I recently wrote about the best buffet in Minnesota, which made me think about all the buffets I've been to. I've enjoyed several Chinese buffets, all-you-can-eat options at casinos, and a childhood favorite – The Golden Corral.

As I've grown older, I've started choosing quality over quantity so I can't remember the last time I chowed down at a buffet, but I remember going to Golden Corral many times up until my mid-twenties. At one time it seemed like every city you would visit had a Golden Corral but that's not the case anymore.

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At the end of this article, you'll see a list of the chain restaurants with the most locations in Minnesota, likely including many of your favorites. Golden Corral is not on that list but proudly calls itself "America's #1 Buffet & Grill."

Troy Dunken

Golden Corral's story began in 1971 when William F. Carl and James H. Maynard came up with the idea for a sit-down restaurant. They opened their first Golden Corral in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where guests could enjoy a steak meal for just $1.89.

The restaurant was very successful, and its number of locations quickly grew to 500 by the 1980s.

Our endless buffet menu offers unmatched variety of quality, made-from-scratch food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With over 150 items to choose from including USDA grilled to order steaks and traditional favorites like pot roast and fried chicken, everyone is sure to find their favorite at Golden Corral.

This number of Golden Corral restaurants remained stable well into the 2000s, but the company has encountered challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, there are only 397 Golden Corrals open.

How Many Golden Corrals Are Left In Minnesota?



Today there are only two Golden Corral locations in Minnesota. 

Golden Corral Locations in Minnesota:

  • 13603 Grove Dr. in Maple Grove.
  • 3000 White Bear Ave. in Maplewood.

Most common fast food chains in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the most common chain restaurants in Minnesota using data from the Friendly City Lab at Georgia Tech.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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