Clearly there are no shortages of buffets in San Diego, but an economically-friendly smorgasbord does not always equate to a taste-bud friendly meal.
We have put our forks and all-you-can-eat plates to the test and found the tastiest, highest quality and budget-conscious buffets in San Diego. From sushi-heaven at Onami Tora Seafood Buffet in Mission Valley to Hotel Del’s signature brunch buffet in Coronado, it’s time to bust out those fat pants and discover the top ten buffet restaurants in San Diego.
Gourmet India in Downtown
Gourmet India’s daily lunch buffet from 11am-3pm includes a selection of savory spiced selections that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Choose from vegetarian dishes such as Aloo Gobi, Samosas, Chicken Curry, Chana Masala, Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Masala. Side dishes include Raita, steamed Basmati Riceand Naan, the classic leavened bread made with white flour and beaked in a clay oven. If you’re craving a sweet dish, choose the Indian rice pudding Kheer, made in the traditional way with a flavor of green cardamom and served with a selection of fresh fruit.
Onami Tora Seafood Buffet in Mission Valley
Onami Tora in the Westfield Mission Valley Mall boasts an extensive seafood buffet and sake bar for all your Japanese food cravings. They’ve recently expanded to a new location still inside the Westfield Mall, but maintained the same menu with fresh options and economical prices. You’ll find sushi and sashimi with tuna, salmon, shrimp, unagi, scallops, octopus and more. A bountiful salad station features unique tastes like a Cucumber Seaweed Salad, Shrimp Salad, Calamari Salad, Oriental Mixed Salad and others. There’s also Teriyaki Bowls, Spicy Chicken Wings and Barbequed Salmon. During the dinner hours, guests can choose from entrée selections like Lobster, Oyster Sashimi, Yellow Tail and other more extravagant dishes. Monday through Friday lunch from 11:30am-2:30pm is priced at $15.95; Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 11:30am-3pm are $17.95. Dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30pm-9pm is $24.95; Friday through Sunday from 5-9:30pm is $26.95.
Bali Hai in Point Loma
Bali Hai offers an exotic dining experience on Shelter Island. Every Sunday from 9:30am to 2pm, Bali Hai hosts a lavish buffet-style brunch featuring free flowing champagne and variety of breakfast and lunch selections. In the breakfast section, guests can enjoy Char Siu Style Eggs Benedict, Brioche French Toast, Waffles with Lemon Zest and a Hawaiian Style Omelet Station with spam, shrimp, bacon, Kahlua Pork, cheese and veggies. Lighter and healthier selections include a Build Your Own Salad bar and Cold Seafood Bar. At the Savory Bar, enjoy Teriyaki Chicken, the Fresh Catch of the Day, Korean Short Ribs and more. Buffet brunch costs $28 per person for adults, $15.95 for children ages 5-12, and children under 4 eat free.
94th Aero Squadron in Kearny Mesa
Located inside a World War I French farmhouse replica and overlooking Montgomery Field, 94th Aero Squadron hosts a delicious breakfast and lunch buffet overflowing with foodie favorites. The Sunday Champagne Buffet Brunch served from 9am to 3pm includes an Omelette Bar with 12 different items, a Fajita Bar and a Fresh Belgium Waffle Bar. Other breakfast selections include Carved Roast Breast of Turkey with cranberry sauce, Potatoes O’brian, Carved Baked Ham, Blueberry Cheese Blinzes, Eggs Benedict and Pork Carnitas. If you’re in the mood for lunch, nosh on California Rolls with soy sauce and wasabi, Ham and Potato Salad, Whole Baked Salmon with cream cheese, Peel and Eat Shrimp, New Zealand Mussels and assorted fresh fruit. The Buffet-style brunch costs $24.95 for adults and $10.95 for children ages 4-10. Or and head in for the early bird brunch from 9am-10am, for $19.95 per person.
Zorba’s Greek Buffet in Chula Vista
Zorba’s is adorned in modern Greek décor, and provides live entertainment Friday and Saturday night, featuring jugglers and belly dancers. At Zorba’s you’ll find fresh and authentic Greek buffet selections cooked in olive oil with only natural ingredients. Diners can enjoy delicious traditional Greek food such as Spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese baked between phyllo dough), Dolmathes (fresh grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice covered in tangy lemon sauce), Gryos (grilled ground lamb or beef wrapped in warm pita with tomatoes, onions and tzatziki), Pastitsio (baked macaroni with ground beef topped with besamel sauce) and Mousaka (baked eggplant, potatoes and ground beef topped with besamel sauce). The standard buffet costs $8.95 Monday through Thursday and Friday morning. On Friday afternoon and Saturday, the premium buffet is priced at $14.95 and includes live entertainment for the whole family.
Hotel Del in Coronado
Continuously voted San Diego’s best brunch, The Hotel Del’s famous Crown Room Sunday Brunch has an expanded selection of appetizing offerings. The buffet style brunch is divided into a variety of hearty sections brimming with delicious eats and treats including Eggs Benedict, Prepared-to-Order Omelets, Fresh Baked Waffles, Egg Souffle and Honeycomb Yogurt & Granola. For a taste of the sea, nosh on delectable selections of Scallop and Cous Cous Salad, Green Lip Mussels, Smoked Trout, Cold Water Prawns, Chilled Alaskan King Crab or a Lobster and Cheese Tortellini. Enjoy wholesome favorites such as Salt Crusted Prime Rib, Chicken Stew, Beef Bourguignon or Chilaquiles. Brunch is available every Sunday from 9:30am to 1pm and costs $78.50 for adults, $22.95 for children ages 6-12 and children under 5 eat for free.
Tom Ham’s Lighthouse on Harbor Island
From the unparalleled views across the San Diego Bay to the upscale American and seafood cuisine, every local and visitor should experience San Diego’s iconic Tom Ham’s Lighthouse restaurant on Harbor Island. Every Sunday, Tom Ham’s hosts the Waterfront Sunday Champange Brunch from 9:30am to 2pm. Guests can enjoy a variety of entrees including BBQ Beef Brisket, Maine Lobster Claws, Shrimp Ceviche, Oysters on the Half Shell, and hearty portions of Buffalo Chicken, NY Steak and Pancetta Meatballs, Kielbasa Sausages, Tamales and Breakfast Potatoes. Tom Ham’s also offers special options for the kids including Torpedo Shrimp, Chicken Strips and Mini Corn Dogs. The buffet-style brunch is offered every Sunday and costs $32 for adults and $16 for children ages 4-12.
The Buffet at Pechanga Resort & Casino
Guests can enjoy the completely remodeled Pechanga Buffet with 250 fresh items and action stations. From a new glass exterior to the revamped menu, the new extended food stations include seafood, Asian selections, grilled and BBQ items, roasted and rotisserie foods, American comfort items, Mexican and Latin specialties, Italian and Mediterranean foods, an expanded salad bar and wide variety of mixed salads and desserts. Guests will immediately notice the new multiple action stations, where custom ordered pastas, sushi, seafood, BBQ and grilled meats, pizza and flatbreads, carving stations and desserts will bring a unique interactive element to each visit. The lunch buffet is offered Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm. Dinner is offered Thursday through and Saturday nights from 4pm to 10pm and brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3:30pm. Prices vary.
Paipa’s Buffet at Sycuan Casino
The all-new Paipa’s Buffet features an incredible variety of choices from specialty international stations and a decadent dessert bar. Feast on over 100 fresh food items including slow-roasted Prime Rib, seafood, international tastes and an expanded dessert bar. Now, it’s also 100% smoke-free. The buffet is open Monday through Thursday from 4pm to 9:30pm, Fridays from 4pm to 10pm, Saturdays from 11:30am to 10pm and Sundays from 11:30am to 9:30pm. The regular buffet price is $20.95, with discounts for Club Sycuan members.
The Buffet at Harrah’s Rincon
Prepare to enjoy an oasis of culinary skill combined with a zest for the freshest ingredients at Harrah’s action-packed buffet. Guests can experience the world's most exciting flavors, both traditional and new delivered via a number of action stations featuring dozens of delicious entrees. Harrah’s adds a personal touch to the buffet scene with on-the-spot, freshly made Street Tacos, Pastas or Spaghetti with marinara or alfredo, steaming bowls of Pho, Smoked Meats and spun blue cotton candy. The buffet is offered Monday through Thursday from 11am to 3:30pm and 4:30pm-9pm. On Fridays the buffet is open from 11am to 3:30pm and 4:30pm to 10pm. On Saturdays, brunch is served from 9am to 3:30pm and Weekend Biffet from 4:30 pm to 10pm. On Sundays, head in for brunch from 9am to 3:30pm and dinner from 4:30pm to 9pm.