Catalina Island is SOOOO Expensive, Top 5 Ways to Save Money on Meals While Vacationing in Avalon, Catalina Island

One of the reasons why food is so expensive on Catalina Island is the cost of shipping. As an island destination on the Southern California coast, most of the food needs to be transported either by airplane for fresh seafood and meats or by barge transportation for other supplies. These logistics add to the overall expenses, which are then reflected in the prices at tempting seafood restaurants and grocery stores in Avalon. However, with some insider tricks and smart choices, you can still stretch your dollar and make the most of your culinary experience on the island. Here are the top five ways to save money on meals:

Bring Your Own Food: With food being the budget killer on the island, especially for families on a beach vacation, consider bringing your own packed meals and snacks to avoid spending excessively on restaurant food. Lockers are conveniently located a short walk from downtown, where all the action is, allowing you to store your cooler and grab food as needed. By doing this, you can bypass the average cost of meals, which can range from $15 to $55 per person.

Photo courtesy of Ev D.

Visit the Local Grocery Store, Vons: Catalina Island has one grocery store that offers reasonably priced options. Instead of dining out, head to Vons and explore their deli section, which offers a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner sandwiches at reasonable prices. You can also purchase chips and drinks to round out your meal. Additionally, Vons has daily made side and main dishes, sold by weight, which can be perfect for feeding entire families.

Courtesy of Jay P.

Opt for Affordable Fast Food: Coney Island, a local favorite, is conveniently located across the street from the beach and offers various affordable fast-food options. From fries to burgers and shakes, you’ll find classic hamburger stand foods. One recommendation is trying their charbroiled chicken sandwich with house-made thousand island dressing – a delicious and budget-friendly choice.

Courtesy of Lupe C.

Take Advantage of Happy Hours: If you’re on a day trip and don’t require breakfast on the island, consider having a substantial meal before boarding the Catalina Express passenger ferry or a thrilling helicopter ride for an aerial view. For lunch, pick up a few light snacks at Vons grocery store. Then, take advantage of the happy hours on the island. Many restaurants and bars offer special deals during these hours, allowing you to enjoy delicious food and beverages at discounted prices.

Split a Meal: This might seem obvious, but we will still list it here. Most restaurants on Catalina Island offer generous portions, making it an excellent idea to split a meal with a travel companion. Not only will this save you money, but it also ensures you don’t waste food. Some of the cheaper restaurants on the island include those that are less of a dining-in experience and more of a counter to order at and sit outdoors.

By saving on food during your Avalon, Catalina Island vacation, you can treat yourself to a rejuvenating 30-minute massage at Catalina Sea Spa. The massage can be tailored to target specific areas, ensuring a personalized and relaxing session. Reallocate the saved funds from dining to indulge in this blissful treat and leave your worries behind as skilled hands work their magic amidst the beautiful beaches and coastal beauty of the island. Enjoy your affordable vacation!