The Best Snacks To Look Out For At Universal's Super Nintendo World

Universal's theme parks have a lot up their sleeves these days, with a third park called Epic Universe coming to its Orlando resort by 2025 (via The Travel). Over on the West Coast, anticipation is building for the opening of Super Nintendo World, a new land built within the existing Universal Studios Hollywood park. The land, slated to open in spring 2023, will immerse guests in the colorful and kinetic world of Mario, one of Nintendo's leading and long-standing brands (via SyFy). A similar version of the land will also arrive in Orlando as well, per The Travel.

Super Nintendo World already opened at Universal Studios Japan in 2021, giving U.S. fans a sneak peek at what they can expect when the land opens stateside. For example, the land's flagship attraction, Mario Kart (Koopa's Challenge), will be a part of the Hollywood expansion, which allows guests to take part in their own round of Mario Kart. In addition to rides, fans are eagerly anticipating what snacks and food items will come to Universal Studios Hollywood. After all, innovative theme park food is part of the big draw of these attractions.

Whether you are traveling to Japan soon and want to plan out your dining plan or you are trying to figure out which items are coming to California and Orlando, we have a roundup of the top snacks you should be on the lookout for.

Mario's Cap Strawberry Shortcake Pancake Sandwich

Japanese theme parks can come up with truly unique and creative snacks such as the Mario's Cap Strawberry Shortcake Pancake Sandwich. This dessert, according to Mario Wiki, comes in the shape of Mario's iconic hat and is filled with buttercream that is sandwiched between two strawberry shortcake-flavored pancakes. The buttercream is then decorated with strawberries, as well as an edible wafer embellishment that can either read "Whose cap?" or "Okey-dokey." This sandwich also comes in a grape cheesecake variety styled after Luigi (via Mario Wiki).

Over at Universal Studios Japan, you can find the pancake sandwich at Mario Cafe & Store, and it remains to be seen if and where you will be able to track one of these sweet treats down at Universal Studios Hollywood or Orlando Resort. If it does appear on the menus stateside, this is a very Instagrammable snack that we are sure will pop up in many of your social media feeds.

Mario's Fruity Italian Strawberry Cream Soda

Beverages can also become popular snack items at theme parks if they are as eye-catching as they are refreshing. Mario's Fruity Italian Strawberry Cream Soda, sold at Mario Cafe & Store at Universal Studios Japan, fits the bill. The drink is one of three character-inspired cream sodas available at the shop, with the other two based on Luigi and Princess Peach (via Mario Wiki).

Mario's cream soda is topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream, according to Mario Wiki. The drink also comes with decorative mustache detailing on the straw so you can embody your favorite plumber when you take a sip. Mario's cream soda is strawberry flavored, and you can also try Luigi's green apple soda and Princess Peach's peach soda.

While we will have to wait and see what the menus are at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, we can likely expect some sort of refreshing beverage option to keep guests cool on those hot California and Florida days.

Popcorn from Pit-Stop Popcorn

Popcorn buckets can cause quite the frenzy, as we saw in January 2022 when Disney World debuted a bucket in the shape of the purple dragon Figment at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. The bucket was so popular that an hours-long line formed that weaved throughout the park (via Paste Magazine). So expect the popcorn buckets from Pit-Stop Popcorn to be popular souvenirs if they arrive at Universal Studios in Hollywood or Orlando. Over in Japan, you can collect a couple of themed buckets: the Superstar Popcorn Bucket and the Mario Kart Popcorn Bucket (via Video Games Chronicle).

It's not just the buckets that are Mario-themed: The popcorn is unique to the land as well. You can choose between Caramel Peach and Mushroom Cream flavors (via Video Games Chronicle). If both of these popcorn buckets make it over stateside, expect both to be popular choices amongst guests.

Green Shell Calzone

One of the snack stands found at Universal Studios Japan is Yoshi's Snack Island. It is there that you will find the next snack on our list: the Green Shell Calzone. Mario Kart fans will know Green Shells as one of the items you can use to topple your competition while racing, but for Super Nintendo World-goers, the Green Shell Calzone is a savory snack option with a design inspired by a Koopa shell.

The calzone bun itself is filled with a fried noodle and cheese mixture, according to TDR Explorer. It makes for a nice handheld snack to enjoy as you walk around the land. It will be interesting to see if this snack comes to Universal Hollywood when Super Nintendo World opens next spring, and if it does, if it will come with the same filling or if it will more closely resemble an Italian-style calzone with marinara sauce.

King Bowser's Hamburger Steak

There are many savory food options at Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan. When you are ready to sit down and have lunch or dinner, you will want to head to Kinopio's Cafe, the main eatery in the land. According to TDR Explorer, there are 20 different food options to choose from that will keep hungry guests coming back time and time again to work their way through the menu.

One of the menu items you can try at Kinopio's Cafe is King Bowser's Hamburger Steak. TDR Explorer gave it a try on his YouTube channel (where he noted that it was listed as Koopa's Hamburger Steak, though the design is the same). It comes with a Salisbury steak topped with spinach and puff pastry baked in the pattern of a shell (via Mario Wiki). It is always nice to see theme park food options that venture beyond the typical cheeseburger and chicken finger categories, so hopefully, we see some creative meals like the Hamburger Steak at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Mario's Bacon Cheeseburger

Sometimes, you just want a cheeseburger. While there are many inventive food options at Universal Studios Japan, there are also tried-and-true theme park classics like Mario's Bacon Cheeseburger. You can find it at Kinopio's Café, and it is exactly what you would expect: a hamburger topped with bacon, lettuce, and mushrooms (via Mario Wiki). To add a touch of Mario to the dish, the burger is decorated with a miniature Mario cap-shaped pick.

There is also a Luigi-style chicken sandwich sold at Kinopio's Cafe that is very similar in that it too comes with a Luigi cap-shaped pick. Both of the sandwiches come with a side of french fries. Cheeseburgers are about as classic as it gets when it comes to theme park food, so there is a high likelihood we will see a version of these sandwiches when Super Nintendo World opens in Hollywood and Orlando.

Fire Flower Spaghetti & Meatballs

Of course, there had to be at least one Italian-style dish offered in a land inspired by the two brothers Mario and Luigi. That place is filled by the Fire Flower Spaghetti and Meatballs, which you can order at Kinopio's Cafe at Universal Studios Japan. The dish comes with a healthy plateful of spaghetti and meatballs with mushrooms (come to think of it, the meals at Kinopio's Cafe all seem to come with mushrooms. We're starting to sense a theme here). The spaghetti is adorned by a cheese crisp with the image of a Fire Flower (via Mario Wiki).

It remains to be seen if the Fire Flower Spaghetti and Meatballs will make its way to Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood, or subsequently, Universal Orlando Resort. But it is hard to imagine there won't be some kind of Italian-style cuisine available, given Mario and Luigi's iconic accents. Spaghetti and Meatballs are a pretty universally loved dish as well, so this could be one of the food items that makes it to the U.S.

Teriyaki Chicken & Super Star Rice

Another entree you can order at Kinopio's Cafe in Super Nintendo World is the Teriyaki Chicken and Super Star Rice. This dish comes with a serving of chicken with a teriyaki glaze as well as a side of yellow rice molded in the shape of a Super Star (via Mario Wiki). It is a simple yet effective dish in that the food itself is a standard chicken and rice meal, but it is presented in a way that makes it fun and themed perfectly to the land.

TDR Explorer noted in his visit to Super Nintendo World that the dish tastes exactly as you would expect with no surprises. This is good to know if you happen to visit the land at Universal Studios Japan and are looking for a dish that you know you will enjoy: If you are a fan of chicken teriyaki, then you will probably dig this dish.

Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl with Mushroom Tomato Sauce

A dish that is unique both in its flavors and its presentation is the Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl with Mushroom Tomato Sauce. Sticking right with the mushroom theme of the menu found at Kinopio's Cafe, the pizza bowl not only comes with a ton of mushroom flavor, but the bowl itself is in the shape of a Mario-esque mushroom. The 'crust' of this pizza bowl is the mushroom hat, which comes off to reveal the remaining ingredients found in the bowl (via Mario Wiki). You can pierce it with your spoon and mix it into the pizza bowl, or you can simply remove it and use the pizza hat as something to dip in the bowl.

The pizza bowl was a standout menu item for TDR Explorer in his roundup of food items ordered from Kinopio's Cafe. This pizza bowl is something to keep your eyes peeled for if you visit Universal Studios Japan; otherwise, be on the lookout to see if it makes it to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Portobello Mushroom Pizza Topped with Bacon and Vegetables

Mushroom fans will have no problem finding dishes that suit their taste at Super Nintendo World. Kinopio's Cafe seems to be well stocked with mushroom-inspired dishes, and the Portobello Mushroom Pizza Topped with Bacon and Vegetables is no exception. In fact, this is not your standard pizza topped with mushrooms — this time, the mushroom itself is the pizza, with the portobello mushroom serving as the base which is then topped with bacon and veggies (via Mario Wiki). This is a rare opportunity to eat plenty of veggies while visiting a theme park, a place that is typically known for deep-fried snacks and all things sugar.

Needless to say, this is a dish built with a mushroom fan in mind. While something as unique as this would be a great addition to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood, we wouldn't be surprised if we also saw a traditional pizza topped with mushrooms being added to the menu when the land opens in the U.S.

Mushroom Soup

Soup may not be the first thing you think of when you imagine a theme park snack, especially if you are visiting on a hot day. But if you happen to visit during the winter months, a serving of Mushroom Soup may be just what you need to keep yourself warm and cozy while visiting Super Nintendo World. This Mushroom Soup comes in a bowl in the shape of one of the mushrooms from the Mario video games, with a removable hat that keeps the soup nice and warm. The soup itself is a traditional mushroom soup, but it does come with Super Mushroom-shaped wafers to add that extra Mario touch (via Mario Wiki).

Kinopio's Cafe at Universal Studios Japan has tons of mushroom-forward dishes, so keep that in mind when you are choosing where to eat during your visit. TDR Explorer does point out in a YouTube video that it has a strong mushroom flavor, so if that is not your cup of tea, you may want to steer clear of this dish.

Piranha Plant Caprese

Many of the dishes found at Kinopio's Cafe are on the heavier side, with rich mushroom flavors in items like soups, pasta, burgers, and more. If you are craving something that's on the lighter side, the cafe does offer a salad option called Piranha Plant Caprese. This caprese salad comes with lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, strawberries, mozzarella cheese, and dressing. Two of the tomatoes are arranged in a way that makes them resemble a Piranha Plant you may recognize from the Mario video games (via Mario Wiki). According to TDR Explorer, this is one of the few vegetarian dishes available at Kinopio's Cafe, with the other two being the Mushroom Soup and the Fruit and Veggie Salad.

Arranging your salad to be in the shape of a video game character is one way to get little ones to eat their vegetables, but adults will probably enjoy the creative plating just as much. It is a fun way to enjoy food specifically themed to Super Nintendo World without the side of guilt that seems to come with many carb-heavy theme park snacks.

Kid's Hamburger Meal with Mario Figurine

Kids have a couple of meal options to choose from in Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. One is a curry and rice dish, and the other is the Kids Hamburger meal with a Mario Figurine. This is one of the meal options we would not be surprised to see arrive at Super Nintendo World in Hollywood or Orlando, since hamburgers are a pretty common theme park meal.

What makes this kids meal unique in Japan is that it comes with a teriyaki burger instead of a plain burger, with a variety of side dishes including an omelet, fried shrimp, a croquette in the shape of a Super Star, tomatoes, and a dessert (via Mario Wiki). If this kids meal comes to the U.S., it is possible it will be modified slightly to more closely resemble a traditional hamburger with french fries. But what we hope stays is the cute Mario figurine that comes on top of the burger that kids can keep as a souvenir.

Super Star Hot Yuzu Lemonade

There are a couple of drink options at Kopino's Cafe in Super Nintendo World. One is the Super Star Hot Yuzu Lemonade, which is made with yuzu, a kind of citrus found in Japan, and served with whipped cream (via Mario Wiki). The lemonade also comes with star-shaped sprinkles, including one large Super Star embellishment. The drink is a fun addition to your meal, or it can serve as a standalone snack if you are just looking for something cute to sip on. The hot drink cups even come with a Super Star and Toad-themed sleeve. 

Also available at Kinopio's Cafe is the ​​Super Star Lemon Squash, a carbonated beverage with gummy stars (via TDR Explorer). A hot yuzu beverage will come in handy if you are visiting Universal Studios Japan on a cooler day, or if the temperatures drop in the evening and you want something to warm you up.

Goal Pole Cake

If you have a sweet tooth and you want to pick up a dessert during your trip to Super Nintendo World, keep your eyes peeled for the Goal Pole Cake. Found in Kinopio's Cafe, it is a slice of layered neapolitan cake topped with the iconic Goal Pole from the Mario video games, as well as a Super Star and a raspberry (via Mario Wiki). Just like Mario reaching the Goal Pole at the end of a level, you too can reach your very own Goal Pole at the end of your meal.

Additionally, Kinopio's Cafe serves a Block Tiramisu Cake, a Double Cherry Chocolate Cupcake, and Princess Peach's Cake for desserts (via TDR Explorer). Sweet treats are great theme park snacks since they are great for kids, so we are sure to see at least a few different dessert options at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort.