Who doesn’t love a delicious taco? It feels like you have found the Holy Grail when you discover that hidden-gem taco spot. Whether you prefer a soft or crunchy shell, let your taste buds explore Catalina through the Taco trail for some of the best tacos on the Island.
The Great Bargain Taco
Known as the perfect stop after a round of golf or on the return hike from the Botanic Garden, the Sand Trap is a quaint place with pet-friendly outside patio. There is a full street taco bar with your choice of beef, chorizo, chicken and my personal favorite carnitas. During Happy Hour, you really can’t pass up the tacos for a dollar each, especially paired with a $5 margarita.
The Sand Trap
501 Avalon Canyon Rd.
Daily 8am – 7pm, Happy Hour starts at 2pm
The No-Meat Taco
No need to be a vegetarian to enjoy the absolutely delicious non-meat taco options at Coyote Joe’s. Serving traditional Tex-Mex cuisine, they offer a variety of options including the crispy potato taco topped with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. This taco brings me back to my childhood when my mom used to make them with the leftover mashed potatoes. I would pair this hearty taco with the John Daily, a fun alcoholic play on an Arnold Palmer.
113 Catalina Ave.
Open Monday through Friday 11am – 12am & Saturday through Sunday 8am – 12am
The Gourmet Taco
For a bit of more of an upscale taste, Maggie’s Blue Rose specializes in traditional Mexican food with a gourmet modern twist. The restaurant’s design mirrors its menu with artsy modern Mexican décor.
There are many delicious items to choose from street corn to avocado enchiladas, but you know a restaurant takes tacos seriously when the tortillas are made by hand in the restaurant. The grilled achiote marinated skirt steak taco topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms and Menonita cheese is a favorite. The flavors just burst in your mouth and pair perfectly the guava margarita.
Maggie’s Blue Rose
417 Crescent Ave.
Open for Breakfast (Friday through Monday) from May 1 to Mid-October, Lunch and Dinner (Daily)
The Seafood Taco
When on an island, you assume the seafood will be delicious and extremely fresh. The Lobster Trap will not disappoint with a variety of dishes centered on the concept of sea-to-table. Tacos receive the seafood treatment and include a wide range of fish and shrimp options.
The two standouts for me were the coconut shrimp taco and lobster taco. When I saw the coconut shrimp taco on the menu, I just had to order it. The sweetness of the coconut shrimp and the saltiness of the salsa and cheese made for a killer combo. I figured that since lobster was on the name of the restaurant, I should try the lobster taco as well. The chef was generous in the amount of chilled claw meat served per taco. The flavor of lobster and salsa married together perfectly for every delicious bite.
The Lobster Trap
128 Catalina Ave.
Daily 11am – Late
The Unique Taco
Have you ever had trouble choosing between a crunchy or soft taco? The Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant has made the decision easier for you by combining the two in their Mi Casita Taco. The taco has your choice of ground beef, shredded beef, or chicken with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes in a crispy shell. The taco is next wrapped in a flour tortilla with refried beans inside. It is the best of both worlds! Enjoyed with the famous Cazuela, a 20oz drink served in a Mexican ceramic crock with a special blend of wine and fresh fruits.
Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant
111 Claressa Ave.
Open Monday – Thursday & Sunday 10:30am – 7:30pm and Friday & Saturday 10:30am – 8:00pm
These are just a few of Catalina’s many tasty tacos. Check out the Catalina Island Chamber and Visitors Bureau site for a full list of yummy restaurants to savor on your next trip.
by Guadalupe Rodriguez