Vegan dining on Catalina Island was much harder than I anticipated. You'd think that a hip little California town would be more veg-friendly, as they almost always are. Yet that is not the case when it comes to this island.
I did my research ahead of time to try to find a nice place to eat for our first and only night there. I found Ristorante Villa Portofino
which isn't vegetarian, but I figured since the Chef also works for Vegetarian Times that the place should at least be veg-friendly. Well, I was wrong, as everything we ordered came back with cheese on it, even though we ordered everything without cheese. I'm not sure if that was just the fault of our terrible waiter, or the restaurant itself. The menu item we ordered, the Funghi Portobello, also looked like it should be vegan as well. And did you look at that price? $17.00 for the dish you see below! Hubby and I shared it.
The next day we hung out at the Casino, where all the Scuba diving happens. We stopped at a little beach side burger place to see if they had anything, and surprisingly they had a few veggie items on the menu. Their beans are lard-free and cooked fresh everyday. We ordered a plate of nachos- minus the cheese and sour cream, and a veggie sandwich- minus the mayo. It was all tasty, and satisfying for what it was.
So, if you are planning a trip to Catalina, you can get by as a vegan. There are plenty of pizza places you can order a veggie cheeseless pizza, but there is not much else. I'm sure we'll be going back someday, since hubby is an avid scuba diver, and next time maybe there will be something vegan at the Mediterranean spot we saw on our way out.