The Beloved Buffet: Souplantation's Cult Following and Its Awaited Return

The Beloved Buffet: Souplantation's Cult Following and Its Awaited Return

After moving to California after my whole life in the midwest, I thought I’d try this new “Souplantation” restaurant. It seemed like one of those Old Country Buffets that our family used to go to. When I entered, I was immediately confused on how everything worked. There was a salad bar, and then you paid. Seemed pretty disappointing at first. Was the salad bar all you can eat? Doesn’t seem like it, because would you have to pay again when going through? So confusing!

Sorry, this was the best picture I had

But after I got to everything that was after the salad bar - the soup bar, the pizza and baked potato bar, the bread and muffins bar - that’s when everything clicked. The experience was reminiscent of an Old Country Buffet but without the meats and carving station. Surprisingly, it worked wonderfully, despite the absence of these staples. 

There was no carving station, no fried chicken, and no mashed potatoes. But everything else was good! The standout was their clam chowder. I’m a huge fan of clam chowder soup, and Souplantation’s was one of my favorites. It probably wouldn’t count as New England or Manhattan or whatever style, but it seems like it had a different type of clam that set it apart.

However, economic challenges and shifts in dining habits led Souplantation to file for bankruptcy in 2016, and the 2020 pandemic eventually forced it to close all locations. But now, there's good news for fans: Souplantation is poised to return under a new name in Rancho Cucamonga, California as "Soup ‘n Fresh." This new spot occupies a former Souplantation location and maintains a similar style. We can once again enjoy an all-you-can-eat format featuring a variety of soups, pastas, and freshly baked goods, reminiscent of the Souplantation menu.

Early reviews for Soup N Fresh in Rancho Cucamonga are mostly positive. Many visitors appreciate the restaurant's nod to Souplantation with improvements in taste and freshness, such as  the chicken noodle soup, often described as better than remembered. While some people mention long wait times and pricing as downsides, the overall feedback is positive. Diners enjoy the large variety of fresh salads and tasty soups, particularly noting the delicious clam chowder. Although not every dish gets rave reviews, the consensus is that Soup N Fresh successfully blends nostalgia with a fresh dining experience.

Are you a fan of Souplantation? Leave us your favorite Souplantation hacks! 

For more information on Soup N Fresh and Souplantation, take a look at:



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