DC-3 Gifts & Grill

1 Airport Road
Avalon, CA 90704


  • $$
  • Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Snack Food
  • Beer/Wine
There are only a few ways to reach the DC-3, and each of them is picturesque. The combination restaurant, bar and gift shop is uniquely situated on the ground floor beneath the small control tower at Catalina Island's Airport in the Sky. Tourists and locals take shuttles and bus tours up the scenic mountain road to the airport, while the more adventurous hike or bike the steep trails that extend 11 miles northwest of the island's main town, Avalon. You also have to be adventurous to fly in to the small, bare-bones and aptly named Airport in the Sky (elevation: 1,600 feet), whose short, austere runway is located on a plateau that's surrounded by steep drop-offs and tricky wind currents. But once you do make it up the hill, you realize you're in of the most romantic and visually striking places in all of L.A. County. Wild buffalo literally roam the surrounding hills, and the dramatic ocean views are unbroken by most signs of human habitation. The menu at the DC-Grill is fairly standard, ranging from breakfast scrambles and burritos to burgers, tacos, salads and sandwiches, but certain Hollywood star couples are known to make the short plane trip across the channel just for the restaurant's large homemade oatmeal cookies. The DC-3 (also known as the Runway Cafe) is the only place on this part of the island to get a drink, although the bar is limited to beer and wine, with such standbys as Heineken, Bud and Corona. The dining area has the homey feel of a lodge with a warm fireplace, and the outdoor patio opens up to spectacular vistas of the island's untamed hills. The small airport is worth a look too, with its solitary, vintage hangar, dusty, unfenced runway and a control tower that evokes the Old West.
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