You know that feeling when you’re craving mashed potatoes and a scoop of spicy stir fry, or pulled-pork tacos and popcorn shrimp and you just don’t know where to go to find foods that are the polar opposites of each other? The best answer in this situation is a buffet. Buffets usually offer the best of all worlds for any eater: hot foods, fresh-cut prime rib, salad bars and desserts. Here, you’ll find some of the best buffets in and around the Twin Cities.
Tommy Chicago’s Pizzeria
730 Main St
Mendota Heights, MN 55118
Buffet: Weekdays 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Tommy, the restaurant’s creator and namesake, has always loved the traditional Chicago-style thick pizza crust, so he decided to share that love with the city of Mendota Heights and all who enter his restaurant. His desire to serve fresh pizza with premium ingredients makes this lunch buffet a standout. The all-you-can-eat buffet is just $8.95 during the lunch hour. Head over midday to find all things pizza, from BBQ chicken to Hawaiian to veggie, and much more. The high-quality meats, veggies and Grande mozzarella cheese used on each pie takes this pizza to the next level.
The Buffet at Mystic Lake Casino
2400 Mystic Lake Blvd NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Price: Lunch Mon to Fri – $9.95, Brunch Sat and Sun – $13.95, Dinner Daily: $13.95 to $24.95
Buffet: Lunch Mon to Fri 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Brunch Sat and Sun: 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Dinner Daily 4:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
People come from all around to eat at The Buffet at Mystic Lake Casino, and why wouldn’t you? This buffet offers a wide variety of cuisine, with everything from seafood to prime rib to Chinese food. You name it and it’s probably here. A tip for curious diners: It’s best to get there early if you plan to eat on Wednesday for seafood night. The line usually snakes out of the buffet room and into the casino. But have no fear, lovers of crab legs, lobster tails and shrimp say it’s well worth the wait. Lunch, brunch and dinner buffets are also available, so take note of prices and hours and try your luck at this all-you-can-eat experience.
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7465 France Ave S
Edina, MN 55435
Price: Lunch – $10, Brunch – $12.50, Dinner – $11.50
Buffet: Mon to Thurs 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri and Sat 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Q. Cumbers, “where vegetables are good.” With a motto like that, it’s no surprise that this spot has a large salad bar, but it may surprise you that it’s 50 feet long. Along with plenty of veggies prepared different ways, you’ll also find meat, so don’t hesitate if looking for a protein fix. Q. Cumbers offers different specials at the hot bar each day of the week, which hosts warming dishes like lasagna, tacos or roasted turkey. You’re sure to find enough choices to load up your plate. Dinner is served starting at 4 p.m. every day except Sunday, where the dinner menu begins at 2 p.m. MPR members: Bring your membership card to get 15% off of your meal.
820 Marquette Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Price: Lunch Buffet: $11.95
Buffet: Mon to Fri 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Food Fair Buffet Sat and Sun 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
A popular destination for the downtown lunch crowd, Bombay Bistro offers a buffet of Indian food to delight the taste buds seven days a week. Along with a full dinner menu, you can take part in the lunch buffet for about $12. Plan a weekend visit to enjoy the Food Fair Buffet, which hosts authentic Indian dishes. The menu is packed with traditional Indian food like samosas, curry and tandoori. There is also a great selection for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. So if you’re feeling in the mood for something spicy and possibly something you haven’t tried before, stop in and take advantage of the buffet for a little taste of everything.
Sala Thai Restaurant
4023 Woodland Ave
Duluth, MN 55803
Buffet: Mon to Fri 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
For the folks up north, there is a fantastic little restaurant that offers a tasty lunch buffet every weekday. Sala Thai Restaurant makes authentic Thai recipes that stem from the owner’s own family roots in Thailand. Since she grew up eating these dishes, she wanted to share them with the masses. Everything is made fresh in the restaurant and all house sauces are made in-house daily. The lunch buffet changes from day to day, but you’ll likely find curries, Pad Thai, Beef Basil, Sesame Chicken, Sweet-and-Sour Chicken and fried rice for your afternoon lunch break. Along with the lunch buffet, breakfast dinner menus are also available.
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Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.