Palm Springs is a sundrenched destination known for its star-studded history. Between all the lounging and mojitos by the pool, there are also some seriously great spots to eat and drink at. Over the last few years (save for 2020 and 2021 – let’s just pretend the last two years don’t exist), Palm Springs restaurants have risen to the occasion thanks to innovative chefs and restaurateurs. Even if you’re not ready to dine indoors yet, many of these spots have a great outdoor patio and takeout options. Here are the best Palm Springs restaurants for your glamorous desert getaway!
Start off your day with a hearty brunch at Cheeky’s. Owned by Palm Springs native, chef, and restaurateur Tara Lazar, Cheeky’s quirky brand continues to be synonymous with Palm Springs today after a decade. The menu changes weekly so you’re always in for something different, and everything is made from scratch using the freshest local ingredients. We love the super fun vibes, and you can choose to dine indoors or outdoors. Try to come early – Cheeky’s closes at 2pm daily!
2. Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey
Age-old Japanese techniques come together with modern touches at Sandfish. By complementing his award-winning sushi with a judiciously stocked whiskey bar, Chef Engin introduces new levels of taste to the table. Grab a seat inside the sleek dining room, at the street-facing patio, or the bar to chat up the chefs and ask for recommendations. Make sure to try the best-selling Venue Roll, where spicy tuna, salmon and tobiko come together like a symphony. In addition, they have one of the best selections of whiskey in town, many of which are also in their signature cocktails.
3. King’s Highway
King’s Highway is restored from a former Denny’s and has everything to make it California cool. Situated in Ace Hotel, the diner is one of the most popular breakfast hangout spots in Palm Springs. Whether you’re looking for a full meal or a snack with a date shake, King’s Highway hits the right spot consistently. Come by on Wednesdays for their live, open-air jazz and dinner series from 8pm to 10pm!
4. Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Workshop has been one of the most popular destinations in Palm Springs since opening in 2011. Helmed by Chef-owner Michael Beckman and partner Joseph Mourani, the award-winning restaurant features a market-driven menu of seasonal food highlights from local farms and offers a bar program unlike any other desert establishment. The restaurant makes for a great date night spot and the Modern American cuisine is sure to impress. Proof of vaccination or negative test is required for indoor dining.
Just next door to Cheeky’s is Birba. Specializing in Italian cuisine such as handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza and elegant salads in an inviting tree-filled patio, this is the perfect spot if you’re looking to dine al-fresco. We especially love that Birba has options for different dietary needs, including gluten-free cauliflower pizza crusts. And the menu changes up every few months, keeping you excited for your next visit.
6. Mr. Lyons
Mr. Lyons is one of those spots that has seen guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope. This swanky steakhouse has been around since 1945 and is still one of the top Palm Springs restaurants. Get classics such as the New York strip, steak frites, mac and cheese, shrimp cocktails, and wedge salads. Or try newer touches like the vegan chopped salad and honeynut squash.
7. Dead or Alive
An independent local beer and wine bar, Dead or Alive specializes in small-production, natural, organic, and low-intervention wine, beer, and cider from across California, the US, and beyond. You won’t find bottles that are mass produced, manufactured, and heavily manipulated here, and this is definitely not your typical bar. The drinks menu rotates frequently, and the ultra-chill vibes make you feel like you’re sipping something special, somewhere special.