When people travel, it's not always about experiences and sightseeing. Much of the focus of going to different destinations around the world is put on the foods you eat while out there.
Foodies, this list is for you! There's no better way to try a variety of delicious foods in one sitting than in a buffet where you can eat as much as you want and throw away what you don't like.
We all know that buffets are often not what you'd call sophisticated cuisine. The food is made quickly and put under heat lamps for an hour or more before you put it on your plate. Once you sit down to eat it, the food doesn't look quite as good as it did under the bright heat lamps.
However, not all buffets are that way. In fact, there are many throughout the United States that only put out the highest quality food. Each dish is carefully prepared and displayed in a hygienic way. It's also kept as fresh as possible before serving, so you won't get that heat lamp flavor when you dig in.
If you're somewhat of a buffet snob, you need this list of delectable buffets throughout America.
20 20. Becco - All the Pasta You Can Eat in New York City
If the taste of Italy is your thing, you have to eat at Becco, a delightful pasta restaurant on Ninth Avenue in New York City. For $25 a head, you'll have the opportunity to eat as much pasta, salad, and bread as you can.
Becco has three featured kinds of pasta at a time, and the menu changes daily. A waiter will serve you as much pasta as you want, plus they'll ask you if you want to take a to-go box of food home with you. How many buffets have you been to that allow you to take food home?
There's also a great wine list and plenty of delicious appetizers beforehand, like olives, bread baskets, and exotic octopus slices.
19 19. Barnyard Buffet - The Best of Southern Cooking in Alabama
There's an extremely popular Southern-style buffet in Saraland, Alabama called Barnyard Buffet. They have three hot bars loaded with your favorite fried, carb-loaded foods.
Their options include hushpuppies, mac and cheese, fried chicken and fish, honey-glazed sweet potatoes, cornbread, a full salad bar, mashed potatoes, soups, meats, fried treats, and steamed vegetables.
They also have days where they feature specialty items, like sirloin steak, chicken and dumplings, turkey and gravy, and barbecue smoked ribs. You'll be licking your fingers all night long!
18 18. Brook Shaw's Old Country Store - Western-Themed Buffet in Tennessee
In the small town of Jackson, Tennessee, you'll find a buffet restaurant called Brook Shaw's Old Country Store. Just picture what a country store would have looked like in the good ol' days of the west, and that's what this buffet looks like with a large covered front porch, weathered wood siding, and antiques all over the walls.
The homestyle meals lined up in hot bars throughout the building and gingham tablecloths on the table complete the look. They have everything you'd expect in a country buffet including fried chicken, country ham, sweet potato casserole, pulled pork, pickled okra, cornbread, turnip greens, and chess pie.
This is the perfect destination for those who love country-style cooking.
17 17. AK Buffet - Excellent Seafood in Fairbanks, Alaska
When you want great seafood, Alaska is the place to go. They have some of the freshest saltwater foods you'll ever have, and AK Buffet is a fun establishment to sample them all.
AK Buffet is not an upscale place, but the food is top notch. They have a massive selection of Alaskan favorites including frog legs, oysters, salmon, halibut, buffalo meat, elk sausage, and more.
They also have a selection of foods from other regions, like dumplings and sushi. You can find pretty much everything in this homestyle Alaskan establishment.
16 16. Wandering Horse Buffet - A Fancy Affair in Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a very popular tourist destination, especially in the winter. They have a number of high-profile resorts, including Talking Stick Resort, which is home to the Wandering Horse Buffet.
You can eat delicious cuisine from all over the world in this upscale establishment. They have your favorite selections of food from Mexico, Italy, America, Asia, and the Mediterranean, so it'll make pretty much everyone in your party happy.
They also have special events including a Champagne Sunday brunch, a prime rib feast on Wednesday, and king crab legs on the weekends. Check out their massive dessert spread as well!
15 15. Hibachi Grill & Supreme Sushi Buffet - Treats from Japan in Delaware
Who doesn't love a good Hibachi Grill? You get dinner and a show. Usually, Hibachi grills offer only made-to-order food, but this Delaware grill has a buffet as well.
The tables are decked out with some of the best tastes of China and Japan you'll ever try. You'll have a fantastic selection of sushi and California rolls as well as dumplings, teriyaki, fresh fruits and vegetables, gelatinous desserts, and more.
Even if you don't like sushi, you'll like this place. They have something for everyone, and it's all the best quality.
14 14. Bacchanal Buffet - One of the Finest Buffets in Vegas
Las Vegas is known for its casinos, endless entertainment, and its buffets. When visiting the city, you can get an excellent meal for a great price in the many all-you-can-eat establishments on the Strip.
One of the most celebrated buffets is Bacchanal Buffet in Caesars Palace. The food here is absolutely delicious, and you have an incredible variety available with more than 500 individual dishes and 15 daily specialties from your to choose from.
Despite its huge size (seats 600 people), the buffet is an upscale restaurant with some of the best prime rib, lamb chops, tacos, brisket, and soufflés you'll ever have. If you can only eat one place in Vegas, make it Bacchanal Buffet!
13 13. Nero's Steakhouse - The Atlantic City Version of Bacchanal Buffet
If you're in Atlantic City rather than in Vegas, you have to try Nero's Steakhouse. It's located inside Caesar's in the smaller version of Sin City in New Jersey.
The upscale eatery offers breathtaking views of the ocean while you eat amazing foods. They're famous for their breakfast bar with made-to-order omelets, pancakes, and waffles.
They also offer fresh seafood from the Atlantic, including shrimp cocktail, sushi, oysters, crab legs, and saltwater fish. Finish off with their vast array of desserts or specialty drinks.
12 12. Sigiri - A Sunday Brunch from Sri Lanka in New York City
On First Avenue in New York City, you'll find Sigiri, an affordable, tasty buffet with inspiration from Sri Lanka. The food is served in a selection of clay pots that keep the food warm and fresh-tasting.
Your choices of cuisine include baby jackfruit, spicy black pork, crisp papadum, bitter melon, rice, and other national favorites.
The restaurant is surprisingly affordable at about $15 a head, and they don't mind if you hang out there all day long. You can bring your own drinks and enjoy several hours with friends and fantastic food.
11 11. Hooper's Crab House - Fresh Seafood in Maryland
If you're in the mood for lobster and crab cakes, plan your next vacation around Hooper's Crab House in West Ocean City, Maryland.
This $40 all-you-can-eat crab feast is worthy of the highest praise where seafood is concerned. The crab, shrimp, lobster, and fish options are never-ending.
The seafood is unquestionably the best thing on the menu, but they also have delicious Southern treats like corn on the cob, fried chicken, and hush puppies. That's the best thing about buffets - there's always something for all tastes.
10 10. Terra Gaucha Steakhouse - Mind-Blowing Food in Florida That'll Take You To Brazil
Jacksonville, Florida is home to a fancy buffet called Terra Gaucha Steakhouse. Guests of this establishment can't say enough good things about the hot bars and made-to-order food found within the walls.
The Pão de queijo, feijoada, Brazil-style rice, feijão tropeiro, and acarajé are to die for, not to mention the classic brigadeiro dessert. These chocolate fudge balls also go into a creamy ice cream to cleanse your palate between courses.
The food is delicious, and the waitstaff is always attentive. You won't want for anything while you're dining here.
9 9. Charley's Buffet - Legendary Food in the Middle of Nowhere, Missouri
Charley's Buffet is located in Lincoln, Missouri, a small town in the countryside. In its marketing, Charley's Buffet tells customers that it's located in the middle of nowhere, and it's close to true.
It may be somewhat of a drive, but you'll be rewarded with fried chicken, steak, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, baked beans, barbecue, and other country favorites. They're famous for their bread, baked fresh daily, and their pies.
It's quite a journey to this establishment, they only accept cash, and they're only open on weekends, but if you time it just right, you'll love what you get!
8 8. Gaia's Garden - A Slice of Heaven in Santa Rosa, California
From the outside, you might think that Gaia's Garden is a horticulture shop. The name along with the potted plants lining the entryway can be misleading, but they're good representations of the healthy, natural foods you'll find inside.
Gaia's Garden is a vegetarian buffet that even non-vegetarians will love. Your selection of homemade bread, fresh-cut and steamed vegetables, curries, soups, fresh salads, chai, and desserts will have you filling up on all the right things.
Their recipes make classic vegetarian meals like tofu, stuffed cabbage, lasagna, and eggplant Parmesan melt in your mouth.
7 7. Pompey's Grill - Luxury Steakhouse in the Montana Frontier
When you think of the vast farmlands and peaked mountains of Montana, you might not picture a luxury steakhouse, but that's exactly what you'll find in Sacajawea, Montana.
This small town in the middle of nowhere is home to Pompey's Grill, a restaurant that uses only locally-sourced meats to bring you fine steaks and grub.
Pompey's Grill features a pretty broad selection of items, but the quantity is limited. The food is only served until 8 p.m., and when they run out, they're out. Get there early if you want a taste of everything!
6 6. Kurry Xpress - A Taste of India in Des Moines
Iowa has a surprisingly large population of Indian people, and one family has opened a coveted restaurant throughout the state called Kurry Xpress.
It's a fun spot for delicious treats like naan, curry, tikka masala, tandoori chicken, malai kofta, chole, and kaali daal. The food always comes out piping hot and fresh, even though it's served on paper plates.
The Samosas are also mind-blowing. This is one place you'll have to stop if you're ever in Iowa.
5 5. Red Apple Buffet - Chicago's Massive Tribute to Buffets
If you've had your fill of deep-dish pizza from Giordano's, head over to the Red Apple Buffet while you're in Chicago. The restaurant is huge with three full rooms worth of food served on hot bars.
At the heart, you're transported to Poland with a buffet offering all your favorites including blintzes, potato pancakes, schnitzel, roast beef, sausage, pork stew, potato dumplings, pork shanks, and stuffed cabbage. There's also a huge selection of dessert for you to try.
This is one buffet where you won't be able to eat even one bite of everything before filling up!
4 4. King Buffet - Heaven in China, Oh Wait We're In Los Angeles
Asian buffets are always hit or miss with the quality, especially if the price per head is less than $10. However, King Buffet in Los Angeles is another story.
They feature all your favorite dishes from China like varieties of fried rice, orange chicken, sweet and sour pork, coconut chicken, pork dumplings, egg rolls, and more. They also have a huge selection of seafood like shrimp cocktail, crab legs, and baby clams.
It's Los Angeles, so there's also a large spread of sushi and California rolls for you to try. You'll see cuisine with influences from multiple regions in Asia, not just China.
3 3. Ahimsa - Affordable Cuisine on Bleecker St in New York City
Here's another hit in New York City: For a taste of India, Ahimsa is a buffet with great vegetarian options. If you're a vegetarian, you know there simply aren't enough quality restaurants that cater to your lifestyle choice.
Fill up on aloo gobi, tomato rice, spicy chutneys, mango boondi payasam, crispy dosas, and mustard-seed-flavored treats. At just $12 for a weekday lunch, it makes a great place to break for your noonday meal while visiting the Big Apple.
All the food is hot and fresh, even if it's not busy in the restaurant at the time you're there. The food doesn't sit under heat lamps for long, so you don't have to worry about the stale taste of lesser quality buffets.
2 2. Shady Maple Smorgasbord - The Longest Buffet in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
While in East Earl in Lancaster County, you'll see plenty of horses and buggies and members of the Amish colonies. There will also be an extensive buffet with more Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine than you can possibly imagine.
The buffet serves food all day long, but it specializes in Dutch-inspired breakfast items like varieties of homemade bread, soups, cheeses, meats, vegetables, salad bar items, desserts, pies, and sundaes.
Each night is a different theme from steak to surf & turf to prime rib. It's one of the best ways to experience the unique Pennsylvania Dutch culture of the county.
1 1. Quinet's - High-Quality, Classic USA Fare in West Virginia
Quinet's in New Martinsville, West Virginia has been around since the 1920s, although it changed names in 1941 when the Quinet family purchased the establishment. It's been home to some of the highest-quality USA foods since that time.
They have a huge assortment of sandwiches, salads, breakfast classics, and comfort foods. You have to try the barbecue ribs, chicken dumplings, and baked Swiss steak.
If you'd like to sample all the best of US cuisine in one place, Quinet's is where you should go. Your palate will be thrilled with the taste of homecooked, country-style delicacies in your mouth.
References: grubstreet, huffingtonpost, thedailymeal, delish