Best way to navigate a buffet?

After many were shut down during the pandemic, buffets are making a comeback at restaurants and food markets. Do you jam everything onto your plate? Without going into a food coma, what’s the best way to navigate a buffet?

I avoid filler (breads, rice, etc.) and take small portions of things that look good to me. You can always go back for anything you really like.



I always go for the most expensive and my favorite items and work my way down from there.

Agreed with avoiding filler.

I also don’t view it as a competition with myself vs the buffet any more. Makes the experience a lot more enjoyable lol.


Grab something you can eat while working the line. Maybe not bread but something easy to hold with your hand like a dumpling, chicken wing, egg tart, etc… this was stolen from Dave Chang.

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I will also do a salad that has more ‘stuff’ than I’ll ever have at our house.

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First… make the rounds. Even if you aren’t a salad person… sometimes they have good stuff in the salad bar that would make a good addition to your meal, like green beans or roasted veggies (I find most hot bars to be way too starch heavy). Then when you figure out what I want for sure and what you want maybe, start thinking of it as layers. What can you put on top of what (like Beef Stew over Roasted Veggies) and then what do you want to top what with what (like shredded cheese over your mashies). I am one of those who will go back in order not to overload my plate (It also makes eating more enjoyable. If it’s the WF or grocery salad bar, I would employ the corner method. This corner for this. This corner for that. etc…

Man… did I miss food bars…


Speaking of WF salad bar, now that ours have reopened, what we used to do was buy all manner of toppings, no greens and take it home for salads.

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