Uncle George’s Lounge at the Volcano House

Uncle George's Lounge at the Volcano House: Light Fare, Strong Drinks, And a Remarkable View
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Cap off the perfect day at the legendary Volcano National Park with a relaxed experience at Uncle George's Lounge. Found within the iconic Volcano House, this in-demand bar and restaurant provide an awe-inspiring view, plus an extensive cocktail list and several salads, burgers, and Hawaiian dishes worth trying.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

As the more casual of the Volcano House restaurants, Uncle George’s Lounge provides the perfect opportunity to relax after you’ve had your fill of hiking and volcano hunting at Big Island’s beloved national park. 

Because of its idyllic location, Uncle George’s is one of the area’s most in-demand restaurants. Reservations are essential for the neighboring establishment The Rim, but Uncle George’s first-come, first-served approach means that you’ll need to play your cards right to score a spot. If you’re forced to wait, however, you might not mind — the view is magnificent enough that waiting for a table feels like a treat.

DIning with dietary restrictions can be a bit of a mixed bag at Uncle George’s Lounge. Vegan and vegetarian menu items are limited, but a few enticing options are available. The menu is clearly marked to indicate which dishes contain gluten or nuts. Select salads and appetizers are available for gluten-free visitors, but those on the hunt for a truly diverse array of menu items should probably look elsewhere.

While the food at Uncle George’s is definitely worth sampling, you certainly won’t be alone if you visit primarily for the sake of ordering a drink. The cocktail list is loaded with signature beverages that you’ll be tempted to try. From the Big Island Tonic to the Pink Guava Fizz, there’s a Hawaii-themed drink for every type of visitor. Additionally, there are plenty of beer options — both draft and by the bottle — along with wine by the glass.

If you visit during the early hours, you may prefer the restaurant’s strong coffee or its selection of juices. Hawaiian POG (passion fruit juice, orange juice, and guava nectar) is a unique option that you won’t want to pass up. Otherwise, there’s nothing quite like a hearty breakfast paired with guava or pineapple juice.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Avocado Toast
If you visit in the morning, ignore the stereotypes about Millennials and order the tastiest slice of avocado toast imaginable. Featuring local avocado, this sourdough masterpiece comes with pickled red onion and grape tomatoes. The final touch? Pan-fried egg served sunny side up and sprinkled with a blend of Japanese spices known as togarashi.

Papaya Bowl
While this is highlighted as a side dish on Uncle George’s menu, it may be sufficient to satisfy a modest appetite during the morning hours. Its centerpiece is fresh papaya from the Big Island. This is filled with wonderfully creamy Greek yogurt and then topped with a handmade Hawaiian favorite: Anahola Granola.

Volcano House Burger
The Volcano House signature burger may be straightforward, but sometimes, you don’t have to get fancy to enjoy an exquisite meal. A fresh brioche bun forms the basis of this delicious burger, which features cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Avocado mayo provides the finishing touch, 

Hawaiian Fish ‘N Chips
Discover a unique take on classic fish and chips, complete with a coconut and macadamia nut crust. Remoulade or tartar sauce can be used for dipping. French fries on the side complete your meal.

Taste of Hawaii
A wealth of options awaits when you select this dish, which demonstrates just how wonderful rice can be. The Taste of Hawaii also features an enticing stir fry made up of local vegetables. For protein, you can select mac nut and coconut-crusted fish, slow-roasted kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, or tofu. The macaroni salad that comes with this whirlwind of a meal is not to be missed.

If you’re lucky enough to score a spot at the in-demand Uncle George’s Lounge, you will be treated to a tasty meal that feels true to the local culinary scene — and an exceptional view that makes the restaurant a worthwhile hangout no matter what you order. 

Insider Tips:
-The view will be magnificent no matter when you visit, but the half-hour before sunset is by far the most picturesque.
-The meals at Uncle George’s Lounge tend to be small. If you anticipate that you’ll have a strong appetite, make a reservation at The Rim instead.