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Eat Your Way from Asian to Vegan at Tampa's Popular Buffets



When you're traveling with picky eaters or are short on time, sometimes a good buffet is the perfect answer. Everyone gets exactly what they want, at the portion size they want and usually at a decent price. Luckily, Tampa has many quality buffet options to choose from. To help you find the perfect buffet, 10 Best has put together a list of the city's best representing a variety of cuisines, locations and price points.

The Fresh Harvest buffet located in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino is a full-cuisine buffet that is regularly restocked with an ever-changing and slightly overwhelming variety of delicious dishes. Located just off I-4, it's easy to find even if you're not interested in taking advantage of the games and entertainment. Maybe just one run at the slots?

Ethnic buffets are very popular and a good way to introduce hesitant diners to a new cuisine. Go out on a limb and try Tampa's Queen of Sheba. Offering a weekday lunch buffet, this restaurant serves traditional Ethiopian fare. If you like spices and don't mind eating with your hands, this is a perfect choice.

Come along with 10 Best for a tour of the best buffets in Tampa. You will see that sampling buffets in Tampa doesn't mean skimping on quality, originality, or the dining experience.

 


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Palma Ceia
Hao Wah
Photo courtesy of Navin Rajagopalan


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.


Taste of India


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.


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Carrollwood


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.


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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.




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.


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Palma Ceia
Queen of Sheba


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.


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Airport Area


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.


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Channelside
Firestick Grill
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


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.


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East Tampa
Fresh Harvest
Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino


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!


Texas de Brazil
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


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.


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Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye

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