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Best buffet


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


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

ATL People!

September 1st, 2009
9:49 am

Guess all these comments prove what I’ve noted all along: There is not great buffet restaurant in Atlanta. All the votes went to places outside the metro!


September 1st, 2009
9:50 am

The Old House – Statham, Ga

Ga Values

September 1st, 2009
9:52 am

I live a few miles from the Blue Willow. I am really confused why so many people think it is the best in the area. The food is ok but not great, I often just stuff myself on the Blue Willow squares. Their vegetables are often musshy and over cooked. Even if the food was that good why would anyone wait over a hour to get in? Most of us locals avoid the place other than on mondays and eat at the Buckeye in Jersey or Smilies in Porterdale.


September 1st, 2009
9:52 am

Not a buffet but the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten is at Michael’s in Thomson, GA (near August), meat and 2 veggies and drink, out the door for 5.49

Phil W.

September 1st, 2009
9:54 am

Cincinnatti Bowtie…I know it is not southern but Skyline Chili is awsome. We make it once a month, year round. I like it best on Sabret or Nathens hot dogs.

ricardo blankas

September 1st, 2009
9:56 am

es mi escuela…tengo mucho hambre por 5 cinco tacos con queso caliene!

Sick in Stone Mountain

September 1st, 2009
9:58 am

*cursive* I really hope you were kidding about the Asian Buffet in Stone Mountain. You do know it got a score of 16 and was shut down for awhile right? And 2 months after they opened the got another score of 60! DO NOT GO TO ASIAN BUFFET!


September 1st, 2009
10:02 am

Swampna Indian buffet on Cobb Parkway, Is also good, I’ve been there several times

Pat Napier

September 1st, 2009
10:03 am

Hong Kong II in Griffin, Ga..Great Chinese as well as sushi and catfish.

Its the "ME" in you

September 1st, 2009
10:16 am

Just when you were beginning to enjoy having new places to eat, along comes me….Have any of you paid close attention to the health code Score at some of these places? I started looking for scores at the buffets in our area. I found some behind potted plants (Green Tomato in Law’ville) they were 2 #’s about closing the doors. Then we went to another across town they were 3 numbers above door closing….Taco Bell scored 100%! We ate there, but I still remember the rat pellets! Just be careful where you eat and pay close attention to the health scores. (I’ve found buffets are the worse for having low scores.) They should be in plain site as you walk in the door, If not then they may be hiding something that can hurt you.

Bruckners, Blue Willow, Dillard House, all have fantasic ratings. Clean, with wonderful food…Golden Corral has a Med to high rating, They are good early in the day, later too many kids playing in the food, yuck! and due to the time the food has been there it is bland. I was at one in law’ville about a week ago could not eat the food. I ended up wasting my money on a meal that just was not very good, except the okra, it was hot, fresh and great. That was it!


September 1st, 2009
10:27 am

Slomo I agree, Fogo de Chao


September 1st, 2009
10:29 am

Ryan’s Steakhouse (great food, low price) and Fire of Brazil (pricey, but delicious)

Churchill's MOM

September 1st, 2009
10:38 am

My Husband is from Virginia and loves the Blue Willow, I am from Augusta and will eat there if he really wants to. I think their food is what Northerners think Southern cooking is but it is not what I grew up with.


September 1st, 2009
11:23 am

Someone called my comment ‘drivel.’ Were you drooling over a fried pie when you typed that? We were asked to name the best buffet and I named Sweet Tomatoes and DeKalb Farmers Market. I also gave my opinion that what’s offered on most Southern Food buffets is high in calories, fat, salt and sugar. I am Southern, and have never cared for prepared foods that are breaded and fried or covered and smothered with fat, salt and sugar. Asian buffets also have a lot of fat, sugar and salt in their foods. Georgia has high obesity, which is directly linked to diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, etc. It’s interesting that we can find the nutrition listings for meals at all popular chain restaurants, but is any nutrition information posted at buffets? Wean yourself from the additives and you will discover some healthy and delicious food. An occasional pig-out at one of these buffets won’t kill you, but a regular diet of that Southern Comfort Food will likely harm you and could shorten your life.

Fat Slob

September 1st, 2009
1:20 pm

I like all buffets, especially the ones with tons of fried chicken and country fried steak. I can put down a ton of food in one sitting. I especially like to go in about 3 PM and eat till about 6 PM—that keeps me full until about midnight, when I order a big pizza and top it off with a big chocolate shake about 1 AM. The more food the better!!!


September 1st, 2009
1:44 pm



September 1st, 2009
2:04 pm

Golden Corall in Stone Mountain, YUM!!!


September 1st, 2009
2:07 pm

Buckner’s is by far the best buffet ever. I’ve traveled extensively and the food is great.


September 1st, 2009
2:24 pm

Sorry, folks…. I live in Dillard. People will say to me “Oh, the Dillard House is SOOOOO good! It’s all you can eat!” NO!!!! NO!!! NO!!!! “SO good” and “all you can eat” are two totally different things and they VERY SELDOM ever come together!! Their fried chicken is great and their sweet potato souffle is to die for (make it dessert) but other than that, it’s not worth $18.00.


September 1st, 2009
2:26 pm

Maru Sushi in Smynra off of S. Cobb Dr. is vote hands down. Been going twice a week for well over a year now. RuSans can’t compete with the quality or the warm ambiance that Maru has.


September 1st, 2009
2:29 pm

I still love Piccadilly cafeteria and Dekalb Farmers market is the most unusual as well as delicious.

Norvee Michelle

September 1st, 2009
2:32 pm

Blue Willow Inn in social circle!

Andy in Blairsville

September 1st, 2009
2:37 pm

Buffet Schmuffet

September 1st, 2009
2:44 pm

someone wrote, “House of Lin (GA 400 at GA 53 in Dawsonville, just north of the North Georgia Outlet Mall) is a fabulous Oriental buffet that includes sushi, for under $15 (less at lunchtime!).”

The House of Lin has been closed numerous times for health code infractions. I’ve even seen them “recycle” uneaten food.

Frankly, I don’t see the big attractions of those “big” buffets (like Blue Willow and Green Manor), with people in each others’ way, balancing plates, waiting for the bins to be refilled … If I’m going to drop $20 for a meal, I want it to be fresh, good, and brought to me by a friendly server.

I agree with Old School. Mama Bear’s children might be normal and decently-behaved, but I once saw a family get up from a table at Lettuce Souprise You and left it positively surrounded with crumbs, food, papers, napkins, etc. Even the floor and chairs were filthy. We have kids and even we were appalled at the mess of a baby and child. We also thought it was very discourteous of that family to not even attempt to tidy up, but to leave that disgusting mess for the staff, who had to bring out the vacuums and a small pail of soapy water to clean it. If our baby drops something, we pick it up. It’s just good manners.


September 1st, 2009
2:55 pm

I bet all you people who know about the best buffets are discustingly FAT!


September 1st, 2009
3:01 pm

OptionBee: LaPrad’s on Lake Burton ….now that brings back some memories for me back around the mid 1960’s. That was some fine southern food and my first experience at a country buffet. Too bad it is now gone.

FoxyladyD: what time should we get to your house this Sunday evening???


September 1st, 2009
3:02 pm

Thanks Steve for correcting that Mathew’s is NOT a buffet but a cafeteria where you are charged for each item you ask for on your tray. You do walk a “buffet line” but are charged per item. The fried chicken and meat loaf is delicious.

Since Buckner’s is being mentioned by so many, can anyone please post what they charge as it may be “worth the trip” down there? I think they won “Best Fried Chicken” here on the AJC by readers. Thanks!


September 1st, 2009
3:09 pm

Mark: No…just “Ruebenesque”.

Duluth, GA

September 1st, 2009
3:14 pm

I have to go with Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, although you can’t go wrong with Buckners!


September 1st, 2009
3:19 pm

Since the topic has moved outside of Atlanta, I’ll chime in. While living in Atlanta, my favorite was always Pa-Pa’s in Doraville. Unlikely that it’s still open. Best banana pudding I ever had. I’ve had good and not so good meals at the Blue Willow. Nice setting, but in winter, their vegatables aren’t fresh either. I thought it had changed hands after the all the accolades, but Journey’s End in Loganville picked right up where BWI left off. Buckner’s is good, if you like family style and don’t mind the surroundings. By the way, the best fried chicken I’ve had was at the Chatter House in Gray. Very small buffet, three meats and eight veggies, but well prepared. Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House in Savannah is more tourist spot than southern cooking. Since Mrs. Wilkes passed, I can’t say. Though related, I was disappointed with the food, “dumbed down” (little seasonings) to not offend more palates. Also family style, as are the Dillard House and the Smith House in Dahlonega, though their food is more authentic. Ole Times is also a chain, though a VERY consistent one, throughout middle and south Georgia. Lots of pork seasonings, lots of salt, but good. I agree with folks that mentioned Soup Garden in Marietta. Especially on Wednesday, the German Potato soup is KILLER! Great salad bar, gingerbread and blueberry bread. Too bad more places can’t make a go with a soup and salad menu. I really enjoyed Souper Salad in Lawrenceville. Selah.

tammie weathers

September 1st, 2009
3:20 pm



September 1st, 2009
3:21 pm

I know it’s not in the area but did anyone ever go to the Ponchetrain Hotel in New Orleans. They had a Sunday buffet years ago and finally had to stop because they lost so much money. Prime Rib (How much prime rib would you like, sir?) shrimp romalade (Several shrimp salads, all made with jumbo shrimp, several chicken salads made with white meat only) BUT you didn’t fill yourself up because for dessert they had, among all the other things, their famous “Mile High Pie”. The last imne I was there in the 80’s it was about 25.00, if I remember corectly. If they still have it, it should be $75.00 now! (and worth every penny!)

You ate and went home and went to bed! (even in the afternoon!)


September 1st, 2009
3:33 pm

I am seeing a lot of unwarranted love for Buckner’s in Jackson. The fried chicken is really the only thing they have that is any good. I prefer juicer, more flavorful dark meat for fried chicken. Buckner’s only offers oddly cut pieces of breast meat. It’s pretty good though. After the fried chicken, the peach cobbler is pretty good and everything else is garbage. The ham is ok but usually overly salty and kind of dry. The mashed potatoes are extremely bland and all of the other veggies are the same – bland canned veggies. At around $15 a person, it’s a little overpriced. If you are looking for a place to stuff yourself without having to leave the oomfort of your table, Buckner’s is great. If you want great southern food, go somewhere else.


September 1st, 2009
3:39 pm

The winner has to be Daddy’s Country Kitchen in Acworth on S. Main Street. This is the best southern cooking buffet you’ll ever eat. And you wouldn’t mind unbuttoning your pants to pack in more of this freshly prepares southern food.


September 1st, 2009
3:40 pm

I think everyone who said Ole Times in Warner Robins may need to have their head examined.

That said, my favorite buffet in the Atlanta area is Cho Won Buffet on Satellite. It’s a Korean BBQ buffet, one side cooked Korean dishes and one side different types of raw meat that you take back to your table to grill. SO good!!


September 1st, 2009
3:44 pm

Golden Corral? Good food? LOL!!!! Please, lay off the crack before posting. That place will make you sick–they had to shut down awhile back after people got poisoned eating there.


September 1st, 2009
3:45 pm

Buckners Restaurant 770-775-6150 Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun. I drive 56 miles from Marietta to eat there.

Tyler Pike

September 1st, 2009
3:47 pm

Sonny’s all you can eat ribs. Hwy 120 in Lawrenceville. That place is ‘da bomb. Actually, even better would be my dad’s vinegar based sauce on some of his bbq in an all you can eat setting. That would be heaven on earth.


September 1st, 2009
3:47 pm


Nick G. Demendoza

September 1st, 2009
4:00 pm

King Buffett-ROSWELL GA. 30075, all you can eat seafood, sushi, tacos, chinese pizza, etc. $14. and worth it! + TV; bar if needed, alchohol xtra, banquet room too… Service can be good, or bad though.

Golden Corral-ALPHARETTA, GA N.Pt. $13 Service w/ Lots of beef, turkey, fish, chicken, veggies, pizza, salads, desserts…

Sweet Tomatoes-N.Pt. Healthy dishes, and beverages.

Shanda B.

September 1st, 2009
4:03 pm

Asian Buffet in Stone Mountain is the best!!!!


September 1st, 2009
4:06 pm

Matthew’s Cafeteria in Tucker. Yum!


September 1st, 2009
4:08 pm

Has to be Buckner’s @ I-75 Jackson exit—–nothing else comes close.


September 1st, 2009
4:19 pm

Any buffets in metro Atlanta? What’s with Social Circle, Warm Springs and Jackson GA.

I'll Repeat AGAIN!!

September 1st, 2009
4:24 pm

MATHEW’S IS NOT A BUFFET…it’s a cafeteria..put the chicken leg down and read the prior posts.

They charge for whatever you take fools! lol


September 1st, 2009
4:32 pm

Longstreet Cafe in Gainesville, GA is good. Also, Rabbittown Cafe is good. And of course, not a buffet, but good country food in Buford at Homespun Restaurant.


September 1st, 2009
4:34 pm

Smith House in Dahlonega…

It ain’t really a buffet, but hey, why get up and walk to the feed trough when they’ll slop ya right where yer sittin’?

Journey’s End is also awesome. Blue Willow Inn caliber food at Golden Corral prices.
Speaking of Blue Willow Inn, does anyone else think that the big, huge, ugly strip center they built behind it is ugly as sin?

And the best post in this thread so far has to be about the big blonde waitress at Journey’s End.


September 1st, 2009
4:36 pm

Blue Willow Inn – anyone who has been to Buckner’s has got to try the Blue Willow – they will change their mind.

Melissa G.

September 1st, 2009
4:38 pm

The Blue Willow Inn has an endless buffet that includes fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, dozens of vegetables, biscuits, cornbread, and countless desserts.
How good is that!!


September 1st, 2009
4:38 pm

Journey’s End in Loganville is great for Southern food (my 86-year-old picky mother-inlaw’s favroite!) and we have always had good service.

For Mexican food, you cannot beat “El Rodeo” buffet on Canton Hwy. in Marietta.
For about $7 per person, you can fill up on great enchiladas, burritos, and taquitos.
Great service!