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Looking for a good buffet in MSP

Hi! I have moved here a few months ago and would like to find a buffet that actually tastes good!! I would ideally like an Thai buffet or an Chinese buffet w/ Mongolian Grill or even Indian but an open to almost anything (not so much on the Old Country Buffet or the Golden Corral). I tried an Chinese buffet by the Knollwood Mall but wasn't really impressed. I have driven by the Atlantic Buffet in Bloomington but would love some input from someone that has actually eaten there I live in St. Louis Park and will drive up to 20 minutes or so. For some reason my boyfriend is dying to eat an buffet. Also I did check out this thread already http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387341 but didn't see any Thai or other types of buffets on it. Thanks!!

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  1. I thought the lunch buffet at the Himalayan Restaurant on Franklin Ave was good. It's small but tasty. The food is Nepalese, pretty close to Indian food. Also, the lunch buffet at Khyber Pass is excellent (Afghani food).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Quince

      I second Khyber Pass, and would also add the Everest on Grand's buffet is excellent.

      1. re: mtullius

        Yeah Everest is what I was going to post too. You can check the menu before you go on their website:


    2. I think K Wok by the U of M is really good: Vietnamese/Chinese/Malay. I suggest not getting too much food at once as they will put out specials all through lunch and you don't want to miss out! I can't find a website but this will get you the info:


      2 Replies
      1. re: SmartCookie

        I haven't eaten there yet, but people are saying good things about the new
        Ghandi Mahal near Lake and Minnehaha- they have a daily lunch buffet (Indian

        1. re: faith

          I was there a couple of weeks ago. It's pretty good, but I'd drive farther and go to Nala Pak any day. Great Southern Indian vegetarian. I'd also 'third,' if it's possible, Himalaya on Franklin. The guy behind the counter is so nice and soft-spoken, the food is great, and the price is right. I noticed last time I was there that they'd toned down the heat somewhat, a bit of a disappointment for me as to my mind it's less authentic that way, but if it will encourage the masses to come, then so be it. I would like to see this little restaurant succeed.

      2. What about Khan's Mongolian BBQ- just off 494 ih Richfield. I think it's between 12th and Nicollet?

        1 Reply
        1. re: liesel

          Khan's Mongolian BBQ is a chain of restaurants that is not so good, IMO.

        2. May not be exactly what your looking for but Picosa is a Spanish restaurant down by St Anthony Main formerly Sophias, they have a 7-8$ very impressive buffet on the weekends it's like 11-12$ They have fresh fruit, tacos with fiz ins, soups, desserts, chips, and an enchilada bakes, seafood and a free beverage too, parking is validated if you park in the right lot(connected to riverplace) but you have to bring your ticket in to get it stamped



          1. i've heard good things about 98 pounds buffet in bloomington, but haven't been, personally.

            1. Atlantic Buffet is big, lots of seafood, most is pretty good, better than typical steam table stuff. They have much Asian, much American, a few bits of not so good Sushi. They have a Mongolian table IIRC. I would recommend it for a buffet. From their web site:

              "Enjoy our selection of 100+ buffet items, featuring Chinese dishes, Mongolian BBQ, sushi, and standard American cuisine." atlanticbuffet.com

              98 Pounds is in fact very tasty. We took our intern there for his going away lunch a couple of days ago. Huge variety of passable sushi, a number of decent Asian dishes. Not much American, no Mongolian. It's not as big a selection as Atlantic, but I think the quality a little better.

              I've found Khyber Pass lunch buffet to be, well, underwhelming. Almost any of the numerous Indian buffets have better versions of what was on display last time I ate there. Also in Bloomington is Tandoor, which has an Indian buffet lunch. It's notable in that it usually has at least one lamb dish every day. I would recommend that as a good Indian buffet not too far south of SLP.

              There is an Indian lunch buffet in SLP across from Costco. It's the same people who bought (and ruined) New Delhi. Passable, but not stellar Indian. That said, there are a couple of posts on Indian food in the Midwest boards, any of which have lunch buffets.

              Khan's is a straightahead, old-school abysmal Mongolian BBQ. If you want that type of food, Atlantic is a better choice. If you are up for a lo-o-ong drive and absolutely must must MUST have Mongolian, cross the river into Eagan and eat at Ghengis Grill. It, too, is a chain, but it's new-school with fresher better ingredients, spice mixes, sauces that aren't as gloppy.

              Have fun!

              1. We go to a lot of buffets in the Twin Cities.

                I'd say that our favorites so far this year are Big Marina Grill in Columbia Heights and 98 Pounds in Bloomington. Big Marina was big surprise with the excellent lamb and desserts. 98 pounds was great for the sushi.

                India Palace in Roseville is also pretty decent but the food was a little bland for our tastes. We would have preferred the food with a bit more kick.

                1. We ended up trying the Atlantic Buffet. One of the main reasons because we already knew where it was (I am still learning my way around as I have only been here about 3 months!hehehe) and because they were open for dinner. The inside was on the newer side and was nice and clean. Unlike the buffet I went to in St. Louis Park which was totally nasty inside......The food was good and they had a pretty good selection. I didn't care of the American food but the Asian was good. My boyfriend did have a few pieces of sushi which he said were OK- we are still trying to find good sushi here which will be my next thread. I ate too much and did not get a chance to try the Mongolian Grill but maybe next time. The service was great and drinks were refilled before having to ask and dirty plates removed ASAP. I got a coupon from their website and we ended up paying $10 a person including drinks which is a great deal for dinner!
                  Unrelated but I did hear about a Thai lunch buffet at Sawatdee. Has anyone tried that?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: phimoez

                    I believe the Washington Avenue location has a buffet. I haven't had lunch there in years so can't give you much info on its current status. I think that this may be the only location with a buffet but am not sure about that.

                  2. The only buffet I dream about in the area is Cleveland Wok. It's in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul on Cleveland and Ford Parkway. It's often a bit of a wait to get a table, but it's my favorite.

                    Cleveland Wok
                    St. Paul

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: advicepig

                      I don't want to start a war or make an enemy, but I have to respectfully disagree about Cleveland Wok.

                      I've eaten there twice, and in my experience, the food has been low-quality, lacked flavor (other than sugar and salt), and was overloaded with MSG (I'm not even a person who's opposed to MSG in general, but I left CW with my mouth tingling with it). In my judgement, it's not worth a trip from St. Louis Park. But maybe I just caught them on a bad day twice!

                      Or maybe my standards are unrealistic. Truth be told, I've never met a Chinese buffet that I liked.

                      1. re: diesel

                        For simple Chinese in the Macalester area, Grand Shanghai isn't half bad, and the same goes for their lunch buffet. I like that their sauces aren't swimming in oil and that they use lots of fresh (and NOT overcooked, which is difficult for a buffet) veggies in their dishes. I have not asked about the MSG, as I don't have sensitivity issues, but I am hoping they omit it on general principle!

                    2. A few years back while in the Mall of America, I was approached by a representative of the Indian casino south of Minneapolis and offered a free buffet if I signed up for their slot club. Even though I don;t gamble, I went out there and the food was better than average.

                      1. I liked the look of the buffet at Curry Up in Maple Grove. Also, they make a dhosa for you when you have the buffet. Sadly, I did not have time to dine there when I stopped to see the place, but it looked like a very good Indian buffet. Open every day for lunch and supper, I think.

                        Bonus: it is attached to a grocery store, including a sweets counter, so you can pick up your favorite Indian treats.

                        Extra bonus: I love restaurants that are attached to Indian (or Korean, or Mexican) grocery stores, and don't mind that many have a dumpy cinderblock and flourescent light sort of ambiance. However, Curry Up's restaurant is really quite attractive.


                        Curryup Foods
                        13601 Grove Dr, Osseo, MN

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: EarlOfSandwich

                          My boyfriend would love this place. He loves Indian food and I love to browse ethnic grocery stores. I never know what to order when I am at an Indian restaurant but this will be a great way for me to get more familiar with the cuisine and see what things I like. Maybe we will head there this weekend. Also my friend just moved near the 98 Pounds buffet so we are going to check them out soon today. Hopefully these will cure his buffet cravings.

                          1. re: phimoez

                            I love this place, and was deeply disappointed when they stopped serving their buffet on Mondays, since that is the only day of the week I work in Maple Grove.

                        2. Unless I missed it, I see no mention of the buffet at Holy Land. Personally, I love that buffet, and it is a great value. Plus, the market has many other treats you won't find at your average grocery store. I always pick up some hommos (best in town, in my opinion) and fresh pita when I'm there.

                          Holy Land Bakery & Grocery
                          2513 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                          1. This might be a little outside the area you are looking, but I enjoy Boca Chica in West St. Paul for a great lunch buffet. I also like the India Palace lunch buffet in Woodbury which is also available on weekends.

                            We go to the Lake Elmo Inn for Sunday brunch or holidays when we want fancier buffet fare.

                            Happy eating.....

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: qajohn

                              What kind of things does Boca Chica have on their lunch buffet?

                              Any new buffets in town that people have seen recently that are worth checking out?

                              1. re: TDS1

                                Do a Sunday Brunch Buffet. Nicollet Island Inn is nice.

                                1. re: twincitiesguy

                                  Unless they have changed back, Nicollet Island Inn does not offer a brunch buffet any longer, but rather a multi-course prix fixe.

                                2. re: TDS1

                                  It's been a while since I was there, and I beleive they alternate different dishes. The first time I went there they had amazing short ribs in addition to their fried taco, enchalada's and other items. The seceond time, they had someting else I cannot remember, but they had amazaing Cream Caramel out for dessert. Both times I have gone, I left very satisfied with the quality and variety of the buffet.

                              2. For Indian buffet, I'd recommend Surabhi's in Bloomington (98th St. east of Lyndale). I've enjoyed India Palace, too.

                                I had an excellent dinner at Best of India in St. Louis Park (near Ax Man in the Texa Tonka area), but I haven't tried the buffet.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: PHP

                                  I had the lunch buffet at Best of India recently. Very solid - both my wife and I enjoyed it. I also highly recommend the buffet at Bombay Bistro in the Medical Arts building in downtown Minneapolis. (Note that this is different than the Bombay Bistro around the corner that faces Marquette.)

                                  1. re: bob s

                                    Has anyone ever gone to the buffet at Big Marina Bar and Grill on Central. I like their gyros a lot, and when I stopped by there to get take-out the buffet was hopping. BTW I like the buffet at the Holy Land at the Midtown Global Market more than the one on Central. Less crowded or something.

                                    1. re: jenniegirl

                                      I think you may mean Marina Grill on University & Lowry.