Walk uphill from the Avalon’s seaside tourist strip to Catalina Country Club, a local favorite that isn’t as exclusive as it sounds. The Spanish-colonial-style building offers a farm-to-table, all-organic menu featuring dishes like filet mignon with morel mushrooms ($38) and fried Pacific sand dabs, a Catalina specialty ($17) that’s like a sweeter, more delicate flounder (and rated as a good sustainable alternative by Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch).
Soak up a low-key version of L.A. life at CC Gallagher, an oceanfront café offering all the must-have Angeleno amenities—biodynamic wine bar, vegan sushi (from $8) rolled to order after 4:30 p.m., and local craft beers like Green Flash West Coast IPA ($8)—plus an on-site art gallery showcasing local painters, jewelry, and handmade pottery.
Barbecue under the stars at Descanso Beach Club, a beach bar set on a sandy strip at the edge of Avalon. The 25-foot-long open-air grill is fired up every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., from June through September ($19 per person). Pick up your protein of choice at Von’s Grocery Store (123 Metropole Ave.; 310-510-0280), or buy items like mahi mahi ($10) or top sirloin steak ($11) on the beach and then grill them up yourself; a baked potato bar, corn on the cob, salads, and homemade pies are all provided.