Show no restraint.
Buffets often get a bad rap. Heat lamps, long left-out dishes, gluttony incarnate, that queasy recollection of the beef/chicken buffet scene in National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation. But not all buffets are created equal. When seeking out a local in which to stock up on calories to last you the winter hibernation, we recommend heading to one of our 10 favorite all-you-can-eat buffets in Houston. [Featured image: @nirvanahouston]
Named the top Mediterranean buffet in Texas by the American Heart Association in 2019, Dimassi’s offers a vast spread of healthy Mediterranean dishes ranging from falafel, tabouli, and fatoush, to a vibrant variety of hummuses, rices, and vegetables. Here, you’ll also find some savory dishes that include slow-cooked marinated brisket, gyro, lamb shanks, and meat skewers. Buffet prices vary by the time and day, starting at $13.85 for lunch Mondays through Fridays, to $17.54 on weekends (Friday at 4 pm through Sunday).
2. Star Pizza
The story goes with Star Pizza is that its founder, a Chicago native, was disillusioned with the pizza here in the south. Taking it upon themselves, they started Star Pizza. Here, you’ll find Windy City-style deep dish as well as New York-style and hand-tossed personal pizzas on white and whole wheat crust. In addition to their killer ‘za, Star Pizza serves homemade lasagna, sandwiches, salads, and an Apple Cinnamon Dessert pizza. On Mondays through Fridays, Star offers a $8.95 lunchtime pizza buffet that features salads and thin-crust pizzas.
The Texas-born, contemporary grill and buffet offers 12 buffet bars with over 250 multi-cultural selections of Chinese, Japanese, and American dishes. The grill uses high quality ingredients to prepare their dishes, as well as fresh fish for their sushi and sushimi. In addition to dining down on top-notch General Tso’s chicken and robust garlic shrimp, patrons bring their selection of ingredients to the Hibachi bar, where a chef will stir-fry the mixture to their heart’s content. And, the cherry on top, is the grill’s chocolate fountain. Buffet prices for adults start at $11.99 during lunch hours, $15.99 for dinner. Discount prices are available for seniors and children.
4. Fogo de Chao
Not a traditional buffet by any stretch of the imagination, Fogo de Chao is the Brazilian all-you-can-eat-meat churrasco of your dreams. Its name, pronounced “fo-go dee shown”, comes from traditional gaucho style of roasting large cuts of meat in a pit in the ground. Here, chefs dressed in Bambachos wheel out 18 different types of meat, including the numero uno, picanha, the top sirloin’s prime cut. Instead of standing around with a tray hopping from buffet bar to buffet bar, simply flip your card to show green, indicating to passing servers that you’re ready for more. Fogo de Chao is open for lunch and dinner daily.
5. Hunan Chef
Long staple of the Houston buffet scene, Hunan Chef on I-10 near Memorial and Spring Branch features a plethora of tasty options that will make you want to try one of everything. Hunan Chef offers a proper spread of Sichaun and Hunan Chinese cuisine, with dishes such as Sesame Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, and Beef and Broccoli, and serves lunch and dinner 7 days a week from 11 am – 9:30 pm.
Fancy yourself a grill master? At Jin Korean BBQ, you can try your hand at grilling an assortment of delicious Korean meat, poultry, and seafood at your table ranging from Bulgogi, to Chadolbaegi (brisket), and Samgyupsal (porkbelly). to spicy pork tenderloin, tripe, and tilapia. And/or, if you want the restaurant to do the work, there’s plenty of Korean BBQ, favorites, and specialties available at the buffet for the choosing.
Located on the edge of Sharpstown, Mezban Restaurant specializes in Indian, Pakistani, and South Asian cuisine. Its desi ambiance offers a nice compliment to enjoy their Halal Buffet, that which includes flavorful variety of dishes such as palak paneer, haleem, biryani, chicken tandoori, a puri station, and more! Week lunch buffets are priced around $11 per head, while weekends the price goes up to $17.
8. Chama Gaucha
While Fogo de Chao might be the more recognizable of the two, Chama Gaucha is another all-you-can-eat Southern Brazilian steakhouse that is not to be missed. Located across the street from their Brazilian predecessor at 5865 Westheimer Rd, the high-end Churrascaria steakhouse serves top-notch flame-roasted meats that include their specialty picanha, ribeye, filet mignon, and porco.
9. Sushi 9
All you-can-eat sushi and sashimi? Say no more at Sushi 9 in Katy. The sushi is fresh and made-to-order. The rolls don’t overboard with the rice, and are more proportionate when it comes to the sauce. In addition to sushi, the restaurant serves killer beef short ribs, beef teriyaki, and eel fried rice, among other dishes.
Don’t know about you guys, but all-you-can-eat Indian cuisine sounds a lot like ultimate bliss to us. Located in Memorial, Nirvana Indian Restaurant is a BYOB establishment that serves a dazzling variety of dishes that include tikka masala, byriani, paneer, pakora, channa masala, fresh hot naan, and on Mondays and Tuesdays – their highly coveted lamp chops.
See also: 10 Of The Best Pizza Parlors In Houston