Restaurants offer an escape from the day-to-day. A break from the home kitchen, they take care of the cooking and hospitality and immerse their guests into a carefully crafted atmosphere. Depending on the restaurant, it could mean a folksy saloon, tropical oasis, or Texas-sized steakhouse. In some cases, bigger really is better

Like enormous sandwiches and desserts, massive dining rooms provide comfort and entertainment in ways that only mall-sized restaurants can, with all the square footage and decor to match.

From the sunset capital of Texas to Florida’s oldest restaurant to a sprawling seafood wonderland in California, these are 11 of the most enormous restaurants in America. 

The Oasis on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas

The Oasis in Austin, Texas
The Oasis, Lake Travis

It turns out everything is bigger in Texas. That’s true of restaurants, at least. The Lone Star State claims the world’s largest Texas Roadhouse and is home to this vast lakeside paradise called the Oasis. The destination, perched on Lake Travis in Austin, describes itself as the sunset capital of Texas, as its tiered outdoor decks provide front-row panoramas that are especially spectacular at sundown. And with seating for more than 2,500, it has the largest dining capacity in the state. That means there’s always room to savor nachos, burgers, fajitas, and Tex-Mex fare. 

Rainforest Cafe in Orlando, Fla.

Rainforest cafe Orlando

For a theme park that’s twice the size of Manhattan or about the size of San Francisco, it’s no surprise that Walt Disney World has the largest Rainforest Cafe in the world. Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the vast restaurant boasts seating for 1,100 in an immersive, cave-like space outfitted with aquariums, a waterfall, vines, and, of course, enough animatronic animals to fill an actual rainforest. 

The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas

The Big Texan in Amarillo

The Big Texan is more than a steakhouse. It’s also a hotel complex that resembles a small town. The enormous restaurant more than earns a spot on any larger-than-life bucket list. With seating for 650, the Amarillo institution may seem almost dainty next to some of the titans on this list, but it holds its own. The steakhouse feels like an old-time theme park, adorned with all manner of Wild West decor and a bi-level main dining room centered around a stage where brave diners can partake in a 72-ounce steak challenge

Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Fla.

Columbia Restaurant in Tampa
Columbia Restaurant

Small plates, colossal space. Open since 1905, making it the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Florida, Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant also lays claim to 52,000 square feet of space and 1,700 seats across an entire city block, making it the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. The chain runs several locations throughout Florida, but the iconic original stands alone—it’s still family-owned and revered for its tapas, paellas, ropa vieja, and other Cuban-Spanish delicacies. 

Casa Bonita in Lakewood, Colo./slidetitle]

 Casa Bonita in Lakewood, Colorado

Come for the sizzling fajitas, stay for the sword-fighters, mariachi bands, and Western gunmen. That’s the move at Casa Bonita, a famed Mexican restaurant that originated in Oklahoma City and has seen new life in the Denver suburb of Lakewood. As immersive as a Rainforest Cafe, Casa Bonita developed a reputation for its enchanting, waterfall-filled decor and themed rooms inspired by caves and mines. Named one of the world’s most exciting restaurants when it reopened in 2023, the location came with 52,000 square feet of themed dining space and has a seating capacity of 1,000, including prized “cliffside” seats with views of a waterfall dive show. It’s not something you typically experience while eating enchiladas. 

[slidetitle num=”6″]The Varsity in Atlanta

The Varsity in Atlanta

The world’s largest drive-in restaurant, like a super-sized Sonic, The Varsity has been an American institution since 1928. Over the years, the location has seen expansions to encompass two city blocks and seating for 800. Fans love it for the classic hot dogs, burgers, and the F.O. or frosted orange shake. The Varsity now boasts eight Atlanta-area locations, but the Midtown original is as iconic as it is enormous. 

Zehnder’s in Frankenmuth, Mich.

Zehnder's in Michigan

Since its inception more than 160 years ago, Zehnder’s has seen more than 30,000,000 guests worldwide feast on family-style chicken dinners. That’s a lot of visitors, but with seating for 1,500 and an entire adjoining water park resort, “America’s largest family restaurant” has more than enough capacity. The all-you-can-eat chicken dinners, complete with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, egg noodles, and vegetables, have kept customers returning since the days of the horse and buggy. 

San Pedro Fish Market in Los Angeles

San Pedro Fish Market in Los Angeles

With seating for more than 3,000 and 30,000 shrimp trays served each week, there’s no shortage of space or seafood at Los Angeles’ colossal San Pedro Fish Market. What originally started as Vista Seafood in 1956 has grown into a fourth-generation family business with several locations, including the gigantic original

El Pinto in Albuquerque, N.M.

El Pinto Restaurant in Albuquerque
El Pinto

Any restaurant large enough to contain its own Hen Hotel is large enough to rank on this list. Indeed, El Pinto is the largest restaurant in the country with a commitment to 100 percent pasture-raised eggs, going so far as to house its hens on its property at the hacienda-style location in Albuquerque. Along with a 900-seat capacity, the New Mexico landmark—established in 1962—features the largest tequila bar in the state and an equally endless menu that runs the gamut from red chile ribs and nachos to posole, pork chops, enchiladas, and tamales. 

Wall Drug in Wall, S.D.

Wall Drug in South Dakota

It feels like a misnomer to bill Wall Drug as a mere restaurant. With 76,000 square feet of space across a vast complex of galleries, saloons, gift shops, and arcades, the South Dakota roadside mecca, located just outside Badlands National Park, is a kitschy labyrinth of souvenirs, oddities, and ephemera. At its core, though, is the 530-seat Western Art Gallery restaurant, home to the country’s largest privately owned Western art collection and all the buffalo burgers, doughnuts, hot beef sandwiches, and five-cent coffee you could ask for. In addition to the main restaurant, Wall Drug includes other dining and drinking areas and ample outdoor space to enjoy a famed frosted doughnut while posing with a giant jackalope. 

Wright’s Farm Restaurant in Burrillville, R.I.

Wright's Farm Restaurant in Bullville, Rhode Island
Wright’s Farm Restaurant/Facebook

The largest restaurant in the smallest state, Wright’s Farm Restaurant, is big for tiny Rhode Island. Sitting on 50 acres, with seating for 1,000, the homey eatery has been family-run since 1972. It continues to pile in the customers craving the famed baked chicken and accompaniments like red sauce pasta, fresh rolls, french fries, and salad.  

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