*This dining experience took place in October 2016.
Margaritaville, located at City Walk in Universal Studios Orlando, is a table service restaurant filled with cheeseburgers in paradise and, you guessed it…margaritas. If you’re a Parrothead, you’ll recognize this as a chain restaurant associated with Jimmy Buffett. The restaurant as a decidedly South Florida vibe. It’s filled with bright colors and huge meals and drinks.
On this particular occasion, Brandon and I ended up here for dinner during Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. We initially tried to go to the newly opened Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, but it had a 2 hour wait!
Because I knew that Margaritaville had a dedicated gluten free lunch and dinner menu, we decided to go there instead.
Before ordering, we opted for gin and tonics, which were delicious but very strong. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the various Margaritavilles I’ve been to is that Jimmy Buffett’s team sure knows how to make strong drinks. Wow!
As a quick aside on drinks, according to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and many others, scientifically pure spirits that may have been made with grains are, in fact, gluten free because the protein is removed during distillation. I do look for gins that are gluten free, like Aviation Gin, but have never had an issue personally with gin-based drinks. That being said, I do from other alcohol like Whiskey beacuse that does make me feel a bit sick. Trust your gut when it comes to liquor and avoid those that causes you difficulty.
Luckily, at Margaritaville, you can find a ton of options, including hard cider!
For my entree, I ordered the classic Cheeseburger in Paradise, served on an Udi’s Gluten Free bun and a side of sweet potato fries (which are made in a dedicated fryer). Brandon also got a burger and enjoyed his a lot.
I thought mine was OK — good but not amazing. If you’re dairy free, you can simply order without the cheese. What I do wish is that I had ordered was the Volcano Nachos appetizer, because it looked amazing and was huge! Still, there were plenty of gluten free options to choose from on the menu, and the burger was decent enough. I actually wish there was a Cheeseburger in Paradise (another Jimmy Buffett chain restaurant) in the area, because I used to love their burgers!
Overall, we both enjoyed our dinner at Margaritaville. I won’t say that it was gourmet, but it was exactly what we needed for a solid meal. The drinks were strong, food portions large, and the prices reasonable — all in all a good combination. It won’t be our first choice at Universal Studios City Walk, but we’d definitely go back again.
Have you been to Margaritvaille? What did you order when you dined there?