The Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Live (Universal Orlando)

The Hard Rock Café at The Universal Orlando Resort is the largest restaurant in the Hard Rock franchise which feature 180 restaurants, 24 hotels and 11 casinos located throughout the world.  This restaurant is a music lovers dream as it is home to an enormous collected of rock-and-roll memorabilia. 

The existing Hard Rock Café is located at Universal’s CityWalk entertainment complex.  This is actually the second restaurant built at Universal Orlando with the first being closed and replaced with CityWalk originally opened in 1999.  The restaurant features American comfort food served including burgers, sandwiches and salads along with an amazing array of beer, wine and specialty cocktails.

The Hard Rock Café’ is so much more than the food – it’s the entire rock experience.  From dozens of video monitors blasting your favorite rock hits to the enthusiastic staff, this restaurant is a must do when visiting the Universal Orlando Resort.   And before leaving, make sure you check out the Rock Shop just next to the entrance for the latest Hard Rock apparel and souvenirs. 

Right next to the café is the 3,000 person Hard Rock Live concert and party venue.  Known as Universal Orlando’s “Coliseum of Rock” this venue has an elevated stage in front of the general admission area along with two levels of balcony seating.  Hard Rock Live features state-of-the-art in sound and lighting technology for a complete rock experience.

Some of the artists that performed at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live include Tori Kelly, Anthrax, Collective Soul, the Goo Goo Dolls and ZZ Top.

Click here to see the Photo Gallery for the Hard Rock Café & Hard Rock Live

Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Live – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hours for the Hard Rock Café?

The Garden Grill Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.  Lunch service begins at 11:30 AM and runs to 3:30 PM while dinner service begins at 3:45 PM and extends to 8:30 PM.  Make sure you allow for at least an hour not only to enjoy the food, but get to see all the characters.

What kind of food is served at the Hard Rock Café?

The Hard Rock Café serves a variety of American cuisine including appetizers, burgers, specialty entrees, salads, sandwiches and bowls. Specialty entrees including baby back ribs, New York strip steak, grilled Norwegian Salmon and a smokehouse BBQ combo platter.

Is the Hard Rock Café expensive?

Prices at the Hard Rock Café are fairly typical for theme park restaurants.  Prices for burgers range from $16.50 (The Big Cheeseburger) to $22.50 (Double Decker Double Cheeseburger) while specialty entrees range from $17.95 (Tupelo Chicken Tenders) to $33.95 (New York Strip Steak).

Universal Orlando Preferred Annual Passholders get a 10% discount while Premier Passholders get a 15% discount (excludes alcohol).

Click here to see the full menu at Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Cafe.

What is the seating capacity Hard Rock Live?

Hard Rock Live has a capacity of 3,000 people.  For concerts and live events, there is a general admission area (standing room only or table seating) as well as two levels of balcony seating.

What type of artists perform at Hard Rock Live?

There are a variety of artists that perform at the Hard Rock Live with genres including rock, pop and alternative.  In addition to artists, the Hard Rock Live hosts live comedy shows.

Is there free parking for the Hard Rock Café or Hard Rock Live?

After 6:oo PM, parking is free at the Universal Orlando Resort (except for special events like Halloween Horror Nights) which includes the Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Live.  Prior to 6:PM standard parking charges apply and standard parking is $27 per vehicle.

Our Review of the Hard Rock Café

The Endless Summer family has eaten at the Hard Rock Café dozens of times over the past several years and have always enjoyed our experiences.

For the price, the food is considered to be above average to good and the specialty cocktails are just what you expect at a Hard Rock Café.  For most of visits we’ve dined on burgers, sandwiches and salads, all of which were reasonable with respect to quality and portion size for the price.  We did have the baby back ribs during one occasion and will definitely order those again at some point.

Service is one of the reasons to visit the Hard Rock Café.  From the initial greeting to the servers and bartenders, the staff does not lack in “personality”.  All are friendly and courteous which helps make the experience special.

As indicated in our video tour above, we were given a behind the scenes tour of both the Café and Hard Rock Live.  Our tour guide (Eric) made the9 experience.  Eric knew more about rock history than an encyclopedia – from as far back to Elvis and the Beatles up until modern day bands.  

We remainder friendly with Eric for a number of years until his departure from the Hard Rock as left left so he can devote time to take his own band to the next level.

Learn More about the Universal Orlando Resort with our Theme Park Guides

Where Should We Stay When Visiting the Universal Orlando Resort?

The Universal Resort has a number of great on-site hotels and each and every one of them have their own benefits, characteristics and price points.

There are multiple “categories” of hotels but the highest quality on-site hotels are the Premier Hotels.  Premier hotels are Universal’s premium hotels that have the highest quality amenities & accommodations, the closest locations to the theme parks and largest amount of on-site hotel benefits. 

What sets Premier hotels apart is that they provide a free Universal Express pass to every guest staying in the room.  Universal Express allows guests to skip the regular lines and ride the most popular rides as many times as they would like.  Once you get used to Universal Express, you will never want to visit a theme park without one.

In addition Universal’s Premier hotels and resorts, there are a number of other on-site and off-site hotels options.  Click here to learn more about hotels in the Universal Orlando area.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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