“Where should I eat in the desert?”
It’s probably the number one question I’m asked after “How many cats do you have???”. And honestly, it’s one of the hardest questions to answer. Mainly because there are SO MANY GREAT CHOICES! Whether it’s dining with a view of the valley or tucking into a hearty burger, Greater Palm Springs is FULL of exceptional dining options at any price point.
So in order to keep things organized and simple, I’m going to break down my recommendations by meal.
OOOOO also I should mention something. Okay, listen up newbies. Palm Springs is just one city out of the 9 that make up Greater Palm Springs. So when you’re coming to town, just be aware that Palm Springs isn’t the whole area, just a portion of it. There are other amazing cities like Palm Desert, La Quinta and Rancho Mirage that have EPIC dining options too.
My list will include restaurants from a bunch of cities within the Coachella Valley. Are you ready to get hungry??
This is HANDS DOWN my favorite breakfast/brunch/lunch spot in the entire valley. I know that’s a bold statement to make and I shouldn’t play favorites, but Norma’s is in a category of its own. The restaurant is inside Parker Palm Springs and it’s brightly colored indoor/outdoor seating space couldn’t be more Palm Springs. My favorite thing to do is order something savory and something sweet. My go-tos are the Waza (a waffle stuffed with fruit and topped with creme brulee banana, YEAH…) and the Huevos Rancheros.
Oooo and Norma’s is open for lunch and dinner too. If you go after breakfast, get the fish tacos. They’re heavenly.
Farm is a REALLY close second for me when it comes to unique breakfast spots in the valley. First off, the location is an absolute dream. It’s a mostly outdoor dining space tucked right into the heart of downtown Palm Springs in the La Plaza courtyard. When you enter through the charming white picket fence you immediately feel as if you’ve stepped into the secret garden. Not only is the space gorgeous, but the food is fantastic. My same breakfast rule applies here, something savory and something sweet. The owners were inspired from their trips to the south of France and the menu certainly reflects that. I’m obsessed with the crepes, the mushroom one is my favorite. And you simply can’t leave without having the A la Banane french toast.
This spot is a Palm Desert institution. And because it was so popular the owners opened a second location in Palm Springs which also serves dinner. SCORE! I haven’t been to the PS location yet but I can’t wait to go and to try their dinner. I don’t exactly have a go to order when I come to Wilma and Freida’s, I like to switch it up. But the one thing that remains the same, I ALWAYS order their signature homemade pop-tarts. Personally my favorite is the cinnamon. YUM!
OOOO fun fact, Wilma and Frieda’s was featured in an episode on Drive Ins, Diners and Dives!
If you’re in the mood for quick and casual dining, The Fix is your spot. I love coming here for their delicious coffee, perfectly prepared omelets and their pastries OMG. The Fix is owned by the same people behind the Pastry Swan. So you know their baked goods are the bomb. This is a must visit for anyone shopping along El Paseo or looking for a sweet treat.
I have never seen a more beautifully crafted Acai bowl in my life. Seriously, Raw Remedy takes the cake. Located in the heart of Palm Springs, if you’re looking for an organic, raw, breakfast spot, this is it. I always order an Acai bowl but sometimes I like to pick up some of their delicious baked goods too!
I’m obsessed with the vibe inside. The dining room is bright, colorful and sunny and if you’re in a bad mood when you walk in, you won’t be when you walk out. I love how they call their breakfast cocktails “eye openers” and their food items are just as attention-grabbing. I love their avocado toast (so basic of me I know) and you can’t go wrong with Eggs Benedict.
This is one of my favorite spots for coffee. The atmosphere is clean and crisp and it’s a perfect place to get some work done. I usually get the oatmeal or try one of their freshly baked pastries. The original location is in Indian Wells but a second spot popped up in Palm Desert.
If you’re in the mood for Belgian inspired foods, you gotta try Si Bon. This European style restaurant has tons of original options and it’s never hard to get a table. Usually when I go I try a different crepe. My favorite so far has been the French crepe with ham and gruyere. MOUTH IS WATERING…
The restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch & dinner and you’ll want to make sure to come back for lunch and dinner too!
This is your classic breakfast joint. Big menu, big portions, you get it BIG. This is definitely the spot to bring the whole fam damily. Go for one of their Benedicts or the greek omelet is a classic. There’s two locations for you to choose from: Palm Springs and La Quinta!
This place is soooo legit. I stumbled upon it because I used to drive by it all the time on my way to Target. One day I decided to take Linda for breakfast and WOAH, so glad I did. The food is soooo authentically french and super yummy. But the real MVP: their macaroons. OMG you guys, these are the best macaroons I’ve ever had, and yes that even counts the ones I’ve had in Paris.
I’ve died and gone to decor heaven because The Pink Cabana is MAJOR retro tennis club vibes and I’m here for it! The pink, green and gold accents make this all day restaurant an ideal place for meeting your gal pals for a bite to eat or a cocktail. I love to go for lunch because I love seeing the restaurant in the daylight. But it’s also a perfect place for both breakfast and dinner. I love the crispy calamari and the beet salad. Oh and if you’re having cocktails make sure to try the Pushing Buttons (it makes your mouth water LITERALLY).
You know a restaurant is doing something right when Yelp gives it the #1 spot on their top 100 restaurants in the US list. YUP, this locally owned and run restaurant has maintained it’s position in the top 5 on Yelp’s list for four years in a row. BOOM. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the owners and I gotta say they know how to make an over the top sandwich. Come hungry and make sure to save room for one of their homemake cookies.
This is always my mom and dad’s number one request when they come into town. And I can 100% understand why, THE BURGERS ARE SO GOOD. And the best part, there’s so many fun topping combos to choose from! I usually go for the Magic Mushroom or the Blu Job if I’m goin all in lol.
This spot was also featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!
If you’re looking for a great spot right in downtown Palm Springs, make sure to consider Grand Central. This sleek and seasonal restaurant serves up some classic dishes with a twist. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I love to stop by for lunch when I’m shopping downtown. I either order the grilled cheese or the cauliflower steak, depending on my mood lol.
My friends, I would happily eat here every day of the week and not get bored of the food. That should tell you something. Evzin is everything you’d hope from a mediterranean restaurant AND MORE. And truly it’s more than just your average greek restaurant. The restaurant perfectly blends classic greek dishes with modern middle easter, Spanish and moroccan flare. Interested? You should be. While you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, I always choose to share the trio of spreads, the Fattoush Salad and Shawarma Spiced Lamb. OOO and if there’s room (SAVE ROOM!!) you simply cannot leave without having their signature greek yogurt cheesecake.
Evzin is open every day for lunch and dinner and they have locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert.
I love this place. Ugh, it’s just so good. The restaurant focuses on locally sourced, farm to table food with a Mexican flare. This is the perfect spot for a quick lunch with friends or grab and go options when you’re in a rush. I love love love their Huevos Rancheros and Mom’s Red Chile Chilaquilas.
Heads up Chula is open Tuesday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
This is my go to lunch spot in Palm Springs. I’m obsessed with their menu because it’s full of variety and it’s just an easy place to go when you can’t make a decision about what you want to eat. Oh and you can’t help but notice their sinful cake display when you walk in. You’re honestly doing your body a disservice if you don’t try at least 1 slice…
Side note, the restaurant is named after a dog and that’s the kind of business decision I can get behind!
I stumbled upon this spot while I was still working at the local TV station in Palm Springs and I was out on a story. (Truth be told, I had an extended lunch break that day once I discovered how delicious this place is. SHHHH don’t tell my boss, oh wait I don’t work there anymore lol). ANYWAYS, it’s a super yummy, hidden gem that you might miss if you didn’t know to look for it. The sandwiches are my favorite but don’t forget to snag one of the adorable cupcakes on your way out.
Did someone say Frida Kahlo wall? YUP, Azucar’s got one of those. Pretty unique huh? But their epic gallery wall isn’t the only unique thing about this restaurant, the menu - to die for. I love this small, hotel restaurant situated right in downtown Palm Springs. My go to order: Cauliflower risotto. GUYS IT’S INCREDIBLE AND YOU NEED TO TRY IT. Also, Azucar is open for dinner and there’s a SUPER CUTE rooftop bar right above the restaurant. Definitely the perfect place for a date or a GNO!
If you’re looking for good pizza and even better salads (yeah…in that order) you gotta check out The Slice. I’m not lying when I say I think I ate here at least twice a week when I was working at the TV station. At one point the people who took my to-go orders knew my voice, they’d be like ‘Is this Alle?’ before I could even say my name LOL. So you know it’s good. I’d say 9 times out of 10 I always get the Grilled Chopped Vegetable Salad but if I’m feeling bad I go for the breaded zucchini.
Small plate format, epic wine list, AMAZING music & killer ambiance. Truly, what more do you need? That is what you can expect at Counter Reformation inside Parker Palm Springs. This chic spot is tucked away in the hotel and features a huge counter with bar style seating. The highlight of the restaurant? An actual confessional brought over from Italy where you can confess your sins after you’ve downed a glass (or two) of wine. My favorite items I order EVERY TIME include: The Cheesemonger’s Choice, Hen of the Woods mushrooms and the short rib & poached egg.
If you’re looking for the best view + a fantastic meal, there’s simply no place better than The Edge Steakhouse at the Ritz. The restaurant’s floor to ceiling winds allow guests to gaze out at the valley below while enjoying exceptional service and top of the line food. This is a special occasion restaurant for sure! If you can snag a booth and a reservation around sunset you’re GOLDEN! My order is always the same when I come here: Filet Mignon, potato puree and roasted wild mushrooms. Oh my gosh my mouth is watering as I write this lol.
If you’re looking for fresh, innovative and delicious sushi, look no further. Each roll at The Venue is like a work of art and they taste even better than they look. Right along ritzy El Paseo, the Venue is the perfect place for a girls night dinner before you head out for the night. You cannot leave without enjoying the signature Venue roll and make sure to try my favorites: the El Paseo & Spider roll.
There’s nothing better than Tapas style dining, am I right? It gives you the best of both worlds when you get to try little portions of all your favorite dishes and not leave feeling like you ate 10 courses (although sometimes I still do because I over do it lol). Cork and Fork is one of my staple dinner spots in town. I love coming here with my friends after work and winding down with a glass of wine. My must order dishes are: the crispy cauliflower, grown up grilled cheese and the local date plate. It’s hard to narrow it down because there’s so many yummy items on the menu!
Feel like having Italian? Il Corso is the spot to be. But it’s not you’re average red sauce and spaghetti type of place. No no, Il Corso is much better than that. The restaurant serves up homemade pasta, wood oven pizzas and fresh seafood. There’s nightly specials and the ambiance is modern, rustic and inviting all at the same time. And good news, a second location is opening in the heart of Palm Springs.
If you’re the type of person who likes variety, head on over to AC3. The menu is diverse and consistently delicious. But what takes this restaurant over the top is the brightly colored painting created by local artist Nicholas Kontaxis displayed prominently on their main wall. If you’re not sure what to order, I’d say you have to start with the truffle pommes frites and crispy brussels sprouts. Then it’s a toss up between the salmon or the short ribs. Really, you can’t go wrong.
Walking into the outdoor dining area at Lavender Bistro is like walking into a twinkling fairyland. While twinkling fairyland might not be exactly the vibe the restaurant was going for, it’s the only way I can think to describe it. There’s thousands of twinkle lights strung throughout the trees, setting a romantic and otherworldly scene. And while the atmosphere is a 10/10, so is the food. I always start with the bacon wrapped dates and I try to switch up my entree choice. Go for the mushroom risotto or the duck. OOOO and if you have room try the wild mushroom soup!
Looking for casual cool vibes in Palm Springs? Then you need to check out Birba. Set entirely outside, this restaurant is the perfect place to gather with friends for dinner or drinks. The menu is a mix of pizzas, pasta and plates. My favorites are the roasted cauliflower, three kale salad, and the Birba pizza.
This is by far one of the coolest dinner concepts I’ve experienced. Every Wednesday & Saturday the Barn Kitchen at Sparrow’s Lodge in Palm Springs hosts “family style” dinners. The menu always changes but on Wednesdays it’s chicken and on Saturdays it’s steak. The coolest part of it all is you sit at a huge table with all the people dining that evening. Every time I’ve dined there I’ve met the most interesting people! One night I sat across from Trina Turk, so truly you never know who you’re going to dine with. The food is fantastic and the rustic and eclectic ambiance is extremely inviting.
Finding a great Mexican restaurant in any city is usually my top priority and the Coachella Valley is no exception. I LOVE Don Diego’s. Their margarita’s are iconic and their street tacos are amazing. I love that you can mix and match the different styles of street tacos so you can make a sort of sampler meal. The restaurant is nothing fancy but there’s nothing better than sitting out on the patio when the weather is nice.
There you have it! My favorite spots to eat in Greater Palm Springs. And you know what’s crazy? There’s still so many awesome stops I haven’t included in this list because it would be miles long. So if you have a favorite spot in the valley I’d love to hear about it and go check it out! Leave a comment below!!