Andrés Carne de Res, Chía, Colombia
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30 of the Largest Restaurants Around the World

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Andrés Carne de Res, Chía, Colombia
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LARGE PARTIES WELCOME

Going out to dinner can be especially frustrating when you have to wait for a table, maybe even as long as a few hours at some popular eateries. But there are restaurants so cavernous that you'll probably get to plop right down, even on a busy Friday night. They serve 1,000 or more diners at once — yep, there's room enough for a whole town — and employ small armies to cook and serve dishes that keep the crowds coming back. Here are 30 restaurants that are proud to say size matters.

Related: 30 of the Smallest Restaurants Around the World

Royal Dragon, Bangkok, Thailand
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ROYAL DRAGON | BANGKOK, THAILAND

Royal Dragon, which seats as many as 5,000 guests, was once officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's largest restaurant (it ceded the title to Bawabet Dimashq in Syria, which seated over 6,000 but has been destroyed in the country's civil war). The restaurant is so sprawling that wait staff often uses skates or even zip lines. There are 1,000 employees, and despite the set menu focusing on Chinese cuisine, the restaurant also serves Thai food and seafood to order. Diners can also catch a Thai cultural show each evening.

Zehnder's, Frankenmuth, MI
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ZEHNDER'S | FRANKENMUTH, MICHIGAN

Zehnder's Restaurant is just one facet of what's become the sprawling Zehnder's compound, which includes a hotel with an indoor waterpark, a marketplace and a golf course. This 1,500-seat restaurant employs more than 800 workers and serves somewhere around 900,000 pounds of chicken a year. Indeed, it's most famous for family-style chicken dinners, served with noodle soup, fresh bread, mashed potatoes, dressing, buttered egg noodles, veggies, and much more.

San Pedro Fish Market, Los Angeles, CA
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SAN PEDRO FISH MARKET | LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Don't expect an intimate dinner at this 50,000-square-foot waterfront behemoth. It seats 3,000 people and has become something of a phenomenon — there's even a docudrama based on it called "Kings of Fi$h" — since beginning as a modest corner seafood store in 1956. It's best known for massive trays of juicy shrimp that are embellished with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes and accompanied by a fat loaf of garlic bread.

Restaurante Madalosso, Curitiba, Brazil
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RESTAURANTE MADALOSSO | CURITIBA, BRAZIL

What might be the largest restaurant in the Americas, at least according to Bossa Brazil, can feed more than 4,600 diners at a time in its 10 dining rooms, all named after Italian cities. Founded in 1963, the all-you-can-eat Madalosso focuses on family-style Italian cuisine: ravioli, lasagna, gnocchi, and salads rounded out with grilled meats. Bring your appetites, reviewers say: The food will keep coming until you beg for mercy.

Oasis on Lake Travis, Austin, TX
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OASIS ON LAKE TRAVIS | AUSTIN, TEXAS

"The Sunset Capital of Texas" offers its patrons some breathtaking evenings on the water, even hosting a sunset photo contest every year. But before you're swept up in the views, gawk at the sheer scale of this place. It reportedly seats 2,800 people on its many decks, and live music is a frequent feature during warmer months. Though some say the Tex-Mex cuisine takes a back seat to the atmosphere, the margaritas still come highly recommended.

Jumbo Kingdom, Hong Kong
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JUMBO KINGDOM | ABERDEEN, HONG KONG

The dazzling Jumbo Kingdom is jumbo by any measure, accommodating more than 2,000 guests, according to CNN. But that number is even more staggering when you consider this is a floating restaurant — the world's largest, of course. Want to eat here? There's a free shuttle service from two nearby piers, and you may want to consider the signature dish: Flamed Drunken Shrimp, cooked with fiery theatrics tableside.

El Pinto, Albuquerque, NM
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EL PINTO | ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

You come to El Pinto for the atmosphere as much as the New Mexican cuisine — this sprawling family restaurant can seat more than 1,000 diners among the hacienda-like grounds. Dine by a babbling fountain or amid lush greenery on one of the patios, where red chili peppers dangle in huge bunches. Stop by the tequila bar, which serves more than 160 varieties of tequila and churns out margaritas with hand-made simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Save room for the sopapillas, which are on the house.

Phillips Crab House, Ocean City, MD
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PHILLIPS CRAB HOUSE | OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

Ocean City is one of the East Coast's most well-known family resort towns, and no matter how big your family, you can probably snag a table at Phillips Crab House, the first in a sizeable empire of Phillips Seafood restaurants. Established in 1956 as a carryout, it's grown to accommodate more than 1,400 patrons at a time. Many will opt for the gut-busting seafood buffet, stocked with crab legs, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, crawfish, salmon and other favorites.

West Lake Restaurant, Changsha, China
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WEST LAKE RESTAURANT | CHANGSHA, CHINA

It's only fitting that the world's most populous country lays claim to one of the world's most massive restaurants. West Lake Restaurant, opened in 2004, is a sprawling complex of traditionally decorated Chinese buildings that reportedly seats around 5,000 guests who get to dine on spicy fare from the Hunan and Guangdong provinces. Serving that amount of food requires 300 chefs, and roughly 700 chickens and 200 snakes meet their end here every week, according to the New York Times.

The Varsity, Atlanta, GA
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THE VARSITY | ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Retro burger joints are usually humble little places, but not The Varsity, which bills itself as the world's largest drive-in. What began as a six-stool counter with a walk-up window in 1928 has ballooned into a sprawling two-block complex that can accommodate 800 diners inside, plus whoever pulls up hungry in the 600-car, multi-level carpark. The food is still exactly what you want from a drive-in: chili dogs, burgers, onion rings, creamy shakes, and fried pies.

Columbia Restaurant, Tampa, FL
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COLUMBIA RESTAURANT | TAMPA, FLORIDA

The world's largest Spanish restaurant has been a fixture of the Tampa dining scene for more than a century, beginning as a 60-seat café founded by a Cuban immigrant in 1905. Today, it's a yawning space with 15 dining rooms, 52,000 square feet and seating for up to 1,700 diners. The most famous dish: the 1905 Salad, tossed tableside with iceberg lettuce, baked ham, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, olives, grated cheese, Worchester sauce and garlic dressing.

1909 Taverne Moderne, Montréal, Canada
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1909 TAVERNE MODERNE | MONTRÉAL, CANADA

Canada's largest restaurant is, rather fittingly, a shrine to hockey. The three-level 1909 Taverne Moderne is right next door to the Bell Centre in Montréal, home of the Canadiens. The Habs-themed restaurant is a paradise for up to 1,500 rabid hockey fans, complete with a 46-foot screen, Canada's largest, and over five dozen other TVs for watching games. The menu is full of sports bar favorites, but they're made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients.

Casa Bonita, Lakewood, CO
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CASA BONITA | LAKEWOOD, COLORADO

Casa Bonita is more than a restaurant — it's the self-proclaimed "greatest show in Denver." The restaurant even boasts its own dive team, a 30-foot waterfall that tumbles down into a blue lagoon, and constant entertainment including "gunfights" and visits from pirates and gorillas. More than 1,000 diners at a time can take in the spectacle, scarfing down 52,000 pounds of chips, 5,500 gallons of guacamole, and 1.3 million sopaipillas a year while they do it, according to Roadside America.

Golden Kinnaree Buffet, Phuket, Thailand
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GOLDEN KINNAREE BUFFET | PHUKET, THAILAND

This massive buffet at the Phuket FantaSea, a cultural theme park, is half a world away from buffet-happy Las Vegas, but it offers a Vegas-like spectacle for its guests — up to 4,000 of them, in fact. The restaurant showcases more than 1,300 feet of hand-painted Thai murals, a lake that's home to catfish that grow up to 10 feet long, and cuisine from around the world, including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, European, Indian and Mexican.

Wright's Farm Restaurant, Harrisville, RI
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WRIGHT'S FARM RESTAURANT | HARRISVILLE, RHODE ISLAND

Hearty family-style dinners are the name of the game at Wright's Farm, a sprawling complex that is surely one of the biggest restaurants in the nation's smallest state. Here, a reported 1,400 diners can sit down and enjoy either the signature baked chicken or sirloin steak, both served with rolls, pasta and marinara sauce, salad, and homestyle fries. Hungry? They'll gladly bring you as many servings as you can stomach, and reportedly go through 14,000 pounds of chicken a week.

Hofbräu Wirtshaus Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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HOFBRÄU WIRTSHAUS BERLIN | BERLIN, GERMANY

Munich's Hofbräuhaus is more famous, but when it comes to sheer size, the Berlin branch of this prominent beer hall wears the crown. Its wooden benches can squeeze in up to 4,000 revelers as they listen to live music; cheer on local soccer teams; nosh on German classics like pretzels, sausages, and strudel; and wash it all down with Bavarian brews.

Joe T. Garcia's, Fort Worth, TX
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JOE T. GARCIA'S | FORT WORTH, TEXAS

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that's certainly the case at Joe T. Garcia's, a Fort Worth icon that has grown from seating 16 guests in 1935 to more than 1,200 today. The restaurant relies on three kitchens to pump out the classic Mexican dishes its known for, many of which are unchanged from its opening decades ago. A single night may see 55 gallons of margaritas served, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Shady Maple Smorgasbord, East Earl, PA
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SHADY MAPLE SMORGASBORD | EAST EARL, PENNSYLVANIA

Amish smorgasbords are traditionally a large affair, but 110,000-square-foot Shady Maple might be the king of 'em all. It seats more than 1,200 hungry patrons in its main dining room, plus 850 more in its cavernous banquet room. On Saturday mornings, it can churn through 3,000 eggs for omelets and 800 pounds of bacon. At dinnertime, the 200-foot buffet is filled with homestyle favorites like pot roast, brisket, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and the gift shop hawks a staggering array of collectibles, home décor and more.

Okru-Gwan, Pyongyang, North Korea
Okru-Gwan, Pyongyang, North Korea by Kounosu (CC BY)

OKRU-GWAN | PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA

This landmark restaurant in North Korea reportedly seats as many as 2,000 diners who come to slurp its famous cold noodles, made of buckwheat flour and served with meat, sliced pear, cucumber, boiled egg and kimchi. While its location is prohibitive for most tourists, don't scratch it off your list completely. There is an Okru-gwan in Dubai and a few other world cities. (Be careful what you say — Atlas Obscura notes rumors that it's "another cover for North Korea's intelligence-gathering and money-laundering projects.")

Sequoia, Washington, D.C.
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SEQUOIA | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Huge restaurants aren't often fine-dining affairs, but Sequoia in the nation's capital comes close, offering its patrons white table cloths, $150 seafood towers, and dazzling views of the Potomac River and Kennedy Center. About 1,000 guests can eat here after a recent renovation, according to Eater DC, with more than half of them on the massive outdoor patio. The decadent Sunday brunch includes prime rib, sushi, a charcuterie station, breakfast favorites, and even made-to-order cotton candy for dessert.

Restaurante Arroyo, Mexico City, Mexico
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RESTAURANTE ARROYO | MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

According to the Los Angeles Times, Arroyo is the world's largest Mexican restaurant, stuffing up to 2,200 patrons with some 15,000 tortillas a day. There are nine lively dining rooms spread over several city blocks, and the unapologetically traditional atmosphere, often with a mariachi band, matches up with the menu of favorites like carnitas, tacos, and the house specialty, barbacoa.

La Felicità, Paris, France
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LA FELICITÀ | PARIS, FRANCE

La Felicità owned by a restaurant group called Big Mamma, so perhaps its massive size shouldn't come as a surprise. About 1,000 diners can enjoy a meal in the cavernous former train depot, set up with various market-style food stations throughout and truly eclectic door (think spray-painted train cars, lush greenery, and even colorful neon lights in the bathrooms). Want to party? DJs spin frequently here, too.

Emzara's Buffet, Williamstown, KY
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EMZARA'S BUFFET | WILLIAMSTOWN, KENTUCKY

Kentucky's Ark Encounter and its sibling, the Creation Museum, have stirred plenty of controversy since opening, but one thing is for sure: In the Ark Encounter's Emzara's Buffet, hungry visitors have a biblically proportioned place to eat. The buffet seats 1,500 guests on its two stories, and inside you'll find plenty of Noah's animals — taxidermy, of course — peering at you while you down fried chicken and other comfort-food favorites.

Ikea Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India
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IKEA HYDERABAD | HYDERABAD, INDIA

You read that right: Ikea is home to one of India's largest restaurants. Its new store in the south central city of Hyderabad, the Swedish mega chain's first-ever in India, is 400,000 square feet, and the restaurant seats 1,000 people. If you go expecting the same old Swedish meatballs, you'll be disappointed – in a nod to its Hindu customers, the menu nixes the normal meatballs with pork and beef and adds local favorites like samosas and biryani.

Za Za Bazaar, Bristol, England
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ZA ZA BAZAAR | BRISTOL, ENGLAND

Bring your appetite to this cavernous restaurant that seats 1,000, making it the largest in the United Kingdom, according to the Guardian. For a fixed price, you can sample just about any world cuisine you want at Za Za Bazaar: sushi and noodles, pasta and pizza, piri piri chicken, samosas and kababs, barbecue and Tex-Mex, fish and chips … you get the idea. Of course, there's also a kid-pleasing chocolate fountain you can hit before you leave.

Bryant Park Grill and Café, New York City, NY
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BRYANT PARK GRILL AND CAFÉ | NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Popular with tourists because of its lovely park-side location and gorgeous patio, Bryant Park Grill serves contemporary American cuisine in the shadow of the gorgeous New York Public Library. The restaurant and adjacent cafe have 1,000 seats and are one of Restaurant Business' top 100 independent restaurants in the nation by sales. Unsurprisingly, it's also a busy spot for weddings and other celebrations.

U Fleků, Prague, Czech Republic
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U FLEKŮ | PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

If you've guzzled beer as a tourist in Prague, chances are high that it may have been at U Flecků, a historic brewery and restaurant that has been making its own beer for more than 500 years. Today, more than 1,200 guests can pack its eight beer halls and large garden, and there's even a cabaret show, brewery tour and brewery museum. Dishes include traditional fare like smoked pork neck, goulash and potato dumplings.

The Hamilton, Washington, D.C.
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THE HAMILTON | WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Hamilton, just down the street from the White House, reportedly seats 1,000 in its classy wood-paneled dining rooms and other spaces, but it's more than a massive restaurant: It's also a music venue with performances many nights of the week. Tiers of tables surround a stage that hosts acts as diverse as rock, jazz, reggae and much more.

Andrés Carne de Res, Chía, Colombia
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ANDRÉS CARNE DE RES | CHÍA, COLOMBIA

Sure, you and about 2,000 of your closest friends can descend on Andrés Carne de Res outside Bogota for a delicious meal of local cuisine, but this sprawling complex is so much more than a restaurant. There are multiple dance floors, supervised play zones for kids and dogs (yes, really) and the kicker: a 25-foot rock climbing wall. The place is so big that the roughly 500 employees even have their own dining area.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Middlebury, IN
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DAS DUTCHMAN ESSENHAUS | MIDDLEBURY, INDIANA

Indiana has its fair share of Amish restaurants, but the biggest might be Das Dutchman Essenhaus. What started out as a small restaurant in a truck stop in the early '70s is now a colossus with its own inn, a theater, five gift shops, mini golf and more. It can welcome 1,100 folks who come ready for homestyle favorites like broasted chicken, beef and noodles, roast turkey and meatloaf. Can't decide? There are also buffets most days of the week.