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When you are planning a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort, there is a good chance you’ll want to stay onsite. They offer a lot of great perks for guests who stay onsite. They have a wonderful bus system that gets you to and from the park easily. It’s really nice to be able to park your car and not have to bother driving during your vacation – or if you flew in, it’s really nice not having to rent a car or bother with an Uber or Lyft.
Plus, you can get into the parks an hour early! This is great because you’ll get shorter lines than during regular park hours.
However, If you are looking for an onsite Universal Orlando hotel, you might feel you should look at one of the more affordable options. One of those is one of Universal Orlando’s newer hotels, Surfside Inn and Suites.
My family loves Surfside Inn and Suites. It’s a great hotel, which you can see in our video.
One of the reasons we love this hotel so much is their food court, Beach Break Cafe.
It works like a traditional food court, where you can grab a tray and order the food you want rather than a sit down restaurant.
To me, this is one of the best food courts at a hotel I’ve ever had. We’ve stayed at all the value hotels at Disney World, and we like their food courts – but not as much as Surfside Inn’s food court.
There are some similarities here with the Disney World hotels, and one of those is a feature I really like. And that is the refillable mug system. I really like that you can buy one mug you can use for your whole trip. If you have multiple meals here or you’re ever just coming back to the hotel in the afternoon and want something to drink, having that refillable mug really saves you money. And it makes for a wonderful keepsake.
So there are similarities, but in my opinion, Surfside Inn and Suites takes their food court to a whole other level.
Dinner and Lunch
First, let’s start with the dinner and lunch options. You’re going to get much better dining options here than at the parks, so you might want to consider having a meal or two here. Especially if you use the refillable mug option I mentioned earlier.
One of the features you’re not going to find at a Disney value hotel restaurant, and that a salad bar. You can choose the ingredients you want and fix your own salad. They weigh it and you pay based on that.
I really love being able to choose what goes into my salad. They have a nice selection, though not the most extensive selection. The salad bar at the food court at Universal’s Cabana Bay does have a larger selection. And for me personally, I think since Beach Break Cafe has a Southern California flavor to it, it would be nice if the salad bar had avocados.
But – this is a very minor complaint. Especially since they have so many delicious food options here. Which makes it really great, by the way, if you have any picky eaters in your group. And a lot of the food options you order and then they make, which you don’t always get at a food court. Not only that, but you can customize it.
Take, for example, the Shrimp Pesto. Which, by the way, is not a dish you always think you’re going to get at a budget theme park hotel.
At any rate, when I went to order it, I was able to customize it. When I placed my order, I got to watch them make it.
They started by making the shrimp. Then they asked if I wanted to add salt, pepper, or garlic.
Next, they added pesto. Then they asked if I wanted spaghetti or rigatoni. So I really got to make it my own.
And by the way, it was delicious. It was one of the best Shrimp Pesto dishes I have ever had (I will say, though, unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the breadstick that came with it. It was so hard I could slam it down hard on the table and it wouldn’t break at all. But I didn’t order the dish for the breadstick so it was not a big deal at all to me at the time, luckily).
But speaking of delicious dishes, another great dish you can order and they made fresh for us is the French Dip Sandwich.
It was delicious! It was messy but delicious. The sandwich itself was so great if felt as though you didn’t need to dip it, but you’ll want to because it tastes really great with the dip. The best part of the sandwich though was the caramelized onions, they were great.
But not everything is made fresh. If you want to just grab a quick item and go back to your room, you can as there are grab and go options. The Italian sandwich and potato chips are good.
They also have other entrees like pizza and quesadillas. So it’s really great if your family has a wide variety of tastes since everyone can find something like that.
Breakfast is also really great because there are so many options. If you love breakfast like I do, you could probably vary up what you have each day because there are so many options.
Though if I could recommend one dish, it would be the French Toast.
It was really good.
But they have a ton of other options, too. And there are smaller items you can get if you like a small breakfast, such as a croissant or a doughnut or fruit. Just like with dinner and lunch, there’s something for everyone.
The last thing I want to mention is the atmosphere of the restaurant.
Now, to start, since this is a quick service restaurant, you can order your food and bring it up your room and eat it there. You can do that with made-to-order food or the grab and go food. And if you are staying in a suite, you can eat it at your table in your room.
But I personally like eating at one of the tables at the restaurant. I love sitting at a table in the room with the television. They have a great video loop of surfing.
To me, there is something so relaxing about watching surfing. After an often chaotic day at the parks, it’s nice to feel relaxed. I also love the surfing decor on the walls.
Even the tables not near the surfing videos are great.
And I really like the extra touches. This may sound like a small thing, but I love that there is a napkin dispenser at each table.
It is much more convenient than having to get up and get napkins, especially if there is a spill. And there are a lot of restaurants today that actively seem to try to keep napkins from customers and you have to ask them for extra napkins. So I really like that it is easy to get napkins when you eat here.
Beach Break Cafe is a wonderful food court, with its great food selection, wonderful atmosphere, and nice attention to detail. It is a great choice for all meals.
And it makes staying at Surfside Inn and Suites even more appealing. Which is great, since Surfside Inn is among the most affordable onsite Universal Orlando hotels.
If you really want to save on a stay there, too, book your stay here. It is much cheaper there than on other websites.
And if you are planning on visiting the Universal Orlando parks (Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay), then you can find discounted Universal Orlando park tickets here.