What is there to say about Palm Springs? This is Palm Springs. Where the desert meets Hollywood for a dose of mid-century chic. While it is well-known for Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-class mid-century modern architecture, mid-century architecture and design extend beyond design to a state of mind. Palm Springs’ design is not restricted to residences; the restaurant sector displays the same level of thinking and product.
Palm Springs is irresistible for its exuberant enjoyment of cuisine and wine. There is a diverse selection of pubs and restaurants with creative cuisines to pick from. These are a few of my favorite Palm Springs eateries from my first visit to this sun-soaked haven. I don’t want to use cliches like “top-notch” or “world-class,” but it is, with a California twist.
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- 1 The8 Best Restaurants in Palm Springs, CA
- 1.1 The Top Restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs
- 1.2 Restaurants in Palm Springs That Provide the Finest Brunch
- 1.3 Top Restaurants In Palm SpringsAnd Nearby
The8 Best Restaurants in Palm Springs, CA
The Top Restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs
Peruvian Cuisine by Inka
360 N. Palm Canyon Road, +1-760-992-5311
During a day spent walking around downtown, Inka Peruvian Cuisine was a fantastic discovery. This is one of the nicest restaurants in Palm Springs, transporting me from the desert to the Peruvian highlands to feast on fish, meats, and Peruvian potatoes. There are no fusions on the menu, just classic Peruvian dishes.
They provide the freshest cevichePerus’ specialty dish, as well as a variety of meat and rice platters. The Tiradito de la Casa was delicious, with fine slices of raw fish topped with a pungent yellow pepper sauce that offered a unique burst of flavor.
The soups, served in huge white porcelain bowls, are a feast in and of themselves. The Parihuela soup was a robust tomato soup with pieces of crab, seabass, shrimp, and other seafood seasoned with aji panca hot pepper, garlic, cilantro, and red wine. The taste of Parihuela is similar to that of Italian Cioppino, yet it is different. This spicy treat goes well with an ice-cold Cristal cerveza.
Although most Latin American nations are renowned for their meat, Inka provides various vegetarian choices, such as the Choclo with Queso, a traditional maize dish with queso fresco.
Visit Inka Peruvian Cuisine for a change of pace while in Palm Springs.
Grand Central Terminal
La Plaza +1-760-699-7185160
Grand Central is a fantastic neighborhood cafe and bar located inside the historic Desmonds Department Store building, which has been meticulously rebuilt by its excellent owners John and Rita and is another another of the Top Palm Springs Restaurants. The practice of gathering around the clock is alive and well in this huge contemporary industrial-style dining area. There are many reasons why it is regarded as one of the top restaurants in Palm Springs.
Brunch, lunch, and supper are available, with contemporary California fresh food. Seasonal contemporary American cuisine is served. Rita’s Breakfast may be the greatest breakfast in Palm Springs: piled arugula, heirloom tomato, oyster mushroom, poached egg, and avocado. In other words, a plateful of deliciousness.
The watermelon gazpacho is perfect for lunch or supper, with rich flavors of watermelon, tomato, and strawberry enhanced with pink peppercorns for a warm bite. A goat cheese panko crust mixed green salad completes the light start to the dinner.
The Lamb Bolognese in a wonderful Mediterranean crimson sauce was my choice. The house-made pappardelle has a bouncy bite to it. The whole dish was thick and flavorful. Another favorite is the Citrus Beurre Blanc Fish with sautéed spinach or the Chicken Milanese in a lemon-caper sauce. The wine selection is superb, with top California whites and reds for the ideal pairing.
Grand Central has a $39.00 four-course Prix Fixe dinner menu with wine for $8.00 per glass. The cuisine here is fantastic as is the service and its a lovely Palm Springs institution. Dinner reservations are strongly advised.
Restaurant Johnny Costas
S. Palm Canyon Drive
Johnny Costas is the place to go if you want a legendary old-school Italian affair with a celebrity past. They have been a Palm Springs Life Readers Best of the Best since the 1970s.
Johnny Costa got his start in Hollywood at Patsy DAmore’s Villa Capri Restaurant, where he met Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The bond flourished when Johnny opened Tony Riccios Club Trinidad in Palm Springs.
Sinatra relocated to the West in the 1960s and started visiting Palm Springs, where the two grew friends. Johnny eventually became the performer’s personal cook at his desert house. Once Johnny launched his own restaurant, Frank became a loyal customer.
Now, the experience lives up to its illustrious heritage. Johnny’s famous Italian meals are faithfully reproduced in the recipes. The Antipasto for Two is a delicious combination of marinated vegetables and Italian meats with Greek olives and provolone cheese.
This meal has a lot of veal. The Veal Piccatamedallions in a sautéed butter, lemon, caper, and wine sauce is a silky rich mash-up. With a fall-off-the-bone delicious braised shank enclosing a large bone full of marrow in a red wine, tomato, and vegetable-based sauce, the Milanese Veal Osso Bucco is really delectable.
There’s also delicious pasta and meatballs for the less adventurous. The Steak Sinatra is prepared in the same manner as Frank, with well-trimmed New York Steak strips pan-seared and sautéed with garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers in a fantastic red wine sauce.
Try the house-made Cannolis for dessert. And then there’s the Tiramisu. You will discover a place to end.
Johnny Costas is your go-to for a traditional Italian feast in Palm Springs, and one of the top restaurants in Palm Springs in general.
Restaurants in Palm Springs That Provide the Finest Brunch
+1-760-327-7595622 Palm Canyon Drive North
Cheekys is the greatest location in Palm Springs for a nutritious breakfast that is served fresh and quickly! It’s immediately on a busy section of N. Palm Canyon Road, behind the beautiful Alcazar Hotel, which is owned by the same person. Here’s why it’s one of Palm Springs’ greatest restaurants.
Their menu features classics with a gourmet twist, such as the Scramble with Smoked Salmon, leeks, and Boursin cheese on a toasted bagel. The service couldn’t have been better; the dinner arrived in about 10 minutes and was created with the freshest ingredients. All of their recipes are meant to be simple and fast to prepare from scratch in their small kitchen.
I began with Cheekys’ famous Hot Bloody Mary. This hefty version includes vegetable-infused vodka in their house-made mix and comes with a bootload of fixings: onion slices, green beans, red pepper, a large lemon wedge, and an optional thick piece of bacon.
The coffee is served in a white cup with a red cheeky monkey emblem.
If you like heirloom tomatoes, you’ll like their sandwich! On house-made sourdough bread, thick slices of fragrant heirlooms pair well with a thick-cut piece of bacon and nutty arugula, drizzled with lemon aioli and topped with a fried egg. Did someone mention bacon? Cheekys serves a famed bacon flight that includes tastes like lemon zest and coconut sugar to compliment the trusted applewood smoked bacon.
Don’t miss their Straus Greek yogurt with paleo granola and berries, a hearty bowl of goodness. The menu changes weekly based on seasonal local fruits and vegetables, although certain items remain constant. Another tasty and light dish was brussels sprouts scramble with onions and cherry tomatoes.
Handmade cinnamon buns are always a hit, but they’re especially good at Cheekys. They emerge warm, fresh, and gleaming! Made with high-quality ingredients, the cake is light, spongy, and thick. The cinnamon and sugar complement each other well and do not overshadow the roll. Undoubtedly one of Palm Springs’ top restaurants.
Top Restaurants In Palm SpringsAnd Nearby
Uptown Gastropub 1501
11501 N. Palm Canyon Drive, +1-760-320-150
I was looking for a great burger in Palm Springs and thought I would find one at 1501 Uptown Gastropub. They delivered.
1501 is a big, light-filled pub created by award-winning architect Chris Pardo on N. Palm Canyon Road. Palm Springs restaurateurs Willie Rhine and Chad Gardner of Eight4Nine, Viet Fusion, and Roly China renown collaborated on this delectable enterprise, which is definitely worth a visit. They are a diner’s choice on Open Tables 2022.
I could have eaten my way through their fantastic sandwich menu, but I was on a burger quest, thank Goodness. The 1501 Burger arrived on a lovely butter-grilled brioche bun that held up well. I quickly fell in love with tomato onion jam, which combined well with caved-aged cheddar and smoked bacon. This was a really tasty burger.
The food is creative and features fresh ingredients. Willies Shepherd Pie is created with slow-braised grass-fed filet mignon, sherry, mirepoix, caramelized mashed red potatoes, English peas, and that delicious cave-aged cheese.
A vegetarian version with mushrooms is available. They also offer an interesting drink menu.
Save space for dessert; you may want a slice of that delicious Lavender Lemon Crème Brle, don’t you?
North Indian Canyon Drive
One of Palm Springs’ top restaurants is located a few miles outside of town at a sandy crossroads next to a wind turbine field. You won’t want to miss the Windmill Market’s amazing date shake. It’s a cup of vanilla ice cream topped with one of the Coachella Valley’s finest agricultural products: Medjool dates from a local farmer.
This off-the-beaten-path treasure features reasonable pricing. Their deli sandwiches are large, and I can personally tell that the pastrami is superb! Instead, I suggest one of their classic daily specialties, such as beef stroganoff, meatloaf, or excellent tacos. You may even dine on a charming rear terrace complete with a resident cat.
The phone number is +1-760-327-32141620 S. Indian Trail.
The architecture of this quirky venue for cocktails and Spanish Tapas is hacienda. The check-in ritual is a high-end tequila shot. Del Rey is housed in the chic Villa Royale, an adults-only boutique in Palm Springs’ Preferred Small Hotels collection. The mood is vintage, and Old California is the setting.
The Del Reys bar area is hidden behind a picture-perfect pool area and is bordered by thick oak seats along the walls. The restaurant is adjacent, in a private outdoor patio area, warmed by heat lights and a roaring fireplace and shielded by stucco walls. The setting is dark and cozy.
My company and I enjoyed an array of wonderful tapas meals that were amply portioned. The charcuterie board was piled high with elegantly arranged Spanish meats and cheeses, and the fragrant Gambas al Ajillo (Sauted Garlic Shrimp) sauce served as a delightful dipping sauce. Want to know why it is one of the greatest restaurants in Palm Springs?
The Bruselas were a savory and sweet spin on the ubiquitous Brussels Sprout, seasoned with chorizo, dates, romesco, Manchego, and honey vinaigrette. The Coliflor, or cauliflower, was sharp and sweet, with crisp almonds, grapes, and sherry vinegar layered under a caper raisin glaze.
The Chuleta de Cordero was a standout, with two elegantly arranged lamb chops marinated in rosemary and lemon and served with a rebuilt gazpacho salad in a tomato vinaigrette.
Naturally, patatas bravas went nicely with the lamb, as did sautéed fingerling potatoes with roasted garlic aioli, brava sauce, and pimento.
You could book an appointment at Del Rey to gratify your romantic side.
Tram Way, +1-760-325-45371
And now, if you want to try the greatest cuisine in Palm Springs in a different manner, ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway 2.5 miles up Chino Canyon, the gondola gently turning 360 degrees as you climb from the desert bottom. Peaks Restaurant is a sight to see, perched 4,000 feet above the desert floor on the outskirts of Mt. San Jacinto State Park.
The décor is breathtaking, and it was recently voted No. 8 on Architectural Digest’s list of the World’s Greatest Cliffside Restaurants. Its retro style merges perfectly with the natural surroundings, which include granite outcroppings and twisted trees, as well as a palette of rock, wood, and glass. Panorama views of the sky and Coachella Valley are provided via floor-to-ceiling windows. Here, renowned Head Chef John Fritch is at the pinnacle of his craft. The menu features sophisticated American fare.
I sampled exquisite carpacciothin beef rounds topped with shaved fennel, capers, slices of fresh parmesan, and a drizzle of truffle oil with a dash of ancho chile mustard, freshly cracked pepper, and lemon. The fresh iceberg lettuce reduced the fat in a nice and crunchy Peaks Wedge Salad.
2 pound ground beef topped with Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded Pork Short Rib, Fried Onions, and Applewood Smoked Bacon. The Pepper Pork Burger is the epitome of indulgence. A whole 1
The pure tastes of a Free-Range Brick Chicken with Sauted Spinach and Rosemary Herbed Fingerling Potatoes are on the evening menu. Or try the herb-encrusted Colorado Rack of Lamb Herb with roasted heirloom potatoes and Swiss chard in a Rosemary Demi-Glace.
Reservations are strongly advised, and I rate this restaurant as one of the finest in Palm Springs.
Which of these Palm Springs’ greatest restaurants will you try first? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!