Even meat-lovers jones for Casablanca’s lunch buffet, which puts veggies in combos you didn’t think possible. This Middle Eastern, vegetarian lunch buffet is a great way to try new things. Sample their delicious baba ghanoush, hummus, falafel and more, and then go back for seconds on your favorites. If you just can’t stomach a meatless meal, Casablanca will throw in a side of your choice of meat for only $4.95 extra.
(728 E. Brady St., 414-271-6000)
Lunch Buffet: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Adults $8.95, Kids $4.95.
A meal at India Garden should be ordered like you’re at a wedding banquet, because this is one Taj Mahal of a menu! And that meal should incorporate some Bombay street snacks like paani puri (a hollow, oval-shaped fried crisp that melts in your mouth), a biryani made with hard-boiled eggs, a goat curry (bones included, but they’re maneuverable), and chicken tikka uttapam–a pancake filled with tandoori chicken, served with chutneys and a vegetable sambar, or soup. Your table will be flecked with variety–plenty to carry home if your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Which is a wonderful position to be in here.
(2930 N. 117th St., 414-235-9220)
Lunch Buffet: Daily 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Fri. $10.95, Sat. and Sun. $12.95.
Vegetable-based Ethiopian stews are free of eggs, milk, butter and honey, making Alem Ethiopian Village’s lunch buffet an allergy-sufferer’s dream come true. It also makes these dishes a terrific option for vegan diners. Alem offers a half-dozen or so of these stews, featuring lentils cooked in red pepper sauce, string beans with potatoes and carrots, on its Tuesday-Friday lunch buffet. The injera (a porous, crepe-like pancake served with your stew) is made from a grain called teff and can be made gluten-free by request.
(307 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-224-5324)
Lunch Buffet: Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $8.95.
Carini’s quasi-vegetarian lunch buffet spread boasts an array of quality choices. There’s fresh fruit, several vegetable salads, two hot soups and four hot entrées–from a tasty chicken-artichoke pasta to delicious eggplant spiedini in a thick red sauce. Chicken Parmesan is the featured entrée on Thursdays, and on Fridays you can get your fry on with hand-breaded fish.
(3468 N. Oakland Ave.., 414-963-9623)
Lunch Buffet: Thurs. and Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $14.95.
Jing’s Marshall building location doesn’t offer street visibility, but it ensures a cozy, in-the-know sort of space. Lasting only an hour and 45 minutes, the lunch buffet is worth stopping in for. Sample Jing’s best dishes in the Third Ward restaurant’s small but curated buffet selection.
(207 E. Buffalo St., 414-271-7788)
Lunch Buffet: Tues.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. $9.
When it comes to Chinese lunch buffets, China Gourmet is renowned for the freshness of its selection. Food is prepared in smaller batches and replenished often. Crab rangoons, mu shu crepes and steamed chicken dumplings are just a few of the terrific options not to be missed.
(117 E. Wells St., 414-272-1688)
Lunch Buffet: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $10.40.
Maharaja serves up Northern Indian dishes like chicken makhani and South Indian dishes like uthappam and dosa. Locals can also get their fill of biryani (a casserole-like rice and meat dish), thick curries made with lamb or chicken (sometimes beef) and proteins baked in a tandoor oven.
(1550 N. Farwell Ave., 414-276-2250)
Lunch Buffet: Mon.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $13, To-Go $12.
Bennie Smith opened Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille in late 2014 to honor his father. His soul food buffet (offering the popular fried chicken and waffles) has been building fans rapidly. While chicken is offered daily, the rest of the buffet menu changes, rotating between barbecued short ribs, meat loaf, pork chops, catfish fillets and salmon patties.
(754 N. 27th St., 414-448-6165)
Lunch Buffet: Tues.-Sat. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. $9.59 for a meat selection with two sides and cornbread, $10.99 for a meat selection, three sides and cornbread.