I recently visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. As a fan of the books and films, it was definitely a treat to walk around a full scale Hogsmeade village as it was bustling with plenty of muggles and wizards (because plenty of theme park guests were fully dressed as wizards, in addition to the park staff). Before I headed to the park, I spent a little bit of time online looking at the food options in the Wizarding World and it seemed like there were a lot of good choices. That said, I also noticed that almost every single post was from a pre-opening promotional visit, rather than one where people were paying guests in the park, and most of the reviews raved about the food. Rave reviews of theme park food make me a little bit suspicious because, while I’ve had some pretty good food at theme parks, my expectations are always much lower than they would be for food on the outside and I just haven’t encountered much that would really make me rave about it. That said, I definitely wanted to try the Wizarding food and so I headed to The Three Broomsticks for lunch when I was ready to eat.
The Three Broomsticks looks fantastic on the inside. The dining area is spacious and well-decorated, with plenty of wizarding props to look at while you eat. The food is served cafeteria style, but all of the meals are completely prepared by the kitchen (rather than having the sides and entrees dished out separately). This keeps the line moving at a good pace and ensures that all the food is coming out of the kitchen fresh.
They serve breakfast and lunch/diner. Depending on the time you arrive, you might find a line outside the door to get in. Some helpful wizards will probably hand you menus while you are waiting to get in that list all the items available. These menus don’t list the prices, however. The prices are posted on a digital signboard inside of the restaurant. All prices included in this post are as of the time of my visit.
My group opted to try two different dishes: the Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Platter ($13.99) and the Shepherd’s Pie ($12.99). The chicken dish was a half chicken, served with roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. The shepards pie was beef and verries topped with mashed potatoes and served with a side salad. The chicken was actually very good. It was juicy and the skin had great flavor. The corn was prepared well and was flavorful, though it was a bit messy to eat, and the roasted potatoes were tender and not a bad match for the chicken. The chicken dish could easily have been split between two people, especially if you were also getting dessert.
The Shepherd’s Pie was a bit smaller than the chicken dish, but quite hearty all the same. The pie had good flavor and nice caramelization on top of the otherwise creamy mashed potatoes. The filling had a meat pie consistency with ground beef and plenty of vegetables. The salad had a nice mix of greens and they were generous with the sides of dressing (I opted for a stilton dressing, which had some nice chunks of cheese in it).
We finished the meal off with a Sticky Toffee Pudding. This was tasty, but it wasn’t so much of a sticky toffee pudding as it was a butterscotch cinnamon roll topped with a toffee caramel sauce. It was served warm and was quite good, especially with the ice cream on top, but wasn’t really a sticky toffee pudding. That said, I like caramel desserts and I would definitely sneak a few bites of this one again, given the opportunity.
My only regret is that I failed to take better pictures of our Butterbeer. Looking back, I’m not sure how I missed it, but I assume it was simply because we were so thirsty. The Butterbeer is available as a soda and as a frozen slushy drink, both butterscotch flavored. Both drinks are also topped with a cool whip-like substance that gives the “beer” a foamy head and giving them a very authentic look. They’re actually both delicious, but I preferred the slushy version, which seemed slightly less sweet (likely because it was so cold) to me. The non-slushy version is slightly less than the slushy Butterbeer. They’re both available in plastic souvenir cups, which might be nice take-aways if you’re looking for an inexpensive souvenir option. That said, if you’re buying other merch at the park, I’d save a couple of bucks by getting the regular cups for your drinks.
All in all, the food was good and the prices were pretty reasonable considering that (1) you’re at a theme park having a sit-down meal and (2) the portions were quite generous. The chicken in particular exceeded my expectations. I would try something else before ordering the Shepherd’s pie again. I had three people in my group (we didn’t want to go crazy with the amount of food we ordered for lunch) and this was plenty of food to fill us up while we headed back out into the Wizarding World.