Diverse ethnic cuisines and buzzy restaurants make Queens popular with New York culture vultures. Thanks to its top-rated buffets, it turns out the borough is equally suited to those hungry for something other than culture. Come hungry on your next visit to Queens, or more accurately, to Queens’ best all-you-can-eat buffets.
Spring Shabu Shabu Buffet
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
Unsurprisingly, one of the borough’s most popular buffets can be found in the foodie favorite neighborhood of Flushing. At Spring Shabu Shabu Buffet, diners select a bubbling house-made broth before proceeding to cook their choice of meat or seafood plus unlimited buffet sides, including dumplings, fish cakes, and vegetables. Tip: get creative at Spring Shabu and concoct your own dipping sauce with ingredients such as chili oil and peanut.
Thanks to Picnic Garden in Flushing, Queens eaters are no longer required to commute to Koreatown in order to enjoy Korean barbecue. Judging by Picnic Garden’s 1,090-plus positive Yelp reviews, it would seem locals are overjoyed by this, though it’s the spot’s all-you-can-eat thin-sliced beef, octopus tentacles, and seafood pancakes that satisfy Queens residents most.
Foodies come from all over Queens to attempt to snag a seat at The Door. The well-dressed clientele at this white-tableclothed Sunday buffet is only outshone by the food itself: endless servings of fiery “bar-b-fry” chicken, snow crab legs, honey jerk shrimp, and sweet cinnamon cornmeal porridge earn this Jamaica joint a loyal— and hungry— following.
Since it first opened back in 1980, Jackson Diner has been a preferred destination of hungry New Yorkers. Some 38 years later, the laid-back Indian spot in Jackson Heights continues to cook up saag paneer, chicken tikka masala, fish curry, and more for its loyal buffet patrons.
An all-you-can-eat sushi and sashimi buffet sounds questionable – until you experience it at Akino. This recently-opened Elmhurst restaurant is already earning buzz for its ultra-fresh sashimi and popular specialty rolls, with ingredients including lobster salad and crispy potatoes.
Can’t decide between bottomless hot pot and unlimited barbecue for dinner? At iCook Buffet, you don’t have to. The tables at both of iCook’s Flushing and Elmhurst locations come equipped with smokeless grills for your pork belly, mackerel, and lamb barbecue as well as surfaces for your customizable hot pots. In other words, groups (and diners with group-sized appetites) will all be satisfied at iCook.
The buffet at Rainhas Churrascaria is enough to make your vegetarian friend falter. Here, switching your server-given card from “No, Thank You” to “Yes, Please” prompts a parade of lemon pepper pork loin smothered in mozzarella, bacon-wrapped filet, and Brazilian steakhouse staples such as ribs and steak, all unlimited and all for under $28.