Finding that perfect restaurant is always a challenging task – especially at a theme park. As a result, we’ve compiled a general guide detailing all the dining options available at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal divides the theme park into two main categories: the Upper Lot and the Lower Lot. Since none of the areas within the park are themed cohesively, we’ve organized the dining options based on these two “lots.” For more on the layout of the park, please check out our Start Here guide.
» Hollywood Grill
Description: Burgers, pizza, desserts and breakfast. They also serve “authentic” Chinese dishes.
Location: At the intersection of WaterWorld and the Blues Brothers. Being that it is near the park entrance, Hollywood Grill is absolutely packed throughout the day.
Pricing: Good in comparison to the park, but slightly higher than “outside” prices.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] We’d probably recommend avoiding this restaurant mid-day, when park attendance is usually at its highest. However, if you want Chinese food and Panda Express isn’t your cup of tea, this is your only place. Hollywood Grill is also a Pizza Hut vender. Funnel Cakes are here.
» Sweet Liberty
Description: Candy, candy, candy!
Location: Located right across from the Blues Brothers, Sweet Liberty is part of the New York Street facade. Crowds are usually moderate.
Pricing: Fair, but some items are a bit overpriced – even for theme park food.
Notes: Boy oh boy, it’s a candy shop. Candy apples, sweets, and even a few novelties tossed in. Great for anyone who loves a bit of sweetness in their life.
» Dodger Dogs
Description: Based off the famous Dodgers Dogs restaurant, this place serves chips, drinks and hot dogs.
Location: Next to the entrance of the Studio Tour.
Notes: Typical hot dogs. Perfect if you want to grab something to eat before you hop on the tram for an hour. This is also a great place to get beverages. I have been to Dodger Stadium and these are not official Dodger Dogs anymore.
» Doc Brown’s Chicken
Description: A remnant from Back to the Future: The Ride, Doc Brown’s Chicken serves fried chicken and salads.
Location: Next to the Simpsons Ride, behind Cinnabon. Note that it can get very crowded at times and seating is limited. If this occurs, there’s usually additional seating behind the Cantina in the Amity area. Look for the raining roof.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] & [Seasonal] Doc is a fan favorite at the park, serving up good food at decent prices. If its open, do it!
Description: This place is your average Cinnabon, serving up desserts, pastries and coffee.
Location: Next to the Simpsons Ride, besides Doc Brown’s Chicken. Like Doc’s, this place can be crowded at times. Additional seating is located next to the Cantina, under the raining roof.
Notes: Great if you just want something that you’re familiar with. Just watch those calories!
» Louie’s Pizza & Pasta
Description: Pizza, pasta and salads.
Location: Right next to the Special Effects Stage and across from the Simpsons Ride Plaza. Crowds are moderate, but this is a very high traffic area.
Pricing: Fair. Some items on the menu are a bit overpriced.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] Louie’s is a quasi-fast food Italian restaurant that features its own enclosed seating. Good for a sit-down lunch that’s a bit more than the typical fast food within the park. Note: Ride Simpsons before you eat!
Description: Mexican cuisine. Burritos, tacos and chicken.
Location: Across from the Special Effects Stage – within the large plaza.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] & [Seasonal] If you’ve ever been to El Pollo Loco, the Hollywood Cantina is practically the same thing. In fact, Cantina used to (or still does) serve El Pollo Loco food under the park’s own banner.
» Ben & Jerry’s
Description: Just like any other Ben & Jerry’s. They serve desserts and soft serve ice cream.
Location: Right next to Louie’s Pizza and Special Effects Stage. Foot traffic is high around this area, so keep that in mind if crowds appear to be heavy.
Notes: Everyone’s favorite ice cream place, Ben & Jerry’s is perfect if you want a taste of something familiar. Great to buy when you are waiting for Special Effects Stage.
» Flintstone’s Bar-B-Q
Description: Burgers, chicken, hot dogs and ribs. Think of your average BBQ joint.
Location: Almost in the middle of the Upper Lot, near the Special Effects Stage and Universal’s Animal Actors.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] Probably one of the most popular restaurants within the park, Flintstone’s Bar-B-Q is usually distinguishable by its distinctive aroma and smoke (it’s a marketing trick, I tell you). But on a more serious note, the place is usually packed. Another restaurant you should probably avoid if you’re in a rush or just hate crowds.
Description: Desserts, snacks and flavored popcorn,
Location: Right next to Universal’s Animal Actors.
Notes: Resembling a classic food van, Popcornopolis serves great flavored popcorn.
» International Cafe
Description: Sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and expresso. They’re also known to serve some dishes from around the world – as the name would suggest.
Location: Next to Universal’s Animal Actors and on the way to Terminator 2:3D. Crowds are usually very light.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] My personal favorite at the park, the International Cafe is a great way to stray away from burgers, fries and other theme park associated fare. Enjoy a good coffee or sandwich, and best of all – seating’s indoors! It’s a great, quiet little place to get away from it all for just a few minutes.
» Mulligan’s Pub & Spirits
Description: Burgers, hot dogs and chicken.
Location: Next to Terminator 2:3D within the London Street facade. Crowds are usually moderate, but it’s a small place.
Notes: The only full-fledged bar at Universal Studios, this tiny bar is perfect for those who want to get away from the craze of theme park madness (otherwise known as kids). Great for adults while they wait for their party to finish Terminator which lasts 30 minutes long.
» Mel’s Diner
Description: Burger and fries – and good ones at that!
Location: It’s nestled between the exit of Universal’s House of Horrors and the International Cafe/Universal’s Animal Actors
Pricing: Fair – though some options are a bit overpriced.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] Another fan favorite , Mel’s Diner is one of the best burger joints in the park, therefore it is the busiest dining option all year around. Indoor seating is very limited, but there is plenty of outdoor seating. If you really want to avoid the noise, there’s a pathway that leads into Parisian Courtyard with additional seating and a more comfortable atmosphere.
» Jurassic Cafe
Description: Chicken, burgers, pizza and Chinese. It’s a combination of sorts.
Location: Right next to Jurassic Park…The Ride. Very high traffic area.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] Probably the busiest restaurant in the Lower Lot, Jurassic Cafe is a catch-all for a variety of food. It’s a great place to eat if you’re looking for typical theme park fare in the Lower Lot – with the added bonus of indoor seating. If seating is impacted, there’s additional seating in a quiet balcony located directly upstairs.
» Panda Express
Description: A typical Panda Express. Average Chinese food at decent prices.
Location: It’s on the pathway to Transformers: The Ride – 3D, inside the Studio Commissary. Very high traffic area.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] & [Seasonal] Usually only open during peak days, Panda Express is your typical fast-food Chinese fare.
» Ben & Jerry’s
Description: Another typical Ben & Jerry’s, serving ice cream and desserts.
Location: It’s on the pathway to Transformers: The Ride – 3D. Moderate traffic.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] & [Seasonal] Also open during peak days, this is simply another Ben & Jerry’s.
» Tree Top Cafe
Description: Sandwiches, salads and beverages. Think of a tamed down version of the International Cafe located in the Upper Lot.
Location: On the pathway to Transformers: The Ride – 3D. Moderate traffic.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] & [Seasonal] A good way to get away from typical theme park burger and fries, Tree Top Cafe is simply a seasonal restaurant aimed at bringing a bit of International Cafe to the Lower Lot during peak days.
» Recharging Station
Description: Drinks and Energon – the “preferred fuel of Transformers.”
Location: Right next to Transformers: The Ride – 3D. Moderate to high traffic, depending on the ride.
Notes: [Vegetarian friendly] & [Seasonal] Created as a way to sell more Transformers merchandise, Recharging Station is primarily known for selling the overpriced “Energon” drink. Great if you’re a huge Transformers fan.