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Best buffet

YOUR PICKS

A plate of some of the delicious items from the buffet at the Blue Willow Inn. Photo: Curtis Compton / Staff

A plate of some of the delicious items from the buffet at the Blue Willow Inn. Photo: Curtis Compton / Staff

1) Blue Willow Inn

You say, “I don’t even *like* Southern food normally and I love their food (even though it is VERY Southern). Pecan cheddar biscuits… fried green tomatoes… those are my favorite items there. It’s a bit of a drive, but it is worth it.”

2) Café Bombay

3) John Boy’s

4) Daddy’s Country Kitchen

5) Journey’s End

OUR PICKS

The sweet, syrup-drenched Gulab Jamun from MGR Palace. Photo: Becky Stein/ special

The sweet, syrup-drenched Gulab Jamun from MGR Palace. Photo: Becky Stein/ special

1) MGR Palace

We say “It’s no surprise that one of the Atlanta area’s best Indian restaurants also has one of the best lunch buffets around.”

2) Blue Willow Inn

3) Sweet Tomatoes

4) Mirch Masala

5) Captain Billy’s Fish House

627 comments Add your comment

Arealblkwmn

September 7th, 2009
8:26 am

Son’s Place , in Inman Park, this is , a buffet that is actually IN THE CITY OF ATLANTA !!!…all these other places are WAAAAAAY away from Atlanta.

Otis Leroys

September 7th, 2009
8:39 am

Personally speaking, I have nothing against the Chinese, Indian, or whatever foreigner has opened a buffet type restaurant, but they all have one thing in common. Their restaurant inspection grades according to the health departments of their respected counties. Most of them FAIL. In some cases the food has been good, but then you read the report scoring when you pay for the meal on the way out which is enough to give you indigestion or scare the crap out of you.

Basically, I cannot say that one place is better than another because all the ones I have tried, have all FAILED. Also, trying to lose weight is not an option at a buffet type establishment.

Scott Seamster

September 7th, 2009
8:53 am

If you dont mind roaches crawling the walls and taking cover under the edge of your plate then Matthews in Tucker is the place for you.

Mark

September 7th, 2009
9:25 am

Willinghams Between Stockbridge and Mcdonough. I have eat at most of the places mentioned. None are as good as Willinghams all vegetables are fresh and home cooked. The best by far.

sheryll

September 7th, 2009
9:28 am

John’s Fine Food in Forest Park is great soul food and very cheap.

Hemant Modi

September 7th, 2009
9:28 am

I best food Taca Bell. I am Vegetarian & The make vegetarian food. I love Taco & some another food. you need to tell They will Make you just tell them no beff. try one time taco then make with bean, ok buy any thin try with bean.

Otis Leroys

September 7th, 2009
9:28 am

I have been to Matthews in Tucker and quite frankly, in addition of seeing roaches on the walls, I have also seen a server behind the serving line drop a piece of chicken on the floor, and put it back on a plate and give it to a customer. How is that for “customer service”?

Hungry Man

September 7th, 2009
9:30 am

Gainesville, GA – Long Streets
Spout Springs, GA – Papa Jacks
Cumming, GA – Midway Mill House
Duluth, GA – Rexall Grill (The Drug Store)

Dot to Dot

September 7th, 2009
9:32 am

Where have you folks been? You MUST go to THE GREEN TOMATO on Hwy 92 at Bells Ferry Rd. The best food and best people eat there everyday. Love it.

Elizabeth, Rex, GA

September 7th, 2009
9:34 am

The Blue Willow Inn is wonderful, especially at Christmas time. But I have got to get to Buckner’s in Jackson, it looks like they are the winners!

sr citizen dawg

September 7th, 2009
9:54 am

BABY JANES IN MCDONOUGH GA.

Amanda

September 7th, 2009
9:57 am

Thanks for all the great restaurant suggestions! Lately the only “southern buffets” I’ve found are those that serve Chinese food too…and I’m sorry, but if there’s not a fat lady in a hairnet calling me “honey”, it’s NOT southern food.

On a side note, does anyone know the name of the restaurant in Cumming that admittedly is not a buffet, but served incredible southern food? It was in a white house with a gravel parking lot and was covered up on Sunday afternoon after church. If I remember correctly it was on a main road, but kinda in the middle of nowhere. Any help would be appreciated.

bigpopa_pump69

September 7th, 2009
10:03 am

i agree about the kids in these all u can eat joints i get sick of there kids sticking there hands on all the food then whiping it on there clothes ,these are the kinda kids u jus wana slap ,so when nobodys lookin i throw food at them or jus trip and dump my whole plate of food on there nappee head.. then they go runnin back to there moma

bigpopa_pump69

September 7th, 2009
10:04 am

the blue willow and journeys end are overpriced ! however it does keep that curtain thug element out !

Leah

September 7th, 2009
10:11 am

Blue Willow Inn is the best hands down. Great fried chicken with white glove service…You must try this place.Its in social circle, a small drive but sooooo worth it.

gigi

September 7th, 2009
10:13 am

Swampna on Cobb would be my second choice in Indian cuisine, but hands down, Cafe Bombay is the best Indian restaurant there is.

David,professional dump-truck driver

September 7th, 2009
10:19 am

Daddy’ Counrty Kitchen in Ackworth has the best fried chicken of any buffet I have ever been to!!!

gigi

September 7th, 2009
10:22 am

Busy Bee’s Cafe has been serving the best soul food since 1947. All of their food is good The restaurant I believe is housed in the same building since its conception so their might be a wait, but the food will make up for all of that. Check it out, you won’t be dissappointed. When I want a pick me up I go there.

kay

September 7th, 2009
10:24 am

The Bulloch House in Warm Springs Georgia. Plus, you can walk away the calories and visit all the quaint little shops. Also very rich in history: FDR’s Little White House and pool (fed by the warm springs) and the states best rehabilitation facility.

Rachel Seaman

September 7th, 2009
10:26 am

Lu’s buffet near the mall of Georgia is the best chinese buffet. great price and good service and to top that off a great variety of foods

gdfjgeogeariuog

September 7th, 2009
10:28 am

any cruise ship with a buffet

Johnny P

September 7th, 2009
10:32 am

I gotta go with Buckners. Its good food they bring it to your table so you do not have to watch little kids ahead of you in the buffet line touch everything with their cute but dirty little hands!

brunchie

September 7th, 2009
10:32 am

Most of the restaurants named specialize in lunch/dinners but can only recommend a good place for breakfast/brunch? Ever since I went to breakfast buffet in a Chicago hotel, I’ve been looking for somewhere else since.

Love the buffet

September 7th, 2009
11:03 am

Any of those hole in the wall buffets are the best. Green Tomato Buffet in Marietta is AMAZING. Great food, great service. I love it and have NEVER been disappointed or regret going.

StuffedandHappy

September 7th, 2009
11:38 am

The Blue Willow is good, but not nearly as good as it could be. Don’t kid yourselves, folks, even there, most of the veggies are out of a can; they just season them, for the most part, pretty well. It is highly unlikely that any restaurant doing a good business could serve all fresh veggies, but it’s not impossible. Some of BW’s veggies are good; some are rather bland. The salad there is pathetic. The fried chicken has vastly improved over the years; other meats are pretty much standard fare. The desserts have improved but are still nothing to write home about. The atmosphere is AWESOME, especially at Christmas. It’s worth the trip, but I really wouldn’t call it real down-home southern cooking.

GARY CROUSE

September 7th, 2009
11:41 am

Golden Corral`s breakfast buffet is a 10!

JW

September 7th, 2009
11:47 am

Runway Fish House in Baldwin – Another vote for the fried seafood buffet!!

fallguy

September 7th, 2009
12:10 pm

Tired of everybody putting down anything Southern. I have been all over the world have eaten just about everything, but when it comes down to it I will take the cooking of the South over anything anywhere. As for those of you who like French cooking, try eating in a real Frenchmans house not some stuck up your azz French Bistro or what ever. In the French country side you will find the real food of France though to me not as good as Southern it beats the food of Paris hands down……..

Fried Chicken Corn Bread Black eyed Peas Pintos Fried Green Tomatoes Collards Greens Ga. Braised Pork and the list goes on………somebody done stuck thier foot in it if it is real Southern Cooking.

Debbie

September 7th, 2009
12:30 pm

DeKalb Farmer’s Market

Tom

September 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Butlers Mill in Graham, Alabama is also good, its way out in the country on the Tallopossa river. Its about 30 miles west of Carrollton.

marie

September 7th, 2009
12:58 pm

Don’t understand the enthusiasm for the all-you-can-eat places. My husband and I always share an entree at a moderately priced restaurant, and often have to ask for a take out box. I don’t care to see all the over eating at the buffets. To each his own though.

marie

September 7th, 2009
12:59 pm

Well that really hurts my feelings. I had not already said that.

Critical Thinker

September 7th, 2009
1:29 pm

I agree with the ‘gross’ sentiment about Golden Corral. Went there a couple of years ago because it was selected by a bunch of family members. Went to request an egg white omelet but they could not deliver…guess it is kind of impossible to separate the whites in egg powder. :-( I won’t even get into the obviously processed foods. Just wish more establishments would provide healthy, quality food to reduce the need for the bunch of dialysis centers that keep popping up all over.

eatsider

September 7th, 2009
1:31 pm

Wahoo! in Decatur has the most amazing fresh and gourmet southern buffet. A bit expensive for a buffet, but more than worth it. Treat yourself some weekend.

Teachermom

September 7th, 2009
1:38 pm

Green Manor in Union City is like stepping into a family reunion/holiday. They don’t have everything, but they have enough to make for a very southern experience without having to drive to Blue Willow Inn.

bobdole

September 7th, 2009
1:43 pm

Anyone who suggested “sweet tomatoes” , please, remove your keyboard from the back of the computer and proceed to smack yourself upside the head. This is not a “buffet” – but rather a over priced salad bar.

teacup

September 7th, 2009
1:54 pm

Indian: Madras Chettinad in Alpharetta!

reader17

September 7th, 2009
2:09 pm

To all you weight concious idiots, find something else to fuss about please! fat folk are here to stay, and guess what we don’t particularly like you either, although truth be told we are probably not as concerned about you as you are about us, maybe we should dip you in some flour and fry you up, then maybe you would be more worthy of a second glance. LOL Seriously, Mathews in Tucker is one of my faves!

cookie

September 7th, 2009
3:09 pm

John Boy’s 3050 HWY. 78 in Snellville, GA you’ll think you were back in your granny’s kitchen. Excellent home cooked food, delish. Was very please, excellent price $7 includes sweet tea. Nice happy place to go. Staff was friendly, we ate, laughed talked and didn’t feel pressured to hurry up and go. We were a party of 10 and a toddler. First visit, won’t be my last. Wonderful place.

Health Inspector

September 7th, 2009
3:13 pm

The Blue Willow Inn is southern buffet extraordinaire. The fried green tomatoes are reason enough to visit. The peach cobbler is wonderful, too.

Brett C

September 7th, 2009
4:29 pm

Bombay Cafe – if you like Indian, you will love Bombay Cafe on Briarcliff Rd, just north of North Druid Hills Rd

Will S.

September 7th, 2009
4:58 pm

For those of you complaining about the amount of establishments being praised and lauded outside the perimeter of I-285, please consider this:

Atlanta, Georgia, is the eighth-largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States and consists of 28 counties in Georgia. Atlanta is the capital and the largest city in the state of Georgia with a population of 537,545. Its metropolitan statistical area has a population of 5,376,285, with a combined statistical area population of 5,626,400. The city itself ranks as the 33rd-largest in the United States.

With this said, why would you want to limit 5 million plus residents to a few establishments inside, and immediately outside, the perimeter? The original question did say, “Which Atlanta area establishment comes to mind when you want no limits on dinner?”. This is a big area folks!!!!! Just because someone mentions an establishment in Savannah or Anniston or Greenville/Spartanburg is not cause to bust a vein! Good Lord, we Southerners DO travel to surrounding areas on occasion. Last I heard there was still free speech in this country, and I myself like the variety readers have put forth. It DOES say Best Buffet…..but it’s just food folks! Just food! Any food joint can be represented IMHO.

Here’s my 2 cents worth (and I am SURE I will be stoned in the middle of the town square for it).

1. Jimmie’s Hot Dogs, Albany, GA – best dogs in the WORLD! Beats The Varsity by a million miles.

2. Smith House in Dahlonega….not worth it. Was there in May for niece’s grad. and the chicken was good, but just good…..most everything else was mediocre. I had eaten at LaPrades Restaurant (up on Lake Burton) sometime in early 2000s and that place unfortunately burned down on Mother’s Day 05. The standout there besides the best fried chicken I have ever had, was their signature Onion Chow Chow….it went so well with their fantastic peas and greens. I refuse to try Dillard House (in Dillard, GA, NOT Blue Ridge, GA) just because of the price and the fact that I heard LaPrades put it to shame. I don’t care what So. Living said about Dillard House or whatever the voter’s say. All three mentioned here are sit down, boarding house/family style eating with strangers passing food around. LaPrades had it……and I would hope it comes back someday!

3. Buffet at BLUE WILLOW INN….the only thing I have ever had there that I did not like was their version of Seafood Au Gratin….the freakin shrimp were NOT de-veined! Other than that, the BWI will make you wanna slap yo mammie! I first had BWI (Oct. 2001) at a catered wedding dinner across and down from BWI at Magnolia House nextdoor to the church. The Fried Green Tomatoes accompanied with a spoonful of the sweet, red, chunky stewed tomatoes over them were to DIE for! The chicken and roast beef were exceptional and the vegetables were beyond fresh! The deserts? OMG!!!! Peanut Butter Pie….nuff said! I have eaten at the BWI twice since then and will definitely go back. Whoever said it was going downhill…..well, I can’t agree. Also, I had no trouble with the amount of vegetables and the variety like a few folks mentioned.

Sorry I don’t have a new one to add. I am by no means obese, just enjoy great Southern cooking reminiscent of Grandma’s country cooking in South Georgia with all her fresh veggies grown on the farm right outside the door. To all of you sadistic name callers…..shame on you all! You can’t hate on yourselves so you mirror your feelings and hate on others? Get real.

Arealblkwmn

September 7th, 2009
5:21 pm

Can any of you read a MAP ???? The subject was the BEST BUFFET IN ATLANTA!!!…my God some of you are naming places in Alabama! !! No wonder people , elsewhere make fun of southeners…..

Arealblkwmn

September 7th, 2009
5:23 pm

Will S you have waaaaaay too much time on your hands, it is supposed to be a comment, not a thesis !

Will S.

September 7th, 2009
5:39 pm

@ Arealblkwmn…….well, yeah…..and your point? It’s all good.

Gloria

September 7th, 2009
5:47 pm

Shoneys. Breakfast Bar is yummy yummy for my tummy!

Tim

September 7th, 2009
5:57 pm

King Buffett Winder, GA

John

September 7th, 2009
6:03 pm

Cedars on Lenox road has glorious Lebanese cuisine buffet-style for lunch/brunch! And a good wine selection. Also delightful for dinner, they make you feel like family!

Ron

September 7th, 2009
7:01 pm

Go to Daddy’s Country Kitchen in downtown Acworth. Walk in, grab a plate or two, heap on the southern vittles, then sit down with the best sweet tea around.

Jack

September 7th, 2009
7:20 pm

Golden Corral in Jonesboro, GA