Women not wearing saris stand out here, where families come for the weekend South Indian vegetarian buffet. Grab a tray and make the rounds: assorted vata (fritters, some with yogurt sauce), daal, vegetable curries, rice dishes, and breads galore—idli, naan, pappadum, dosa. Lunchtime thalis (the original small plates) are served on weekdays, and a full vegetarian menu is always available.

Best Indian Buffet, August 2009

At Woodlands in Artesia, the South Indian specialties at the lunchtime buffet (curries, rice dishes, dosas) are so fragrant and delicious, we almost forgot they’re vegetarian. Bonus: They’re relatively light, so consuming one’s weight in samosas doesn’t induce a food coma.