Who doesn’t love a good buffet? Whether it’s home-style cooking, gourmet, Asian, Indian, or even vegetarian, Americans love the freedom of choice afforded by the buffet line, where we get to pile it up any way we want.
Yahoo Travel went in search of the highest mountains of crab legs, the most savory meat carving stations, and the richest towers of desserts. We found delicious-yet-humble fare in local diners, over-the-top Vegas-style spreads, and luscious weekend brunch buffets. Here’s where to line up state by state:
Photo: Martha’s Place/Facebook
Martha’s Place serves up soul food and country cooking in Montgomery seven days a week. Be sure to leave room for the bread pudding.
Pike’s Landing Sunday Brunch at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks is the go-to place for a beautiful brunch spread with views of the Chena River. Be warned: the buffet includes 18 feet of desserts.
The Wandering Horse at Talking Stick Resort features a full buffet three meals a day, seven days a week, but the real treats are Prime Rib on Wednesday and Alaskan King Crab Legs on weekends.
Ron’s Catfish in Jonesboro is proof that in the South, any worthy buffet should include catfish. It’s center stage on the buffet at Ron’s, served up hot and crispy. The buffet is rounded out with salad, country-style veggies, and of course, hushpuppies.
Café Sierra at Hilton Los Angeles Universal City is an elegant buffet featuring Mandarin cuisine in addition to the standard Vegas-style offerings of prime rib and seafood.
Sunday brunch at the historic Broadmoor near Colorado Springs has long been a staple of locals and visitors alike. It’s the kind of buffet that leaves you dreaming of a repeat visit.
Foxwood’s Festival Buffet in Mashantucket is a shining example of the type of buffets found at casinos across the country. The offerings include Asian, Italian, and seafood. The breakfast buffet may be one of the best kept secrets in the state. At only $12.95 for adults, it’s a bargain.
Michael’s Restaurant & Pub in Newark may have an ordinary sounding name, but the buffet spread here is anything but ordinary. Fruits, vegetables, pasta, home-style desserts, fresh breads, and a sundae bar to boot. And did we mention the price? Adults are only $14.99.
Related: Surviving the Cruise Ship Buffet
District of Columbia
The Farm Market Brunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers is the only buffet you’ll find at this D.C. eatery that features farm-to-table fare prepared and served with flare. Prime example: bruleed pink grapefruit. Breakfast may never look the same again.
Villa de Flora’s Sunday brunch at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee is a spectacle of beautiful food and musical artistry in the European-styled Grand Dining Room.
The Lady & Son’s in Savannah features Paula Deen’s Southern-style buffet at lunch and dinner. Where else you gonna taste Paula’s fried chicken, y'all?
The Oceanarium in Waikiki is an aquarium experience that happens to come with great food. You get to be mesmerized by hundreds of indigenous fish swimming just beyond the glass aquarium walls while feasting on prime rib, crab legs, and sushi. Dinner and a show!
The Grand Breakfast Buffet at Riverside Grill in Boise has everything from caramelized bacon to house-made doughnuts with dipping sauce. On the weekends, breakfast becomes brunch and includes prime rib and bottomless mimosas.
Photo: Red Apple Buffet/Facebook
Red Apple Buffet has two Chicago locations featuring food that goes above and beyond traditional buffet food — including Polish favorites.
Prime rib and all the trimmings on a buffet for under $20? You aren’t dreaming. Back 40 Junction’s dinner buffet in Decatur is affordable and includes enough choices to please everyone in your group.
Farmer’s Pick at Isle of Capri in Waterloo is not your typical casino buffet. The food is sourced locally and prepared fresh. And did we mention the eclairs?
Kitchen Buffet at Kansas Star in Mulvane has a clean, fresh look that mirrors the selection of locally sourced foods, made in small batches for quality and freshness.
David’s Steakhouse in Corbin is proof that when you pair a good steakhouse with a buffet, it’s likely to be a winner.
Want seafood? Lagneaux’s in Lafayette is the place. After stuffing yourself on the buffet, take home some boudin or hand-cut steaks from the meat market.
Epic Buffet at Hollywood Casino and Raceway in Bangor lives up to its name. Pizza, pasta, Chinese, and what seems like an endless spread of deserts make this worth dropping by the casino for. Children are not only allowed at Epic, they eat for half price.
Wit and Wisdom Sunday brunch in Baltimore features prime rib, baked eggs Florentine, a raw bar, plus a kids bar with PB&J’s and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Spirit Cruises gets you offshore for an incredible view of Boston Harbor. The buffet is a bonus.
Visiting the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is quite the experience, but enjoying the Grand Luncheon buffet is over-the-top bucket list territory.
Photo: Q Cumbers
Q Cumbers in Edina has meat-based dishes, but the amazing array of vegetarian selections might be enough to tempt you into changing your carnivorous ways.
There are two words you need to know about the Jubilee Buffet at the Silver Slipper in Bay St. Louis — “boiled” and “shrimp.” Piles and piles of boiled shrimp.
Peachtree Buffet in Kansas City is home-style cooking at its finest. Come hungry for fried chicken, catfish, mac 'n’ cheese, and smothered pork chops, then finish with peach cobbler.
For a scenic and tasty option, try a two-hour dinner cruise on Flathead Lake offered by Kwataqnuk Resort and Casino. The view is breathtaking.
This may be the only state in the Midwest without a stupendous country style buffet. Never fear though, we found an unpretentious Sunday brunch at Upstream Brewing in Omaha. They had us at “bread pudding French toast.” Wait, isn’t bread pudding already French toast? Double dip! Yummers!
Photo: Wynn Las Vegas
If you can stop gawking at the Alice in Wonderland feel of the floral décor, The Buffet Wynn in Las Vegas is the Big Daddy of grand buffets. You name it, and it’s here on this spread.
Sunday brunch at The Old Salt in Hampton includes Eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, and a chocolate fountain in the setting of a quaint New England inn.
No sensory décor overload at Borgata Buffet in Atlantic City, just plenty of good food. Expect carving stations, Asian dishes, and loads of desserts.
Buffet 66 in Albuquerque is a tasty salute to the Mother Road. Over 200 dishes, including Prime Rib, of course.
Sunday brunch at Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria is as elegant as it is delicious. Sample dishes that were actually invented here like Waldorf Salad, Eggs Benedict, and Red Velvet Cake.
Related: The 50 Best State Parks in America
Photo: Casey’s Buffet
Casey’s Buffet in Wilmongton is soul food on an all-you-can-eat platter. My, oh my!
Chuck Wagon Western Buffet in Medora features barbecue, hearty meats, and comfort foods. The only hitch is that you have to wait for spring when they crank the kitchen up again.
Sliced ham, roast beef, and tater tot casserole await you at Cathedral Buffet in Cuyuhaga Falls.
Sunday Brunch at Ingrid’s in Oklahoma City is way more than a German buffet. Fresh-baked breads, pastries, and wiener schnitzel make this a stop worth making.
Saturday and Sunday brunch at Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grill in Portland is the place to load your plate with fresh local seafood like peel-and-eat prawns and shrimp ceviche. Top that with a make your own Bloody Mary bar and you may have the perfect weekend brunch.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord in East Earl has 200 feet of hearty Pennsylvania Dutch fare plus seafood and prime rib. After you fill your tummy, fill your pantry from the gift shop and farmer’s market.
Nordic Lodge in Charlestown may be the most expensive buffet we found in the country, but the $93 adult price includes steak and lobster along with an amazing array of seafood and luscious desserts.
The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood Buffet in Myrtle Beach not only has a crab bar, but also 170 items including fresh baked goods and a pasta station. What more could you ask for?
Silverado Grand Buffet in Deadwood is more than a place to take a break from gaming in this historic hotel. The 80 feet of buffet offerings make it worth going out of your way for, especially on weekends when crab legs and prime rib grace the feast.
Old Country Store, part of the Casey Jones Village in Jackson, is the place to go for Southern comfort food like sliced ham and turnip greens for dinner, and cracklin’ cornbread griddlecakes for breakfast.
Stubb’s BBQ Gospel Brunch in Austin may be the most unusual Sunday brunch in the country. Enjoy your barbecue, fried catfish, grits, Czech sausage, and buttery biscuits served with a helping of live gospel music.
The Roof in Salt Lake City features a gourmet buffet with a stunning view from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The price of $39.95 is a bargain in such an elegant setting.
J. Morgan’s Steakhouse at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier not only has amazing steaks, but also an acclaimed Sunday brunch featuring maple bourbon glazed ham. Now that’s worth going out of the way for.
What would a buffet list be without a Japanese hibachi grill and sushi bar? Yukai Buffet in Virginia Beach makes the cut, featuring 40 kinds of sushi and more than 100 hot items.
Blue Fin Sushi & Seafood Buffet in Seattle features fresh seafood, Korean BBQ, and luscious desserts in a fine dining atmosphere.
Epic Buffet at Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races is another example of a casino buffet extravaganza.
Harbor House Sunday brunch in Milwaukee has a to-die-for raw bar with imported and local cheeses, and piles of shrimp. But be sure to save room for the cedar plank baked salmon.
The Cowboy State does not embrace the typical AYCE buffet, but during summer months The Cody Cattle Company puts on a chuck wagon dinner with live music and entertainment while you munch on hearty rustic fare.
WATCH: The 10 Craziest McDonald’s in the World