk in Orlando has a wide range of dining options, from quick bites to full-service restaurants. Here are some of the restaurants you can find there:
- Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: A vibrant restaurant that offers traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. Their menu includes tacos, fajitas, and guacamole made fresh at your table.
- The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar: A unique dining experience that combines sushi and burgers. They offer a variety of sushi rolls, burgers, and creative cocktails.
- Hard Rock Cafe: A popular chain restaurant that features classic American fare, rock memorabilia, and live music.
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville: Inspired by the laid-back lifestyle of the island culture, Margaritaville offers a wide selection of seafood, burgers, and signature cocktails.
- NBC Sports Grill & Brew: This restaurant features a massive HD stadium screen, an extensive selection of beers, and classic American fare, including burgers, wings, and pizza.
- Vivo Italian Kitchen: An Italian restaurant that offers classic dishes, such as pasta and pizza, made with fresh ingredients.
- Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen: A whimsical restaurant that offers an extensive menu of desserts, milkshakes, and savory dishes.
These are just a few of the many dining options available at Universal CityWalk in Orlando. There are also plenty of quick-service restaurants and food kiosks that offer a variety of snacks and treats.
We have had great experiences at Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and NBC Sports Grill & Brew. I also included both Antojitos and NBC Sports Grill & Brew in the one-day Universal Orlando Itinerary.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is a lively restaurant located at Universal CityWalk in Orlando that serves traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. The atmosphere is colorful and festive, with an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your food.
The menu features a variety of classic dishes like tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas, as well as unique items like roasted grasshopper guacamole and Mexican street corn. They also offer a wide selection of tequila and mezcal, and their signature margaritas are a must-try. Antojitos is a great spot for a fun night out with friends or family, with live music and entertainment on select nights.
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Universal CityWalk in Orlando offers a unique dining experience that combines sushi and burgers. The restaurant features a vibrant and playful atmosphere, with colorful decor and a sushi conveyor belt running throughout the dining area.
The menu includes an extensive selection of sushi rolls, ranging from traditional options to creative fusions like the “Burgushi,” a hybrid of sushi and burgers. They also offer a variety of burgers, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Their signature cocktails are equally creative, with playful names like the “Thai Mai Shu” and the “Kumquat Mojito.” The Cowfish is a fun and lively spot to enjoy a one-of-a-kind meal with friends or family.
Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock Cafe at Universal CityWalk in Orlando is a popular chain restaurant that offers classic American fare, rock and roll memorabilia, and live music. The restaurant is decorated with rock and roll artifacts and memorabilia, including guitars, stage costumes, and album covers.
The menu includes all-American favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, and classic desserts like the famous Hard Rock Cafe hot fudge sundae. They also have a wide selection of cocktails, wine, and beer.
In addition to the food and atmosphere, the Hard Rock Cafe features live music on select nights, with performances by local and national acts. The Hard Rock Cafe is a great spot for a fun and lively night out with friends or family.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Universal CityWalk in Orlando is a laid-back restaurant inspired by the relaxed island lifestyle. The restaurant features a vibrant and colorful atmosphere, with beach-inspired decor and island-inspired music playing in the background.
The menu features a variety of seafood, burgers, and salads, as well as signature cocktails like the “Who’s to Blame” Margarita. They also offer a range of desserts, including Key Lime pie and banana bread pudding.
One of the highlights of the restaurant is the outdoor seating area, which overlooks the lagoon and provides a great spot for people-watching. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is a great spot for a fun and relaxed night out with friends or family.
NBC Sports Grill & Brew
NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk in Orlando is a sports-themed restaurant that features a massive HD stadium screen, more than 100 HD TVs, and an extensive selection of beer. The menu offers classic American fare, including burgers, wings, and pizza, as well as some unique items like the “Bavarian Pretzel.”
They also offer a range of beers, including local and regional craft beers, and their signature cocktails like the “Classic Mule” are also popular. The atmosphere is lively and fun, with a range of sports memorabilia on display throughout the restaurant. NBC Sports Grill & Brew is a great spot to catch a game or simply enjoy a night out with friends or family.
Vivo Italian Kitchen
Vivo Italian Kitchen is an Italian restaurant located at Universal CityWalk in Orlando that offers classic Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients. The restaurant features a warm and inviting atmosphere, with rustic decor and an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work.
The menu includes a variety of pasta dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs and fettuccine alfredo, as well as wood-fired pizzas and fresh salads. They also offer a range of Italian wines and cocktails, like the “Italian Mule” made with limoncello and ginger beer. Vivo Italian Kitchen is a great spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends or family.
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen at Universal CityWalk in Orlando is a unique restaurant that offers a whimsical and steampunk-inspired atmosphere. The restaurant serves a variety of classic American dishes with a creative twist, such as burgers, mac and cheese, and chicken and waffles.
However, their specialty is desserts and sweets, with an extensive menu of milkshakes, sundaes, and chocolate-inspired treats. The restaurant also has an on-site chocolate and candy shop, where you can watch the chocolatiers at work and purchase sweet treats to take home.
The decor and atmosphere of Toothsome Chocolate Emporium are one-of-a-kind, with intricate machinery and gadgets on display throughout the restaurant. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is a great spot for a fun and indulgent night out with friends or family.
Non-Restaurant Places to Grab a Bite
In addition to its many restaurants, Universal CityWalk in Orlando offers a variety of non-restaurant food options, including:
- Voodoo Doughnut: This popular doughnut shop offers a variety of unique and creative doughnut flavors, including the iconic Voodoo Doll doughnut.
- Cinnabon: This classic bakery chain offers a range of cinnamon rolls, as well as other sweet treats like cookies and brownies.
- Auntie Anne’s: This pretzel chain offers a range of classic and flavored pretzels, as well as dipping sauces and lemonade.
- Ben & Jerry’s: This ice cream shop offers a range of classic and seasonal ice cream flavors, as well as sundaes and shakes.
- Cold Stone Creamery: This ice cream shop offers a range of ice cream flavors and mix-ins, as well as cakes and other desserts.
- Starbucks: This coffee chain offers a range of hot and cold coffee and tea drinks, as well as pastries and sandwiches.
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: This frozen yogurt shop offers a range of flavors and toppings, as well as other sweet treats like smoothies and waffle bowls.
These non-restaurant food options provide a variety of sweet and savory snacks and treats for visitors to enjoy at Universal CityWalk.
Things To Do At CityWalk
Apart from the delicious restaurants, Universal CityWalk in Orlando is also home to plenty of entertainment and nightlife. Guests can enjoy live music, a variety of bars like Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom and Latin Quarter, a comedy club at Rising Star, and countless stores for shopping.
In addition, there are many seasonal events like Mardi Gras and Halloween Horror Nights that take place at CityWalk.
Universal Orlando CityWalk Shopping Options
Universal CityWalk in Orlando offers a variety of shopping options, including:
- Universal Studios Store: This store is located near the entrance to CityWalk and offers a range of Universal-themed merchandise, including clothing, toys, and souvenirs.
- Quiet Flight Surf Shop: This store offers a range of surf and skateboarding gear, as well as beach-inspired clothing and accessories.
- Fossil: This store offers a range of watches, handbags, and other accessories from the Fossil brand.
- P!Q: This store offers a range of unique and quirky items, including pop culture collectibles, toys, and novelty gifts.
- The Island Clothing Co.: This store offers a range of beach-inspired clothing and accessories for men, women, and children.
- The Art of Shaving: This store offers a range of men’s grooming products, including shaving brushes, razors, and skin care products.
- Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company: This store offers custom tattoo designs, as well as a range of tattoo-inspired merchandise.
These are just a few examples of the shopping options available at Universal CityWalk. The complex also features several other stores and kiosks offering a variety of merchandise, including jewelry, sunglasses, and tech accessories.
Nightlife and Entertainment at CityWalk
Universal CityWalk in Orlando offers a variety of nightlife and entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. Here are a few examples:
- Blue Man Group: This unique live performance features a trio of bald, blue-painted performers who combine music, comedy, and multimedia effects to create a one-of-a-kind show.
- Hard Rock Live: This concert venue hosts a variety of musical acts, from up-and-coming artists to major headliners.
- Rising Star: This karaoke club offers visitors the chance to perform their favorite songs in front of a live band and audience.
- The Groove: This dance club features multiple bars, a large dance floor, and a variety of music, from hip-hop to Latin to EDM.
- CityWalk’s Cinemark Movie Theater: This 20-screen movie theater offers the latest blockbusters, as well as luxury amenities like reserved seating and a full bar.
- Red Coconut Club: This tropical-themed lounge offers live music, dancing, and a range of signature cocktails.
- Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom: This reggae-themed restaurant and bar feature live music, Jamaican-inspired cuisine, and a variety of rum-based cocktails.
These are just a few examples of the many nightlife and entertainment options available at Universal CityWalk in Orlando. Whether you’re in the mood for live music, dancing, or a movie, there’s something for everyone at this popular entertainment complex.
Underrated Things To Do
If you’re looking to try something different at Universal CityWalk, consider these underrated activities. Explore the shops, restaurants, and bars of the CityWalk promenade. From unique collectibles and gourmet treats to live music performances, there’s something for everyone.
Head into the park and take a thrill ride on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster, or soar above it all with a flight on the Hollywood SkyFlyer balloon ride. For some laid-back entertainment, wander through the colorful streets of Saunders St. Boutique District. End your day with a classic movie at Universal Cineplex 20, or a Voodoo Doughnut if the line isn’t long.
Overrated Things To Do
While CityWalk offers plenty of exciting entertainment, there are a few experiences that are often overly popular and can be considered overrated. Dubbed the “hottest spot for nightlife”, Universal’s CityWalk is usually packed with guests enjoying dance clubs, karaoke bars, and live music venues.
If you’re looking for more than just a late night out, head to other locations around the park for your thrills. Examples include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Jurassic Park Ride Adventure. Another widely popular (but overrated) activity is shopping at CityWalk’s Universal Studios Store. It’s great for souvenirs and memorabilia, but may be overcrowded at times. Consider looking elsewhere in the park if you’d like a less hectic shopping experience.
How To Get to Universal CityWalk
Universal CityWalk in Orlando is easy to get to. There are several options for getting there: by car, bus/shuttle, or walking.
If you’re driving, take the I-4 West towards Universal Blvd and then turn right onto Hollywood Way. From there, you’ll be able to access the parking garage at CityWalk. You can also take a bus/shuttle service from your hotel or hire a ride with Uber or Lyft.
Finally, many of the hotels near CityWalk are connected through walkways that lead directly into the entertainment complex.
What About Parking?
Universal CityWalk in Orlando offers plenty of convenient parking options. There is a parking garage located on Hollywood Way and another on Kirkman Rd. Both have easy access to the entertainment complex, with the latter being more accessible to those staying at one of the nearby hotels.
Valet parking is also available at CityWalk. It’s recommended that you arrive early if you’re planning to park at Universal CityWalk as it can fill up quickly during peak times.
What Hotels Are Most Effective for Exploring CityWalk?
There are plenty of lodging options available within walking distance of CityWalk. I cover all the on-property hotels in my comprehensive guide to the best onsite Universal Orlando hotels. I also cover the top five off-property hotels (in my opinion) in this article. Below are some highlights.
There are three on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort that offer convenient access to CityWalk:
- Hard Rock Hotel: This hotel is located right next to CityWalk and is just a short walk away from all the restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. The hotel features a rock and roll theme, with music memorabilia and a lively atmosphere.
- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: This hotel is also located within walking distance of CityWalk and offers a luxurious Italian-inspired atmosphere. The hotel features a range of restaurants and amenities, including three themed swimming pools, a full-service spa, and a fitness center.
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort: This hotel is located just a short boat ride away from CityWalk and offers a South Pacific-inspired atmosphere. The hotel features several restaurants and lounges, as well as a lagoon-style swimming pool and a fitness center.
All three hotels offer a variety of amenities and benefits for guests, including early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, complimentary transportation to the parks, and priority seating at select CityWalk restaurants.
While staying on-site at Universal Orlando Resort provides the most convenient access to CityWalk, there are several off-site hotels that are also located within a short distance of the entertainment complex. Here are a few options:
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando: This hotel is located just a few minutes walk from the entrance to Universal Orlando Resort and offers complimentary shuttle service to the parks and CityWalk. The hotel features a large pool, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant and bar.
- Hyatt Place across from Universal Orlando: This hotel is located just a short walk from Universal Orlando Resort and offers complimentary shuttle service to the parks and CityWalk. The hotel features a pool, a fitness center, and a complimentary breakfast.
- Holiday Inn & Suites Across from Universal Orlando: This hotel is located directly across from Universal Orlando Resort and offers a complimentary shuttle service to the parks and CityWalk. The hotel features an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant.
All of these hotels offer a range of amenities and are located within a short distance of CityWalk, making them great options for those who want to explore the area without staying on-site at the Universal Orlando resort.
Frequently Asked Questions About Universal CityWalk Orlando
CityWalk isn’t like a typical shopping, dining, and entertainment experience. Don’t show up thinking you’ll be exploring the equivalent of a mostly-outdoor mall. CityWalk goes far beyond that. This being the case, if you’re a first-timer, you’re bound to have questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando:
Is CityWalk in Universal free?
Yes, a visit to CityWalk at Universal Orlando is free of charge. Guests can enjoy a multitude of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, all without an admission ticket to the theme park. Plus, you can experience the music and vibrant atmosphere that CityWalk has to offer anytime day or night.
Can you walk from CityWalk to Universal theme parks?
Yes, it is possible to walk from CityWalk to the Universal theme parks! CityWalk has a direct walkway entrance into Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Additionally, guests can access The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay by taking a short boat ride from CityWalk.
Can you get into CityWalk without tickets?
Absolutely! CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort is free and open to the public. Guests can enjoy a multitude of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues without the need for an admission ticket to the theme park.
Additionally, some special events are free and open to the public even if you don’t have tickets.
Is Universal CityWalk Orlando like Disney Springs?
Although Universal CityWalk and Disney Springs are both outdoor shopping and entertainment complexes, they do differ in many ways. Universal CityWalk is adjacent to the theme parks and guests can access it without an admission ticket.
In contrast, Disney Springs is directly outside the Walt Disney World Resort, and admission tickets are required to get into the park. Additionally, while Universal CityWalk hosts live entertainment seven days a week, Disney Springs offers free performances every night from 5 pm-10:30 pm.
Does Universal CityWalk Orlando have a dress code?
Yes, Universal CityWalk has a dress code that guests are expected to follow. Proper attire is required and includes items such as shirts, pants or shorts (no cutoff shorts), shoes, and appropriate swimwear.
Additionally, clothing with obscene language or graphics is not allowed.
Can you get Butterbeer on CityWalk?
Yes, guests of Universal CityWalk can get their hands on a delicious Butterbeer! Although, you’ll need to get into the park to do so, unfortunately.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located at Universal Studios Florida and offers several different versions of the popular drink. Enjoy a classic cold Butterbeer or try one of the other exciting options like frozen Butterbeer, Hot Butterbeer, and even Ice Cream Floats.
What are the best places in CityWalk to grab a drink?
Universal CityWalk in Orlando offers a variety of bars and lounges where visitors can enjoy a drink. Here are a few of the best places to get a drink at CityWalk:
- Red Coconut Club: This tropical-themed lounge offers a variety of signature cocktails, as well as live music and dancing.
- The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen: This steampunk-inspired restaurant and bar offers a variety of unique cocktails, as well as decadent milkshakes and desserts.
- Pat O’Brien’s: This New Orleans-style bar offers a variety of classic cocktails, as well as live music and outdoor seating.
- Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom: This reggae-themed restaurant and bar offer a variety of rum-based cocktails, as well as live music and Jamaican-inspired cuisine.
- Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: This lively Mexican restaurant and bar offer a variety of margaritas and other specialty cocktails, as well as live music and outdoor seating.
- CityWalk’s Rising Star: This karaoke club offers a variety of drink options, including beer, wine, and specialty cocktails.
- The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar: This unique restaurant and bar offers a variety of creative cocktails, as well as a selection of craft beers and sake.
These are just a few examples of the many bars and lounges available at Universal CityWalk in Orlando. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic cocktail, a specialty drink, or a cold beer, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to relax and unwind at CityWalk.