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Food

17 Best Places to Eat in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

June 2, 2017 by Christina Minh

Palm Springs has long been a quick getaway spot of choice for Los Angelenos. Now the desert hotspot and its neighboring cities are quickly becoming a dining destination that’s gaining attention from glossy fashion magazines and being recognized by the James Beard Foundation.

So what fits the bill for the best places to eat? We searched ate everywhere to uncover the cream of the crop. From bacon flights to foie gras macarons and German pancakes, there’s something for everyone on our list.

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Bonus: Foodies looking to get a full taste of the vibrant food scene should consider visiting in June during Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. In addition, the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival is the area’s biggest food and wine event of the year for those who want to try everything under one roof.

Time to plan your desert food adventure with the help of We Like LA’s curated list of best eats in the Coachella Valley! Oh, and don’t forget to check out our handy guides of things to do in Palm Springs, plus the best times to go and where to stay, all included in our three-part getaway guide to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

Iron House Ranch Beef Burger. Grilled over wood, hopscotch cheddar, our pastrami, melted fennel & onion, brioche bun. #workshopkitchenbar

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1. Workshop (Palm Springs)

Since opening in 2011, Workshop has been a popular dining destination for locals and vacationers alike. A 2015 James Beard Award winner for Best Restaurant Design, come to admire the industrial chic decor but stay for the delicous food. The focus on seasonal ingredients supports local farms and guarantees that what is being served is of very high quality. The menu is broken down into small plates, seasonal plates, and one large-format dish: a wood-fired prime aged rib eye. -> More information

2. Truss & Twine (Palm Springs)

Owned by Workshop Kitchen and Bar’s Michael Beckman, Truss & Twine provides guests with highly curated bar bites, as well as cocktails resurrecting from the Prohibition era, even going back as far as the Dark Ages. The bar staff is fun, entertaining and know their drinks inside and out. Inspired by SoCal’s desert bounty, the food menu incorporates local ingredients such as olives and rabbit, and changes with the seasons and the availably of ingredients. Perhaps the most intriguing item on the menu while we were there is the Spot Prawn Dog topped with uni mayo and seaweed salad on an ultra-buttery brioche. The richness of the first bite made it impossible to stop eating. Food and cocktails flow into the late hours, providing a prime dining destination for late diners in uptown Palm Springs. ->More information

3. Counter Reformation (Palm Springs)

Dubbed “a shrine to great wine,” Counter Reformation, located inside the swanky Parker Hotel, is a cool speakeasy filled with unique tapas and great wine. The food menu is tight, but you’ll be happy with the offerings of foie gras macaron, beef carpaccio, jamón and Santa Barbara sea urchin escabeche. Their wine list is just as impressive, and luckily much longer. ->More information

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4. Las Casuelas Quinta (La Quinta)

There are five different Las Casuelas in the Coachella Valley, but Las Casuelas Quinta shines with its beautiful decor and delicious dishes prepared colonial Mexican style with hints of California contemporary cuisine. Order a margarita and a signature combination plate. The menu is huge but you can’t go wrong with classics like enchiladas, tacos and tostadas. ->More information

las casuelas

Photo Credit: Las Casuelas

5. Le Vallauris (Palm Springs)

French restaurant Le Vallauris has been a Palm Springs gem for over 40 years. A beautiful spot for Sunday brunch or a romantic dinner, the patio is a prime spot, with tall trees and soft lights. A new special prix fixe menu is offered every week. Dishes are old-school French in both design and preparation. ->More information

6. Cheeky’s (Palm Springs)

Two words: bacon flight. Yup, Cheeky’s serves a plate of several different kinds of bacon (selections change periodically) with flavors such as beer apple cinnamon, rosemary sugar, and Doritos. Go early, as there is always a line, but it is well worth it. Did I mention the bacon flight yet? ->More Information

Always changing, always delicious bacon flight. #cheekysps #palmsprings

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7. Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe (Palm Desert)

This lively, retro-designed cafe is located in the chic El Paseo shopping district of Palm Desert. Open for breakfast and brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week, Wilma & Frieda’s is a hotspot so be prepared to wait. You’ll be rewarded with perfectly cooked fluffy pancakes, waffles and a popular short rib benedict! ->More information 

8. L’Atelier (Palm Springs)

Owned by actual Parisians, this little spot is a good choice for a low-key brunch. Order their fluffy quiche or croque madame with your mimosa and finish off your meal with a macaron. -> More Information

9. Rooster & the Pig (Palm Springs)

There is always a wait at this popular Vietnamese-American spot but the buzz around this place is real. The vibe is fun and lively, the food full of flavors. Chef Tai Spendley knows how to make Vietnamese food very approachable. A mix of traditional Southeast flavors with a touch of American, Spendley’s offerings are a great example of fusion cuisine, with a menu that changes from time to time. When we were there we enjoyed an excellent tea leaf salad, a chicken-stuffed rice ball with yellow curry and spring rolls made with fresh seasonal ingredients. ->More information

10. Oasis Date Farm (Thermal)

A 30-minute drive from Palm Springs, Oasis Date Gardens is worth the trip just for their date shakes. Organic since 2000, they produce some of the best dates in the desert valley. The shake is a combination of creamy vanilla ice cream blended with soft, chewy dates, and we believe it’s better than that of their rival, Shields. Take your love of dates (and if you drove all the way here you do love dates!) to the gift shop, where you’ll try whole samples of dates from dozens of varieties. We suggest buying a few pounds as it’s very affordable here. ->More information

11. Elmer’s Restaurant (Palm Springs)

One word: German pancakes! Baked in the oven, this crater-like breakfast item comes with lemon wedges, powdered sugar and whipped butter. Order a German pancake for the table, then add on skillets, Benedicts, omelets and more. Breakfast is served all day. ->More information

Our Classic German Pancake. 🎤⬇️ #iheartelmers

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12. Iw Coffee (Indian Wells)

This coffee shop is a desert gem serving perfectly roasted coffee and well-balanced drinks like chocolate cherry, maple vanilla and honey-cinnamon lattes which are not overly sweet. Their beans are from Joshua Tree Coffee Company, who hand roast some of the highest-grade certified organic coffee around. ->More information

13. Mikado at JW Marriott Desert Springs (Desert Springs)

Walk or take a gondola ride to this JW Marriott Japanese steakhouse. Knife-wielding chefs cooking with steam and fire await you, ready to entertain you with their skills. The menu offerings consist of sushi and fresh items like steak, seafood and vegetables to be cooked right in front of you. ->More information

Dinner was 🔥 with my @liveeatstyle babes @desertsprings 🙌🏻 @chrissy.stardust @welikela @daniellabenita #MFPtravel

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14. The Sandwich Spot (Palm Springs)

Designated one of the top 50 restaurants in the United States by The Wall Street Journal, The Sandwich Spot is kind of a big deal in Palm Springs. If you go, the Dutch crunch bread and the spicy bomb sauce are both fan favorites. ->More Information

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15. Reservoir at Arrive (Palm Springs)

Dine with a crisp, clear view of the mountains and beautiful people lounging by the pool. Come for brunch and score awesome Cap n’ Crunch French Toast, breakfast tacos and a build your own Bloody Mary bar. What’s not to like? ->More information

16. Copley’s (Palm Springs)

Part of the former Cary Grant estate, Copley’s is the perfect place for a romantic sunset dinner. Serving California cuisine with European flair, you’ll see truffle tortellini, poached lobster and roasted organic chicken on the menu.-> More information

17. Jake’s (Palm Springs)

This hip restaurant located in the Uptown Design District serves a large menu of bistro fare borrowing flavors from Italian, Asian and American cuisines. A very popular weekend brunch spot, Jake’s has a superior drink menu.-> More Information

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