One of the great buffet options in south Tampa is Hao Wah. This popular Pan-Asian restaurant is spacious and family-friendly. Reliable, quality food at a reasonable price is the name of the game here. The options are wide-ranging, from broad variety of sushi offerings to staple Chinese and Vietnamese dishes like Peking duck and pho. There is something here for every fan of Asian cuisine. You can also order off of the menu and be guaranteed to have enough for leftovers. They also do a brisk take-out business for those who would rather eat on the go.
Recommended for Buffet because: Hao Wah is a spacious Pan-Asian restaurant that features Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese classics and an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Skye's expert tip: Visit during regular meal hours to guarantee the best selection on the buffet.
When you're in the mood for good times and great cuisine, be sure to check out Taste of India. The restaurant is located in Brandon, just a short drive from downtown Tampa, and is known for its delightful staff and superb cuisine. The menu at Taste of India features a wide array of great selections, made from only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with something sure to please every member of your group. Taste of India has established itself as one of the area's favorite culinary destinations and is sure to offer you a pleasant and unique dining experience every time you visit.
Recommended for Buffet because: Featuring a wide selection of Indian classics, the Taste of India lunch buffet is a popular local favorite.
Skye's expert tip: Not in Brandon? There is also a location near Busch Gardens on Fowler Avenue.
Sweet Tomatoes is an all-inclusive buffet-style cafeteria that specializes in soups and salads. Great family dining that provides healthier alternatives for both adults and kids. This restaurant features an open and airy atmosphere with tons of booth seating. The menu varies each month providing a new variety of salads, soups, pasta dishes and specials to choose from. The salad bar features 50 fresh ingredients as well as specially prepared and tossed salads. Items are made from scratch each day including their moist muffins and fresh focaccia bread. Finish off your meal with a selection from the dessert bar which features a self-serve ice cream bar.
Recommended for Buffet because: With several locations in Tampa, Sweet Tomatoes is a reasonably priced soup and salad buffet that features healthy eating options for the whole family.
Skye's expert tip: If you are health conscious, nutritional information is easily available in-store and on their website.
Focusing on natural and healthy foods and personal care products, Abby's Health & Nutrition has been a Carrollwood landmark for over 15 years. Opened by Abby Sayler, a well-regarded local nutritionist, Abby's is a full-service store stocking organic produce, bulk foods, beer and wine, raw foods, and gluten-free products among others. The on-site deli features delicious, organic and natural dining options including vegetarian, gluten-free and raw dishes prepared fresh daily. Their fresh wheatgrass, organic vegetable juices and smoothies are also very popular. Cafe Eden at Abby's is a great spot for a quick and healthy lunch or an early dinner.
Recommended for Buffet because: Perfect for vegans and vegetarians, Abby's Health Food features a cafe with a soup/salad bar.
Skye's expert tip: The staff here is very knowledgeable, so don't be shy if you have questions.
Gaspar's Grotto is a popular bar and restaurant located in Tampa's Ybor City historic neighborhood. Perfect for visitor's who have not had the opportunity to experience the annual Gasparilla Celebration, Gaspar's celebrates the famous pirate invasion all year long and everyone gets to party like a pirate. Three large bar and restaurant areas offer patrons options for seating and entertainment and there is always something going on. If you get hungry, Gaspar's offers some very decent bar grub from Tampa favorites like the Cuban sandwich and Deviled Crab to the hottest hot wings in the city.
Recommended for Buffet because: Gaspar's Grotto offers a great Sunday "Booze Cruise" brunch buffet in the heart of Ybor City.
Skye's expert tip: Sunday brunch is fit for a hung-over pirate with free mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar.
If you're looking for a first-time experience in your ethnic buffet dining, Queen of Sheba might be your best bet. This popular Ethiopian restaurant offers a weekday lunch buffet. Ethiopian cuisine is quite different from almost any other food, using unique blends of spices on traditional meats and vegetable dishes like lentils, collard greens, and potatoes. The food is served on a type of flatbread called teff and diners use pieces of bread to scoop up the various dishes for eating. There's something for everyone and the service staff is more than happy to help those who are new to the Ethiopian game.
Recommended for Buffet because: The Queen of Sheba features a weekday buffet and a unique Ethiopian dining experience just minutes from downtown Tampa.
Skye's expert tip: If you have a vegetarian in your party, Ethiopian food is a favorite of the vegetarian community.
The first thing you notice as you enter Oystercatchers is the amazing view. This seafood restaurant, nestled among lush, tropical landscaping, takes full advantage of its location at the edge of Tampa Bay. Inside, the decor is bright, simple and modern, serving as the perfect backdrop for both the views and the expertly prepared food. The star of the menu is a selection of locally sourced fish served wood grilled, blackened or sauteed. Not only are the dishes inventive and fresh, but they are also gathered with conservation in mind. While the food and the view will cost you, the experience cannot be beaten. Part of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers has cemented itself as one of the great restaurant spaces in Tampa.
Recommended for Buffet because: Located on the shores of Old Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers offers the best views and the finest Sunday Brunch buffet in town.
Skye's expert tip: The champagne starts flowing every Sunday from 10:30 to 2:30. Reservations are highly recommended.
The recently renovated Amalie Arena boasts one of the finest buffets in town. Their on-site restaurant called the Firestick Grill opens their buffet two hours before any event and features a revolving menu that rotates with each event you are there to see. Jam-packed with a variety of different dishes, the buffet also features three "action stations" available, including a carving station, a taco bar, and a pasta station. Finish off with a dessert or a drink in the Bacardi OakHeart Lounge and you should be well-fueled to cheer on the Lightning or your favorite performer in concert.
Recommended for Buffet because: Located in Amalie Arena, Firestick Grill offers excellent selection and quality on their full-cuisine buffet.
Skye's expert tip: The Firestick Grill is open two hours before any event at the arena.
As anyone who has visited Las Vegas knows, the buffet is a central experience to the casino culture. Luckily, Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Casino didn't forget this when they established Fresh Harvest. Everything is top-notch at the Hard Rock and Fresh Harvest has gained a reputation as the best full-cuisine buffet in town. Diners can tour world cuisine, sampling everything from brick-oven pizza to dim sum, all cooked fresh in seven open, live-action kitchens. The Sunday brunch buffet is extra special with bottomless Champagne and Mimosas as well as a wide selection of brunch specialties. This the perfect place to scratch that buffet itch!
Recommended for Buffet because: Fresh Harvest, located in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, is an all-day buffet in the best Las Vegas tradition.
Skye's expert tip: Located across from the Amphitheater, Fresh Harvest is a great place for dinner before or after a show.
Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian-American churrascaria, which is the Portuguese word for "barbecue," and has its origins in the campfire cooking of the gauchos of Southern Brazil. Be prepared for a different dining experience. You start your meal with a trip to the 50-60 item salad bar area that includes appetizers, soups, salads and other traditional side items. Once you return to your seat, the real fun begins. Each diner is provided with a two-sided card; green on one side, red on the other. You use the green side of the card to summon waiters, known as Passadores, to your table. The Passadores will then arrive with knives and a skewer speared various kinds of meat such as pork, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, or sausage. This is called "rodizio" service. This is an all-you-can-eat dinner, so make sure you come with a big appetite.
Recommended for Buffet because: Located in the Westshore business district, Texas de Brazil features a never-ending parade of waiters bearing Portuguese barbecue.
Skye's expert tip: While perfect for the carnivore, a salad bar only option is available.