If you're not familiar with the way-of-the-land at Universal Orlando, then you should know that CityWalk is the entertainment district guests pass through when entering Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Self-proclaimed "The Epicenter of Awesome," CityWalk offers retail stores, nightclubs, a tattoo parlor, live shows, unique dining experiences, and much more. 

As someone who has been to Universal Orlando multiple times growing up (where my Florida residents at?), I can honestly say it wasn't until recently that I discovered what delicious options the CityWalk restaurants had to offer. I guess it took having an Annual Pass and being a UO Intern to finally try out these different dining options (and ultimately recommend seven of the best). 

1. The Cowfish

Based off of the original Cowfish restaurant in Charlette, NC, Universal Orlando's version stays true to the quirky nature of its predecessor. As the name somewhat hints to, Cowfish serves signature burgers, sushi, and the combo of both - the Burgushi. And surprisingly, this culinary collision works wonderfully. 

The burgers pack a ton of flavor, and the sushi just melts in your mouth. If you're up for a bit of both, try the literal burger/sushi combo, the Burgushi, or order the Bento box to have them separate. The restaurant itself has great views of both parks as it towers over most of CityWalk. 

2. NBC Sports Grill & Brew

NBC Sports Grill & Brew can be easily spotted by its massive flat-screen TVs that adorn the face of the building. And just like the name would imply, this restaurant prides itself on their over 100 TVs showcasing live sports, craft beers, and American bar and grill food. 

But just because NBC Sports gives off a bar-and-grill vibe doesn't mean they skimp on any flavor. The burgers, appetizers, and salads are the all-stars of NBC Sport's menu. And what better pairing than with one of the restaurant's own brewed craft beers?!

#SpoonTip: If you enjoy people-watching, request a seat on the deck near the edge of the restaurant. It has a pleasant breeze and great views of guests entering Universal Studios Florida (and you won't look creepy doing it either). 

3. VIVO Italian Kitchen 

Looking for more of a ~fancier~ dining experience? Then VIVO Italian Kitchen will be right up your alley. It has the perfect blend of fine-Italian dining with a modern vibe. 

VIVO serves authentic Italian cuisine with an emphasis on freshness. An open concept kitchen stands as the centerpiece of the restaurant, allowing guests to view everything from pizzas to pasta being prepared right in front of them. And what better pairing with Italian food than wine; VIVO supplies an expansive wine inventory for all tastes and preferences.

4. Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food

I think it's safe to say that Mexican food is truly served best as its authentic self, and Antojitos does just that. The restaurant gives off a vibrant atmosphere filled with live music, colorful decor, and guac that is freshly prepared at your table. 

Antojitos serves traditional Mexican dishes with more of an emphasis on street-fare flavors. Everything is made from scratch, and ingredients are sourced around the globe. Better yet, Antojitos serves their signature tortilla chips unlimited. 

5. Red Oven Pizza Bakery 

If you're looking for a decent, quick meal, skip over the typical CityWalk fast-food options and head for Red Oven. The restaurant serves fast-fired pizza with toppings to your liking.

Compared to most "build-your-own" pizza places you may find in your hometown, Red Oven serves deliciously inexpensive pizza. Each pie has a perfect charred (in a good way of course) to chewy ratio and cheese combo. Not to mention, the salads are not worth passing up and pair great with the pizza. 

6. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium 

You are probably well aware of the social media craze Toothsome caused with their outrageous shakes - and for good reason too. Not gonna lie, they are actually really good. I mean, for some of their shakes, they put an entire slice of cake into the mix. 

#SpoonTip: Save yourself some dollars (and a stomach ache) by splitting a Toothsome shake with a friend or two. It'll hit the spot, plus you can get the toppings on the side for easy sharing. 

The desserts aren't the only yummy things on the menu. Toothsome has an expansive selection of meals to enjoy including quiches, loaded tater tots, turkey clubs, and waffles. It's a sweet way to begin or end your Universal day.  

7. Voodoo Doughnut

The Portland, Oregon doughnut shop by the name of Voodoo Doughnut has recently set up shop at Universal Orlando's CityWalk. Its crazy ambiance certainly pairs nicely with their over-the-top doughnut varieties (such as maple bacon and grape). If you prefer flavors such as glazed or jelly-stuffed, they've got those too. But you may find that they, respectively, will literally be bigger than your hand or shaped like a voodoo doll with a "pretzel" stake.  

Overall, Voodoo has some delicious doughnuts perfect for a sweet breakfast, mid-day snack, or dessert before heading home. 

Wrap Up

Universal Orlando's CityWalk has a plethora of delicious restaurants to choose from. Best of all, they are a reasonable walking distance from both theme parks. So if you want to head over to CityWalk from the parks for lunch or dinner, know you will be able to re-enter by simply scanning your ticket at the turnstiles. 

The next time you're at Universal Orlando, give one of these restaurants a try. You will find the walk over from one of the parks so worth the trip.