Universal Orlando may have two awesome theme parks, but did you know it has a really good entertainment area too. It’s called Citywalk and is located right next to the two theme parks. If you’ve been to Universal Orlando before you will be familiar with Citywalk already as you have to walk through it to get to the parks.
It features mainly restaurants but has one or two shops including the Universal Store. If you fancy watching a movie you can catch one at the AMC Cineplex or if mini golf is more of your thing, you can have a go at Hollywood Drive In Mini Golf.
Restaurants you can find at Citywalk are – Bob Marley A Tribute To Freedom, Pat O Brien’s, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, NBC Sports Grill, The Cowfish, Vivo Italian Kitchen, Anjojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Emeril’s, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Other more casual places to eat are – Bread Box, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Hot Dog Hall Of Fame, BK Whopper Bar, Panda Express, Moe’s, Sushi Bar, Starbucks, Cold Stone Creamery, Cinnabon, Fat Tuesday and Lone Palm Airport.
If you like clubs you will find – City Walk’s Rising Star, The Groove and The Red Coconut Club.
Citywalk is more of an evening place as most of the restaurants open later on in the day, although there are a few open in the day too. As much as I enjoy Citywalk, I do think it is lacking in shops. Not everyone wants to go to the parks in the day and if you want to shop, I would recommend making a short trip over to I Drive and checking out the stores there. The gift shops there sell Universal and Disney merchandise and they are a lot cheaper too. I’ve been to Hollywood Citywalk and they have a much better balance of shops and restaurants. This is something I think Orlando needs to improve on. If Citywalk is meant to be a competitor to Disney Springs, it has an extremely long way to go. You could go to Disney Springs at 11am and find loads of things to do and buy. Walk around Citywalk at the same time, you will get bored.
As I was staying onsite at Universal, I went to Citywalk quite a few times and ate at a few different restaurants. My favorite places to eat were Hard Rock Cafe, Pat O Brien’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. I ate at these places more than once too.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is themed on the movie Forrest Gump and they even show the movie in different places inside. The staff are great and even do a movie trivia at your table. If you need anything, just flip over the Stop Forrest Stop Sign that is on your table and someone will come over to you. The menu is great and features not only seafood but burgers, chicken, steak and ribs too.
The Hot Dog Hall of fame offers a wide range of hot dogs and is one of the few places in Citywalk that is open earlier on too. The seating looks a lot what you would find in a stadium, and you can sit back with your dog and watch the different sport that is on the tv.
One thing which I thought was quite disappointing was that part of Citywalk can get closed off at any evening. Universal allow these companies to have private events in the street, meaning there is a load of restaurants and bars which you won’t be able to go to unless you are part of the event. I find it really bad that Universal allow this. I know these companies are paying them a lot of money, but I just think it’s really unacceptable for Universal to allow this. Not everyone is staying onsite and might want to go to a certain restaurant on that evening. That might be the only day they have there. It just alienates their regular guests. And it wasn’t just a one off, it seems to be a regular thing too. When I was there, they had it shut off one day after the other.
Citywalk is open from 11am – 2am. Different places there open at different times. Why not check out the site here.
6000 Universal Blvd