Review of The Leaky Cauldron at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you know us, you know that Bella loves all things Harry Potter. So, whenever we have a chance to visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Orlando we take it. Jack and I really appreciate the attention to detail that is evident in throughout this themed area, while Bella loves the rides. But, what we can all agree on is that the food is awesome.

One of the two main Harry Potter-themed eateries at Universal is the Leaky Cauldron. We recently stopped by for lunch so that we could give you a tour of the restaurant and its offerings.

This counter service restaurant is located near the entrance to the Diagon Alley, on your left after you pass through the brick wall that separates the magical Diagon Alley area from the Muggle-friendly area that is themed to look like a London street.

Entrance to the Leaky Cauldron

The Process: When you first enter, you will encounter the line, where you will wait until you are directed by a host to go to a specific cash register to order. The host can give you a menu to browse so you can make your selections before approaching the counter. After ordering, you will receive your drinks and a giant numbered candle. A seater will then take you to your table, where you will wait for your food, which is delivered to your table.

Take your Candlestick number to your table

What We Think: The ordering and seating situation is far superior to that of other theme park counter service restaurants. By not forcing you to carry your food around while looking for a place to sit, Universal has eliminated the precarious balancing act that often goes along with finding a table at an Orlando theme park while carrying a tray full of food. Also, since someone chooses your table for you, you won’t encounter the problem of not being able to find a seat.

The Decor: The whole restaurant is themed to look like the same Leaky Cauldron that featured in the Harry Potter movies, and the detail is pretty convincing. There are beamed ceilings and decor reminiscent of an English inn or pub, as are the dimmed lighting and gas-lamp-style light fixtures. You sit at tables that have been crafted to look old and wooden, and pictures of various wizards and witches line every wall. They even have a replica of the leaky cauldron itself, situated in a giant hearth. There are also stairs leading up to the second floor, where the rooms of the inn were located in the movies. However, only the ground floor is accessible to guests.

The Off-Limits Upstairs Rooms

What We Think: The theming is pretty impressive. Fans of Harry Potter will definitely feel like they are in the real Wizarding World. Even those who haven’t read the books or seen the films should be able to appreciate the appearance of this eatery. It’s almost possible to believe you are in a real English inn and not in the middle of a crowded amusement park in Florida.

The Food: The Leaky Cauldron is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We prefer lunch and dinner because we like the pub food they serve, but breakfast is pretty good, too. Here’s a current menu for all meals, with prices.

Breakfast

  • Traditional English Breakfast (includes black pudding, sausage, English bacon, roasted potatoes, mushrooms, grilled tomato, scrambled eggs, baked beans, and a croissant)- $16.99
  • American Breakfast (includes roasted potatoes, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and a croissant)- $16.99
  • Pancake Breakfast (includes 3 pancakes, syrup, sausage, bacon, and a croissant)- $16.99
  • Egg, Leek, and Mushroom Pasty (includes a pasty- which is similar to a pie crust turnover filled with the listed ingredients, roasted potatoes, and seasonal fruit)- $16.99
  • Apple Oatmeal Flan with Yogurt and Fruit- $16.99
  • Kid’s Breakfast (choose from a smaller version of the Traditional, American, or Pancake Breakfast)- $12.39

Lunch and Dinner

  • Fish and Chips- $13.99
  • Ploughman’s- serves 2- (includes English cheese, crusty bread, salad greens, roasted tomatoes, apple and beet salad, cornichon pickles, and a Scotch egg)- $19.99
  • Bangers and Mash (includes sausage, mashed potatoes, roasted tomatoes, sauteed cabbage, minted peas, and grilled root vegetables)- $12.49

Bangers and Mash

  • Toad in the Hole (this is sausage baked into a Yorkshire pudding and covered in brown gravy; served with minted peas and roasted tomato)- $9.49
  • Beef, Lamb, and Guinness Stew (includes the items listed, plus root vegetables, all served in a bread bowl)- $13.49
  • Cottage Pie (like a ground beef stew served in a pie tin and covered with mashed potatoes; includes small salad)- $12.49
  • Fisherman’s Pie (shrimp, salmon, and cod, served in a creamy sauce and topped with mashed potatoes; includes small salad)- $14.99
  • Mini Pie Combination (one mini cottage pie and one mini fisherman’s pie, served with a small salad)- $13.49

The Mini-Pie Combo

  • Soup and Salad (split pea soup and side salad)- $9.49
  • Banger Sandwich (sausage, roasted tomato, mustard aioli sauce, sauteed cabbage and onions, served on a baguette; comes with wedge fries)- $12.49
  • Specialty Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken breast, Colby cheese, apple butter mayonnaise, bacon, served on a bun; comes with wedge fries)- $11.99

Kid’s Menu

  • Macaroni and Cheese- $6.99
  • Fish and Chips- $6.99
  • Mini Cottage Pie- $6.99

Desserts

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding- $6.99
  • Cranachan (Scottish dessert with raspberries, cream, honey, and toasted oatmeal)- $5.99

    Mouthwatering Butterbeer Potted Cream

  • Chocolate Potted Cream- $4.49
  • Butterbeer Potted Cream- $5.29

There is also a full selection of all your favorite Harry Potter beverages, including Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice. Wine, beer, and fire whiskey are also available.

What We Think: You really can’t go wrong here. We prefer the Cottage Pie, the Toad in the Hole, and the Bangers and Mash. They are filling and taste quite similar to the versions of these dishes we ate while living in the UK. The Fish and Chips is also pretty good. There are some things that most Americans will be unfamiliar with. For example, the minted peas are quite unique and aren’t often seen on menus in the U.S., though we wish they would serve British mushy peas instead. Also, the root vegetables sometimes include parsnips, which we don’t care for but which are especially rare for a theme park menu.

The dishes on the kid’s menu are fairly small. If your child is a big eater, they may want to order off the adult menu. Bella had the Bangers and Mash on our last trip, because she was really hungry and because it was one of her favorite British dishes. She’s almost nine years old, and she was able to finish most of it. We especially like that kids can choose items other than burgers and chicken nuggets.

The stand-out dessert for us is the Butterbeer Potted Cream. It’s a custard/pudding-type dessert, but slightly creamier. It tastes similar to the Butterbeer drink and ice cream, but it’s not quite as overpowering in its sweetness, though it is rich and filling. It is drizzled with a very tasty butterscotch drizzle that complemented it well and added an extra sugary touch. It’s served in a cute little glass jar, too, which is, unfortunately, not a souvenir. Despite its petite size, because of its richness, I was able to split this with Bella and feel satisfied.

Ahhh! The first bite is always the best!

Our Verdict: We think this is one of the best quick service restaurants in the Universal Orlando parks. It even beats out some of the table service locations inside the theme parks. Because of its decor and unique and delicious menu offerings, we think the Leaky Cauldron is a must-visit for any Universal vacation.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Share5
+12
Pin
Tweet
Email
%d bloggers like this: