SPECIAL ADVICE TO OUR GUESTS WHO DINE IN AVALON RESTAURANTS:
If the Covid pandemic wasn’t enough, several important Avalon restaurants have closed despite record numbers of visitors. If you plan dining out it is wise make your reservations as far in advance because this season (2021) there is a restaurant shortage and there may be overcrowding and extra long wait times.
Happily, there are new dining adventures to be had since many restaurants on Crescent are serving outdoors on the beach. Because it is safer to dine outside, we have indicated restaurants where outside dining is offered in bold letters. We have also marked several restaurants that offer outside dining on Avalon beach until December 15.
AVALON HAS A GREAT MARKET
We have a Vons Market located at 240 Sumner Avenue. (310) 510-0280. There is an in house bakery and a wide food wine and liquor selection. There is also a florist. To get to Vons from our home:
Standing in front of the Bahia Vista, with your back to the building, walk right toward the bay to Beacon Street. Turn left and walk 3 short blocks to Sumner and you are there.
TAKE OUT FOOD
Dine on our patio with take out food so you can enjoy the view while you eat. You can order takeout from any restaurant in Avalon. We have published links to the menus of every recommended restaurant in Avalon in this guide.
If you don’t want to pickup and carry the food yourself, Catalina Transportation Services (310) 510-0025 will pick up the food from the restaurant and deliver it to the curb in front of our Bahia Vista complex (360 Clemente Ave) for a service fee of $10.00 cash.
Call the restaurant. Place your order and ask when it will be ready. Call the taxi when it is ready. And it will be delivered to the front curb in front of the Bahia Vista. The taxi will not pick up alcohol.
Most restaurants will not allow you to charge this to your credit card. Be prepared to pay the driver cash for the food and cash for delivering the food, plus a tip for the driver. This may not be something you will do too often but we wanted you to know it is a possibility.
WHERE TO EAT BREAKFAST
Catalina Coffee & Cookie Company (310) 510- 2447 – 205 Crescent Avenue (In Metropole Marketplace) A small shop where dozens of delicious cookies, croissants, bagels, cakes and much more are served with a variety of plain or flavored coffees. Their yogurt bar has fresh fruit you can put in a cup for a healthy breakfast. You take out from the friendly people in the shop and find a table and chair outdoors in the marketplace, or bring it back to our home. Menu: https://www.catcookieco.com/menu
Catalina Island Brew House. 417 Crescent Avenue (310 590-6905) Very good coffee, freshly baked pastries on a small patio overlooking the beach and the green Pleasure Pier. Later in the day they serve their own craft beer. Menu: https://www.zmenu.com/catalina-island-brew-house-avalon-online-menu/
Descanso Fresh at Descanso Beach Club 1 Descanso Avenue on Descanso Beach. (310 510-7410) Open from 8AM to 4PM. Custom made crepes, fresh baked goods, Coffee, smoothies and ice cream on Descanso Beach.
The Pancake Cottage. Crescent Avenue (310 510-0523). Full breakfasts, hearty and good. Try the chocolate chip pancakes or pigs in a blanket if you like a bigger breakfast.
Original Jacks Country Kitchen. 118 Catalina Avenue (310) 510-1308. Hearty breakfast featuring Neiman’s Ranch meats without hormones and chemicals. They feature all the hearty breakfast items that take you on a guilt trip. MENU: http://www.catalinahotspots.com/original_jacks/breakfast.html
WHERE TO EAT LUNCH
Antonio’s. 230 Crescent Avenue (310 510-0008). Wide variety of food Buffalo wings, chicken Caesar. Pizza adequately prepared. There is a row of tables outside overlooking the bay you should know about. MENU: http://catalinahotspots.com/antonios_cabaret/menu.html
Avalon Grill. 423 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-7494. Upscale restaurant owned by the Catalina Island Company. Menu: https://assets.simpleviewinc.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/catalinaisland/AvalonGrille_Dinner_Menu_967fb4bb-51b1-44e5-8658-026220e56ef7.pdf
Bluewater Avalon Seafood Restaurant. 306 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-3474. Upscale restaurant with great view, right on the bay. Outdoor dining on the patio Avoid interior dining room, insist on outside table over water near heat lamps. Worth it. No reservations) Not a good place for Vegans. MENU: https://www.bluewatergrill.com/database/files/library/bwg_avalon_may_lunch.pdf
Buffalo Nickel Restaurant 57 Pebbly Beach Road at Helicopter Landing (310) 510-1323 Call and they will send a van to pick you up. Casual, laid back dark interior with a great bar and funky outside patio we like a lot with the occasional sound of a helicopter landing or taking off.. Casual food, from healthy salads, pasta to chicken fried steak and a very good shrimp cocktail. Favorite of locals with Monday Pasta , Saturday/Sunday brunch. A lot of good comfort food that won’t break the bank.
Catalina Island Brew House. 417 Crescent Avenue (310) 590-0905 There are two kinds of brews here: coffee in the morning; beer during the rest of the day. They brew their own beer in this friendly place and offer a nice selection of interesting craft beers. They also offer a nice assortment of savory and sweet baked goods made fresh on the premises, daily. Beer fights are available and there is a small patio overlooking Crescent Avenue and Avalon Bay. MENU: https://www.zmenu.com/catalina-island-brew-house-avalon-online-menu/
Coney Island West. 215 Crescent Avenue (310 510-0763). The best hamburgers and hot dogs on the island served on an outdoor patio. They even have a vegenburger. MENU: https://www.allmenus.com/ca/avalon/365361-coney-island-west/menu/
DC 3 Airport in the Sky. (310 510-2196). Fast food in the interior of the island including buffalo burgers (lower in cholesterol than beef). Eat here when on a tour, hiking or biking. If it’s cold, sit in front of the fireplace. If it’s warm sit outside on the patio. Look out for yellow jackets and don’t feed the begging fox. MENU: http://www.catalinadc3.com/pages/The-Menu.html
Descanso Beach Club. (310) 510-7410. A large platform has been created next to the bar for tables and chairs outside overlooking Descanso Beach. Sandwiches and short order items are available with table service allowing you to munch while watching the beach and bay. Or, if you are already on the beach, this is a nice retreat for food and drink. This is a casual, go-with-the-flow kind of semi funky beachy place. A great idea by the Island Company we should all take advantage of. Unfortunately, the bar closes at 7PM just as the moon rises…what can they possibly be thinking.
The Inn on Mount Ada. 398 Wrigley Road, (310) 510-2030) Chewing gum Entrepreneur, William
Wrigley and his wife Ada built their beautiful mansion here after they bought Catalina Island in 1919. It commands the best view on the Island. Converted into a bed and breakfast, the Inn is open for lunch for $48.00 per person, including coffee but not including wine, beer or tips. It is an unusual and elegant outdoor place to lunch. The view and experience is better than the food but you can’t have everything. We come here whenever we are in the mood for an, interesting, very upscale experience. MENU: https://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/sites/default/files/menus/Mt%20Ada%20Summer%20Lunch%20Menu%202018.pdf
Maggie’s Blue Rose. 417 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-3300 (No reservations for less than 6), Maggie’s features Mexican food using unusual family recipes that we enjoy. Be sure to try their Street Corn. Inside is a large restaurant and bar but we prefer sitting on the patio overlooking Crescent and the bay. Maggie’s is serving outside on the beach. Open for Lunch and Dinner. MENU: http://maggiesbluerose.com/lunch/
The Lobster Trap. 128 Catalina Street (310) 510-8585. (No Reservations). On a side street with no view, in a busy unusual dining room (complete with boat) is served very good food in a friendly simple style. Good value here you should know about. Poki is good. MENU: https://www.catalinalobstertrap.com/menu
NDMK Fish House
Metropole Cafe. 112 Metropole Avenue (Look for the outdoor patio) (310) 510-9095. In a storefront next to an outdoor patio they offer a variety of sandwiches and salads including many healthy options, even vegan. The patio is a little hot for us in the summer.
The Sandtrap. 501 Avalon Canyon Road (310 510-2505). Off the beaten path outside, across from the golf course. Very good Mexican food, including soups. Good American sandwiches and salads. MENU: http://www.catalinasandtrap.com/lunch1.shtml
Steve’s Steak House. 417 Crescent Avenue (310 510-0933 Upscale restaurant with a very nice lunch menu with a vegetarian option. See out comments under dining options. MENU: http://stevessteakhouseandseafood.com/lunch/ Steve’s serves outside on the beach.
The Naughty Fox
111 Crescent Avenue
WHERE TO DINE
Antonio’s. 230 Crescent Avenue (310 510-0008). Wide variety of food Buffalo wings, chicken Caesar. Pasta. Pizza adequately prepared. There are a group of outside tables to the side of the building and a row of tables outside overlooking the bay you should know about.
Avalon Grill. 423 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-7494. Menu: https://assets.simpleviewinc.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/catalinaisland/AvalonGrille_Dinner_Menu_967fb4bb-51b1-44e5-8658-026220e56ef7.pdf
Owned by the Catalina Island Company this upscale restaurant is our favorite choice for dining. Interesting menu with the best starters on the island. Generous wine pours from a nice list featuring California wines, moderate selection of beers and all the usual and some inventive bar drinks. The food and atmosphere is contemporary and can be as expensive or inexpensive as you choose. You can use this place as a full restaurant or an interesting gastro pub. It is possible to arrange a vegan meal here.
Bluewater Avalon Seafood Restaurant. 306 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-3474. (No reservations). MENU: https://www.bluewatergrill.com/database/files/library/bwg_avalon_may_dinner.pdf
At a choice location outside right on the water overlooking Avalon harbor, this is a welcome addition to Avalon’s short list of quality restaurants. This is part of a chain said to be owned by fishermen who own their own boat. They would have us believe that a lot of the fish is caught by the fishermen and sustainably fished. Good fish and seafood menu plated too simply. OK wine list, too small craft beer list.
Buffalo Nickel Restaurant 57 Pebbly Beach Road at Helicopter Landing (310) 510-1323 Menu: http://www.buffalonickelrestaurants.com/menu/ Call and they will send a van to pick you up. Casual, laid back dark interior with a great bar and funky outside patio we like a lot. Casual food, from healthy salads, pasta to chicken fried steak and a very good shrimp cocktail. Favorite of locals with Monday Pasta , Saturday/Sunday brunch. A lot of good comfort food that won’t break the bank.
The Lobster Trap 128 Catalina Street (310) 510-8585. (No reservations). MENU: https://www.catalinalobstertrap.com/menu
Their claim to have the “best food in town” may or not be true but they definitely serve some of the better food in town but without the hefty price tag charged elsewhere. Sashimi grade Ahi is served here in an old fashioned room that is visually not in keeping with the high quality of the food. In fact the room looks so bad you might be tempted to turn away. Resist temptation and try it. Their menu offers a wide variety of food for lunch or dinner, including Littleneck clams, Buffalo wings, Hawaiian style poke, pasta, sandwiches – anything you might want. They have a small but nicely chosen wine list at very low prices.
M. 205 Crescent Avenue ( 310-510-8404) One of the few upscale restaurants in Avalon. You will find the menu is always different and creative. Unfortunately, M is not open all the time, so when you call for reservations you will learn if it is open on your particular evening. There is a very nice patio overlooking Crescent in front providing glimpses of the bay. Inside, the dining room provides a nice atmosphere with a handsome wooden back bar. There is a rear patio to eat with your pet. (Although we don’t allow pets in our condo.) When open, M is serving on the beach.
NDMK Fish House
The Naughty Fox
111 Crescent Avenue
Original Antonio’s. 114 Sumner Avenue (310 510- 0060). If you want a pizza to take out and eat on our patio, get it here. This is not the Antonio’s overlooking the bay but a hole in the wall on a side street. This is where you get pizza to go. The large salads are good too as well as the buffalo wings.
Steve’s Steak House 417 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-0933. We love second floor window tables at Steve’s Steak House witch overlook the Green Pier. Extensive menu offers steak, seafood and even vegan choices. You can dine here or have lighter fare. Good wine list at reasonable prices and a good bartender. You cannot reserve the window tables so come early or after the peak dining time. Steve’s is serving outside on the beach.
BARS AND WATERING HOLES
A lot of drinking goes on in Avalon. Here’s a brief synopsis of the popular places you should go to or stay away from, depending on your inclination: MOST BARS ARE CLOSED FOR THE 2020 SEASON
Avalon Grill. Big oval bar in the center of the room pouring anything you can think of in a lively sophisticated atmosphere.
Bluewater Avalon Seafood Restaurant. 306 Crescent Avenue (310) 510-3474. Active bar scene does not overlook the water as the restaurant does. They will serve drinks outside.
Catalina Island Brew House. 417 Crescent Avenue. A new enterprise crating island brews.
The Chi Chi Club. 107 Sumner is the town’s disco. We’ve never been there. At night the Sheriff patrols the front of the club checking ID’s.
The Descanso Beach Club. Outdoors on Descanso beach on the far side of the Casino is a bar. It is possible to order drinks at this bar, take them onto the sand and sip while staring out at the boats in the bay on a warm summer moonlit evening. Where else would you rather be?
Luau Larry’s. 509 Crescent is a noisy crowded fun bar with live music, fried food and stiff drinks. Luau Larry’s is serving on the beach!
The Marlin Club. 108 Catalina is a drinker’s bar. It is so popular the bartender takes messages for regular customers.