Islands of Adventure’s best-kept secret is the food. Those who truly care about the taste and quality of what they put in their stomachs and who despair of eating well in a theme park will find much to celebrate here.
Mythos, the full-service restaurant in The Lost Continent, is a gourmet dining experience that would be a credit to any cosmopolitan city. Its presence in a theme park is cause for wonderment. I know annual passholders who come to the park just to have dinner. The food at Islands of Adventure’s other full-service restaurant, Confisco Grille, while not up to the level of Mythos, is also very good.
The fast food in the park is a cut above the norm, too. Best of all, given the obvious quality of the food, the prices are no more than you would expect to pay for far less adventuresome cooking at other theme parks.
Restaurants and eateries are classified by meals served and amount you should expect to spend per person:
$ = Inexpensive Casual Dining(under $15)*
$$ = Moderate ($16 to $25)*
$$$ = Expensive Character Dining($26 to $45)*
$$$$ = Very Expensive Fine Dining(Over $45)*
Full Service Restaurants:
Confisco Grille $$ - $$$
As explorers, merchants, adventurers and travelers from around the globe pass through Universal's Islands of Adventure's Port of Entry® they not only bring with them strange and unusual items – frequently confiscated and put on display by the local authorities – but also delightful and exotic dishes which you'll find on the menu at Confisco Grille
The simple wooden chairs are painted green and blue and there are no tablecloths. But don’t let the casual atmosphere fool you. Confisco Grille is a full-service sit-down restaurant that serves up a limited but imaginative menu that draws on far-flung culinary influences.
Part of the fun is the decor, vaguely Mediterranean with Turkish accents, that asks you to imagine you are in the Port of Entry Customs House. The place is lit by hanging lamps in a variety of styles and decorated with bizarre items, like a stegosaurus skull, confiscated from would-be smugglers.
But the real fun is the food. The Adventure Starters ($5 to $10) are described on the menu as “a perfect way to start your adventure.” Take the hint and treat the table to nachos or Confisco Fries, which are served with a variety of dipping sauces. Also worth noting in this section of the menu is the Explorer’s Vegetable Pizza, which crowns the Italian favorite with a medley of healthful toppings.
Burgers are done well here, too, with the bacon cheddar version a standout. Other sandwich choices ($9 to $11) include a toasted Italian ciabatta, a Tex Mex wrap, and a club sandwich. Entrees and pastas ($12 to $18) are a mixed bag, with the House Specialty Pad Thai noodles a bit on the bland side, but the Penne Puttanesca is worth trying. Entree-sized salads ($11) get high marks, too. Wines are served by the glass and the bottle. Kids can order from the “Little Travelers Menu” ($6 to $7).
Don’t forget to leave room for one of the desserts, because they are terrific. The selection changes from time to time, but recent offerings included strawberry cheesecake, tiramisu, and a yummy chocolate banana bread pudding, served with vanilla ice cream (all around $5).
Perfect for lunch, Confisco might make a good choice for a light dinner on days when the park is open late. (Check Confisco’s closing time on your way in. It’s been known to close earlier than the park itself.)
The adjacent Backwater Bar is too upscale to be a perfect replica of the kind of tropical dive where lonely adventurers come to drink away their memories of that low-down cheap saloon singer they loved and lost in Rangoon, but it will do in a pinch. It also makes a convenient staging area for those waiting for a table in Confisco, not to mention those who see no reason to interrupt their drinking with food. While the bar itself is small, there’s a large outdoor seating area, a great place to survey the passing scene while getting a buzz on.
Note: Confisco offers a Character Breakfast featuring Spider-Man, Cat in the Hat, and other characters, along with a very nice breakfast buffet from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. ($18 adults, $12 children). These events are “seasonal,” which means they happen on a variable schedule. Recently, that meant most Sundays and Thursdays, plus Fridays during busy months.
Mythos Restaurant $$ - $$$
As you approach the towering rock formations, cascading waterfalls and ancient figures carved into the side of Mythos Restaurant® you know you're in for a dining experience unlike any other. This award-winning restaurant offers exceptional contemporary cuisine in a setting to spark the imagination.
The Lost Continent boasts the best restaurant in Universal Orlando’s two theme parks — Mythos, which is among the better restaurants to be found in the theme parks of the world. For those who take a strictly utilitarian approach to food, there are walk-up stands offering a quick and filling bite.
This upscale restaurant is the feather in Islands of Adventure’s culinary cap. In keeping with the unspeakably ancient theme of the island, it is housed (if that’s the right word) in an extinct volcano with water cascading down its weathered slopes. Step inside and you’ve entered a sea cavern whose sinuous walls have been carved out and smoothed by centuries of surging waves. Eerie yet soothing music tinkles through the air. In the main dining room, the cavern’s roof vaults skyward and a large windowed opening gives out onto the lagoon and a spacious outdoor seating area. Subterranean streams run between the handsome seating areas, with seats upholstered in regal purple. The walls take on the shapes of long-vanished gods and their spirit minions. The effect is only a step or two this side of awesome. Decor like this is a hard act to follow and you find yourself wondering if the food can rise to the level of your heightened expectations.
Not to worry. The cuisine produced under the direction of executive chef Steven Jayson and chef de cuisine Mark Wachowiak pays homage to the hallmarks of contemporary cuisine — intriguing combinations of ingredients and flavors, dazzling presentations — and still manages to taste, well, just plain yummy. Mythos’ menu is not as ambitious today as it was at opening when whole roasted lobster was featured, but it still serves up consistently superior fare. The menu changes occasionally, so this menu description won’t be exhaustive but will hopefully whet your appetite.
Soups and Appetizers ($5 to $10) always include the Chef’s Signature Pizza of the Day. These are thin-crusted masterpieces that blend traditional cooking methods (there is a spectacular wood-fired pizza oven in clear view of the dining area) and eclectic ingredients that change with the seasons. One appetizer that has proven a perennial is the Tempura Shrimp Sushi, a miniature work of art served with a wasabi and soy drizzle. The soups are nothing short of ambrosial.
Salads ($6 to $14) range from deceptively simple bowls of mixed baby greens to elaborate entree-sized extravaganzas featuring chicken, shrimp, or fish. Pastas ($11 to $16) are meals in themselves. Be sure to ask about the “Pastabilities” selection, which changes regularly and allows the chef to show off a bit.
Entrees ($10 to $19) range from a not so humble cheeseburger with smoked applewood bacon to some very well-executed specialty sandwiches and wraps. The beloved Chicken a la Oscar and Balsamic Chicken are gone, but you can almost guarantee that the list of entrees will include Cedar Plank Bay of Fundy Salmon, Bistro Fillet with Truffle Butter, or Blueberry Pistachio Crusted Pork, all excellent. In addition to the pizza, the menu always includes a Risotto of the Day (often interesting, but sometimes underdone). You can add a small soup or salad to an entrée for $3. There is a kids’ menu ($6 to $11) featuring simple dishes for the less sophisticated gourmet.
Tip: Ask if the chef has any off-menu specials (besides the pizza, risotto, and wrap, that is). From time to time, the chef will experiment with new dishes or whip up something to use up ingredients left over from last night’s banquet. Many times these specials are more adventurous than items on the regular menu. We’ve never been disappointed. Gourmets take note!
After one of these terrific meals, desserts are generally a let down. Fortunately, there is the Warm Chocolate Banana Gooey Cake, which is spectacular and probably the only dessert worth ordering. The others are “mini-desserts” ($1.75 each) served in skinny shot glasses; they are the same ones served at Finnegan’s and Lombard’s in USF and are merely so-so.
The restaurant features an intelligent and reasonably priced wine list of American varietals along with some imports ($24 to $65). Many are available by the glass; feel free to ask for guidance. For something more potent, try the Potion of the Gods or a Mythos Martini (about $7). They also have their own brand of beer.
The restaurant seats 180 with an additional 50 seats outdoors, many of them sheltered by the overhanging volcano. Try for an outdoor seat if open on a balmy night.
Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous $
Enter the big top of the Circus McGurkus where strange creatures perform and acrobats twirl high overhead. Kids especially will love the menu.
This counter service restaurant is perfect for the picky eaters in the family. The menu includes Fried Chicken, Spaghetti, Pizza, Burgers, Chicken Caesar Salads, and more. At one end of the room you’ll see a zany pipe organ that is sometimes played during peak season. There is limited seating just outside the doors if you’d prefer to dine al fresco. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and is located in Seuss Landing.
Green Eggs and Ham Cafe $
Just look for the big, green, ham-shaped building with the giant fork on top.
This walk-up service restaurant is open seasonally. The menu includes Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, and (you guessed it), Green Eggs and Ham. The Green Eggs and Ham are served as a sandwich. It is open from 11:00am until park closing and is located in Seuss Landing
Fire Eater's Grill $
It's an inferno of flavor! This popular food merchant in Sindbad's Bazaar is known throughout the land.
This counter service restaurant is open seasonally. The menu includes Fiery Chicken Stingers, Grilled Gyros, Chicken Fingers, Hot Dogs, and Salads. It is open from 11:00am until park closing and is located in The Lost Continent.
Three Broomsticks $$
This rustic tavern is where visitors to Hogsmeade come to dine on hearty fare.
The Three Broomsticks Restaurant is located between Honeydukes and Hog’s Head Pub. Traditional English meals are served such as Fish and Chips, Cornish Pasties, and Shepherd’s Pie.
Pizza Predattoria $
Enjoy the lush landscape around this counter service restaurant. The menu includes fresh baked Pizzas, Sub Sandwiches, and Salads. All seating is at nearby umbrella-shaded tables, but you could conceivably take a short stroll to The Burger Digs in the Discovery Center and eat your pizza in air-conditioned comfort. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and is located in Jurassic Park.
The Burger Digs $
This counter service restaurant is about as American as it gets. The menu includes Burgers, Chicken Sandwiches, Chicken Fingers, Milkshakes, and Beer. The knifes and forks are plastic but where the food is a cut above the average. And Burger Digs offers an often-overlooked rear balcony with a great view out over the Great Inland Sea. If (heaven forbid) you have work to do while you’re in Orlando, this is a good place to do it; there are even outlets for your laptop. For the rest. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and is located in Jurassic Park.
Thunder Falls Terrace $$
Now these are some bones you can really sink your teeth into. You'll be glad you're a meat eater when you catch the aroma.
This counter service restaurant offers BBQ Ribs, Wraps, Chicken, and Salads. This restaurant takes wonderful advantage of the Jurassic Park River Adventure, using it as both backdrop and entertainment. After you’ve taken your own harrowing journey on the ride, you can repair here, sit in air-conditioned comfort, and gaze through the picture windows at other happily terrified tourists as they emerge from the final 85-foot drop. There is an outdoor seating area that receives the cooling mist from the thundering waterfall next door. The luxurious jungle-lodge atmosphere also contributes to the experience. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and is located in Jurassic Park.
The Watering Hole $
This is a full service bar located along a secluded path in Jurassic Park. Keep your eyes out and your ears open for what might be lurking in the thick vegetation. There is a small outdoor sitting area next to the bar. The Watering Hole is known for Frozen Drinks with or without alcohol. Daily happy hour typically runs from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m and is located in Jurassic Park.. Food here includes hot dogs and chips, chicken wings, chili, and nachos.
Comic Strip Cafe $
All your favorite comic strip characters line the walls of the Comic Strip Cafe®, a fun cafeteria-style food court.
This counter service restaurant is for the family that can’t agree on what kind of food to eat. The menu includes Italian Food, Chinese Food, American Food, New England Food, and Mexican Food. It is open from 11:00am to ½ hour before park closing. All seating is outdoors, only some of it shaded. Perhaps the best spot to grab a table is in the shaded area overlooking the raging rapids of the Bilge-Rat Barges ride. Comic Strip Café is located in Toon Lagoon.
Nothing tastes better than a gravity-defying sandwich stacked with fresh meats, cheeses, vegetables and dressings.
Bring your Dagwood appetite to this counter service restaurant. They provide made-to-order Deli Sandwiches and more. Blondie’s is home to the Dagwood Sandwich. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and is located in Toon Lagoon.
Take the advice of hamburger connoisseur extraordinaire Wimpy and plan your lunch… and snacks… and dinner… around his doubly delicious food.
This counter service restaurant is open seasonally. See if you can eat as many Hamburgers as Popeye’s friend Wimpy. The menu includes Wimpy’s famous Burgers, Chicken Fingers, Chicken Wraps, and Fries. All seating is outdoors, only some of it shaded. Perhaps the best spot to grab a table is in the shaded area overlooking the raging rapids of the Bilge-Rat Barges ride. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and is located in Toon Lagoon.
Cafe 4 $
On the ground floor of the Baxter Building––headquarters and laboratory of the Fantastic Four
This counter service restaurant will be hard to beat with the selection of kid friendly meals on its menu. You will find Pizza, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Fettuccini with Chicken and more. There’s plenty of indoor seating but it can get loud when it’s filled with noisy kids. There’s also a fair amount of outdoor seating that can also get loud because of the screams from Incredible Hulk riders. It is open from 11:00am until park closing and is located on Marvel Super Hero Island.
Captain America Diner $
This is the place where heroes hang out, and you'll see them all over the walls of this star spangled diner.
Call all your Super Hero Friends and have them meet you here at this counter service restaurant. The menu includes Cheeseburgers, Chicken Sandwiches, Chicken Fingers, and Crispy Chicken Salads. A small outdoor seating area is right on the Sea and makes a great place to eat, if you don’t mind the occasional freeloading bird. These seats not only look out to the Lost Continent, but also offer one of the best vantage points for watching riders on Hulk. It is open from 11:00am to ½ hour before park closing and is located on Marvel Super Hero Island.
Croissant Moon Bakery $
The moon may not be full, but your belly will be after a stop at the Croissant Moon Bakery. A great breakfast stop before your day’s journeys!
This is the first eatery you come to when you enter the front gate of Islands of Adventure. It is a counter service restaurant and the menu includes Deli Sandwiches, Paninis, Cheesecakes, and freshly baked Pastries. It is open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner and is located in the Port of Entry area.
This is a walk-up service counter where you can get the Cinnabon Classic along with a good cup of coffee. The company is based out of Seattle, Washington where the 1st Cinnabon opened in 1985. All of the cinnamon roll products are made with the World Famous Makara Cinnamon. Cinnabon is open when Islands of Adventure is open. They are located in the Port of Entry area.
Hop On Pop Ice Cream Shop $
This is a walk-up service counter that serves Ice Cream, Sundaes, and Floats. It is open from 11:00am until park closing and is located in Seuss Landing.
Moose Juice, Goose Juice $
This is a walk-up service counter that serves outrageous juices - frozen or over ice. It also has Fresh Fruit, Churros, Cookies, and Pretzels. It is open from 11:00am until park closing and is located in Seuss Landing.
The Frozen Desert $
This is a walk-up service counter that serves an assortment of Ice Cream & toppings. Look for the Treasure Chest Sundae with Strawberry Ice Cream. It is open from 11:00am until park closing and is located in The Lost Continent.
Hog's Head $
Hog’s Head Pub is located adjacent to the Three Broomsticks Restaurant. The Hog’s Head on the wall comes to life and snorts at you and the dirty grimy look of the walls and ceiling definitely gives you that authentic feel from the Harry Potter series. Many different alcoholic drinks are available but the most popular drink would have to be the Butterbeer! (which is non-alcoholic)
Candy, Pumpkin Juice
Cathy's Ice Cream $
Better think twice if you want to fit into that new swimsuit––but, just like Cathy Guisewite's beloved comic character Cathy––sometimes you just can’t resist! Enjoy Sundaes, Shakes and Waffle Cones featuring Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. Cathy's Ice Cream is on Comic Strip Lane, near the Comic Strip Café.
Artic Express $
This is a walk-up service counter that serves Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Sundaes, and Funnel Cakes. It is open from 11:00am to park closing and is located in the Port of Entry area.
*Prices are subject to change.