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Feb 13, 2024

About Town: Power Up Cafe Launches At Universal Studios Hollywood

Are you ready to launch your tastebuds into the world of Super Mario? Well, the upper lot at Universal Studios Hollywood and Nintendo are betting you are.

The brand new Power Up Cafe is located on the upper lot of the theme park. Inside Power Up Cafe you’ll find that its menu is exclusive to Universal Studios Hollywood and coincides with the one-year celebration of Super Nintendo World’s grand opening! The cafe officially opens on Thursday, February 15.

Filled with stars, power up boxes and flower power, The Power Up Cafe at Universal’s upper lot is going to shake up the dining scene inside the theme park! With lines still super long and a hardcore waitlist to enjoy the food downstairs at Super Nintento World, The Power Up Cafe is the perfect place to rendezvous with friends for a Nintendo themed snack break.

Image: Carolina Bonetti

Don’t worry about the new location, Nintendo and Universal made sure their new Mario-themed snacks are just as Insta-worthy as the food at Toadstool Cafe. Keep in mind this is a cafe not a full restaurant, and while the menu may be small, it provides a delicious taste of what you can expect from the Mario-themed land on the Lower Lot. With hopefully less of a wait? It’s brand new so we won’t be able to gage the wait times until it’s officially open to the public on the 15th, but heres to hoping the quick service keeps it moving and makes it an easy place to grab your Mario themed goodies!

For their Super Mario World themed menu you’ll find two mushroom-shaped calzones — the Super Mushroom Calzone and 1-Up Mushroom Calzone. (FYI, only the latter actually has mushrooms inside the other is sausage.) There’s also the Fire Flower Pretzel, which is a soft pretzel shaped like the Fire Flower power up and served with three different dipping sauces. The final food item we tried was their Super Star Popcorn, which is just regular buttered popcorn with edible glitter sprinkled on top. It’s a fun item for kids and also makes for an easy snack. We told mamangement the calzones would really do well with a side of marinara for dipping, but we don’t know if they’ll listen to us, so feel free to pipe up if you agree. Universal always does a great job of listening to customer feedback.

The drinks at the Power Up Cafe are the real show stoppers! There are four different fizzy drinks, and each one starts as a lemon lime soda with popping pearls at the bottom. When you pick up your drink, you’re then given a Power Up box with a sugar shape to its corresponding flavor. Whether you get a star, a mushroom or other sugary shape, you then drop it into your beverage, and swirl it to watch it fizz and fill your drink with flavor and color. It was so cool. We felt like kids again and the drinks taste fantastic too. Think of the little sugar shapes like edible bathbombs for your drink. Just like watching your bathbomb dissolve, fizz and color your bath this drink is much the same. We don’t think we’ve ever had such fun theme park food as these drinks are. They are absolutely worth the $13. Don’t skip the drinks! Plus, they are super social media friendly with their fizzy tops and bright colorful display. We opted for the Fire Flower Fizz (right) and the Super Star Fizz (left) and loved them both, okay, Fire Flower a little more, but still.

The Menu:

Super Mushroom Calzone: Mushroom shaped calzone filled with pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce

·        1-Up Mushroom Calzone: Mushroom shaped calzone filled with spinach, green pepper, mushroom, mozzarella cheese and basil pesto

·        Fire Flower Pretzel: Fire Flower shaped pretzel served with chipotle cheese, mustard and white queso dipping sauces

·        Super Star Popcorn: Butter popcorn topped with edible glitter

The Beverages:

Make sure to first drop in the Power Up sugar shapes to change the color and flavor of your drink!

·        Super Mushroom Fizz: Lemon lime soda with strawberry popping pearls and a strawberry Super Mushroom Power Up

·        1-Up Mushroom Fizz: Lemon lime soda with green apple popping pearls and a lime 1-Up Mushroom Power Up

·        Fire Flower Fizz: Lemon lime soda with orange popping pearls and a mango habanero Fire Flower Power Up

·        Super Star Fizz: Lemon lime soda with lemon popping pearls and a mango pineapple Super Star Power Up