Price Per Person:
Epic in scope and one of the most popular buffets in town.
At The Rio just west of The Strip.
If you can't find something to eat here you're way too picky.
Crowded and a bit loud but nicer than it used to be.
Expensive - one of the highest priced around.
Lines can be very long - go at non-peak times to avoid them.
There's a reason for the long lines.
The Carnival World Buffet at The Rio is one of those places that people usually rave about for its vast selection of high-quality food. I have to agree on that point - if you have a hard time finding something to eat here you're way too picky. But there are a few other things about the buffet that place it in the second tier of my choices for Vegas buffets: cost and crowds. More on that in a moment, but first the good stuff.
The Carnival World buffet was one of the first in Vegas to utilize the concept of food "stations," individual themed areas that diners could pick and choose from as opposed to one long buffet line starting with salads and ending with the desserts. These days the food station concept is just about everywhere so it doesn't seem quite as revolutionary as it may have years ago but is still successful here primarily because the have more themes than most other places do.
There's a large fresh salad bar area of course with all of the things you'd expect to find in one plus some hot soups. An American Grill area features cool touches like hamburgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and deliciously crispy onion rings. A barbecue station offers, oddly enough, various takes on barbecue and the fixings that often accompany. There's also a fresh sushi area, which isn't my particular bag of raw fish but you have to give them points for originality. A Brazilian grill area allows patrons to create their own South American stir fry, cooked to order before your very eyes. There's also the more traditional carving station, Italian pastas, pizza, Chinese dishes, and Mexican entrees plus a big dessert station and, during breakfast or brunch, a sizeable offering of everything from scrambled eggs to French toast and beyond. The bacon from this area was especially noteworthy but bacon often is.
Everything I sampled was terrific and well-prepared although some of the warm entrees could've been rotated a little more often to suit our tastes.
So talking strictly food, the Carnival World Buffet is a terrific choice. Costs ar high but it certainly isn't the most expensive buffet in town.
And you're going to have to be patient if you want to visit this place, well pretty much anytime. I hit it for Sunday Brunch at around noon and waited in line for almost an hour to get in. I happened to walk back by a few hours later and the line was just as long as it had been before. Again, I know that other buffets also have similarly long lines but if I'm going to wait that long I want something fantastic and while very good, I don't think the Carnival World Buffet quite attained the fantastic level.