If you’re a hungry household or have a family of picky eaters, there’s no doubt that mealtimes can sometimes seem like an arduous occasion for the designated cook. However, problems can be solved by visiting a restaurant with an abundance of delicacies on the menu.
And one restaurant choice that displays a range like no other is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Although they are not renowned worldwide for their level of cuisine, families can enjoy a hassle-free feast for a reasonable cost when visiting.
The North East has an exceptional number of these restaurants available for hungry diners, with establishments in Newcastle, County Durham, Gateshead and Sunderland to name a few. And while everyone has their favorite place to eat, others may never have had the privilege.
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Other parties may be on the hunt for something entirely new, having exhausted their local hotspot – but may not know where to look to find that satisfying treat they desire.
That’s why, at ChronicleLive, we’ve reviewed the best all-you-can-eat buffets in the Northeast, according to trusty Google reviewers.
The best buffets in the Northeast according to Google Reviews:
Rio Brazilian Steakhouse – Newcastle upon Tyne – 4.8 out of 5 stars
They do things a little differently at Newcastle’s two Rio Steakhouse restaurants – with premium meat selections hand-carved and brought straight to the table. Located both in Jesmond and on the quayside, specially trained Gaucho chefs serve ‘exquisite cuts’ which are continuously carved at the table in traditional Rodizio style.
Punters can also take advantage of its gourmet salad bar, where they can choose from fresh vegetables, fine imported cheeses, charcuterie and authentic Brazilian dishes.
Appetizing cuts of steak, lamb, chicken and pork are all on Rio’s menu – punters paying £22.95 for lunch or £34.95 for dinner.
Children under 5 can feast for free, while those aged 5-8 pay £6.70 and those aged 9-12 £10.30 respectively.
The steakhouse also offers a vegetarian, vegan and fish menu which includes unlimited access to the salad bar itself for just £16.95.
Darran Hurburgh, said: “Fantastic food, friendly and attentive staff and a lovely place to eat.”
Mandarin Bay – Cramlington – 4.6 out of 5 stars
Mandarin Bay in Cramlington serves quality Pan-Asian cuisine to local residents and visitors further afield. Although it’s not just an all you can eat restaurant, they do offer buffet menus every Wednesday (costing £17.95) and Friday (£19.95) with children under ten eating at half price.
On the special à la carte menu, visitors can expect to find traditional Cantonese dishes with a twist. They also have exceptional vegetarian options for non-meat eaters.
Geordie Andy, said: “Went there last night for the all you can eat buffet, here they do it so much better though. You order off the menu and it’s cooked fresh and brought to your table rather than sitting under heat lamps like most buffets.
“The food was very tasty and the staff is friendly, we will definitely come back.”
Aneesa’s Buffet Restaurant – Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 4.4 stars out of 5
Aneesa’s Buffet, located on Newcastle’s beautiful Quayside, offers punters a princely selection of delicious dishes from around the world. A self-service buffet that allows walk-ins, the restaurant is renowned throughout Toon for its friendly, fast food – regularly receiving praise online for the attentiveness of the staff.
A special rotisserie is also served every Sunday between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. alongside the traditional Grand Buffet which is open until 10:00 p.m.
The experience in which the food is freshly prepared and cooked before your eyes will cost you £18.99 Monday to Thursday, £19.99 on Friday or Sunday and £21.99 during peak service on Saturday.
It’s also half price for kids aged four to 12, with kids under three eating completely free, making it a budget-friendly buffet for families looking to feed themselves.
Rena Shuaib, said: “I absolutely loved the experience, I had a range of delicious curries and desserts. Lamb Nihari was too good. The buffet was very impressive and the huge selection of desserts blew me away. made me want to ask for more.”
My Shanghai – North Shields – 4.3 out of 5 stars
Located in the Cannon Inn on North Shields’ Coast Road is My Shanghai and their Oriental Bar and Buffet. Since opening in 2011, the restaurant has specialized in a fusion of Eastern and Western foods ranging from Chinese and Japanese sushi – even offering a rotisserie every Sunday.
Open from 12:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week, the establishment sees more and more happy holidays returning, week after week.
Like many other buffets in the area, the enjoyment of My Shanghai will vary depending on the day and time of your visit. Adults at lunchtime can expect to pay as little as £9.40 Monday to Friday, but those visiting in the evening will have to pay £14.90. Children visiting during these times pay £5.90 and £7.90 respectively.
The cost of a Sunday grill buffet will set you back £10.40 (adults) or £6.90 (children), while service on Saturdays and bank holidays will cost £15.90 pp for adults.
Lee Grint said: “Brilliant place, great quality food and every dish I tried was amazing. Cheaper during the lunch buffets than the evening buffet – but both times were excellent with great variety of dishes.
“Fair and reasonable prices too. It can get busy so I would recommend booking.”
Inshanghai – Durham – 4.2 out of 5 stars
Opened in May 2007, Inshanghai is a grand oriental buffet located on the beautiful Durham Riverside. A spacious restaurant offering dining with a view, punters can enjoy the tranquil and peaceful River Wear while sampling a range of authentic Chinese dishes.
From crunchy seaweed to succulent stir-fries, the buffet covers all grounds – with each dish labeled to avoid confusion and disappointment.
A lunch buffet, a large evening buffet and a Sunday lunch are all offered at Inshanghai with prices varying depending on the date and time of visit.
Similar to My Shanghai in North Shields, lunch customers pay just £9.40 Monday to Friday, but those visiting in the evening will have to pay £14.90. Children visiting during these times pay £5.90 and £7.90 respectively.
The cost of a Sunday grill buffet will cost you £10.40 (adults) or £6.90 (children), while service on Saturdays and public holidays will cost adults £15.90 or £8.90 to children.
Durham University students also receive a 10% discount on their dining experience, regardless of time, upon presentation of a valid student ID.
John Robson said: “It was our first call and will definitely call back. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the service was faultless.
“The buffet was great with a wide choice of starters, main courses and desserts, as well as a good selection of drinks.”
Buffet King – Intu MetroCentre – 4 out of 5 stars
One of the few all-you-can-eat establishments in Gateshead’s MetroCentre is the Buffet King, located in the square’s Yellow Mall. Buffet King has been a popular hit in the Northeast since it opened in 2007, with locals often frequenting to sample some of their sublime plates.
With over 80 authentic Oriental and Southeast Asian dishes, hand-prepared by Chinese chefs, the establishment is often praised by visitors for its simple, inexpensive meals and exceptionally pleasant staff.
Offering both lunch and large buffets every day of the week, adults are welcome to pay between £14.50 and £17.50 depending on the date and time of their visit. Children, on the other hand, pay £8.50, regardless of whether they are accompanied by a paying adult, with infants dining for £3.50.
Chloe Humphreys, said: “First visit and was not disappointed at all! Lots of variety, all dishes were constantly replenished and the staff are quick to change your plate.
“I definitely recommend and I will return!”
Big Luke’s – Intu MetroCentre – 3.5 out of 5 stars
A stone’s throw from Buffet King in the MetroCentre’s Lower Yellow mall is Big Luke’s World Buffet, which offers a “fun and friendly” dining experience in a cozy atmosphere.
The first all-you-can-eat establishment in the North East, the restaurant itself opened its doors in 1990 and has found a recipe for success in its nearly 32 years of service. Visitors can expect a warm welcome from helpful staff and a range of dishes from around the world to feast on.
Prices are available on visit or information.
Amy Baker said: “Lovely atmosphere, very detailed allergen menu, staff could not have been more helpful in answering any questions I had about the suitability of any of the buffet items and not the allergen menu as I am lactose intolerant.
“Overall good meal, would definitely go back.”
Panda Garden – Sunderland – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Panda Garden on Holmeside in Sunderland city center has become a Wearside staple over the past two decades, becoming the go-to restaurant for traditional Chinese food on a budget. After a recent renovation and new management, the hot-spot serves a range of Chinese and English dishes for all to enjoy.
They also launched an exciting new range of Utepia bubble teas last month, for those who want a real taste of the Far East.
Prices are available on visit or information.
Linda Ward, said: “First visit yesterday since reopening. 100% better now. Food was delicious and freshly hot, and restaurant service was clean.
“The new layout is beautiful. Friendly and helpful staff from check in to check out.
“Highly recommended. Will definitely be back.”