10 Buffet Foods That Give The Best Value & 10 You Shouldn't Fill Up On

10 Buffet Foods That Give The Best Value & 10 You Shouldn't Fill Up On

The next time you're at a buffet, we've got some tips and tricks for you to maximize every penny spent. Because at the end of the day, we go to buffets for good value! We want to eat as much as we can, and the best way to do that is to watch what you're eating. Here are 10 foods that give you the best value and 10 you shouldn't fill up on.

1. Lobster Tails

When we think of foods associated with luxury, it's hard not to immediately think about lobster. That's why, if given the chance, load up on lobster tails at buffets! When else are you going to get the chance to stuff your face with this ocean delicacy? Although the price of entry might cost more if it's lobster night, it's definitely worth it if you're a seafood lover.

LobsterMcKARSHEI BOLAMZI on Wikimedia Commons

2. Prime Rib

As far as meat goes at buffets, nothing hits better than a deliciously tender cut of prime rib. It's a premium cut of beef after all! Typically found at fancier buffets, this is definitely something you want to pile on your plate so that you can get your money's worth. 

1024Px-Carnival World Buffet, The Rio, Las Vegas Nevada 6Mark Miller on Wikimedia Commons

3. Dim Sum

This Chinese specialty is great to grab a lot of thanks to its variety. From shrimp dumplings to xiu mai to pork buns, there are so many different flavours and textures to try. And with each piece of dim sum requiring so much effort and careful preparation, it's definitely worth indulging in out of respect for the chef.

1024Px-Char Siu Su From Hilltop Country ClubPeachyeung316 on Wikimedia Commons

4. Truffle Dishes

Truffle is always used in expensive, luxurious dishes, so if you ever find yourself in a buffet where truffle is being used in risotto or mac and cheese, don't miss out on it! That's some pretty good value right there! It's a good chance for you to get your fill of this high-end ingredient.

1024Px-Black Truffle Honey With Marcapone CheesePeachyeung316 on Wikimedia Commons


5. King Crab Legs

Similar to lobster tails, king crab legs are another coveted seafood delicacy that any seafood lover would love to get their hands on. With such sweet, tender meat, who wouldn't want to devour platefuls of it? That's why, if the opportunity presents itself at a buffet, you should load up on this expensive treat to get the best value.

1024Px-A Cold Seafood From Mr Steak Buffet A La Minute (1)Peachyeung316 on Wikimedia Commons

6. Beef Wellington

A Gordon Ramsay special, you're definitely at a fancy buffet if you're being treated to some luxurious beef wellington. Difficult to prepare but so incredibly tasty, you should definitely appreciate this dish and the craftsmanship from the chef if you can.

1024Px-Beef Wellington - Rare, SlicedJerry Pank on Wikimedia Commons

7. Tandoori Chicken

If you're a big fan of Indian cuisine, here's one dish that is worth your time at a buffet. Tandoori chicken is rich in spices and flavour, packing a punch in every bite. As it's typically more expensive when eating out, you might as well get your fill while you're at the buffet.

1024Px-Indian Buffet - Cambridge, MaDaderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Gourmet Pizzas

Skip the basic pepperoni and cheese pizzas - if you're going to stuff yourself with this dish, get the specialty ones instead! You can order Domino's whenever you want, but when are you going to get fancy ones loaded with toppings like proscuitto or gourmet cheeses? 

1024Px-Pizza Al Taglio At Restaurant Red OnionJIP on Wikimedia Commons

9. Teppanyaki

For the best fresh, made-to-order experience at a buffet, head over to the Teppanyaki station if there is one. While most buffet foods are sitting around waiting to be eaten, being able to enjoy premium food that is cooked right before your eyes is certainly a special treat you should take advantage of.

1024Px-Teppanyaki Christmas Eve (8372196035)Fredrik Rubensson from Stockholm, Sweden on Wikimedia Commons

10. Sushi

Given how expensive sushi can be per piece in a traditional Japanese restaurant, you should enjoy every flavour and type that you can eat if you're at a buffet that offers it. Whether it's nigiri, sashimi, or rolls, try all the flavours you've always wanted to here!

1024Px-Mgm Grand Buffet - SushiCalgary Reviews on Wikimedia Commons


1. Bread Rolls

Look, everyone loves bread and having it as an appetizer, but when you're at a buffet with a variety of different foods just waiting to be devoured, you might want to pass on it. After all, you want to keep your stomach as empty as possible so you can eat as much as you want - bread will only make you full!

1024Px-Bread Platter In Buffet RestaurantCalgary Reviews on Wikimedia Commons

2. Fried Foods

Just because you love fried food doesn't mean it's a good idea to stuff yourself with it. After all, eating too much fried food is one quick ticket to getting a food coma. While loading your plate up with fried chicken, tempura, or french fries seems like a good idea in the moment, all that greasiness and heaviness will kick in shortly, completely taking up all your stomach space.

1024Px-Hk Kt 觀塘 Kwun Tong 大滿喜放題 Daimanki Japanese Restaurant Diner Buffet July 2018 Ix2 Deep-Fried FoodTiman Lamwiu on Wikimedia Commons

3. Creamy Soups

While creamy soups can feel heartwarming and satisfying, filling up on clam chowder or broccoli cheese soup isn't how you should be eating at the buffet if you want to maximize value. All that cream and butter is going to make you feel tired and lower your appetite!

1024Px-Finnish Salmon Soup At Restaurant FregattiJIP on Wikimedia Commons

4. Pasta with Heavy Sauces

Pasta can already feel very filling when eaten in small portions, but when they're drenched in heavy, creamy sauces like Alfredo or Bolognese, it can become even harder to eat lots of it. That's why you should be careful about how much pasta you're putting on your plate; leave some space so you can explore other dishes too!

1024Px-Hk Cwb 香港怡東酒店 Excelsior Hotel 通心粉 Macaroni Dec-2011Cookantean on Wikimedia Commons

5. Cheesy Dishes

No matter how much you love cheese, you have to admit, cheese can feel incredibly heavy and hard to eat a lot of. Which is why it's definitely not a good idea to eat too much of it at a buffet! You'll be surprised by how much cheese can take up all your stomach space and leave you feeling uncomfortable and tired.

1024Px-Cicis-Mac&Cheese-PizzaAbbamouse on Wikimedia Commons

6. Sugary Desserts

Save the desserts for last! While you might be tempted by the wide array of sweet treats available, eating too much sugar is one quick way to feel fatigued and full. You can never really eat as much as you think you can, so don't stack up your dessert plate with the same one dessert, branch out and try very little of each.

1024Px-Grc — Korfu — Agios Gordios (Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort Buffet Mit Desserts) Mattes 2021Mateus2019 on Wikimedia Commons


7. Rice and Potatoes

You may love rice and potatoes as a side to all the foods you've grabbed, but be careful, starchy foods like rice and potatoes can be extra filling. When you're at a buffet, it's all about variety and trying as much as you can. It's probably better to just avoid rice and potatoes while you're at it.

1024Px-Beef-Veges-Spiced Rice-Plain Rice BuffetBswitaba on Wikimedia Commons

8. Thick Stews

Just like creamy soups, thick stews like chili are so hearty and heartwarming, but so heavy to eat at the same time. Can you really eat a big bowl of chili while also enjoying everything else you want? Probably not!

1024Px-Sayur Lodeh Ibu SulastriGunawan Kartapranata on Wikimedia Commons

9. Processed Meats

As one of the unhealthiest options available, processed meats like sausage, bacon, and cold cuts are not only high in calories and sodium, but they're also not the food you should be filling up on to get your money's worth. Eating too much will take up a lot of your stomach space, leaving you with no room left to try the more expensive, luxurious items.

1024Px-The Four Of Cold Cuts From Cafe RibvoliPeachyeung316 on Wikimedia Commons

10. Potato Salad

Over at the salad bar, there's an unsuspecting dish that will make you a lot more full than you realize. That's right, potato salad is a favourite among many guests, but it may be the reason why you can never eat as much as you hope for. Loaded in mayo and other dressings, it's a high calorie, heavy dish that only makes you feel tired.

1024Px-Mc 路氹城 Cotai 蓮花海濱大馬路 Avenida Marginal Flor De Lotus 澳門大倉酒店 Hotel Okura Macau Restaurant Food Buffet May 2018 Lgm 02L8iw KSIVNSD on Wikimedia Commons