Gluten-Free Dining at Universal Studios: The Ultimate Guide

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image of universal entrance, butter beer, and baked potato

The Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Dining at Universal Studios

Just me geeking out at WWoHP!

This spring my husband and I enjoyed our first visit to Universal.  He’s a roller coaster/ride junky and I am a huge Harry Potter nerd.  We were so excited to visit, but I was a bit nervous about finding good food options for gluten-free dining at Universal Studios .  You know, delicious food—not food that leaves you feeling left out of the fun.  Keep reading for the gluten-free food options available in each Universal theme park, resort, and Universal’s City Walk.

Are you new here? I also have the following posts to help you implement the gluten-free diet while traveling without the stress!

…and of course, you should join my EXCLUSIVE Facebook community “Stress-Free Gluten-Free” by clicking here!

Options in Every Park

I was impressed at how many options are scattered throughout each park at Universal.  There are plenty of options for grab and go snacking everywhere:

  • fruit cups
  • cheese platters
  • gluten-free snack bars
  • bags of gluten-free chips
Baked Potato from a stand in Universal Studios (the employee looked up on his computer to ensure it would be gluten-free and listened closely to our needs to reduce the chances of cross-contamination!

Plus, if you enter a Starbucks (there’s one in each park), you can find all the trusty grab & go gluten-free Starbucks snacks you’re familiar with such as fruit bars, Goodie Girl cookies, and gluten-free popcorn.

The tips below are based on my personal experience and research.  Always be sure to discuss gluten-free options with your server and ensure that your personal dietary needs are accommodated.  
Also, this post contains affiliate links.  If you order something through one of these links I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!    My full disclosure isn’t that interesting, but you can find it here.

What to Bring With You

There are a couple items that you should definitely bring with you on your trip to Universal (especially if you’re gluten-free!)

  • a string backpack
    • You’ll need to store the stuff you bring in something to carry around.  For many of the rides you’ll need to put your backpack in a locker—the small ones are free, but small.  A string backpack is the perfect size to squish in a locker.
      The ones with water bottle pockets are amazing!
  • water bottles
  • snacks
  • dietary restriction dining card
    • When dining with dietary restrictions, it’s helpful to bring something that clearly states what you can and cannot have.  I created this free download to bring with me to clearly state our dietary needs.  To gain access to the free downloads, click the button below:

When traveling to Universal with dietary restrictions, always be sure to contact Universal ahead of time and speak to the staff/management/chefs at each eatery to ensure that food formulations haven’t changed.

Keep reading for specific restaurants throughout Universal Orlando and Hollywood that provide gluten-free options.

Gluten-Free Dining at Universal Studios Restaurants

You can find SOMETHING gluten-free at pretty much any restaurant throughout Universal Studios.  The official statement from Universal is to clearly advocate for your dietary needs to the hostess and the kitchen will accommodate. Keep reading for the amazingn options for gluten-free dining at Universal Studios.

Lombard’s Seafood Grille

A number of options that can be prepared gluten-free and vegan on their menu including San Francisco Cobb Salad and Portobello Quinoa.  They also have some great gluten-free surf and turf options such as the Grilled 10oz Striploin or the Grilled Mahi-Mahi Sandwich.  If you want to eat here during your Universal Studios visit, it’s a good idea to make reservations.

Gluten-Free Options at Islands of Adventure Restaurants

Just like at Universal Studios, you can find SOMETHING gluten-free at pretty much any restaurant throughout Islands of Adventure.  The official statement from Universal is to clearly advocate for your dietary needs to the hostess and the kitchen will accommodate.

Mythos Restaurant Gluten-Free Menu

The Mythos Universal menu has an extensive assortment of gluten-free options on their menu including various salads & soup, sandwiches, and entrees.  These options are mouthwatering including noteworthy options such as the Balsamic Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Beef Loin Medallions, and the Mythos Signature Lamb Burger.  There are also gluten-free vegan options at Mythos Restaurant including Summer Truffle Risotto and Pad Thai.  If you want to eat here during your Universal Studios visit, it’s a good idea to make reservations.

Confisco Grille

Confisco Grille also has a decent assortment of gluten-free options including gluten-free “Trader Wings,” the Pico Avocado Burger, and a BLT Chicken Sandwich.  If you want to eat here during your Universal Studios visit, it’s a good idea to make reservations.

Eating Gluten-Free at Universal Resorts

Universal Studios Florida Entrance with text

If looking to dine at the Universal Resorts, there are numerous restaurants with gluten-free options.  Be sure to chat with guest services about which resorts have the restaurants that best accommodate your gluten-free needs before booking. 

When we visited Universal, we used Jessica Tullino from Imagineered Vacations for our travel planning, and she did all of our booking and reservations.  Plus, she understands dietary restrictions very well—and her services are completely FREE!  Be sure to contact her and mention that I, Sharon McCaskill from The Helpful GF, referred you!

Some of the Universal gluten-free options at the resorts include:

  • Mama Della’s Ristorante (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel)
  • The Kitchen (Hard Rock)
  • Islands Dining Room (Loews Royal Pacific)
  • Jake’s American Bar (Lowes Royal Pacific)
  • Amatista Cookhouse (Loews Sapphire Falls)

Universal Studios Hollywood Gluten-Free

There are numerous gluten-free options available at the Universal Studios Hollywood location.  While all of these options are designated as gluten-free on their website, be sure to confirm these options at each specific eatery.  Gluten-free dining at Universal Studios Hollywood is easy as the park publishes a list of the gluten-free options plus vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free options by clicking here.

Gluten-Free at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Whether you are at Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, you can find SOMETHING gluten-free at either the Leaky Cauldron or the Three Broomsticks.  The official statement from Universal is to clearly advocate for your dietary needs to the hostess and the kitchen will accommodate.  Keep reading for specific options available at each of these restaurants.

image of butterbeer

Is Butterbeer Gluten-Free?

My number one question when heading to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was: “Is butterbeer gluten-free?” 

For those of you wondering… the answer is YES!  Butterbeer, butterbeer foam, and butterbeer ice cream are all gluten-free (but not dairy-free).  Cheers!

Leaky Cauldron Menu Gluten-Free Options

When visiting Diagon Alley, of course you want to stop at the Leaky Cauldron.  While their menu doesn’t specifically state “gluten-free,” the hostess and chef will do their best to accommodate your needs.  They offer both gluten-free breakfast and lunch/dinner options.  Breakfast options go beyond just eggs and meat to also offer gluten-free pancakes.

Three Broomsticks Menu Gluten-Free Options

The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade operates similarly with the Leaky Cauldron.  While their menu doesn’t specifically state “gluten-free,” the hostess and chef will do their best to accommodate your needs.  In addition to salads, there are meat options including roasted chicken or ribs and sides including veggies and corn on the cob.  Be sure to drink some butterbeer with it!

WWOHP Candy Options

At both Honeydukes in Hogsmeade or Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes in Diagon alley you can find some gluten-free options for candy.  Although, you must read the labels carefully.  Most of the candy items contain warnings that they are produced on equipment that also produces wheat and other allergens.  However, I did find a few options at this shops that did not contain this warning including Pepper Imps, a Sugar Quill Lollipop, and good old Pumpkin Juice. I didn’t find any items that had a gluten-free label.

pepper imps pumpkin juice and sugar quill

Universal Studios City Walk Gluten-Free Options

Eating gluten-free at Universal Studios City Walk is a bit different than eating within the park itself.  While they adhere to the official statement from Universal (advocate for your dietary needs to the hostess and the kitchen will accommodate), many of these restaurants are chains and have their own dietary protocols.  Keep reading for specific gluten-free offerings on their menus!

Is Universal Studios City Walk Free?

Universal Studios City Walk can be free depending on the time of day:

  • 11am-6pm you’ll receiving reimbursement of your parking fee if you have two movie tickets for Universal Cinemark for a movie during those times.
  • After 6pm—just come in and get free parking for dinner! (the website claims that certain restrictions apply—be sure to check with Universal that parking will be free on the day you plan!)

Jimmy Buffett’s® Margaritaville

Margaritaville has one of the largest gluten-free menus at Universal!  Gluten-free options abound as starters/appetizers, salads, entrees, burgers & sandwiches, and even dessert options.  Notable options include Volcano Nachos, Taco Salad, Island Kabobs, Florida Grouper Sandwich, and the Gluten-Free Brownie Sundae.  Margaritaville also has various vegan options as well.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company does have items designated “gluten-sensitive” on their menu, but also has the following disclaimer:
“While we use caution in preparing our gluten-sensitive menu items, our kitchen is not gluten-free. Since our dishes are prepared-to-order, during normal kitchen operations, we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination with foods containing gluten will not occur. We encourage you to carefully consider your dining choices and your individual dietary needs when dining with us. When placing your order, please let your server know that you are ordering a gluten-sensitive menu item.”

VIVO Italian Kitchen

While specific items aren’t designated gluten-free on Vivo Italian Kitchen’s menu, their menu does state: “many of our items can be prepared gluten free.”

Gluten-Free at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando—The Kitchen

Whether or not you are staying overnight at the resort, The Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel has a full gluten-free menu.  There are numerous gluten-free options including salads, flatbreads, burgers/sandwiches, entrees (such as Filet Mignon and Pan Seared Ahi Tuna Steak), and even desserts (including a Gluten-Free Brownie Sundae and Crème Brulee). 

If you’re planning a trip to Universal, start getting excited about the gluten-free and allergy friendly options available to you!  There are so many.  And don’t forget to contact Jessica and tell her I referred you.  She made our whole trip to Universal totally easy.

Download your FREE gluten-free travel guide!  This checklist makes sure that you don’t overlook the details so you can relax in the security of having planned and enjoy your time away!

Have you eaten at any of the restaurants in Universal?  Comment below and tell us where and what you ate!

Did you love these tips for gluten-free dining at Universal Studios? Be sure to use the social buttons below to share this post with your friends or pin it to Pinterest for quick reference later.

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10 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Dining at Universal Studios: The Ultimate Guide

  1. What an excellent resource you’ve put together for those who eat gluten free. It’s nice to know you can still enjoy the parks and all they offer and not go hungry or have to pack your own food!!!

    Thanks for your hard work in creating this post!!

  2. Love all these suggestions, looks like there are plenty of options! And yay butter beer! ❤️ Thanks for the advice, I’ll pass it on to my GF family members!

    1. Yes, it can be challenging. We definitely still brought our own snacks and refillable water bottles, but each stand and restaurant has kiosks with up to date allergens. Most of the staff were caring and helpful!

  3. I am so happy to hear about this! With what my husband calls, “my unhappy belly”, going places on vacation can be somewhat daunting. It sounds like you all had a fantastic time!

    1. Yes, it definitely is daunting! We had a great experience and the staff was super helpful!

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