There are more than 50 delectable items to taste at Universal Orlando Resort's Mardi Gras celebration—but who has time to try all 50?! We did the incredibly brave, hard work for you and tried it all so you can cut to the good stuff.

Universal promises that its party is louder, spicier, and better than ever—and we agree. The theme for 2022, Planet Mardi Gras, invites you to try food from all over the world, giving you a window into how the holiday is celebrated across different cultures.

Besides the amazing food, you'll want to time your trip to include any of the several concerts lined up throughout the two-month-long celebration. Artists like Diana Ross, Khalid, and Jason Derulo will take the famous Hollywood Bowl stage. Fun fact: Plenty native New Orleanians typically make their way to Universal Orlando Resort for Mardi Gras. If that isn't a resounding approval, we're not sure what is.

If you're looking for a way to save, you can buy a food and beverage card, paying $65 for $75 -worth of food or $120 for $150-worth of food. Universal Orlando Resort's Mardi Gras 2022 celebration lasts February through April 24 and comes with the price of admission to the park.

Now let's get to the fun part:

Best Cocktail: Piña Verde, $8

Chelsea Lupkin

The Puerto Rico tent has our favorite drink by far: the Piña Verde. If you're a piña colada person, this drink will make you do a happy dance. It's slightly frothy, light, and cooling thanks to the green chartreuse and mint sprig.

Best Appetizer: Vegan Samosa, $8.99

vegan samosa
Chelsea Lupkin

Universal created a full vegan menu for Mardi Gras this year and this was without a doubt the best appetizer—vegan or otherwise—of the day. Filled with peas, carrots, and potatoes, this flaky samosa is worth every dollar. Be aware: The green chutney is particularly fiery, the kind of spicy that no drink will cool down. Skip it if your spice tolerance is low!

Best Meal: Crawfish Boil, $13.49

crawfish boil
Chelsea Lupkin

Going to a Mardi Gras celebration and not having a crawfish boil is practically a sin. This New Orleans staple comes with thick cuts of andouille sausage, whole crawfish, corn, and red potatoes. If you've never had crawfish before, now is your time. It's similar to shrimp, but has a bit of a swampy-briny taste—in a good way!

Best Dessert: Mardi Gras Moon Pie, $5.49

mardi gras moon pie
Chelsea Lupkin

There's something about eating a cold moon pie on a hot day that hits different. The marshmallow and graham cracker are delightfully spongy, while the dark chocolate crust lends crunch. Talk about texture heaven. You might make a mess eating this, but it's well worth it.

Best Budget Item: Beignets, $5.99

beignets
Chelsea Lupkin

You can't go to a Mardi Gras party and *not* get beignets. Like any other doughy dessert, it's best eaten hot and blanketed in sugar. For $5.99 you get three pillowy beignets, easily the best price per item of the festival.

Best For Sharing: Salchipapas, $10.49

salchipapas
Chelsea Lupkin

When your group is getting slightly hangry from walking in the heat and humidity, order the salchipapas. A popular street food in Central America, here it's given a twist with crinkle-cut French fries and andouille sausage, making it a super filling option.


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