Three Broomsticks Restaurant and Hog’s Head Saloon
Wizard World of Harry Potter | Universal Studios, Orlando
Before the details of Harry’s Wizarding World were announced, we assumed Universal Studios Orlando would be integrating the Enchanted Oak Tavern into their new “park with a park.” After all, Merlin, the freaking godfather of wizards, could be seen giving his Brando-glare from within the humungo oak tree. Would they put a hit on the Don Corleone of wizards to usher in the new?
To our surprise, Universal Studios did have the cohones to take out – completely – the Enhanted Oak Tavern to build Hogmeade’s Three Broomsticks Restaurant and Hog’s Head Saloon, prominently featured throughout Rowling’s novels. Although sad to see one of the Island of Adventure’s old timers go, the new crew is pretty ba da bing, ba da boom.
Three Broomsticks Restaurant and Hog’s Head Salon is reminiscent of its predecessor – dark, cool, candle-lit tavern with aged-worn, wooden tables and chairs. Service is counter style (think Panera) and the prices are actually quite reasonable for theme park fare.
Entrees range from $10 for the rotisserie chicken platter or shepherd’s pie to $50 for the “Great Feast,” a chicken and rib platter that serves four. Not surprising, the food is fantastic. All entrees come with two sides of either a vegetable, potato, or side salad. Universal Studios theming is so staunch, to stay in character, regular soda is not served, instead, visitors are given the choice of lemonade, iced tea, pumpkin juice, or the famous butter beer.
Butter beer is a non-alcoholic, cream soda-like concoction topped with an absolutely delicious, foamy marshmallow-butterscotch cream.
Butter beer is available in both frozen ($4) and non-frozen ($3) versions and extremely popular, so much so, the line at the cart outside the restaurant normally exceeds a half hour.
TIP: Remember, Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head Saloon are the same, big restaurant/bar inside, they have separate entrances outside to give the illusion of two building. To avoid the line, buy your butter beer on the Hog’s Head Saloon side of the building instead. The entrance is located at the rear of the Three Broomsticks Restaurant, accessed through the alleyway to the left of the rest rooms.
In addition to butter beer and pumpkin juice, Hog’s Head Saloon also serves a decent selection of beers and ciders, including the house “Hog’s Head Brew.”
TIP: The saloon has no bar seating, but does have several tables. Be warned however, these tables are taken over for seating by the adjacent Three Broomsticks during busy meal times. You may be forced to walk around or sit outside on the patio, if you’re there for drinks only.
Sit, enjoy and remember, leave the brooms, take the Bertie Bott Beans.