I’m a vegetarian and have traveled to Palm Springs with my omnivorous husband, kids, and close vegan friends. Satisfying a variety of tastes can be a tall order, but Palm Springs has it all when it comes to food and drink.
Expect healthy, light, vegan and locally sourced fare, plus hangouts full of comfort foods and meat-based meals that have earned the Rat Pack a devoted following at the time.
After 20 years of visiting I have tried the full range of restaurants on offer. This is where I love to eat, whether it’s a solo work meal, a girls’ weekend, a date night or a family experience on the town.
The King’s Highway
King’s Highway is a cool, bohemian, and hip restaurant at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club that serves food all day — the space was once a Denny’s after all. Come for everything from Beyond burgers to hearty and surprisingly healthy salads.
Brunch is also a delight, with avocado toast, of course, and an excellent smoked salmon bagel that New Yorkers would envy. End any tour with drinks in the adjacent Amigo Room.
In Palm Springs, skip your Starbucks for the locals’ favorite coffeehouse chain: Koffi. With locations in North, South, and Central Palm Springs (I typically go South when I stay at the Ace or Saguaro, or Central when I stay in Avalon), come grab a coffee and some freshly sized muffins. cooked.
Enjoy it with a people-watching side among dog walkers, fitness enthusiasts and a friendly atmosphere. My go-to is a yogurt parfait and an iced coffee to fuel a hot day in the desert.
Miro’s is a pan-European restaurant offering indoor and outdoor dining at its finest. Admire mountain views from the bright patio while eating a less than typical mix of Slavic, Hungarian, Italian, Greek and German cooking styles.
The menu is extensive, the service is solid, and I love this place for date nights thanks to the lovely but unassuming raised patio.
This Mexican canteen in Saguaro, of course, serves up refreshing margaritas and cervezas. But the food is also inventive and memorable, with vegetarian specialties including potato flautas and quesadillas with nopales on an all-day menu.
El Jefe also has a generous daily happy hour which is a local favorite and the graphic neon signs and communal tables are dark, exciting and a bit rock and roll.
Newer to the Palm Springs area, Boozehounds have already established themselves as a dog staple. The restaurant, lounge, atrium, and outdoor patio span 7,000 square feet, with an inviting mid-century modern design.
The canine aesthetic extends from the logo to the photos on the wall, and the menu fuses Asian and coastal California dishes. For dinner, try inventive crudos, salads and focaccia, as well as vegetarian favorites like loaded vegan dog.
Fish Sushi & Whiskey
You won’t find colorful mid-century accents at Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey. Rather, everything is minimalist Scandinavian and industrial-style furniture that looks more like Brooklyn than Palm Springs.
Pair Engin Onural’s impeccable sushi with drinks from a stocked whiskey bar. The rolls include the aptly named “the experience,” with snow crab, mango, avocado, and cucumber topped with tuna, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro, and yuzu aioli.
But even the basics like shishito peppers and miso soup jump out with flavor. Launch into the multi-course omakase tasting menu to feel like a true VIP.
Rooster and Pig
Like many great restaurants that locals love, Rooster and the Pig doesn’t look like much from outside its mall address.
But the food here is amazing, with a Vietnamese-American menu including appetizers, fresh rolls, and big plates of noodles and fried rice to share. I found eating here to be lively, memorable and totally delicious.
Birba’s outdoor patio is a dream, especially when it’s warm but not stuffy. This Italian restaurant, with a charming tree-lined terrace, offers wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta, as well as tasty salads and artisanal cocktails.
Come and enjoy pies and drinks and listen to local indie music; check the schedule for live performances. Just plan ahead as reservations can be hard to come by.
Kitchen + Bar Workshop
Workshop Kitchen + Bar in the middle of the Uptown design district features monochromatic industrial-chic interiors, a long communal table, and a quiet courtyard kept cool by misters in the summer.
The vibe is upscale but local and seasonal food remains accessible, with ingredients sourced from a dozen local farms, including many in the Coachella Valley. The kitchen includes a wood-fired pizza oven, wood-fired grill and custom sous-vide station.
Once a pop-up restaurant, this burger joint now lives inside the Hilton hotel, but it’s way above your typical greasy spoon (or casual hotel restaurant).
Come to The Heydey for Harris Ranch cheeseburgers, buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwiches, and a plant-based mushroom burger that’s far from just a vegetarian afterthought, in my opinion.
Tropicale is a bustling, vibrant place loaded with neon pink lighting, leafy palm trees, and an overall vibe that resembles the Rat Pack on an island getaway.
Inside, slip into leather booths as performers sing along to live piano sets, or head to the patio where you’ll find plenty of seating under lush landscaping for a transportation experience that gives the impression that you have flown away to an exotic island. The menu is huge and includes pan-Asian inspired dishes like crispy nori Ahi tuna rolls and a Pu Pu platter, as well as pizzas, salads and dishes ranging from spaghetti and meatballs to carne asada.
On a scorching day in the desert, when a big meal seems too filling, or for a refreshing snack, Fruit Wonders in downtown Palm Springs blends the best smoothies and juices in town. Sip on healthy green energy drinks, cool down with fresh fruit popsicles, or fill up on acai bowls topped with fruit, granola, and other goodies. The date shake is a must, made with local dates from the Coachella Valley for the perfect amount of creamy sweetness.
Check out Insider’s complete guide to visiting Palm Springs.
Emily Hochberg contributed reporting for this article.