The Rio Carnival Seafood Buffet in Las Vegas used to be great; then it suffered a long, steady decline. We even stopped going there because they increased the price and lowered the quality. However, since its merge with the famous Seafood buffet (which used to be in a completely separate area), it’s become one of the best all-you-can-eat in Vegas again; its price has now slightly adjusted and it’s no longer prohibitive (but read further for clarification). It is now named the Carnival & Seafood buffet and it offers a large selection of dishes. Seafood die-hards need to bear in mind that the seafood feast can be enjoyed only if you purchase the ‘seafood access’, which allows you to enter the separate section at the end, where they will check your pass (lately a mark a light-sensitive on your skin). The following description and review should hopefully help you decide if the additional charge is something you want to purchase:
you will like the vastness of the Rio Carnival Seafood Buffet (although these days it’s been easily superseded by the huge M Resort buffet, for example); every station is wide, modern, every dish is well displayed and labeled, although recently the food labeling is no longer as precise as it used to be. On one end you’ll have a decent salad section as well as a better-than-usual pizza section, followed by pasta and so much more.
A positive aspect of the Rio Carnival Seafood Buffet, besides its size, the fact that there are no real line ups. They have a self-check in system (if you pay by credit card and are not redeeming any coupons) which definitely speeds up the process! Of course, on weekends there is going to be a lineup wherever you go, and this buffet will be no exception.
Because there is practically everything you may wish to eat at this huge buffet, you are well advised to sample each station and go for more only when you have sampled everything! Let’s talk about some of the best stations you will enjoy here:
The Asian made-to-order broth and soup station; here you can find a good variety of made-to-order Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese soups: for example, a good, spicy Tom-Yum base soup (you can make it a vegetarian or a seafood one and choose the noodles you prefer) and a good Won Ton broth. I run to this station every time I overeat here; after a few sips I feel as good as new! 🙂
The Japanese section, besides average Sushi, offers a good-size made-to-order stir-fry options and a Teppanyaki grill.
Meat lovers will enjoy the popular prime rib section, a Brazilian mixed grill, hot-dogs, burgers, fries and so forth, together with the ubiquitous carving station and other meat favorites.
Fish & Seafood lovers will enjoy a variety of options, from stews to fish cooked in a variety of sauces to fish and chips and several deep-fried options, including deep-fried calamari. Although the separate seafood section will provide specialty dishes such as octopus and squid, fish eaters will find enough options in the ‘regular’ section of the buffet. Having said this, you can always take a look at the separate seafood section and decide there and then if you wish to purchase the ‘special seafood’ upgrade.
Like the majority of good Vegas buffets, breakfast at the Rio Carnival Seafood Buffet offers made-to-order omelettes (remember to ask for any option you may fancy besides what they show on the station – we always bring some smoked salmon from a nearby section and ask the cook to prepare an omelette with it and some soft cheese).
The dessert section is plentiful, generally good and the ice-cream/sorbet section is still very good though some far too sweet (as if corn syrup were used rather than natural sugar). Sadly they seem to have scrapped their divine Lava Cake, but all in all visitors still seem to enjoy the variety. However, Studio B have better gelato and the much improved Wynn buffet has some gourmet-quality desserts which I am still dreaming of, days later, including the Lava cakes! Check our Best Dessert Buffets in Vegas for more information. Hours and Prices of this buffet are listed below; before you read them, bookmark our Vegas videos page since you’ll find our recent video review of this buffet.
Drinks: they now have a very welcome self-serve drinks section, something that, in its higher-end format, was started (in Vegas) by the Mirage buffet; this means you can help yourself with all the drinks which included in the base price.
Hours and Prices of the Rio Carnival Seafood Buffet
Breakfast – 7:00am-11:00am – around $21+ (+ taxes)
Lunch – 11:00am – 3pm – around $24+ (+ taxes)
Dinner – 3pm – 10:00pm nightly around $32+ (+ taxes)
Champagne Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11:00am – 3:30pm – around $32+
Weekend Seafood Dinner: $36+
Location: off-Strip with free shuttles to Harrah’s and Bally’s, on the Strip. You can catch the regular on the side of Caesars Palace and you’ll get there faster, probably; this because of the long distance you have to walk in order to get to the the shuttle departure points (Rio’s is the only good one, being just in front and offering plenty of seating areas). Moreover, Harrah’s shuttle departure point has no real place to sit, has practically no real fresh air whilst being oven-like hot (no air conditioning nor decent ventilation); to add insult to injury, waiting times can be excruciatingly long.
Important note: as with all other buffet, you are advised to double-check by calling them on 702-252-7777 (ask for the buffet or for someone who can confirm hours and prices). We strive to keep all information as updated as possible, but changes can take place overnight.
Keep an eye on our Top 10 Vegas Buffets page (see menu) for all updates on the best overall and the best value.