Best way to navigate a buffet?

After many were shut down during the pandemic, buffets are making a comeback at restaurants and food markets. Do you jam everything onto your plate? Without going into a food coma, what’s the best way to navigate a buffet?

I avoid filler (breads, rice, etc.) and take small portions of things that look good to me. You can always go back for anything you really like.



I always go for the most expensive and my favorite items and work my way down from there.

Agreed with avoiding filler.

I also don’t view it as a competition with myself vs the buffet any more. Makes the experience a lot more enjoyable lol.


Grab something you can eat while working the line. Maybe not bread but something easy to hold with your hand like a dumpling, chicken wing, egg tart, etc… this was stolen from Dave Chang.

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I will also do a salad that has more ‘stuff’ than I’ll ever have at our house.

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First… make the rounds. Even if you aren’t a salad person… sometimes they have good stuff in the salad bar that would make a good addition to your meal, like green beans or roasted veggies (I find most hot bars to be way too starch heavy). Then when you figure out what I want for sure and what you want maybe, start thinking of it as layers. What can you put on top of what (like Beef Stew over Roasted Veggies) and then what do you want to top what with what (like shredded cheese over your mashies). I am one of those who will go back in order not to overload my plate (It also makes eating more enjoyable. If it’s the WF or grocery salad bar, I would employ the corner method. This corner for this. This corner for that. etc…

Man… did I miss food bars…


Speaking of WF salad bar, now that ours have reopened, what we used to do was buy all manner of toppings, no greens and take it home for salads.

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Recently took in my first Indian lunch buffet in a long while. Tough part was keeping the sauces from melding together…


UGH… As I mentioned… I LOVE buffets, but I have never wanted to do an Indian one because of this very concern. I wonderful if you can pull off something Ethiopian like lay out a thin layer of rice on your plate and then dollop things as best you can… :rofl:

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Seafood, carved meats. Hitting the proteins.

But other stuff, I take the smallest of small as a test first.

Anything with bacon is an automatic try.

Starches are just enough for 1 bite.

I rarely get dessert. Maybe a bite of wifey’s.

Salad does not exist.


You can just get less sauces on your plate and get more plates


protip: get a lot of the small bowls used for condiments and put the curries in that. use the plate for the dry ingredients.


this, along with ‘you can take a rice cooker to [certain] restaurants to make your own rice’ is the genius-level content that makes ftc invaluable.


Sometimes it’s simply a challenge to see if the management will ever invite that customer to come back lol…

I remember Thanksgiving dinner at a club buffet where I had (only) prawns, cocktail sauce and stuffing. Perfect!


Haven’t been to Vegas in a long time. Like any So Cal kid been there many many many times all my life.

My last visit was at Caesar’s Bacchanal. Basically 95% of what I ate was crab legs, lemon, and butter with lots of fresh squeezed juices. I had plenty of mimosas too lol. I might have had a small piece of beef and some cakes. I remember leaving that buffet and immediately went upstairs to take a nap. I think I woke up after midnight and stayed up all night gambling, and walking around different hotels.

Basically go for the crab legs is what I am saying! That’s what my fellow Chinese people do!

Rice, potatoes, bread/rolls….pass. You can those anywhere and at home. Except Sizzler….dat cheese toast tho

Watch the meat intake……the calories will make you full pretty damn quick. I limit it to maybe 1 small slice of prime rib.

Some of these Vegas buffets have some pretty damn good desserts now. I remember jello and fruit was the standard now I do love me some jello and fruit though! Have a few of the cakes and tarts or whatever catches your eye.

Also don’t fall for the Asian food trap. All of the Vegas hotels are catering to Chinese tourists. Why eat that when you can eat in SGV or Flushing?


Back when my friend (who is from HK originally) and I could actually eat enough to justify $ on a buffet, we would literally go to Las Vegas for the sole purpose of eating a few times at the Bellagio buffet, specifically for the crab legs. I think our ratio might’ve been more like 85% crab legs, b/c we liked prime rib, too. :wink:


I’ve read that snow crab harvests from Alaska are down 90% this past season. Translation: Major price hike on them snow crab crab legs coming soon. #ResurgenceOfKrab

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I don’t even know if I could throw down 3 plates and dessert. That was my minimum at a Vegas buffet.

Who has the best buffet in Vegas? I am looking to go within the year and bring some people who never been.