Sometimes you just want the assurance of an all-you-can-eat buffet, where you can go back for as many helpings as you want without worrying about leaving hungry, maxing out your card, or emptying the refrigerator. At the hot bar, variety and plenty reign supreme, and that is a beautiful thing in its own right. Buffets are also the perfect way to get to know a new cuisine, offering a vast sampling of dishes at a fraction of the price.
We’ve rounded up a delectable Hudson Valley buffet for every day of the week, so whenever the itch strikes, you can go forth and eat to your heart’s content. Happy feasting.
Red Hook Curry House
Red Hook, NY
Buffet: Tuesday & Sunday, 5-9pm
On a Tuesday night, the Red Hook Curry House bustles. The red booths are packed with locals, weekenders, teenage couples, and families with children. The buffet always features four vegetarian dishes and four non-vegetarian dishes (mmm!—fish karma, lamb vindaloo, chicken tandoori). The buffet also includes appetizers, salad, hot-out-of-the-oven naan, dessert, tea, and coffee at a seriously affordable rate. The service is very friendly, though lingering is discreetly discouraged as the bill comes promptly as soon as you finish your tea.
Garden House 12472
Buffet: Wednesday, 5-10pm
First opened by Big Cheese geniuses Yuval and Lisa Sterer, this Rosendale haunt has passed into the care and ownership of Jordanian chef Naheda, who cooks up a mouthwatering assortment of Mediterranean and Middle East dishes. With a dairy-light menu and a whole section of vegetarian options from the mujaddara to the chickpea tagine, vegetarians and vegans can rest easy at the Garden House. The mid-week buffet often features live music, plus expertly seasoned lamb and chicken dishes, vegetables, rice, and a wide assortment of sides. Get there early, the mains go fast and are not always replaced.
New Paltz, NY
Buffet: Thursdays & Fridays, 5-10pm
The self-dubbed “Falafel King,” Moonlight Cafe on Main Street has been serving up mouth-watering Middle Eastern food since 1993—no small feat in this college town, which has a reputation as a revolving door of restaurants. The menu includes, vegan, and gluten-free options (grape leaves, anyone?), as well as classic meat dishes like souvlaki, shawarma, and kabobs. While the a la carte options go so far as to include a veggie burger and veggie pasta, the buffet options can be a little more limited for the meat-free among us.
Red Pepper Diner
Wappingers Falls, NY
Buffet: Friday 5-8pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11am-8pm
In an inconspicuous yellow building on 9D next to a gas station, Red Pepper Diner serves up authentic Sri Lankan cuisine made with traditional spices and fresh vegetables. Off the coast of Indian subcontinent, the island nation of Sri Lankan uses similar flavors to Indian cuisine, but many of the dishes will be wholly unfamiliar to a first-timer. Take advantage of the three-day buffet to stuff yourself with chicken, curry, lentils, potatoes, and find your fave Sri Lankan dish.
The Colonial Inn
Pine Hill, NY
Buffet: Saturday, 5:30-9pm
This family-style inn is Grandma’s house meets hunting lodge. Tiffany lamps, taxidermied animals, lay-z-boy recliners, antique furniture, and tchotchkes abound throughout the wood-paneled, 12-room B&B. Every Saturday night, the extensive dining room is packed with locals and guests (the inn is a mile from Belleayre Mountain), crowded around gingham oilcloth tables for the weekly dinner buffet. This mega meal includes everything you can think of from pastas to crab legs to pork to sauerbraten, plus a salad bar and dessert. If for any reason you’re still having doubts, feel free to take a virtual tour of the buffet before you drive out to Pine Hill.
Shadows on the Hudson
Buffet: Sunday, 10:30am-2pm
$23.95, $11.50 for children under 12
Breakfast is, of course, the most important meal of the day, but come Sundays, this first meal is best enjoyed in the form of its cooler cousin—brunch. Shadows on Hudson caters to all dietary restrictions with their gourmet brunch buffet (including all you gluten-free folks). Savor views of the Hudson River, while sipping on mimosas and chowing down on bread pudding with maple anglaise or mini Belgian waffles and sausage links.
MacArthur’s Riverview RestaurantThe Thayer Hotel at West Point
Buffet: Sunday, 10:30am, 11:00am, 1:30pm
Buffets often get a bad rap, but the Sunday Champagne brunch at Macarthur’s Riverview Restaurant is here to change all that. With gourmet offerings like giant shrimp and smoked salmon, and live-action cooking stations, you have your pick of scrumptious options. Sip Champagne from a bottomless flute as you gaze out the bay of windows at the shimmering Hudson River, framed by the historic institution of West Point. Reservations recommended.
Cinnamon Indian Cuisine
Buffet: Sunday, 5-9pm
An easy elegance permeates all aspects of Cinnamon, from drinks to décor and, of course, food. This Rhinebeck eatery is decidedly upscale, but unpretentious features like the heavily attended dinner buffet and the 20-foot communal table create a friendly feel. Rather than the Chicken Tikka laundry list of dishes available at most Indian restaurants, Cinnamon demonstrates a subtle mastery and flare for improvisation. Take a culinary tour through the regions of India with the Sunday night buffet.