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Orlando Recommendations - Universal Studios Visit

My wife and 2 children are staying at Universal for a few days and have a vehicle. We are looking for a nice restaurant for just my wife and I as well as places for the family. We enjoy all food types. Currently we are booked for the Teppenyaki Tasting Menu at Tchoup but I am reading some horrible reviews for this place so we are reconsidering. Any help would be appreciated.

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  1. across universal there is a place called Cracker Barrel you can look it up excatly on thier website at www.crackerbarrel.com. I highly recomend you get breakfast there.
    Best pancakes.

    1. I wouldn't say Tchoup Tchoup was horrible, but it wasn't great. If you end up there, have some drinks, keep your expectations and expenditures modest, and you'll do OK. I have heard good things about Todd English's Blue Zoo (which isn't at Universal, I think it's at Downtown Disney), but I haven't been. I hope you get other good ideas here. Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Miss E

        Blue Zoo is not in Downtown Disney, but either the Swan or Dolphin hotel (I forget which) on Disney property. You don't need a ticket to the parks to go there, though.

        I've never been to Tchoup Tchoup, but I was unimpressed the one time I ate at Emeril's at Universal "Shittywalk," especially for the price. It wouldn't be a good place to bring kids either, that's for sure.

        Hard Rock Cafe is overpriced, the food is T.G.I. Friday's quality at best, and the service always sucks. Don't go there!

      2. Make sure to eat at Mythos while at Islands of Adventure. Best restaurant you'll ever find in a theme park setting.

        1. for your wife and you....Primo at the gigantic JW Marriott property. Very good. Not sure about how old your kids are but we are love taking our 6 yo to Jiko at disney's animal kingdom. Its not a kids restaurant at all, but the food is really interesting and the setting very nice. Afterwards, you can take the kids for a walk out to the firepit to see if there is an activity going on, or you can just walk out the the "savannah" and watch the animals.

          1. Its a chain and I'm usually not a big fan of chains, but Giordano's Pizza does very solid chicago style pizza. Much better than Uno's. Its a good family choice and there are a couple in the orlando area. They have a website with the full menu, but their pizza is the way to go.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chrisinroch

              Update, there are a couple of giordanos and the one on 192 is awful. Search tripadvisor for my full report.

            2. I highly recomend Tchoup Chop. I've been twice for lunch and had fantastic meals both times! I found the food and the service both to be impecible.
              Another mention here was for Jeko and I second that one also! It's located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and is an excellent selection of S. African foods! Plus you can see some of the animals from the hotel...

              1. The only half way decent food we ate while visiting Universal was at the NBA restaraunt. It was much better than Hard Rock

                1. I agree that Tchoup Tchoup is nothing special as far as the food goes. It's a beautiful restaurant, but the food isn't as good as Emeril's at CityWalk in my opnion.

                  Since it's so close by, you might enjoy Seasons 52. It's only about 5 minutes from Universal, the food is great and it's not expensive. They have an amazing wine list.

                  I've also enjoyed the Oceanaire Seafood Room if you're in the mood for fish. The service was outstanding there and I had a delicious meal.

                  1. DH, 5-yo DS and I are spending a week in Orlando at the end of April, spending most of our time at the WDW parks (though we are staying off property). Based on recommendations on this, and other, boards, we are eating at Boma (at Animal Kingdom Lodge), Tchoup Chop, Seasons 52, Le Coq Au Vin, Bubbalou's BBQ, and Hemisphere. Our DS is a very good eater so we have no concerns taking him to any of these places.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mdepsmom

                      Tchoup Chop was terrible the night we ate there. Primo is one of our favorites, Blue Zoo was good, but the sodium level was high, we were up all night drinking water.

                      1. re: mdepsmom

                        I agree with mdepsmom about Boma for a special night out with the kids in Animal Kingdom. It is a beautiful buffet with all sorts of things the kids would love, great decor and I have never seen a wait staff go this far out of the way to involve kids. High energy, great staff, great food and 100% kid friendly.

                        Season's 52 is one of my favorites as well. I went to Cafe Tu Tu Tango a few years ago and seem to recall it would be a good place for kids. Fun small dishes, funky relaxed atmosphere, tons of local art for sale on walls and the night I was there they had several artists working in areas around the restaurant. I don't live in the area and seem to stay in the general I-Drive/Disney area for meetings and have found the traffic just too much to bear to plan driving to dinner anywhere far away.

                        1. re: Windsor

                          For more casual family meals, I suggest two restaurants on the corner of Kirkman and International Drive, which is very close to Universal. One is Pio Pio, which specializes in Peruvian chicken. The food is delicious. Next door, Aashwirad (I may have spelled that wrong) has great Indian food.

                      2. There are two great ethnic restaurants in the Universal Studios area (same plaza as well)...

                        1. Memories of India - delicious...made an Indian food fan out of me.
                        2. Rice Paper - fusion Vietnamese, great atmosphere, good food