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Top 5 restaurants at the Universal Resorts?


Jul 12, 2017
Orlando, FL
I love going to the restaurants at the Disney resorts whenever I'm looking for quality food that's a little bit removed from the main crowd areas. I want to give the restaurants in the Universal hotels a try during my October trip, so I'd love to hear your opinion on what the 5 best ones are so I can have a starting point. Thanks!!

Magic Feather

Apr 19, 2019

1) The Palm at Hard Rock is great but also a little expensive. I used to save it for special occasions when I lived in Orlando.

2) Mama Della’s at Portofino Bay is great, family-style Italian.

3) Bice, also at Portofino, of more fine Dining Italian. Not my personal favorite, but it’s so popular amongst my friends I felt that it had to be included.

4) Islands Dining Room Wok Experience. Normally Islands Dining Room is just meh Pan Asian cuisine, but the Wok Experience (all you can eat custom Wok Noodle Bowls) is amazing. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that this is discontinued for the time being due to the virus. However, the Sushi-Noodle Station at Urban Pantry at Aventura has a similar substitute.

5) Amatista at Sapphire Falls. If you had asked me to give a ranking a year ago, this would not even make my top 10, but my last meal from there was so redeeming that it skyrocketed for me. Try to sit on the covered patio for the best view and ambience.

Honorable Mentions: Bayliner Diner would have been #5 if it weren’t for Amatista’s recent comeback. This is the second best hotel food court in Orlando (behind Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation), with an adorable atmosphere and food that is way better than it should be.

Urban Pantry at Aventura is my third favorite Hotel Food Court in Orlando largely due to the Sushi Noodle station. The only recommendation I have for that is to opt for the stir-fry instead of the broth.

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
Pittsburgh area
* The Palm
*Mama Della's Ristorante (foods good but the ambiance/atmosphere moves this up a notch or two)
*Strong Water Tavern
all the others are so close I can't rank one above the other, though I'd say Trattoria on the Portofino Piazza and Amatista outdoor dining on the lake front
are worth the try, if just for the view and atmosphere. They both have excellent breakfast buffets also, if they are back by October. Also, for quick service, you can't beat Sal's at Portofino. You can sit inside,
but it's better to grab a table on the scenic Portofino piazza, especially at dusk when the Italian singers, sing from the overlooking balcony. Mama Della's also has outdoor dining on the piazza overlooking the bay.
Sal's Pizza, antipasta and a bottle of wine can't be beat, and the price is very fair.
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Veteran Member
Aug 7, 2018
The Kitchen is good but I found it a tad pricey for what I got? Idk, its certainly good so don't get me wrong but if I'm gonna splurge and I'm over at Hard Rock you may as well go to The Palm. Palm is my favorite restaurant on property. Yes its more expensive but I feel a tad better value. Just my take though, all the options on here I couldn't agree more with!

Also if you want Ice Cream after and are at the Hard Rock, head downstairs next to The Kitchen and get some Emacks and Bolios. Tons of great flavors and you don't need to pay as much as you would at Toothsome nor have to endure a 45 min wait!

Hope you enjoy!!
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