If you click on the links in this post, we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post, at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclaimer here.
Eating at theme parks can be very hit or miss. Honestly, I haven’t had all good dining experiences at the Universal Orlando Resort.
But every now and then you have a truly great dining experience. And that happened to my family at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill at Universal Studios theme park. So we wanted to tell you about it.
Finnegan’s Bar and Grill Universal Reservations
We made a reservation before we went. We didn’t have to do it way in advance, even though we were visiting Universal Studios on a busy day. It was Saturday, November 13th, which was the start of the holiday celebration and the first day of the Christmas parade.
We had spent the morning at Islands of Adventure and then went back to our hotel, Dockside Inn & Suites, for a nap. We drove back to the park sometime between 4:30 PM and 5:00 PM and made the reservation
The parade starts at 5:30 and is pretty long, so we made a reservation for 6:30. We didn’t have to wait too long before our reservation was ready. So we were able to sit on one of the benches and take in the beautiful Christmas tree and lights while we waited.
We were then able to get into the restaurant.
Finnegan’s Bar & Grill: First Impressions
Finnegan’s Bar & Grill is located in the New York section of the park.
I really like the location of the restaurant. It is right in front of the Mummy ride. It is pretty close to the front of the park, too, so if you leave after your meal it is close to the exit.
Finnegan’s looks like the kind of Irish bar and grill you would find in New York City. Although it is not based on say a famous New York City Irish bar and grill. It actually was themed to a bar in the movie 1978 movie The Brinks Job.
You can tell right when you walk into the bar that this is a neat place. The decor is incredible, with detailed decor throughout. I love all the small touches. And being Irish myself, I love all the Irish touches.
As the name would imply, it is both a bar and grill.
And they have TVs with games playing. So if you like sports and want to catch your team during your time at the theme park, you could come here.
Though when we were here, it was Saturday night. Instead of showing a college game, they were randomly showing a rerun of an NFL game. So I wouldn’t make a reservation for this restaurant if you have one specific game you want to see because they may not show it.
And since the restaurant is based on a movie set, there is a part of the restaurant that looks like a movie set.
They also have ceiling fans. That makes the restaurant a comfortable temperature inside even on hot days (and let’s face it, there are a lot of those in Orlando, Florida!).
They had live music playing when we got there. He was very good. I have to say, though, I found the music too loud. Which of course made me feel old, which is not a great feeling for someone who was having a birthday the next day.
But it did make having conversations difficult. I did ask to move tables and they were accommodating and we didn’t have to eat right in front of the live music.
The servers were all nice and friendly. But it did take an awfully long time for a server to come to take our order. There was such a gap we even wondered about leaving.
Finnegan’s Bar & Grill Menu & Food Review
But I am really glad we didn’t. Because the food was absolutely delicious. Even with the fun theming, the food was definitely the best part of the restaurant.
I really like the menu at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill. It has a large menu with a lot of different foods, so everyone at your table should be able to find something they like.
And I also like how the menu is very unique. You can see the Irish theming in a lot of the food. That is really nice during a trip to theme parks. Often, restaurants at theme parks can get a bit repetitive with the food and while some can be good, you basically are eating a mix of the same chicken fingers, burgers, hot dogs, and pizza over and over. So it’s neat when you can get a bit more unique of cuisine with different ingredients.
So I had the Fish and Chips.
It was North Atlantic fresh cod in ale batter. It also came with potato wedge fries.
I can’t say enough how good the fish was. I love Fish and Chips in general, but I can be picky about my fish. Not all fish and chips are equal. But this was really delicious.
My mother had the Tipperary Corned Beef Sandwich.
It consists of fresh-baked pretzel roll and warm corned beef topped with Swiss cheese, sauteed onions, tomato, lettuce, and a pickle. She loved the onions in particular and she said the corned beef was very good.
My sister got the Webb Burger.
This is a half-pound, all-beef burger that is served with tender corned beef and Swiss cheese. It is also served on a warm pretzel bun. Then it is topped with crispy potato onion webb, tomato, lettuce, and a pickle.
It was delicious, and the crispy potato onion webb in particiular was really good. The crispy potato onion webb consists of thinly sliced potatoes & onions, hand-dipped in beer batter and crisply fried golden brown.
The corned beef, Swiss cheese, and burger combination also was amazing. And the pickle was also good.
One thing to note though is that although she asked for medium, the burger was a little more like medium-rare. So take that into account when you are ordering a burger.
My dad got the Grand Ole Burger.
He thought it was delicious, too.
My table also ordered alcoholic beverages as well. We ordered beer and Pinot Noir, which was particularly excellent.
Although the service was a bit slow at the beginning, we absolutely loved our experience here. The Irish bar theme and the atmosphere were great, and the location in the New York section of Universal Studios is good, too.
But mainly you should visit because the food is so delicious. And honestly, it is a lot better than some of the other food you can eat at Universal Studios (see our mixed experience at The Burger Digs and pretty bad food experience at Dockside Inn).
So if visit Universal Orlando and really want to make sure you eat some delicious food during your stay, I highly recommend going to Finnegan’s Bar and Grill. And it’s also a great place to get a drink!
Universal Studios Tickets
One last thing before I end this blog entry. You need tickets to Universal Studios in order to go to Finnegan’s Bar & Grill (unlike, say, a restaurant at Universal CityWalk).
If you are looking for discounted Universal Orlando tickets, click here.