Visiting Universal Orlando can be a daunting task when faced with a strict budget. A single day for a family of four can easily cost over $1,000.00. That may seem like a lot, but that’s not excessive by Orlando theme park standards. That’s not to say you can’t stretch your dollars and get a good value on your Universal trip. Check out these 5 budget friendly Universal Orlando restaurants!
5 Budget Friendly Universal Orlando Restaurants
Hotel rates come in a relatively wide spectrum of reasonable pricing tiers with respectable perks at the premier-level resorts. You can stay in a family suite for fairly cheap. You can also save money on park tickets in a variety of ways. Most importantly though, you can save money on meals. One way is to supplement with cheap snacks and bring your own beverages instead of spending more at the counter. You can also pick budget friendly Universal Orlando restaurants that won’t break the bank.
Universal Orlando Counter Service
Although Universal has plenty of fine dining and full-service restaurants for you to splurge on, the budget friendly Universal Orlando restaurants can deliver more satisfaction. Especially if you’re looking to save time in the parks and if you’re stretching your vacation fund.
I love the casual laid back approach of quick service dining because you set your own pace, you don’t wait to be served or pay any gratuity, and you have the freedom to break up entrees and split between people in order to get more value for less.
Just because a restaurant is counter service, however, doesn’t mean it’s cheap, or a great value. Some places are just meh, while others would be avoided. These budget friendly Universal Orlando restaurants are some of my favorites, though. They capture the thematic essence of their surroundings, provide great food at a relatively reasonable price and they are unique enough to stand out as a Universal Orlando experience.
If you want to save money on dining at Universal Orlando, look out for these 5 inexpensive restaurants!
If you are really trying to save money at Universal Orlando, you may look into a suite at the Endless Summer resorts. There are two companion hotels. One is Dockside and the other, Surfside. Think of them as the value version of the Yacht and Beach Club. Pier 8, located at Dockside, is a great place to stop on your way out in the morning, or at the end of the day.
The food court is open for breakfast lunch and dinner and it offers a self-serve salad bar along with a whole section just for grab-and-go options to make theme park life even easier. Most breakfast options (of which there are a lot) are $10 and under with plenty under $5. The average lunch/dinner entree is $12. Stations include, pizza, sandwiches, a grille, and a Chicken and Waffles station where you can get chicken by the bucket to share!
Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck
Of all the places to dine in Universal Studios Florida, Springfield has the cheapest. That sounds about right, right? While you may get a chuckle out of some of the names and experiences in this the Simpsons-based neighborhood none quite deliver value like the Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck.
This is a great place to grab an inexpensive meal, especially since an entree is $12 or less and includes 2 tacos with chips and salsa. This is a really good mix-and-match opportunity since some people may only need one taco and you are likely to have chips to spare. You can choose between chicken, carne asada, and pork shoulder for your protein.
Fire Eaters Grill
Over at Islands of Adventure, there are a plethora of dining locations to choose from. Each has its own unique advantages.
Arguably the best place to go for a meal is the Lost Continent. It’s conveniently situated near the center of the park and it has the most expensive restaurant in the park along with one of the best budget friendly Universal Orlando restaurants.
Fire Eaters Grill is an excellent choice for a quick bite with some Mediterranean flavor. You can even get a chili cheese dog, but this place is mainly about gyros. A platter costs between $11 and $14. A combo that includes a side and a treat is only in the $15-$16 range. The menu is rounded off with spicy or regular chicken fingers as a platter or combo option.
Three Broomsticks is one of Universal Orlando’s most popular restaurants. It’s in Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park.
This would not be a value restaurant if not for the generous portion sizes and the elevated level of theming you get in the Wizarding World. Since Three Broomsticks is a quick service location, sharing a meal is easy to do and a great way to enjoy the experience while keeping to a budget. You can get a Great Feast platter for four, or you can order from a list of entrees ranging from $11.49 to $18.99. Two could split a salad and a chicken and ribs platter for $30, which is not unreasonable even by non-theme park standards.
Bend the Bao
Outside the parks there are plenty of low-cost places to get a bite as well. Hand-crafted sandwiches and hotdogs are among the more popular considerations. However, for a more unique experience and a good value, I recommend Bend the Bao. This take-out bao restaurant offers 2 bao for $11.99. You can even add a third bao for just $4.49 more. That means three orders is normally $36, but you can just get two orders with add-on bao for $3 less! The menu comes with 7 bao options including duck, shrimp, veggie, pork belly, crab cake, and kimchi fried chicken.
Another great thing about this place is that you don’t have to only order two of the same kind of bao. You can mix and match, which means a three-bao combo can include three different varieties of bao! That’s one flavorful meal or three delicious snacks!
Bend the Bao is a counter service location in Universal CityWalk. You can find it at the entrance nearest to Universal Studios Florida, right next to the Miniature Golf courses.
Universal Orlando knows it can be a challenge to dine out when you or someone you’re with has food allergies or intolerances. That’s why they offer a number of dining locations throughout Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Volcano Bay™, Universal CityWalk™ and their hotels where the chefs and culinary staff can accommodate your dietary needs.
As you’re making plans to visit Universal Orlando Resort, browse through the online menus for the theme park restaurants. Acquainting yourself with the available options ahead of time will give you a head start. If you have any further questions after viewing the menus, email a Guest Services Team Member at Food.Allergy@universalorlando.com.
Universal Orlando will leave every adult with childlike wonder. This is an incredibly fun theme park to explore, so you don’t want to waste time and money – these 5 quick dining spots help with that!