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The biggest restaurant in the world?


Kent Wang
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After seeing the massive multi-floor, thousand-plus seat restaurants in China I wonder which restaurant holds the record? I suppose there are multiple ways to measure it, by square footage or by number of seats.

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The world's largest McDonald's, in Orlando, FL, is 25,000 square feet.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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For what it's worth, this page claims the following:

Bangkok has got the biggest restaurant in the world so that waiters and waitresses must wear roller skates to get from one spot to another to serve customers. This restaurant is called Tam-Nak-Tai (Ratchadaphisek Road).

Alas, it gives no further information about the restaurant, let alone how they're measuring bigness. The page is dated 2002, so even if this place was the biggest then, it may no longer be so.

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i was at a restaurant in Beijing .... one of the places that specialized in Peking Duck, i forget the name right now... that claimed to be the largest in China. they had about 70-80 tables on each floor and the restaurant was spread over six floors. i dont know if its the worlds largest in physical size, but it has to rank fairly high up on the list.

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Royal Dragon Restaurant in Bangkok is supposed to be the biggest--more than 5000 seats.

I'm pretty sure this is correct. Tam Nak Thai, as mentioned by Ms Ducky upthread, was the biggest for many years, then Royal Dragon took the record when they opened in 1991. Guinness wrote them up in 1992. I was working right across the street (on BangNa Trad, in the outskirts of Bangkok) when they opened and ate there several times.

Their food was good, and was similar to the food at the other huge semi-outdoor Thai/Chinese restaurants on BangNa Trad and Srinakarin Road. The strangest of those was one that was right beside Royal Dragon, called (in Thai only - it didn't have an English sign) "Dairy Queen"! It was a big Thai seafood restaurant, and had nothing to do with the fast food chain. I think it's gone now.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I'd love to see pictures or hear about how these restaurants handle their immense size. Can you imagine the size of the kitchen? How specialized is each station? Do they have several guy that only do one dish?

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Joe T Garcia's is a tex-mex restaurant in Fort Worth that has grown to fill a city block. In terms of seating capacity, it is the largest in Texas. I seem to recall that the capacity is 1,600 people.

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Casa Bonita in Denver is the biggest "Restaurant" I have been in, although its been a long time since I was there. I suppose its more set up to resemble a small town, with a waterfall/cliff thingie, caves, stores, etc. To a 10 year old kid, it was the coolest! (I don't remember anything about the food, except for a guy in a gorilla suit kept trying to steal our sopapillas. I guess that says it all!) According to the website, they seat 1,100 in 52,000 ft sq. So not the biggest, but fun anyway.

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There are a couple of qualifiers in this, but Zehnders Restaurant in Frankenmuth Michigan claims that they are the largest family owned restaurant in the US, and the second largest independently owned restaurant. They seat 1,500 and serve about 20,000 meals a week (1,000,000 per year). Here is a link to their website.

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Although maybe not a restaurant in the classical sense, Aircraft carriers may be some of the larger food service providers around. According to info at the USS Nimitz webpage, the ship can accomidate 6,000 people, and serves 18,000-20,000 meals a day! That's crazy!

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