Best known for its spectacular natural beauty which includes pristine diving sites, plenty of wildlife and the majestic Mt. Orizaba, Santa Catalina, or Catalina Island is part of the Channel Islands of California archipelago. The main town of Avalon is home to the beautiful palm tree-lined Descanso Beach, along with the circular, Art Deco-style Catalina Casino with its movie theater, museum, and ballroom. For romantic restaurant and intimate dining, here are some of the best spots to try on the island.

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1.El Galleon

El Galleon
© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com

Located on Front Street overlooking the beach, El Galleon is one of Catalina Island’s oldest and beloved restaurants. Established over 50 years ago, the popular restaurant serves a menu of New American cuisine such as fresh seafood, hearty burgers Montana Ranch Brand™ Certified Piedmontese and Omaha Natural Angus beef steaks, fresh salads and sides in a casual, laid-back spot with karaoke. The cuisine is accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from the bar, including craft and draft beers on tap and by the bottle, casual wines by the glass or bottle, and classic cocktails made with top-shelf spirits. El Galleon is open for lunch and dinner daily.

411 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-1188

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2.Steve's Steakhouse & Seafood

Steve's Steakhouse & Seafood
© Marina/stock.adobe.com


Located on the waterfront in the Hotel Vista Del Mar which boasts breath-taking harbor views, Steve’s Steakhouse & Seafood is a classic steakhouse that is perfect for a romantic dinner date. Boasting traditional steakhouse décor with dark wood and leather accents, elegantly dressed tables and soft lighting that creates an intimate glow, the steakhouse serves a menu of prime cuts of USDA choice steaks, free-range chicken and pork, fresh seafood, fish and shellfish from the surrounding bay and a range of vegetarian options. The full-service bar has an extensive menu of fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted, exotic cocktails prepared from scratch. Steve’s Steakhouse & Seafood is open for lunch and dinner daily.

417 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-0333

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3.Bluewater Avalon

Bluewater Avalon
© Bluewater Avalon

Based in a historic building on the waterfront that once served as a terminal for the SS Avalon and SS Catalina steamers, Bluewater Avalon is a beautifully renovated 6,900-square-foot restaurant that specializes in sustainable seafood and other New American cuisine. The popular eatery boasts modern fish house architecture with a spacious, airy dining room with contemporary décor and a charming 3,000-square-foot waterfront deck with spectacular views. Seasonal dishes of classic New England seafood with a Catalina twist are served such as homemade chowder, fish and chips, humanely harvested local swordfish, sanddabs, lobster, and other locally caught fish. The restaurant also serves a small plates menu and a special kid’s menu, and a full-service bar has an extensive menu of fine wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted, exotic cocktails prepared from scratch. Bluewater Avalon is open for lunch and dinner, daily.

306 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-3474

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4.The Lobster Trap

The Lobster Trap
© The Lobster Trap


The Lobster Trap is a bustling restaurant with ocean views that serves local seafood and fresh fish in a casual space. Exuding a friendly, welcoming atmosphere with a nautical theme, a giant fish hanging from the ceiling and comfortable décor, the restaurant is a popular dining destination for both locals and visitors alike, who come to enjoy sustainable seafood dishes such as bacon-wrapped scallops, clam chowder, and seafood pasta. The menu also features delicious appetizers, grilled chicken and steak, and housemade pasta and from-scratch sauces like fettuccine alfredo and the full-service bar has an extensive list of wines from around the world, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and handcrafted exotic cocktails. The Lobster Trap is open for lunch and dinner daily.

128 Catalina Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-8585

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5.Avalon Grille

Avalon Grille
© Avalon Grille


The Avalon Grille is a classic waterfront restaurant on the corner of Crescent and Catalina Avenues with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating that serves New American cuisine and hosts live music in a warm and welcoming setting. The elegantly appointed restaurant has an airy dining room with high ceilings, warm wood accents, a large window wall, and a patio with spectacular harbor views. Seasonal menus boast American regional dishes featuring fresh seafood and fish, prime steaks and chops, housemade pasta and fresh salads and vegetables. A gorgeous central bar serves world-class wines, micro-brews and signature cocktails prepared with high-end spirits, and the restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, and weekend brunch.

423 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-7494

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6.Seaport Bistro

Seaport Bistro
© Seaport Bistro


The Seaport Bistro is a popular dining spot that serves a seasonal menu of Mediterranean cuisine with specialties from Italy, Greece, Morocco, and Spain. The restaurant features stylish décor with lovely outdoor water features and lush gardens and is a charming spot for intimate and romantic dining. Executive Chef Gregory Wenger uses locally sourced ingredients that reflect the bounty of the Pacific waters around the island to create sublime dishes of fresh seafood, prime steaks and chops, naturally-fed chicken and pork, and fresh salads and vegetables. The full-service bar serves an extensive menu of wines from around the world, craft beers on tap or by the bottle, and exotic cocktails. The Seaport Bistro is open for brunch and dinner Thursday through Monday.

888 Country Club Dr, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-3663

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7.Descanso Beach Club

Descanso Beach Club
© Descanso Beach Club

Nestled in Descanso Canyon just past the historic Catalina Casino, Descanso Beach Club is the town’s go-to spot for island-style beachside dining and creative cocktails against a backdrop of spectacular ocean views. Avalon’s only beachside restaurant and bar, the Descanso Beach Club exudes a sexy vibe and features chaise lounges and private cabanas, and an ocean-view patio where guests can sip handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and fine wines from the full-service bar. The kitchen serves a seasonal menu of classic Californian cuisine of fresh seafood, prime steaks and chops, naturally-fed chicken and pork, and fresh salads and vegetables, and live entertainment and music are hosted all summer long.

1 St Catherine Way, Avalon, CA 90704, Phone: 310-510-7410

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