Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “Catalina”

Antonio’s Pizzeria

Probably one of the more stalwart restaurants on the island, Antonio’s is a good standby. The menu is quite expansive and would satify any tastes. The menus are literally huge in your hands. This has become our traditional last-day eating stop before boarding the boat back home. I’ve had a number of dishes here over the years and the food overall is just slightly above average in my opinion. With the current ‘rona outdoor seating situation, this place is actually a very good choice. Ample outdoor seating right on the water with stunning views. Only Antonio’s and The Bluewater next-door seem to have this seating benefit. Standout for me has to be their music. Really good tunes pumping in the background. Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Alan Jackson, et al. YMMV, but I liked it.

Maggie’s Blue Rose

If I had to choose one favorite restaurant on the island, it would be Maggie’s Blue Rose! The menu here is fairly simple but very original. I’ve eaten at countless Mexican restaurants throughout SoCal and Maggie’s is an absolute standout. Their queso fundido with chorizo is excellent. Be warned, if you eat too much of it, it does sit pretty heavy in your system. I had to lay down the last time I ate it. Chips & salsa here are among the best on the island. Most recetly I tried the lobster enchiladas and they were exquisite. Highly recommended.


The outdoor seating is nicely done and well lit. They use an overflow patio area from the neighboring BrewHouse, plus beach I think. Service has always been great here when we visit. They’re not using their beautiful signature triangular plates right now it seems. My plate was a round, heavy plastic disposable thing. It didn’t really detract from anything other than the plate was not heated.

Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co.

Another one of our new regular visits while on Catalina Island is Catalina Coffee & Cookie Co. Usually for a nice, simple breakfast. Outstanding cinnamon roll this time. They also make great, custom made to order croissant breakfast sandwiches that are most delicious!

Bluewater Grill Avalon

Outstanding grilled swordfish at Bluewater Grill on Catalina Island!

Buffalo Nickel Restaurant

Outstanding Chimichanga at the legendary Buffalo Nickel on Catalina Island!

Descanso Beach Club

We visit Catalina Island annually and our must stop is always Descanso Beach Club! Often times each day for a nice early afternoon lunch. This is a private beach, open to the public. As such, adult beverages are welcome on the beach. The setting here is absolutely stunning. Situated just north of Avalon proper, it is a short walk past the Casino.
Food here is always top-shelf with a rotating menu of well thought out, beautifully presented beach fare. During our trip this week we tried “Tricia’s Nachos”. Loaded with carnitas, melted queso, cotija cheese, black beans (omitted), pico de gallo, jalapenos, sour cream and avocado puree, artfully drizzled. The quality of chips used here are excellent. What was immediately apparent was how good this nacho dish tasted after assuming room temperature. The food served on the 60 degree windy beach didn’t stay hot long. However they are making their queso very good. Tasted great cold.
Also tried the “Chicken Skewered Cobb Salad”. I always love a good Cobb salad. This one included the standard bacon, maters, avo, boiled egg, blue cheese and a delicious citrus vinaigrette. Unfortunately the greens consisted only of spinach leaves. No other type of lettuce. I didn’t really like that, especially with all the stems, etc. Kind of hard to eat and all the same leafy texture.
I highly recommend eating or visiting here at least once, even if just for a brief respite with a cold drink and glorious views. Just watch out for the hungry birds. They can be bold. There’s also a daily happy hour right now from 2-3pm. 2 tacos and margarita for $10. Great value considering their normal prices here. If you show up at 1:59 though, plan to wait.

Antonio’s Pizzeria

One of the stalwart restaurants on Catalina Island is Antonio’s Pizzeria! Not the best food and service you’ll find, but they’re a solid choice with an expansive menu of favorites. It’s situated right on the water, so you can enjoy stunning views when sitting on their deck. We enjoyed this outstanding white pizza with chicken, bacon and maters.

The Lobster Trap

Outstanding Seafood Pasta (add lobster) at The Lobster Trap on Catalina Island! This is such a fun and trippy place. Definitely added to our list of go-to faves for next visit.

Pete’s Plaza Cafe

(Visited December 10, 2019) In all our trips to Catalina Island we’ve never tried Pete’s Plaza Cafe until this visit! About a block inland from Crescent Avenue in the heart of Avalon is a no frills kitchen with covered outdoor seating. They serve a variety of foodstuffs but seem to specialize in tacos. We took advantage of their great Happy Hour $1 taco special. We ate light because there were bigger dinner plans in store for us. I really enjoyed these carne asada tacos and cerveza. Their salsas were excellent. Pete’s will definitely be a must visit on all our future trips.

Buffalo Nickel Restaurant

(Visited December 9, 2019) Any visit to Catalina Island would not be complete without a trip to Buffalo Nickel Restaurant! We eat there every time we go. Just a short shuttle drive south of Avalon near the heliport. We always plan our island visits to include a Monday night. That’s when they do the pasta bar thing at Buffalo Nickel and my son dearly adores it. My burrito this time unfortunately wasn’t as good as previous visits.

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