Review: Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Universal Orlando Resort

Parmesan Bacon Truffle Fries at Cowfish
Parmesan Bacon Truffle Fries at Cowfish. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

What would you call a restaurant that specializes in great burgers and great sushi? Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is an East-meets-West fusion restaurant whose menu features sushi, burgers, and a signature line of combo dishes called—wait for it—burgushi.

Before you write this off as a wacky fad, consider that the first Cowfish restaurant launched in 2010 and there are now four locations (Charlotte, Raleigh, Birmingham, and Orlando) . Cowfish has definitely caught on in a big way.

When we had dinner at Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar on Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort, the place was humming, as you might expect from the hot table of the moment. It's a fun, energetic place with seating on several levels and an outdoor balcony. Carnivores will rejoice to see over a dozen different gourmet burgers on the menu, while sushi lovers can get their fix of excellent sashimi, nigiri or makimono. There's a fun drinks menu for adults and killer milkshakes, soft drinks and juices for kids.

For families, this is a great place to encourage kids to take a few culinary risks and try some new flavors. Dishes tend to blend many ingredients and combine tastes and textures you wouldn't normally expect. For example, the appetizer list includes Crinkle Cut Fried Pickles (served with with ranch dressing and horseradish aioli for dipping) and Big Al's Yellowtail, which tops slices of yellowtail sashimi with thinly sliced jalapeño pepper and a side of ponzu dipping sauce.

Got picky eaters? Order shareable appetizers for the table and encourage kids to try the Parmesan Bacon Truffle Fries (house fries topped with goopy cheese sprinkled with bacon and chives) or the Crab Rangoon Dip, which is served with wonton crisps drizzled with sweet chili sauce and chives.

The kids' menu is super fun and creative. Along with the usual suspects like PB&J rolls, ninja nuggets and mac and cheese, you'll also find California rolls and shrimp tempura, all of which come in charming bento boxes that also include at least one fruit and an adorable fake sushi fashioned from an oval-shaped Rice Krispie treat and a Swedish fish. 


  • Reservations are recommended. Ask for a table on the second-floor balcony.
  • If you're dining with kids, consider an early seating.
  • I really liked the Doug's Filet Roll, which is like a California roll made with avocado, kani, and cream cheese, topped with thin slices of seared filet mignon, spicy mayo, scallions, and masago. 
  • The milkshakes are so good that some people come in just for a shake fix.

Visited: September 2015

More About Universal Orlando

Looking for a place to stay at Universal Orlando Resort? The five hotel properties within the theme park complex are the most convenient options, and offer choices at every budget level.

Besides the obvious upside of location, the benefits of staying at any the official Universal properties include that you will automatically get Universal Express Passes and early theme-park admission an hour before the public. All of the properties are within walking distance of the theme parks and the Universal CityWalk dining-and-entertainment area, and three of the properties are served by a free water taxi. (See a map of Universal Orlando Resort.)

Where to Stay at Universal Orlando
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Find Deals at Universal Orlando Resort

The first step is to check out special hot deals that are running. Look for a multi-night package that includes accommodations and tickets. These deals often give you a day or two of free admission.

Also check out the vacation packages being offered. Packages include benefits such as free days of admission or early admission, which add a lot of value for families.

Disclaimer: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.