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8 Buffets In Chicago You Need To Pull Up A Chair To

Buffets are the ultimate in unabated edible consumption. However, like any restaurant, there are good buffets, and then there are great buffets. These aren't any Old Country Buffet/Golden Corral type eateries for the peasants. Rather, this list of premium Chicagoland buffets will tantalize your taste buds into a state of euphoria that will remain insatiable until you visit your favorite from among the following.

Red Apple Buffet

Photo by Adam Widelka

Steeped in Polish heritage and dedicated to their home in Chicago, Red Apple Buffet is a staple within the Chicago community. Home to delicious authentic polish dishes, especially their pierogis, this is one eatery that puts forth noticeable effort to differentiate themselves from standard buffet-style restaurants. 

Royal Buffet


Go for the seafood, stay for the everything. Royal Buffet is one of the few places on this list where all of the food is truly excellent. They advertise as a seafood buffet, but their general assortment of buffet foods is a diner's dream. However, if seafood is what you have a hankering for, Wednesday and Friday nights are Lobster Night and their sushi is always fresh and fantastic.

Arya Bhavan


I don't usually go in for vegetarian, much less vegan, but Arya Bhavan is an exception to the rule. I originally found this 100% vegan Indian buffet while I was dating a vegan girl a few years back. I didn't really like any of the food she cooked (probably because she wasn't a good cook, but also, you know, vegan food), but we could always agree on this place for a meal out. The food is good, with options to make any dish gluten-free, the atmosphere is pleasurable, and as long as you go in with an open mind, your stomach won't remain empty very long. 

Fogo de Chão


Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys! This Brazilian steakhouse offers some of the best options for the meat-lover in you, while also housing possibly the most impressive salad bar in town. Gaucho chefs come right to your table and slice perfect cuts of fresh meat onto your plate, and they keep coming back until you can't handle another bite. Fogo de Chão has some of the best lamb chops in existence, and the house special picanha cut of beef is almost as good as sex. Almost. 

Woori Village


Beef, beef, and more beef. My Korean buddy says that this is the only place, besides his mom's kitchen, that he will go for Korean BBQ. Woori Village brings the buffet right to you with hubcap-looking grills in the middle of your table, and bowl after bowl of other amazing ingredients to add to all of the meat you will soon be gorging yourself on. 

Pearl's Place


If there is any single word to describe Pearl's Place, it would be "soul." This place has soul coming out its ears, most notably due to the deliciousness of its southern soul food buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If there was ever a place to offer the most supreme B for D (breakfast for dinner), this is it. Ain't no Denny's in here, Pearl's Place is the real deal when it comes to serving up your favorite comfort food.

India House

I love Indian food, but every time I found a new Indian restaurant, my friend Reshmi would say, "If you're not getting it homemade, why don't you just go to India House?" After one visit, I now understand. Their lunch buffet offers some of the best Indian cuisine around town, and their dinner menu is nothing to scoff at, either. The authenticity of this joint is palpable in every bite, and if you can handle the spice, you're in for a excellent meal.

*Insert Prefix Here* China Buffet


Common prefixes include, but are not limited to: new, super, super new, new super, 1st, 2nd, amazing, eat, and Chinese. Insert any of these words, in any combination, in front of China Buffet, and you've got a plethora of bowel-destroying choices. I once had a theory that the buffets in Chinatown would be better than the random ones you can find in any given strip mall. I was wrong. The only difference is, in Chinatown, they don't care if you can't read Mandarin to know what you're eating.