So, you want to stuff your face with delicious restaurant caliber food but you don't want to pay much for it. Well, an all-you-can-eat buffet is probably a good choice. We attempt a rating of all of the local all-you-can-eat establishments below. Please, add your own ratings and update the average rating.

In case it isn't obvious, "AYCE" means "All You Can Eat". Not all buffets are — although sometimes people assume they are — so note if they are or are not. Also, not every All You Can Eat meal is a buffet — some are served by waiters (a buffet means guests serve themselves). The rule is that if you are served, you are expected to give them a tip. If you serve yourself (buffet), you are not expected to leave a tip. Some people disagree and say you need to tip $1/person... but what service are you tipping for, anyway?


All-You-Can-Eat Buffets

Rating scale: integers 1 to 9 (so that 5 is center)

Sushi

  • Davis Sushi Buffet Japanese Restaurant average rating as of 2005-03-25 6

    • Lunch Daily 10:30-2:30pm - $13.95, Dinner Daily 4:30-9:00pm - $17.95
    • AYCE sushi, tolerable but not great. Odd choices (black fish eggs?) and very annoying music. Service is poor and somewhat hostile. Rating=4.5rfrazier
    • Seems very similar to Fuji Chef in terms of overall sushi quality and selection. This place carries some minor advantages over Fuji such as slightly classier atmosphere and more attentive servers. The music does at times have a frantic Euro-pop feel that reminds one of the Initial D arcade game at the MU. Rating=7.5ScottMeehleib
    • Very similar to Fuji Chef as it was started by one of their former "chefs". I personally will never comeback here again as I had 2 separate horrible experiences all about 3-4wks apart. I love salmon sashimi and loved buffets for that reason. 1st bad experience I ordered a plate of salmon sashimi and it smelled like a dead rat. after quietly bringing it to the attention of the manager, he went in the back and brought out another plate. But to my dismay, it smelled horrible too. He got frustrated and blamed it on the cut of fish. We paid our bill and promptly left. We gave them some time and went back about 3wks later and ordered our normal stuff, but I was a little apprehensive about the salmon. Reluctantly, we ordered a plate and it was fine, but our 2nd and 3rd had a very distinctive odor... much like rotting flesh. After my wife started gaging, we again promptly paid our bill and left vowing never to return. Rating=2Aaron.Curtin
  • Nami Sushi

    • Weekdays Lunch 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, Weekends Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm - $12.95
    • Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm  daily - $17.95
    • AYCE sushi, personal best in town. Fresh, custom made to order.  Gets extremely busy, very popular place.  Have non-sushi items on the menu as well!  Rating=9chaas26
  • Jusco Japanese Restaurant average rating as of 2008-09-08 3.3

    • Mon-Sun $10.99 lunch, Mon-Thurs $14.99 dinner; Fri-Sun $15.99 dinner.
    • All-you-can-eat sushi, but not a buffet: you mark your selection on an order form and they bring the food to your table. Note: they kept overlooking things which I marked on the form, but you can always reorder. They also tried to push extra food off on customers (but you don't have to take it). Many people there were trying to use a half-price coupon, only to learn of the many restrictions they placed on their usage: two people, must be finished before 12:30PM, valid Tue for guys, Wed for girls. They also threaten to charge 50 cents/piece of uneaten sushi, so be sure to clean your plate. Rating=5SteveDavison
      • Is it legal for them to do that if the coupon doesn't list the restrictions? It seems like false advertisement to me and I wasn't too happy about it. Also, they didn't accidentally overlook things you mark. The guy in charge specifically tells the waiters to ignore certain customers or to stop bringing them food. They won't say it in English, but they do say it.
    • We went to Jusco quite frequently for dinners — they're just OK kind of sushi — not comparable with Nobu's or Fuji's. You'd always get seats since not many people go there. For this reason, they try to bring you more food than you order, so that if you leave some sushi rice, you pay fine. Nice way of making money. Apart from that they charged more in our credit card ($2-4 every time). From our approximately 20 visits they chited almost $60 from my credit card. They are well comparable to blood sucking silent parasites. —MikeHeller
    • We go to Jusco quite frequently for weekend lunches — they're affordable, have nice variety, their fish is good (slightly better than Fuju chef, imho), and they don't have the 300 person lines at Fuji chef. I've always appreciated that they bring around extra food — it lets them offer more variety, given that they have such a tiny restaurant, and are limited to available counterspace. Staff is really really nice, and while they're always full, I've never had to wait for a table. Also, in my experience, most all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants penalize for not eating the rice — it drives their costs up when you only eat the fish (takes more to fill up) and then all that rice is wasted too... So I guess I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment on that one. —KrisMartinsen
      • They sound nice in English. If you understood everything that was said, you'd be pretty pissed.
        • What do they say? Also, it's fun to sometimes write fake threatening letters from credit card agencies making it clear that they are under investigation for adding extra charges to credit cards. They'll probably get scared. —MichaelGiardina
          • Great idea! Let's try to make them scared by doing something illegal ourselves! —IdealParadigm
    • I used to recommend Jusco when the line at Fuji's was too long, but I think they recently changed owners or something, and the last time I went, the shrimp tempura was fried frozen so the inside was cold and still in its shell. The only thing I will give them credit for is that they use more wasabi in the sushi and have a wider selection of non-sushi in their buffet than Fuji's. Rating=2PhilBerghuis
    • Rating = 0 Yeah, I know the scale doesn't include 0, but the bad food AND shady business practices have ensured that I am NOT a repeat customer. — MarieHuynh
    • Rating = 3 The worst of the Japanese buffets. Fish really tasted old and fishy. After first serving of raw items, I only ordered cooked ones. The scallop was downright unedible —MattHh
    • Rating = 6.5 I love this place, it has very good taste for the amount of money that you pay. A lot of people like to make fun of the guy who doesn't speak fluent English, but he's really nice and understanding. —IdealParadigm

Indian and Nepalese

  • Kathmandu Kitchen average rating as of 2010-01-31 7.3

    • $8.95 Monday - Friday only
    • 16 courses. Good Indian food in a classy setting. Several vegetarian items too. Rating=6SteveDavison
    • this might just be the best buffet in Davis. There isnt really even a comparison between Rajas and Kathmadu. Kathmadu has a way larger selection and better quality food. Rating=8.0MattHh
    • I already love Kathmandu it is no surprise that I find their buffet exemplary. My one concern is that they often don't have many vegetarian options out, especially since they have so many of them on their regular menu! The service, however, is usually very good. Overall, if you want to have a leisurely, delicious lunch, no one in town beats Kathmandu. Rating=8.arianemetz
  • Namaste Nepal has not yet been rated

  • Preethi Indian Cuisine has not yet been rated

    • 11am to 2:30pm Mon-Fri, 11:30am to 3pm Sat-Sun
  • Raja Indian Cuisine average rating as of 2010-01-31 6.5

    • $7.95
    • I counted 8 courses, not 14 courses like their sign says. Rating=5SteveDavison
      • I think you can get to 14 "courses" if you count every sauce/garnish/side item. - Jevan
      • Add water too while counting the 14 items. - MikeHeller
      • I think the 14 courses refers to the 14 dishes they make throughout the week... The buffet changes daily, with the same basics... Raja's is actually a decent place to go if you're a vegetarian because there are usually one or two main dishes that are vegggie. Also, Raja's lets you take a to-go box and fill it from the buffet, which is cool if you're really broke. -sss
        • Well I haven't rechecked in detail since it changed management, but there were exactly 14 different containers in the buffet. -Jevan
    • They do change the courses from day to day. But while they don't have 14 in one day, they still have enough to make it worth it. Also, I think it's on thursdays, they have pakura in a curry sauce that is freaking awesome. Rating=7PhilBerghuis
    • Raja is a good deal, but not that great quality. the indian food here is worse than Kathmandu Kitchen, most places in LA, and most places in the bay area, however it is also cheaper. you pay for what you get. if your not looking to spend the money for Fuji's and other more expensive buffets this is a cheap alternative that isnt bad. but Kathmandu Kitchen is far superior for just a buck more. Rating=5.5MattHh
    • As a vegetarian, I sometimes appreciate the selections available at Ali Baba's more than Kathmandu. Plus, you can't beat the service, especially from the Owner (he is the owner right?). I feel so comfortable in this restaurant, it reminds me of lunch at my friend's house in High School. For me, the combination of good food, great service and a good price is a winner for me. Rating=7.5arianemetz
    • Delicious food, best Indian in Davis, very good prices. The only issue is parking and due to the size there can be a bit of a wait. Rating=7.5rfrazier

Pizza

  • Mountain Mike's Pizza average rating as of 2010-01-31 7.5

    • AYCE Pizza and salad bar lunch buffet is $6.49 and is available from 11am-2pm. They have a dinner buffet on Wednesday nights for $7.49.
      • They have a few different varieties out, and will usually take requests which will be out partway into your lunch. They have a card for their lunch buffets, buy X (I think 8 or 10) and get one free or half off. Not very informative, I know, but I don't have the card with me and I haven't been in a while. The people working there are always quite friendly, and it's usually not too crowded. Quality TVs! Rating=7.5TomGarberson
  • Round Table Pizza

    • AYCE pizza & salad bar: lunch $6.99 Mon-Fri, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM, dinner $7.49 Tues, 6 PM - 8 PM
    • The selection usually consists of two or three pizzas, along with a platter of fleeting garlic twists. You need to get to the food fast, though, because you'll have to do battle with a thousand screaming children in order to get any food on your plate. The kitchen seems to be regularly swamped and cannot put out new pizza anywhere near as fast as people take it. Rating=1JoePomidor
  • Woodstock's Pizza average rating as of 2010-01-31 5.5

    • $6.99 AYCE or (single slice and a soda $2.75)
    • AYCE pizza slices "for a limited time". I've had their pizza, but not their pizza buffet, so I'm not giving this a rating, however what I recall of their pizza was that the crust was quite hard and the toppings thin. Otherwise, it's sort of a nice college hang-out. — SteveDavison
    • Personally, I LOVE Woodstock's Pizza. The sauce is the best (edit: Have they changed the recipe? The last time I was there, it wasn't as good as I remember it). That said, the slices leave a little to be desired mostly because of the thin toppings problem described above. Give me a good double pepperoni ANY day. For those of us with limited stomach space, try the single slice and a soda deal for $2.75 Rating=6 (AYCE), Rating=7 (single slice option) — OddBall
    • Way too greasy. Not much variety. Ditto on thin toppings. Tastes are personal but this is one of the worse pizzas I have had here. Rating=4 (AYCE) — AmitSahoo
    • I love Woodstock's pizza, but I'm not a fan of the AYCE slices. Even when they're fresh out of the oven, the pizzas aren't that interesting. I think they probably do try to save a bit by using less sauce and less of the toppings. I've been 3 or 4 times for the AYCE, and one time they agreed to make a BBQ bird when I asked. Most of the time, though, they won't do requests. Rating=5TomGarberson
  • Uncle Vito's Slice of N.Y. not yet rated
    • $6.99 AYCE including soda. 11:30am-1:30pm

Other

  • Segundo Dining Commons average rating as of 2005-11-23 7.0

    • Breakfast is $7.50, Brunch is $8.50, Dinner is $10.75, tax included
    • If you can get past the fact that they are a Sodexho cafeteria service, you'll find that this sparkling new building has a lot to offer. They have 7 (or so) islands, each serving a different cuisine. Stir-fry, burritos, hamburgers and hotdogs, and a salad bar with fresh-looking spinach, they have it all. Everyone, not just students, can eat here. You will, of course, be surrounded by students. This place is quite noisy; I don't know why they don't consider these things. The nice lady at the cash register gave me an introductory description when I mentioned I hadn't been there before. Unfortunately, she didn't mention that they were closing in one minute... Backpacks are not allowed in (by order of the fire marshall), but they have free, secure, lockers just outside where you can stash your stuff (take note, Mondavi Center). A wide variety of fresh, tasty, and nutritious food at a competitive price. Rating=7SteveDavison
    • If you haven't eaten in the D.C. for awhile, the amount of food can be really enticing. That being said, I never eat here unless my office is paying—too expensive! Rating=7arianemetz
    • You can pay to get into the DC's? I thought you could only get in if you used your swipes or got a freshman to swipe you in. — Avarshneya
      • Anybody — usually visitors, parents and alumni — can pay to eat there. Usually that group because they are either reminiscing or sharing an experience with their friend or child.

Rating Criteria

Average rating is all the ratings under a given restaurant added together and then divided by the number of ratings. This should be edited when someone adds a new rating. This gives a good sense of how people like the restaurant on average.

My ratings refer solely to food quality and taste. They do not reflect the color of the walls, the folds of the napkins, etc. I have evaluated each of these places in a four week period in early 2005 (January-February) with at least two days between each.

After evaluating each of these places, the biggest differentiator (for the Chinese restaurants) turned out to be the potstickers. I found them to be the "indicator species", in other words, the item which reflected the overall food quality in an amplified way.SteveDavison

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