Eat and Drink

A Guide For Healthy and Allergy-Friendly Food at Universal Orlando Resort

May 4, 2021
Healthy Eating at Universal Orlando Resort

As a healthy food enthusiast, I was excited to learn that Universal Orlando Resort has made huge efforts to offer healthier meal options across the entire resort, including all theme park, hotel, and CityWalk restaurants. I was so excited that I made it my mission to find and try many of these dishes to compile the complete guide to healthier and allergy-friendly options at Universal Orlando Resort.

This blog isn’t here to determine what “healthy” is or to tell you what’s “healthy” for your body, but rather serve as suggestions and tips for alternative foods that fit within common eating restrictions. From allergies to lifestyle choices, I’ve compiled a list of delicious meals that can accommodate a variety of eaters.

“One person’s idea of healthy could be completely different from someone else’s.”

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

Universal CityWalk

Bigfire

Brook Trout

Brook Trout from Bigfire

Freshly grilled brook trout, paired with fire-roasted vegetables and a fresh house salad. Brook trout is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 and is also high in protein. A great way to fuel your body with energy for the day.

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen

Who knew a chocolate-inspired restaurant could have such healthy and tasty options?

Super Foods Salad

A salad of spinach, arugula, avocado, quinoa, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts, feta cheese and topped with a citrus vinaigrette. Amongst other benefits, these ingredients help control blood sugar spikes to keep you going throughout your day in the theme parks.

Pro Tip: Hold the feta and choose a different dressing to make your meal dairy-free.

NBC Sports Grill & Brew 

Game day just got enjoyable for everyone.

Vegan “Beyond Smokehouse” Burger

Beyond Smokehouse Burger at NBC Sports Grill & Brew

This plant-based Beyond burger is topped with pulled, smoked jackfruit. You heard that right. Jackfruit is a fruit but it tastes and has the texture of pulled meat! Top that off with vegan American cheese, BBQ sauce, caramelized onion, and lettuce.

Pro Tip: Replace the kaiser roll with lettuce to ditch gluten and grains.  

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Makimono Vegetarian Roll

This plant-based sushi roll is a combination of fresh avocado, cucumber, and asparagus rolled into the perfect bite. The ingredients are high in antioxidants and B vitamins.

“We’re trying to do things that aren’t anywhere else… Not just compared to other theme parks, but compared to great restaurants in the area.”

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

Universal Studios Florida

TODAY Cafe

TODAY Cafe is easily the best one-stop shop for a variety of healthy options in Universal Studios. It’s conveniently located at the front of the theme park, making it the perfect start to your day.

Park Ave Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast from TODAY Cafe

Everyone loves avocado toast! This dish is low in cholesterol and features a healthy fat, avocado, as its main ingredient. 

Acai Bowl

Acai Bowl from TODAY Cafe

You can’t go wrong with a morning Acai bowl! Acai berries are nutrient superfoods full of antioxidants that boost your brain.

Pro Tip: Hold the granola for a gluten, nut, and grain-free variation.

SOHO

SOHO Salad from TODAY Cafe

You won’t be missing out with this roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, arugula, farro, avocado, and prosciutto salad, topped with a lemon vinaigrette. 

I <3 Vegan Sandwich

I Heart Vegan Sandwich from TODAY Cafe

Roasted portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomato pesto, peppers, zucchini, carrots, and yes… vegan jalapeno cheese! All that yumminess pressed between cranberry artisan bread.

Finnegan’s Bar & Grill

Although the Irish Fish and Chips entree is one of the shining stars of the Finnegan’s menu, I was shocked to see some of the other options that are available.

Pistachio Crusted Salmon Salad

Finnegans-Bar-Grill-Pistachio-Crusted-Salmon-Salad

The Pistachio Crusted Salmon Salad is packed with roasted root vegetables and dill… not to mention that both salmon and pistachios are powerful ingredients! Pistachios are not only heart-healthy but also high in unsaturated fatty acids and fiber, which helps maintain blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids while also being rich in vitamin B12.

Beyond Burger Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegans and vegetarians, we’ve got you covered with this hearty meal! Green peas, carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms all baked into a casserole topped with vegan red bliss mashed potatoes… yes please!

San Francisco Pastry Company

Matcha Overnight Oats

San Francisco Pastry Company

If you’re an overnight oats fanatic, don’t worry we’ll do the soaking for you. These Matcha Overnight Oats feature fresh kiwi, blueberries, and toasted coconut — a healthy source of fiber and the dish will help maintain satiety!

Vegan Elderberry Croissants

They have vegan croissants. Enough said.

Lombard’s Seafood Grille

Gluten-Free Burgers and Sandwiches

Check out “The Wharf” Burger or the Grilled Chicken Sandwich, both served on gluten-free challah buns! 

Pro Tip: For grain-free and dairy-free friends, don’t be afraid to take it further and ask to have the sandwich served on lettuce and with no cheese.

The Penne Genovese

The Penne Genovese from Lombard's Seafood Grill

You can be gluten free and have your pasta too, just request from your server the gluten-free pasta version of penne! This dish is just as indulgent as it is plant-based, featuring Beyond Sausage, roasted broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and basil oil.

“I started here in 1999… I’ve definitely seen a lot of changes. Now people are more focused on what ingredients we are using. Is it local, is it humanely treated, is it sustainable, is it grass-fed?

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

Schwab’s Pharmacy

Dole Whip

Dole Whip from Schwab's Pharmacy

In the Florida heat, we all deserve a frozen treat. Dole Whip Pineapple Sorbet is dairy free!

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Three Broomsticks

Three Broomsticks is a must visit stop during any excursion in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so I was pleased to see the menu has some lighter options.

Rotisserie Smoked Chicken Salad

Shredded rotisserie chicken on top of a bed of lettuce with a host of different veggies! 

Pro Tip: If you have a corn allergy or eat a grain-free diet, opt for extra potatoes or a fruit cup on the side.* 

Mythos

This award-winning restaurant certainly doesn’t disappoint with its vast variety of health-conscious meals. 

Pro Tip: At Mythos, all the soups and salads are gluten-free!

Cauliflower Steak

Cauliflower Steak

Lemon-garlic roasted cauliflower, romesco sauce, and stewed beluga lentils, topped with toasted almonds. This filling plant-based dish just so happens to be high in fiber and help with digestion. 

Amphorae Shrub Vinegar Tonic

Have you seen those vinegar drinks all around health food stores? Check out the Amphorae Shrub! A fresh mix of various berries, mint, and lime zest extracted into white wine vinegar.

Pro Tip: Vinegar is a wonderful health tonic as it aids digestion. No matter what you order as your meal, it’s never a bad idea to help the body digest before hitting the rides.

Confisco Grille

Tandoori Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Grilled Tandoori chicken, lettuce, pickled cucumber, carrots, radicchio, soba noodles, crushed peanuts served with ponzu and chili dipping sauces. The pickled vegetables are high in probiotics and can aid in digestion. 

Pro Tip: Hold the soba Noodles to make this a gluten-free, grain-free dish.

Doc Sugrue’s Desert Kebab House Hack

Kebabs

Kabobs

Beef, chicken, or vegetarian kebabs with a pita and tzatziki (yogurt-based) sauce.  

Pro Tip: Order a kebab and hold the pita for a gluten-free and grain-free hot snack.

Fire Eater’s Grill

Falafel

The main ingredient of falafel (chickpeas) brings vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the body while also improving digestion. Their high protein count makes them the perfect option for vegans and vegetarians.

“There’s so much that you can do with the seasonality of a product. We shouldn’t be using asparagus 365 days a year, because it only grows for a few months a year. There’s so much out there.”

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

Thunder Falls Terrace

Gluten-Free Rice Bowl

Choice of mojo chicken or jackfruit with black beans, cilantro rice, cotija cheese and served with fried plantains and salsa.

Universal’s Volcano Bay

Bambu

Fresh tropical dishes with a scenic view on the side! Truth be told, there are many refreshing options at each dining location in Volcano Bay, but I like to head straight to Bambu for all of my favorites.

(Not an average) Caesar Salad

The Caesar Salad at Bambu has a special twist to include hearts of palm. This powerful superfood has more protein than most other vegetables and is full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and zinc.

Island Chicken Salad

Island Chicken Salad

Dairy-free folks look no further. As you escape to Volcano Bay, this dish has your name all over it. Diced chicken, apples, grapes, and almonds tossed in a creamy coconut dressing.

Quinoa Edamame Burger

quina burger

Vegetarians will love this. Topped with roasted shiitake mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and sriracha mayo with fries. 

Pro Tip: Gluten-free bun available upon request. Hold the sriracha mayo to make it vegan.

Vegan Chick’n & Avocado Sandwich Platter

Vegan Chick'n & Avocado Sandwich Platter from Volcano Bay

Plant-Based Gardein Chick’n and Follow Your Heart American cheese served with fries.

The Feasting Frog

Poke Poke Bowl

pokebowl

Keep it fresh and light with this bowl of raw ahi tuna, soy honey vinaigrette, pineapple salsa, and plantain chips.

Pro Tip: Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and multiple vitamins and minerals.

Tacos

Have your choice of grilled carne asada or chicken tacos! Vitamin-rich plantain chips are served on the side.

Pro Tip: Ask to have your tacos on lettuce for a grain-free, gluten-free taco bowl. Dairy-free folks should also ask to hold the cheese, but feel free to double up on the salsa or fresh-made guac*.

“Healthier eating starts with looking at food that you’re comfortable with.

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

Hotels

Hard Rock Hotel

The Kitchen

Stir-Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

Kitchen_CauliflowerRice

This dish is grain-free, gluten-free, and plant-based! The cauliflower “rice” is topped with edamame, peppers, onions, carrots, jalapeno, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Pro Tip: This menu item is low in cholesterol, and contains a lot of fiber to keep you full longer.

Note: Hard Rock Hotel restaurants The Kitchen and Beach Club have a gluten-free menu available upon request.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Trattoria del Porto

When I think of Portofino, I immediately think of pasta and my attempts to dodge gluten and grains…but to my surprise the resort’s restaurants offer so much more.

Vegan Breakfast Casserole

Grilled and roasted zucchini, yellow squash, portobello, asparagus, red pepper white bean and tofu casserole served on cast iron.

Grilled Chicken Wings with Tangy & Sweet Lemon Turmeric Sauce

Who knew a gluten-free, nutrient-dense preparation of wings even existed! Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, with properties known to reduce inflammation in the body and make the skin glow. I’m nicknaming these “Glow Up Wings”.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Jake’s American Bar

Herb Roasted Half Chicken

Herb Roasted Chicken

Freshly roasted chicken served with roasted tri-color potatoes and grilled asparagus. Asparagus is one of the most well-balanced vegetables and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin A, B6, and C.

“When we create these dishes I’m concerned with: Is the guest knowledgeable of what they are eating? Did we do our job of letting them know the benefits?”

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Amatista Cookhouse

This Caribbean-inspired restaurant does an excellent job of identifying which foods are dairy-free, nut-free, and vegetarian on their menus. They also have a “Light Fare” menu, a cultivation of their lightest meals.

Nut-Free and Gluten-Free Conch Chowder

Tender vegetables, potato, and a rich tomato sauce…all with no nuts or gluten!

The Beyond Burger

Amatista’s Beyond Burger is not one to miss! This plant-based burger comes with a dairy-free cashew aioli, avocado, and vegan cheese…all on a vegan bun! 

Pro Tip: Order on a bed of lettuce and skip the bun for less carbs or to accommodate gluten-free and grain-free eating.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Bayliner Diner

Ahi Tuna Bowl

Ahi Tuna Bowl from Bayliner Diner

A delicious and refreshing dish, this bowl has jasmine rice with hearts of palm and cilantro tomato coconut sauce topped with a pan seared tuna filet and a side of fennel apple slaw.

Atomic Tonic

Atomic Salad

Mixed lettuce and herbs, tomato, cucumber, carrots, olives, pickles, and pepperoncini… pretty much all of the things I love in a salad. 

Watermelon Cubes

Yes, I’m aware that this is simply a serving of fruit on the menu… so it really doesn’t need to be highlighted, BUT, I loved the fact that you can order these poolside to stay cool!

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Urban Pantry

Build your own Salads & Wraps

Salad Bar from Universal's Aventura Hotel

Choose your base, 5 delicious toppings, a protein, and a delicious dressing like the Champagne-Honey Vinaigrette!

Bar 17 Bistro

60 South Salmon

Yes, I’ll take my salmon with a rooftop view. Good for the body and the soul. The 60 South salmon is topped with a gremolata, a fresh green sauce made of vitamin-rich parsley, garlic, and lemon.

Pro Tip: Parsley contains vitamins A, C, and K!

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

Pier 8 Market

Gluten-free Muffin

Muffins from Dockside Inn and Suites

Breakfast baked goods got an upgrade!

TB (Turkey Burger)

Stop by Pier 8 Market for a turkey burger topped with cranberry mayo, swiss cheese and apple slaw, all on a toasted bun.

Pro Tip: The turkey burger is a lean protein option compared to a hamburger and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Ask for no bun and for twice the apple slaw for a grain-free and gluten-free delight.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites

Beach Break Cafe

Plant-Based Banh Mi Burger

Vegetarian patty topped with house pickled cucumber and carrots, cabbage, and cilantro with a sriracha spread on a toasted bun.

“If you think of theme park food, the first things that come to your mind are churros and popcorn and hotdogs and hamburgers – we really want to change that.”

– Chef Jason Glus, Executive Chef Universal Orlando Resort Parks & CityWalk

This is just a small sample of the amazing healthier and allergen friendly meal options at Universal Orlando Resort. Remember the best way to find the right meals for you is to email Food.Allergy@universalorlando.com prior to your trip for assistance in planning your meals around your dietary restrictions or allergies. I did this and the Team Members were extremely helpful!

Stay tuned! Menus are updated seasonally to ensure fresh, forward thinking, and guarantee sustainable options continue to make their way to the table all year round.

*Additional charges may apply for substitutions.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Arr May 4, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Don’t forget the Mother Nature Burger at Krusty’s!

  • Reply Otto May 4, 2021 at 11:49 am

    That is an awesome collection of tasty looking food. Too much with too much carbs in them but there sure are some great diches I love to try on my next visit.

  • Reply Robert Vandivier May 28, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Vegan Jambalaya at Pat O’Briens is a winner at CityWalk.

  • Reply Angela B Kosar July 21, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    These all look and sound so delicious! Great to know there are options that allow me to continue supporting my dietary needs while having fun! Thanks Universal – please keep it coming!

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