Fanciful Foods at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

| December 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

In December, we visited Orlando, Florida for the FIRST TIME (yeah, I know – it took us long enough) and our family spent the last day in town discovering the magic of The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. I found it to be a truly enchanted outing, even for Harry Potter newbies like us. We wandered through the twisted and snow-covered hamlet of Hogsmeade (which still has snow in July), overshadowed by the massive Hogwarts castle. We also found ourselves soaring on a Forbidden Journey at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and even met up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione for an epic adventure deep beneath Gringott’s Bank.

But today, let’s talk about the collection of quirky foods that jumped right off the pages of the Harry Potter stories.

Jellied Eels and Mashed Onions - Diagon Alley

Jellied Eels and Mashed Onions – Diagon Alley

I was a little concerned at Diagon Alley when I saw signs advertising peculiar meals like Jellied Eel and Mashed Onions. Ewww! But beyond the imaginary, Universal does a superb job of offering unique AND tasty Potter-themed food and beverages…and you don’t have to be an HP fan to get in on the fun.

The Leaky Cauldron:

Soon after we arrived at Universal Studios Florida, we stopped at the Leaky Cauldron restaurant. For future reference, they serve breakfast (until 11:00 am) and in keeping with the Potter theme, you’ll find a thoroughly traditional British Breakfast that includes black pudding, baked beans and grilled tomato as sides. (I think I’d pass on that one.) Fortunately, they also offer more American-style options, like pancakes, eggs and bacon.

We walked into the restaurant just as lunch was starting. We began by placing our order at the counter (which was a bit chaotic), then received an order number, and a friendly host directed us to a picnic-style table with benches. The dining room has cavernous ceilings with massive rustic chandeliers and wooden beams. A towering leaded glass window streams in sunlight, and as expected, fans will find meticulous decor that’s unique to their beloved Potter tales.

In addition to individual meals, the Cauldron also offers Feasts for Four (or more) which are served family style. I can see why that might be a great option for a family with little ones, who can’t eat a full meal. The three of us ordered Cottage Pie, Guinness Stew, and Bangers and Mash. Our food was delivered to us promptly and was flavorful and filling. I really appreciate that there are healthier options like steamed vegetables and salad, so we could avoid eating all junk food that day.

Leaky Cauldron Bangers and Mash

Leaky Cauldron Bangers and Mash

While we were there, our daughter said we had to try the Butterbeer. I thought, “Why would anyone want to drink beer with butter added? Yuck!” (Yes, I’m admitting my ignorance.) I learned that it’s a sweet and delicious butterscotch-flavored non-alcoholic drink, served one of three ways: hot and foamy, cold, or frozen (like a slush). Since this was a chilly, rainy December day, we chose a hot mug to share. I’m so glad we decided to share just one, because it’s VERY sweet, and drinking a whole one myself would have been way too much sugar. Imagine a tall mug of liquid butterscotch. Yowza! It was a perfect treat in smaller doses though, and helped to warm our bellies for the cool weather.

Here are some other food and beverage options that you’ll find at Diagon Alley (at Universal Studios Florida):

Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment – At this beverage kiosk, located in Carkitt Market, you’ll find a variety of elixirs that, when combined with water, transform before your eyes into unique and flavorful beverages. A few of the options are Babbling Beverage and Elixir to Induce Euphoria.

The Fountain of Fair Fortune – serves a variety of beers and other beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) including Pumpkin Juice, Pumpkin Fizz and Butterbeer.

The Hopping Pot -An eclectic variety of drinks and light snacks, like: Cornish Pasties, Butterbeer ice-cream, Fire Whiskey and Tongue Tying Lemon Squash.

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour – serves continental breakfast items, such as pastries, in the morning, plus unique ice cream flavors like Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili and Lavender throughout the day. Even though it was a chilly day, I wish I had seen the Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream while we were there. That was one of my absolute favorite desserts when we visited Scotland a few years ago, so it would have been fun to compare with that experience.

Honeydukes Bertie Bott's Beans

Honeydukes Bertie Bott’s Beans

Hogsmeade Taste Treats (Universal’s Islands of Adventure):

Honeydukes Emporium – Later in the day we also made a stop at this Hogsmeade spot. This is definitely a shop where everyone will find something they like, unless you’re avoiding sugar, of course. Here you can buy a mix-and-match of hard candy, licorice and the like, by the ounce. You’ll also find “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans” which may include jelly beans ranging from delicious to disgusting, including marshmallow, tutti-frutti, grass, soap, vomit and earwax. Maybe you’d prefer a box of Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs that includes a Hogwarts Wizard Card. Or are Exploding BonBons more to your liking? You can buy those here too. Caramel apples, cupcakes, Rice Crispy Treats and fudge are also available. We took the conservative route and picked up some red licorice, pear-flavored and sour hard candies. It made for a fun afternoon pit-stop for a pick-me-up.

Three Broomsticks – in this rustic tavern, meals can also be ordered as a Great Feast for Four (or more) served family style, or as individual meals. Some options are Smoked Turkey Leg with Wedge Fries, Fish and Chips, or a Soup and Salad Combination. The menu also includes children’s options, more HP creative beverages and desserts, of course.

Hog’s Head – You may notice the stuffed hog’s head hanging over the bar. (Tip: Don’t spill your drink if he snarls at you.) Here you’ll find a variety of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, including the pub’s exclusive Hog’s Head Brew, wine, spirits, mixed drinks and more.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the spots we visited at both Wizarding Worlds:

Hint: click the image to enlarge.

 

Thanks for joining me on this quick tour of the culinary options at The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter. Don’t forget that you’ll need to buy a park-to-park pass to enjoy both sides of Harry’s World, but I’ll go into that more later.

Have you been to Universal in Orlando? What were your favorites and what would you suggest people avoid?

Check back soon for more tips from our visit to Orlando.

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Category: 1 - 9 Days, All Year, Duration, Florida, Just for Fun, North America, Season, Southeast U.S., United States

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