It’s no secret that getting a table at one of the restaurants on Catalina Island has been a little more difficult this summer. Thanks to a few Avalon restaurants being out of commission (we miss you so very much Mr. Ning’s) the wait times for prime-time dining can be a bit frustrating – especially if you are already hangry. To help out, here are our top five secrets to dining on Catalina Island when it’s busy.
Dine on less busy days – Let’s face it, if you are going out to dinner at 6:30 on a Saturday night without reservations, you had best plan to wait, no matter where you are. Adjusting your Catalina dining times can help beat the rush. Saturday is always the busiest day – and the busiest dining day – so skip it, if you can.
If you can’t skip Saturday, try to eat at off-peak times. For restaurants that close between lunch and dinner, arrive right at 5; for those that don’t, arrive even earlier. No matter what day of the week it is, restaurants are the busiest from about 6 to 8 p.m. If you can adjust your dining time to avoid those hours you have a much better chance of getting a table without a long wait.
Make reservations – Catalina reservations aren’t universally available, but for that restaurants that take them, you should make them. If you don’t want to call, some Avalon restaurants use Open Table.
Take your show on the road. Many local restaurants are happy to provide food to go – and many are providing environmentally friendly packaging as well. Order your meal to go and plan on a Catalina picnic on beach, at the new picnic tables by the Catalina Casino or at one of the parks in Avalon.
Dine with us – For a less traditional way to dine, book the Avalon Tasting & Cultural Walking Tour. You’ll get to taste at six places to eat on Catalina as well as learn more about Avalon’s culinary culture.