I just got back from an amazing vacation at Universal Orlando Resort with the family. I was so excited to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the very first time. It had been many years since I was last at Universal and there have been tons of changes. What was the most surprising, however, was the food and all of the vegan options. Gone are the days when the only vegan menu items would be French fries or a side salad. With so many choices, what is the best vegan food at Universal Orlando?
There are 3 theme parks that make up the Universal Orlando Resort. There's Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay (the waterpark). There's also CityWalk which is at the entrance to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. CityWalk is an area filled with stores and over 20 restaurants. It's also open late - until 2 am when I was visiting.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You'll see butterbeer served everywhere. Regular butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, butterbeer ice cream...it's all over the place. But is there vegan butterbeer? Unfortunately, the butterbeer is not vegan as it's served with a creamy topping. Luckily there are a lot of other vegan food options including Pumpkin Juice! The great news is that should you find yourself in NYC, the Harry Potter store there sells bottled butterbeer that is vegan.
Universal Studios Florida
Mel’s Drive-In - This 50’s style “drive-in” restaurant serves both a plant-based burger and a Chick’n Avocado Sandwich served with vegan cheese. I chose the Chick’n sandwich as I can’t say no to avocado and this vegan chicken sandwich was tasty. This restaurant is also a great choice as it’s quick and has tons of seating. This same sandwich is served at the Burger Digs in Islands of Adventure.
The Leaky Cauldron (located inside Diagon Alley) now serves two great vegan options - the Shepherd’s Pasty Pie and Irish Stew. I sampled them both and they were delicious. I think the Pasty Pie, which comes with a creamy mustard sauce, potato wedges and an apple beet salad, was my favorite of the two. The Irish Stew comes with a salad and a piece of crusty bread.
Louie’s Italian Restaurant - Their one standout vegan menu item is the Spaghetti Bolognese which contains plant-based Gardein Italian sausage crumbles.
There were also some great vegan options at less permanent places. I picked up a delicious Chai Caramel Blondie at a food cart that only served vegan food, mostly Indian inspired. However, I’m not sure if this cart is there only for Mardi Gras (which was being celebrated while I was visiting) or year round.
Other Vegan Options at Universal Studios Orlando
- Central Park Crepes - The Vegan Sausage Crepe sold here is filled with plant-based sausage, cheese, pesto, tomatoes and a balsamic glaze.
- Classic Monsters Cafe - The Mummy Combo features a slow-cooked jackfruit sandwich with crispy onions and slaw on it.
- Today Cafe - I *heart* Vegan Sandwich contains roasted mushrooms and vegetables with vegan jalapeno cheese.
- Lombard’s Seafood Grille - Their plant-based Penne Genovese is made with Beyond meat.
- Beyond Burgers are also served at Richter’s Burger Co. and Finnegan’s Bar and Grill.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The Three Broomsticks (located in Hogsmeade) now has a vegan Mushroom Pie Platter. It tasted similar to a beef stew but with mushrooms instead of beef with a flaky pastry on top. This is definitely not standard theme park food and it’s a welcome change.
Mythos Restaurant - A big sign out front proclaims that this restaurant was voted the Best Theme Park Restaurant and this was definitely one of our favorites. The Mediterranean inspired food was delicious as well as beautiful to look at. I went with the veganized Pad Thai and I especially loved the tofu!
The Burger Digs - This restaurant has the same Chick’n Avocado Sandwich as Mel’s and also a vegan burger, although not a Beyond Burger.
You can also find Beyond Burgers at the Captain America Diner and Wimpy’s.
Voodoo Doughnut - This place was definitely a family favorite and it often had a line to get in. There are so many vegan doughnut options that it’s hard to choose. Luckily I didn’t have to. I ordered the Vegan Voodoo Dozen and they filled the pretty pink box with all different delectable doughnuts.
My favorite one looked and tasted like a Bavarian cream but the plain glazed was surprisingly delicious as well!
Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar - A popular vegan option here is the Tree Hugger Specialty Roll which is filled with shiitake mushrooms and vegetables.
Antojitos - Like most Mexican restaurants, it’s very easy to find vegan food here. There are vegan tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and sides listed on the menu.
I was lucky that we visited Universal Studios Resort when we did. Apparently, the vegan menu options in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are new and had we visited months earlier, we wouldn't have had those options. I found the restaurants inside the Harry Potter sections to be the best vegan food at Universal Orlando. Harry Potter fans now have many different vegan meals to choose from. Not only that, there are many places throughout Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk that serve food that fits in with a vegan diet. It's was super easy to find vegan dining options during our week at the parks. Plus, the food was delicious! You can check out the menus to all of Universal's restaurants on their website.