Austin's Top 10 Lunch Buffets

We'll decide when to say "when"


Asiana (Photo by John Anderson)

1) ASIANA
The granddaddy of Indian lunch buffets, this South Austin spot is justly beloved for its indulgent lunch and dinner buffet spreads, which combine super-saucy North Indian classics like butter chicken and chicken tikka masala with a wide variety of veggie-friendly South Indian dishes and even a smattering of Indo-Chinese fare tossed in for good measure (try the gobi Manchurian!).

2) SUSHI JUNAI
Japanese food probably isn't the first cuisine to come to mind when you think of buffets, but Sushi Junai, which offers a $20 all-you-can-eat lunch special, might change your mind. The menu leans on maximalist, saucy, tempura-heavy rolls, with equally saucy names, and with the all-you-can-eat approach you can try them all.

3) DIMASSI'S MEDITERRANEAN
With fresh pita bread baked every 15 minutes, Dimassi's buffet is perfectly set up for DIY mezze platter creation. Choose from a diverse array of Mediterranean favorites, like kebabs and shawarma, grape leaves, falafel, and enough varieties of sauces to fill Lady Bird Lake. For dessert, there's baklava and their famous rice pudding.

4) CHARM KOREAN BBQ
If you like the buffet brought to you, there's no place better than Charm Korean BBQ, which offers tabletop cooked barbecue with all-you-can-eat options. Even the basic option is full of KBBQ classics like spicy pork belly, baby octopus, and kimchi stew, while upgrading gets you everything from prime rib to French lamb.

5) TASTE OF ETHIOPIA
Every weekday, Taste of Ethiopia brings the denizens of South Congress a wide-ranging Ethiopian lunch buffet, with a panoply of both vegetarian and carnivore-friendly options. Sample popular dishes like doro wot, gomen, and fesolia, and scoop it all up with injera, a fermented teff flour flatbread that makes the perfect tool for soaking up all those sauces.

6) BUFFET PALACE
Offering everything from sushi to Korean grilled meats and cold noodles to Chinese classics like fried pork dumplings and sesame chicken, Buffet Palace really does offer a palace's worth of culinary delights. Some stick to one cuisine, but we like to use our visits as an opportunity to snack our way across the Asian subcontinent, from crab rolls to galbi.

7) THE CARILLON
With its gracious gallery dining room and endless rows of chandeliers, the dining room at the Carillon is a cut above your typical lunch buffet atmosphere. The food is classic hotel chic, with a limited menu of rotating choices that include two soups of the day, three entrées (one of which is always vegetarian), and plenty of sides.

8) JACK ALLEN'S KITCHEN
This list wouldn't be complete without a brunch buffet or two, and Jack Allen's Kitchen is here with a doozy. The buffet is full of Southern-inflected breakfast classics, like green chile pork and eggs, house-cured ham, and layered enchilada casserole. Plus, there are $5 brunch cocktails, like the mimosa, Bloody Mary, or their pomegranate sangria screwdriver.

9) FONDA SAN MIGUEL
Speaking of breakfast buffets, there are few more celebrated than the fabulous Hacienda Brunch at Fonda San Miguel. With a constantly rotating menu of Mexican classics like tamales, cochinita pibil, chilaquiles, and nopales, it's substantial enough to get you through the day even if you're drinking your espresso in the form of a Carahillo cocktail, with Licor 43 and Crema del Sotol.

10) 888 PAN ASIAN RESTAURANT
Three times a week (Mon., Wed., Fri.), 888 rolls out an ambitious lunch buffet featuring little tastes of their menu, from crispy spring rolls to saucy curries, and everything in between. It's the perfect chance to discover a new favorite for the next time you visit on a non-buffet day.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Asiana, Sushi Junai, Dimassi's Mediterranean, Charm Korean Bbq, Taste Of Ethiopia, Buffet Palace, The Carillon, Jack Allen's Kitchen, Fonda San Miguel, 888 Pan Asian Restaurant

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