The Daily Meal's Dan Myers previews our list of the best buffets in America.
Photo Courtesy of Waldorf-Astoria
In America, we believe that it’s our God-given right to eat as much as we want, whenever we want to, and all-you-can-eat buffets are the perfect manifestation of that ethos. Thankfully, there are plenty of great places to live out that dream, and we’ve tracked down America’s 14 best.
There’s something about an all-you-can-eat buffet that makes us feel like kings. Having an unlimited amount of food at our disposal has been a goal of humans for thousands upon thousands of years, and achieving that goal by simply forking over some cash and grabbing a plate satisfies us in an almost primal way. With grumbling bellies, we plan our strategy and commence the feast.
Tackling a big buffet (the kind you find in Vegas-) isn’t just a culmination of human evolution, it’s an inner battle of endurance, and approaching one correctly can be an art form. Load your first plate up with starchy gut-busters like macaroni and cheese and you may hit the wall before you’re done with plate number two. But if you start with, say, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, oysters, some sushi, and salad, you’ll still be hungry for what’s to come and will have also knocked off the loss leaders, which are usually the most expensive items (and will have saved room for prime rib, of course).
No matter how you tackle an all-you-can-eat buffet, you’re guaranteed to leave full, satisfied, and maybe a little ashamed of your stomach capacity. But anything in moderation is fine, and buffets like these are something everybody should experience.
In order to assemble our ranking, we started by rounding up existing best buffet rankings both in print and online (including ones we’ve done ourselves), and added on many buffets that have garnered local acclaim but haven’t been recognized in any national rankings. We then judged them according to food selection, décor, price point, whether they include all-you-care-to-drink options, and variety. The buffets included in our ranking run the gamut from Sunday-only extravaganzas to Las Vegas and Atlantic City palaces, from old country smorgasbords to classic Chinese buffets. But no matter the style of food served, these buffets all have a couple things in common: They’re attained legendary status, and there’s absolutely no way you can eat there and go home hungry. Read on to learn which 14 buffets are America’s best.
#14 Gaia’s Garden, Santa Rosa, Calif.
#13 King Buffet, Los Angeles