Volcano House Lunch Buffet (and camping)

Bev and I went camping recently at Volcano National park to celebrate her birthday. At 4000′ elevation, campground Namakanipaio is so beautiful and peaceful, not to mention super duper cold! There are tall eucalyptus and ohi’a trees on this large, grassy campground.


One night of camping is pretty much the max we can do, and afterwards, all we want is a good shower and a nice hot sit-down meal. We went to check out the Volcano House, where they had a lunch buffet which looked and smelled yummy. They also have a regular sit-down and order menu for dinner time.

Here’s their menu for the day:


Generally, I try to stay away from buffets since quality usually suffers (like the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel Buffet), and there was a huge line of tourists getting into the restaurant. Make sure not to go right after a tour bus arrives. We both felt like we were the only “locals”, and I think we were. No matters, anything hot sounds great right now, and their menu didn’t look too bad.

After paying, you split into two lines and go directly to the food.


We were sandwiched by two groups: Japanese and Canadians. It was easy to tell which group their from just by looking at their plates… the Canadians didn’t have rice. :P Both groups seem to pick up a lot of pineapple from their fresh fruit platter.

Here’s my plate:


Yes, we just spent one night freezing in a tent and skipped breakfast, so anything may have tasted good, but this food was delicious! The pot roast beef was amazingly tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned and had nice pieces of fat. The fried chicken had a great crunchy crust with really juicy tasty meat. The mahi was not bad at all and was not overcooked. Mac salad was winnas, and the green salad was fresh. This really didn’t taste like mass produced buffet food — I was truly impressed.

I went for seconds and totally got my $16.50 worth. Even comes with drinks, coffee, and dessert (tasted like haupia cake – was just ok).


This was a great deal if you already payed park admission (10 bucks), and what makes it even better is the view you get, overlooking the Kilauea Caldera. After eating, we went for a very slow walk along one of the crater trails.


Volcano House
Crater Rim Drive
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii, HI 96718

11 Responses to “Volcano House Lunch Buffet (and camping)”

  1. Reid Says:


    Sounds great! I didn’t make it to Volcanoes National Park when I was there, but I did visit Mauna Kea. :)

  2. Rick Says:

    Nice post.I miss the ability to enlarge the pics by clicking on them.

  3. jodi Says:

    whoa…I want to go camping there. Being…er, an ex-local, forty-fifty degrees is walking around in your t-shirt weather. Lots of trees, no windchill. And the view is wonderful. *sigh* Looks like you had a good time.

  4. James Says:

    Reid, nice photos of Mauna Kea! The views are breathtaking, especially during sunset.

    Rick, thanks. Yeah, I like it better with the photo zoom feature too. The updated WordPress software makes it harder to implement it. I’ll try to bring it back as soon as I can. Thanks for commenting about it… I was wondering what you guys thought.

    jodi, we had like 4 layers of clothes and it was still freezing! i dunno how you guys do it. lol

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