After a ton of requests, I’ve finally rounded up a list of the best restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs! In the last 5-10 years, Palm Springs has gone through a major rebrand. I no longer get the “wait, isn’t Palm Springs for old people?” eyebrow raise whenever I tell someone I live there part-time. The desert has become very popular amongst millennial’s thanks to a small, little music festival called Coachella, and the plethora of travel bloggers posing in front of colorful doors hashtagging #palmspringslife.
With Los Angeles a mere two hours away, the foodie scene has naturally migrated to Palm Springs. This list is a mix of a few cult favorites, old school classics and my personal #1’s.
Read on for my 10 Best Restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs
Run by Foundation 10 Creative (the team behind some of my favorite spots in Palm Springs!), this Italian fusion restaurant set in an outdoor courtyard is the perfect place to grab a wood-fired pizza, pasta and a crafted cocktail or two. I always tell my friends to visit Birba while in the desert because I love the trendy outdoor vibes (I’m a sucker for outdoor seating avec firepits!!), the service is always great, and it’s my go-to place for a date night or with a group.
Mr. Lyons Steakhouse
You may wonder why a steakhouse made it to the top of my list considering I’m pescatarian, but Mr.Lyons is so much more than a steakhouse, and the food is just THAT good. Sit in the lounge and rotate through a plethora of handcrafted cocktails while you decide on meals. If you’re pescatarian like me, you can’t go wrong with the vegetable wellington (seriously, insanely good!!) or the salmon. I went with 5 people and each person said it was their best meal in years! If you’re with a group, order a few brussel sprouts for the table. You’re welcome.
1940’s Cary Grant Guesthouse turned restaurant, Copley’s is a great place to unwind and take in that Palm Springs energy. It is one of the top rated restaurants in the desert by the New York Times, with a killer food/atmosphere combo. This courtyard is what #pinterestgoals are made of. Set with the desert mountains in the background, Copley’s is great for a romantic date after a day of exploring. Save room for dessert and stick around for some after dinner drinks by the outdoor firepits.
Inspired by her life-changing trip to the South of France, owner Liz Ostoich created a restaurant that embodies the culture, atmosphere and taste of that special corner of the world. Omelets, crepes, fresh salads and a gorgeous cottage style decor. Adopt a rosé all day mentality and let brunch spill into the late afternoon. FYI – if going for dinner, its a Prix Fixe menu, with menu items changing all the time. A perfect reason to keep coming back with every visit!
Rooster and the Pig
This restaurant is fairly new to the scene but has already made it to the top of many “Best restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs” round-ups! It quickly became a cult favorite among locals and visitors alike and has been featured in Travel and Leisure’s Palm Springs Travel Guide and Vogue’s Best Places to Eat. It’s the first Vietnamese fusion restaurant that I know of in Palm Springs and it’s safe to say they have found their niche. Go for the spring rolls, stay for the pho (and if you pronounce it “Fah!” we can’t sit together. Don’t care if that’s how it’s actually pronounced…).
Tip: It’s closed Tuesdays so plan accordingly!
I’m starting to think I should change the title of this post from best restaurants in Downtown Palm Springs to “dreamiest courtyards”. There’s something about Palm Springs and gorgeous courtyards, and So.Pa is no exception. When I’m in Palm Springs and escaping Vancouver rain, I’m all about that patio life so no complaints here.
Last time we were there a couple got engaged right in front of us (much to the chagrin of my boyfriend of five years ;-)) I have to give a shoutout to the service because it was exceptional. They were so attentive and even comped our spanish coffees because it took a little longer than usual to make. A++.
Did somebody say tacos and margaritas? This restaurant is located in The Saguaro, that colourful hotel that exudes Palm Springs style. Use this as an excuse to check out the hotel decor and pool and then finish the tour with some of the best fish tacos of yo life! Ya I said it.
Purple Palm in Colony Palms Hotel
The Purple Palm is situated between the Design and Movie Colony district (in the Colony Palms Hotel) so it’s no coincidence it has a celebrity feel to it. When you walk around you just feel like an A-list celeb could pop out at ya any second. I love going to this restaurant for brunch before a pool day to sip on their blood orange margaritas, but a meal any time is great at this spot!
Workshop Kitchen/Truss and Twine
Workshop Kitchen was one of the first “trendy” restaurants to come into Downtown Palm Springs and it hasn’t slowed down since. With a courtyard (obvs) and community style vibe, this is a great place to spend an evening.
Try the PALM SPRINGER
I love their menu description: vodka, fresh pineapple juice, housemade grenadine, angostura bitters. uncertain and at odds, this drink is icy cold and a little bitter…but…has a certain sweetness and complexity, similar to the kiss of an ex-lover… only without the early morning awkwardness and wayward feelings.
Finish the night next door at their sister bar, Truss and Twine where there is usually a live DJ. Palm Springs was really lacking in the after-dinner bar scene, but this establishment came in to save the day and fill the void! Try one of their many cocktails broken down by era and infused with local ingredients!
Well, I’m thirsty now.
Ohh Melvyn’s. This place is iconic! The Rat Pack and multiple celebrities after them have frequented this shrine upon the hill. The food is very old school (think steaks, caesar salad, escargot) and to be honest the food isn’t why Melvyn’s is on this list. It’s the atmosphere. You have to visit Melvyn’s while in Palm Springs! Come after dinner for a dirty martini or Negroni and listen to live music. You’re in for some of the BEST people watching you’ll ever experience.
Bonus! If you are visiting Joshua Tree National Park, plan to have dinner at Pappy and Harriet’s! Read my Day Trip Itinerary here!
Speaking of Itineraries! One of the most asked questions I get is how to spend a weekend in Palm Springs. You’re in luck. Download my comprehensive itinerary to the perfect weekend in Palm Springs!
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