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CityWalk – Fast Food at CityWalk

There are a few less elaborate, less costly dining choices in CityWalk for those looking for morning coffee, a quick bite, or a budget-saving alternative to a full-course, full-price blowout meal.

Pastamore Marketplace Cafe

What: Italian snacks, sweets, and wine
Where: Between the Cineplex and the Plaza
Price Range: $

This annex to the Pastamoré restaurant opens bright and early (at 8:00 a.m.) to serve strong coffee and strength-building pastries to the crowds arriving for a busy day at the theme parks. They also have “breakfast pizzas” that are worth a try. At lunch, the emphasis turns to Italian-style panini, pizza, pasta, and antipasto salads. Finally, late in the day, you can stop by again for dessert or a glass of wine. Indoor seating is limited and the few outdoor tables let you survey the passing scene.


What: Cinnamon buns and ice cream
Where: Between the Cineplex and the Plaza
Price Range: $

Across the street from the Pastamoré Marketplace Cafe is this branch of the nationwide chain famous for its oversized, gooey and delicious cinnamon buns at moderate prices. Ice cream and a small selection of desserts are also available. Seating is very limited and all outdoors. This place opens early to snag the breakfast crowd.


Frozen yogurt
Between the Cineplex and the Plaza
Price Range:

This outpost of the popular frozen yogurt chain, serves up the usual variety of cold and creamy treats.


What: Coffee, latte, and light snacks
Where: On the Promenade near the escalator
Price Range: $

The best thing about this airy coffee shop is the view over the plaza and the crowds below. Otherwise, it’s pretty much like every other Starbucks you’ve ever been in, which I guess is the point. If you like the jolt of Starbucks, note that this one opens at 8:30 a.m. and stays open late. No wireless Internet access, though.

Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar

What: Walk-up Japanese food
Where: Near Cigarz
Price Range: $-$$

This small, sleek outlet outside the Cineplex’s second-story exit, serves serviceable, if not exquisite, sushi and sashimi. The stainless-steel bar isn’t actually that inviting to sit at, but you can watch the chef inside through the window or on the closed-circuit TVs.

Appetizers ($3 to $7) include miso and edamame, and rolls ($5 to $12) range from simple California to Dancing Eel and Red Dragon (spicy tuna with jalapeño). Bento boxes ($4 extra) include soup, salad, and a cookie; they are a slightly better value than buying a la carte.

For dessert, try an oddly addictive Mochi rice cake ($4 for 3 pieces). Beverages include Japanese beer ($4 to $5) and hot or chilled sake ($5 to $15). The sushi here is a cut above your local supermarket and should give a satisfactory fix to vacationers in wasabi withdrawal. Just don't look for "expert" items like mackerel, yellowtail, or soft-shell crab on the menu; you'll have to go to the Orchid Bar at Loews Royal Pacific for that (see the next Chapter).

Whopper Bar/ Panda Express/ Moe’s Southwest Grill

What: Walk-up indoor burgers, Chinese, and Mexican
Where: Opposite Cigarz
Price Range: $

Three familiar franchises fill this mall-style food court, strategically located near the upper exit of the Cineplex. Burger King’s outlet is the first in a spin-off chain centered on their signature sandwich. For a little more than your local drive-thru ($6 to $8 with small drink and fries) you can get a Whopper covered in gourmet toppings like guacamole, peppercorn bacon, and “angry onions.” Panda Express serves passable stir-fry combo plates for $7 to $8, and Moe’s tacos and burritos ($3 to $7) come with a free fresh salsa bar. A narrow balcony offers limited seating with a view of the plaza.

Tip: This is one of the only places on Universal property where you can comparison shop for soda — Panda’s is the cheapest.

Big Kahuna Pizza

What: Walk-up pizza window
Where: On the Promenade across from Starbucks
Price Range: $ - $$

Nicely framed by gaudy pizza-themed surfboards, this simple stand serves up cheese or pepperoni pizzas, whole ($14 to $16) or by the slice ($3 and $4). Chicken wings are $6. Wash it down with draft beer ($4 to $5) or a soft drink..

Fat Tuesday

What: Walk-up daiquiri window
Where: On the Promenade near the groove
Price Range:

Did you know that Louisiana allows drive-through alcohol sales? New Orleans staple Fat Tuesday has set up shop next to its hometown neighbor Pat O’s to offer the next best thing: a stumble-through daiquiri bar. A chorus-line of slushy machines spin merrily and dispense frozen concoctions ($7, $10 in a souvenir cup with $6 refills) in flavors ranging from strawberry and mango to the aptly-named “Cat 5 Hurricane” and “190 Octane.” $1 Jello shots and “tooters” are available for those who really want to get their party on, along with beer and soda.

Latin Express

Walk-up snacks
Where: On the Promenade near the Latin Quarter
Price Range: $

Most of the nightclubs along the Promenade have walk-up windows dispensing specialty alcoholic drinks, but the Latin Quarter also serves up some tasty and inexpensive munchies for about $5 to $7. Choices include Cuban sandwiches, empañadas, and ropa vieja. Latin Express has irregular hours, but is generally open Wednesday through Sunday evenings.


What: Walk-up bar
Where: Near the Latin Quarter
Price Range: $

No fast food, just fast booze. This walk-up full-service bar has a small seating area in the plaza framed by the groove, the Latin Quarter, and Emeril’s. A nice place to sit and survey the passing scene.

Lone Palm Airport

What: Walk-up bar with snacks
Where: Opposite Margaritaville
Price Range: $ - $$

Just outside Margaritaville stands a palapa-shaded bar that uses Jimmy Buffett’s Hemisphere Dancer plane as the perfect backdrop. Makeshift tables are scattered about, surfboards lean against palm trees, and a sandy area is filled with kids’ digging toys. It all evokes the kind of beachside dives Jimmy sings about so eloquently. Sit at the bar and watch Buffett music videos while munching on snack food and sipping (what else?) margaritas.

Every weekday, a 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Happy Hour offers discounted appetizers and drinks, featuring half-price margaritas..

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Universal Orlando 2011


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