Resolutions, schmezolutions. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned gorge fest to ring in the New Year. Good food is a healing salve to all of those 2017 aches and pains, so this holiday season there is no better way to wipe the slate clean than with an overflowing plate of culinary excess.
PACIFIC joined forces with the Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego to find out what buffets locals loved to eat at. According to members, these five buffets are a favorite among diners.
Fogo de Chao
Bringing the flavors of southern Brazil to SoCal, this steakhouse offers an extravaganza that local foodies adore. The Full Churrasco Experience includes options of fire roasted filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops and Brazilian picanha (pee-KAHN-ya) on skewers, along with soups, salads, “exotic vegetables” and cheeses. Head downtown during the week for lunch, priced at $35 or relax on a weekend with the $40 brunch option.
Insider tip: If taking the fam during the holidays is on the agenda (New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day), grab a $150 gift card by Dec. 31 for a $25 bonus card to help foot the bill. Looking ahead to 2018, spots are open for San Diego Restaurant Week, January 21-28, for $40 dinners (normally $55) per person.
668 Sixth Ave., downtown, 619.338.0500, fogodechao.com
Korean food took 2017 by storm with hot pots, kimchi, and this multi-location all-you-can-eat buffet. Every meat imaginable including standards like BBQ pork and brisket alongside unusual selections that include large and small intestine, beef jowls and tongue are available. Choose between BBQ or Shabu Shabu Black for $32 or the Gold version for $22.
Insider tip: Take an appetite, as left over items are not allowed to be taken home.
8188 Mira Mesa Blvd., Mira Mesa, 858.578.0300; 4428 Convoy St., #210, Kearny Mesa, 858.278.3300; 724 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista, 619.421.3300; 740 Nordahl Rd., San Marcos, 760.743.3300, mannabbq.com
Tom Ham’s Lighthouse Sunday Seafood Buffet
A San Diego classic for decades (it opened in 1971), this waterfront spot is a favorite for locals of all ages. Reserve a place at one of the Sunday seatings from 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. for a bevy of seafood specialties including crab legs, peel-n-eat shrimp, oysters, ceviche, and smoked salmon. Top that with free flowing Champagne, and a better Sunday brunch would be hard to find.
2150 Harbor Island Dr., Harbor Island, 619.291.9110, tomhamslighthouse.com
Find international flair and global cuisine at this Lakeside casino and resort, situated in East County. Offering a smorgasbord of culinary specialties including Mongolian, Mexican, Chinese, French and American eats along with rotisserie and prime rib. Plus, add to that already full plate the famous Ship of Seafood, which overflows with crab legs, smoked salmon and whitefish, and shrimp. Serving on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the $50 buffet includes the standard buffet plus a cornucopia of new treats including rack of lamb, steamship of pork, baked salmon, and Champagne-raspberry mousse.
1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd., Lakeside, 619.443.2300, barona.com
Head out to Alpine for beautiful views and a foodie extravaganza worthy of a spot in the EDSD favorites. Boasting one of the biggest buffets in San Diego County, the resort offers a variety of options this holiday, with openings on New Year’s weekend ($46), NYE ($50), NYE midnight ($20), and New Year’s Day ($40). Weekend specialties include a Bloody Mary bar, omelet station, herb-crusted prime rib and smoked salmon. If a holiday visit isn’t in the cards, put Viejas on the list for Lobster Fridays, offered all day each week for $40. All buffets come complete with unlimited beer, wine and Champagne.
5000 Willows Rd., Alpine, 619.445.5400, viejas.com