10 Disappointing Buffet Foods That Never Satisfy & 10 Goodies To Stuff Your Face With

10 Disappointing Buffet Foods That Never Satisfy & 10 Goodies To Stuff Your Face With

If you love buffets, you'll know that the food served is usually a hit or miss. Not everything at buffets are prepared equally! Here's a list of 10 disappointing buffet foods that never really hit the same, and 10 surprising goodies that you should be stuffing your face with. 

1. Soggy French Fries

Ah, the classic French fry. A beloved favourite that quickly becomes a disappointment when eaten at a buffet. The crispy freshness that you love so much about this snack is quickly replaced with a soggy, bland texture and flavour the moment you take a bite. Talk about a letdown.

Chinese Buffet2Spencer195 on Wikimedia Commons

2. Dry Chicken

Chicken, from everything like fried chicken to chicken breast slices, tend to dry out when left out at a buffet. Without the right moisture levels, these pieces quickly become tough and lose their flavour. What's left to enjoy?

1024Px-Asian Buffet At Restaurant Thai Silk, BoråsJIP on Wikimedia Commons

3. Overcooked Pasta

No one loves soggy and mushy pasta, but unfortunately, that's usually what you're going to get at a buffet. Either overcooked or sitting in warm sauce for too long, the mushy texture becomes a far cry from the al dente perfection most pasta lovers look for.

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

4. Wilted Salad

What's worse than a sad and wilted salad? Salad leaves usually become wilted when left out on a buffet table, and it doesn't help that the dressing is usually pretty watery too. The result? A salad that tastes neither flavourful or refreshing.

Club 60 Supper Club Salad BarDownspec on Wikimedia Commons


5. Seafood Dishes

Seafood can be tricky to keep fresh and at the right temperature, and for some places that just throw em in a bowl, you're just left with rubbery or overly dry fish or shrimp. 

Food At The Courtyard Buffet - 2010 05Michael Ocampo on Wikimedia Commons

6. Desserts with Whipped Cream

For the sweet tooths out there, there's nothing like the disappointment you feel when experiencing a bad buffet dessert. Oftentimes, those loaded with whipped cream are especially disappointing - the cream is melted or starting to deflate, creating both an unappetizing appearance and texture.

The Buffet At Bellagio - 1Moto on Wikimedia Commons

7. Stale Bread Rolls

While warm, fresh bread is delicious, bread rolls that are hard and stale are anything but that. When left out for too long, breads at buffets have a tendency to become tough and unappetizing. No longer soft and fluffy, is there anything appealing about them?

Baltic Queen, 20221217, Breakfast, Grande Buffet 06AleWi on Wikimedia Commons

8. Cold Pizza

Pizza is everyone's favourite, but at a buffet, your love for them might die down pretty quickly. Whether it's the bready dough, poor ratio of toppings, or its rubbery cheese texture due to it becoming cold, buffet pizzas usually just don't hit the same.

Food At The Courtyard Buffet - 2010 04Michael Ocampo on Wikimedia Commons

9. Flavorless Vegetables

Steamed vegetables are bland and boring at buffets, having no vibrant flavour or crisp textures. All that's left is pretty much a bland and sometimes mushy side dish you might as well pass on!

1024Px-Carnival World Buffet, The Rio, Las Vegas Nevada 8Mark Miller on Wikimedia Commons

10. Generic Asian Dishes

Asian cuisine at buffets can be a hit or miss, but sometimes all it takes to determine how good it'll be is one look. They can be covered in oil, creating a greasy, unappetizing look that makes you want to stay away. These overly generalized dishes are made for convenience, not taste.

Super China Buffet - November 2023 - Sarah Stierch 06Missvain on Wikimedia Commons


1. Freshly Made Omelets

Many buffets offer a live omelet station where you can choose your ingredients for a custom-made breakfast. These omelets are fresh, hot, and tailored to your taste, and never disappoint when it comes to a buffet option.

Omelet-933514 1280Image by tookapic from Pixabay

2. Carving Station Meats

Carving stations are a delight, featuring freshly sliced meats such as roast beef, turkey, or ham for your choosing. These cuts tend to be juicier than their "left in the tray" counterparts, ensuring that meat lovers get a chance to be satisfied too.

1024Px-Carnival World Buffet, The Rio, Las Vegas Nevada 7Mark Miller on Wikimedia Commons

3. Custom Stir-fry

Custom is best when it comes to buffets! Some buffets have a stir-fry station where you can pick your ingredients and have them cooked to order. The freshness and personalized touch make these dishes a standout choice.

Cuisine Of India By Armag (3)Armineaghayan on Wikimedia Commons

4. Gourmet Cheese Selection

If you're lucky, your buffet might have a delicious array of fine cheeses you can pair with nuts, fruits, and crackers. Perfect as an appetizer, it's a simple spread that tastes luxurious!

Cheese-Platter-1108564 1280Image by Micha from Pixabay

5. Freshly Baked Bread

When baked fresh, the aroma and taste of freshly made bread is unmatched. Some buffets might offer customers an entire range of artisan breads, ones that aren't stale and are still soft and fluffy on the inside.

Bread-4046506 1280Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay

6. Seafood on Ice

When done right, seafood at a buffet is the greatest bang for your buck. Buffets that offer chilled seafood, like shrimp cocktail, oysters, or crab legs, provide a refreshing and delicious option. The cold temperature helps keep these items fresh and flavorful.

A Cold Seafood From Mr Steak Buffet A La MinutePeachyeung316 on Wikimedia Commons


7. International Cuisine Specialties

The next time you're at a buffet, trying skipping the fried chicken and pizza for some more unique foods! Dishes that are part of the buffet's theme, like authentic Indian curries or Mexican tacos made to order, can be surprisingly good. These specialties often showcase the chef's expertise and the cuisine's authentic flavors.

Mexican Buffet Lunch At Café ViisariJIP on Wikimedia Commons

8. Grilled Vegetables

Avoid the steamed vegetables and gravitate towards the grilled options - these vegetables with a slight char will surprise you. Not only are they a healthy option that you can chow down on without feeling heavy, this cooking method ensures they have a better taste and texture.

Hk 旺角 Mongkok 朗豪坊 Langham Place 香港康得思酒店 Cordis Hotel Buffet Food Choi Sum Vegetable Feb 2017 Ix1Sreak Smiena Parc on Wikimedia Commons

9. Signature Desserts

Look for signature desserts or those made in-house, such as crème brûlée, fresh fruit tarts, or chocolate mousse. These desserts often receive extra care and stand out for their quality.

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

10. Soup of the Day

A well-made soup can be a comforting and delicious choice. Buffets that offer a "soup of the day" typically prepare it fresh, and can be a surprisingly delicious find amidst all the other food options.

Noodle Soup Counter For BuffetGeoffreyrabbit on Wikimedia Commons