Finnegan’s Shepherd’s Pie at Universal Orlando Review

Dear beloved Finnegan’s Bar and Grill, I compose another food review about you. Those people who adore you express their love often. In contrast, those that dislike your meals struggle to find nice things to say. The reviews and sources I have consulted about Finnegan’s are more divided than Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Okay, perhaps that rates as exaggeration but the middle ground is small.

Almost all guests enjoy the theming within Finnegan’s. The wait staff ranks high. The very experience bar staff ranks even higher. On late afternoons and evenings when live music plays, the experience within Finnegan’s kicks up another notch. Yet, the food quality creates the dividing line.

For full disclosure, I enjoyed every menu items I have tried at Finnegan’s. No one I have dined with has disliked their food. However, in fairness, I have not tried everything. Also, I have only eaten at Finnegan’s for lunch based on how I tour the parks. If you have read a previous review, you should see this coming.

Shepherd’s Pie served during lunch time on a weekday

Today’s mixed bag of information focuses on the Shepherd’s Pie at Finnegan’s Bar and Grill. Shepherd’s Pie continues to be a common menu offering at Irish style restaurants. The menu description reads “seasoned ground beef and mushrooms with a crust of potatoes and cheddar cheese. Served with root cellar vegetables.” This menu item costs guests $17.95.

For this review, I will present the most common positives and then the most common negatives voiced about this menu item.

Before we get to the pros and cons, I desire to make one clarification. Finnegan’s, like many USA restaurants that serve shepherd’s pie, combine the idea of cottage pie and shepherd’s pie together. Technically, shepherd’s pie contains lamb thus reason for name connecting to shepherds and sheep. In contrast, cottage pie does not contain lamb and generally contains beef. I realize that functions as an oversimplified explanation but want to be clear especially for my UK based friends.

On the positive side, guests express that this dish offers a complex flavor. When prepared well here, people describe the shepherd’s pie as rich in taste. Though most guests dislike the root vegetables by themselves. Guests who love this dish explain they take a bite of the root vegetables every so often to balance the richness of the shepherd’s pie. Also, the portion size earns respect at this price point for sit down theme park dining.

Personally, I enjoyed the vegan version of this shepherd’s pie except for the root vegetables. As you might anticipate, all the positive glowing reviews I have received are from guests dining at lunch time, usually weekdays.

Shepherd’s Pie served on busy evening.
Photo courtesy of Main Street Magic Podcast

In contrast, all the negative reviews I have received happened with diners enjoying a meal near or after sunset. They stated the potatoes and cheese overpower the meat. The dislike of the root vegetables continued. This menu item came to the table sometimes lukewarm. That temperature will not work for this type of food. Evening diners expressed concern about shepherd’s pie being dry and lacking flavor.

In fairness, I do not have access to every guest’s experience. I do possess a sampling of 20 different trusted people’s thoughts on this shepherd’s pie over last five months. Those provide basis of this review. Nevertheless, theme park guests should remind themselves that highly trained food service staff are hard to find in central Florida currently. This potential evening hours decline of quality could relate directly to that issue. I provided as many facts as I could in this format. I hope this help you decide on dining at Finnegan’s. As I have said in previous articles, I love Finnegan’s. Please bear that in mind as you evaluate this date presented. As always, be nice to team members and choose wisely regarding food!


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.