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Sep 2, 2004 03:30 AM

Catalina Island

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Any good places on Catalina Island?

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    1. re: Alice

      I second Alice's answer. Dunno why (given the money that goes to Catalina) but I've never had a good meal there. The people I know who like to eat and like to spend time in Catalina take their own food with them on their boats.



      1. re: Dorothy

        I agree. All the good meals I have had there were either prepared and eaten onboard our boat or jointly prepared at the picnic/bbq area on the beach during a group event.

        We usually go to Two Harbors at the Isthmus. There are basically only two places to eat there, the snack bar or the Harbor Reef restaurant. Both are pretty ordinary.

    2. Here is a compilation of some past posts on this subject. One qualifier; Some of these places may, or may not be in business any longer.

      The VIP Hotel in Catalina has a beautiful garden restaurant inside (I don't recall the name). It's on a corner lot on the main street (about half way to the campgrounds).
      a decent Northern Italian restaurant can be found in the Portofino Hotel (just past the Hotel Metropole on Crescent
      Lori's good stuff for sandwiches...the country club has a nice patio for lunch and jazz in the evenings.
      The Ristorante Villa Portofino inside the hotel the Villa Portofino (sign has a big VP on it). It's on a corner lot about half way down the island's main street. It's the best place on the island (if you like Italian Food).
      Stay at the Inn On Mt. Ada (former home of the Wrigley's) if you can. The room rate includes breakfast and lunch. Their food is actually really good and made to order (my personal fave). If you can afford it, the Grand Suite is quite nice. It's like staying in a friend's home.
      There is a late-night taco stand (I don't know what the name is) in Catalina that is just awesome. I think it's open until 1:00 am or so. Not to be missed.
      I've heard great things about the Tea at the inn at mount ada. and the restaurant was supposaed to be fine.
      blue parrot at 205 crescent, avalon, is one of the best in town for dinner

      3 Replies
      1. re: WLA

        The VIP and Portofino Hotel are the same place. Ristorante Villa Portofino is in there. It's good for Catalina Island and very pretty setting.

        There is a to-go lunch place way down by the Country Club and Casino that is outside on the docks/water. It's kind of pricey for what you get, but the food is good.

        And, there is a small bakery and coffee store in the middle of the street at the end of the island where the little shopping village starts. It's okay.

        There's nothing great on Catalina.

        You may want to rent a small place in Avalon if you're staying overnight because they have a small kitchen, etc. You can find a 1,000 sq. ft. place for @ $180/night (sleeps six - 2 baths) off season (or up to $500/night for a great view) There are a couple of grocery stores there too (obviously), so you don't have to cart over everything. Then, if you or a guest can cook, you're there!

        1. re: WLA

          I'd concur that if someone were coming to LA for a foodfest, Catalina would probably not be on the map.
          That being said, I've eaten perfectly well. A simple ice cream cone while strolling down the crescent is fine. There was a place toward the Tuna Club which was a pretty simple stand, and when we ordered the grilled swordfish, we were told that they were just getting it off the boat. so we waited. and it was delicious. So don't be put off, if you go to a little stand that sells fish, see if anyone has the local swordfish and ask when it came in.

          I remember the restaurant at the airport used to sell buffalo meat burgers that were fine. Inn at Mount Ida is lovely.

          Simple but fine, the descanso beach club (the other side of the casino) has meals and an outdoor bbq that is PERFECTLY SERVICEABLE. It's not Melisse. And guess what, Melisse isn't Taillevent. But you can eat decently and enjoy the outdoors and the views and the other things that Catalina has to offer.

          Link to descanso beach club below.


          1. re: Jerome

            You might want to check out the Catalina Country club and see if you can get a dinner reservation. The online menu doesn't look too bad.


        2. I agree that there are not too many places for good food in Catalina but want to second (or third?) the motion of the "Inn at Mt. Ada". It is an incredibly beautiful place,
          which must be experienced. It doesn't matter if you are not actually staying there. You need to make a reservation for lunch, though. Don't just show up.
          They have a fixed price of $25 per person for their lunch menu. It is a "custom made" hamburger with salad, drinks, dessert, coffee. We were there a couple of weeks ago and I totally recommend it.