The timing seems perfect.
Slow summer month. Visitors, gone. Residents, many also gone.
It’s time to try that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to get to all season or maybe stop by your favorite restaurant without a reservation.
You make the drive in the heat only to find the place is closed for August, and not reopening until September or October.
So where can you get a decent bite to eat these sultry summer eves?
Here is a generous serving of some top places around the valley where your table is waiting.
Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill
Now two locations, the newest and larger Stuft Pizza just opened at Westfield Palm Desert with the same menu, hours and pricing as the original in Old Town La Quinta. More than 100 menu items beyond their award-winning pizzas: appetizers, tacos, small plates, prime steaks, seafood, salads, sandwiches and pastas. An impressive roster of 35 wines by the generous pour makes this a deal breaker.
Summer Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill, 78015 Main St., Old Town La Quinta, 760-777-9989
72840 Highway 111, Westfield Palm Desert, 760-610-7990
Lulu California Bistros & Acqua Pazza
Having made their mark in downtown Palm Springs and at The River, respectively, as two of the busiest dine-and-drink hotspots, these sister bistros do not close for a silly thing like heat. The lengthy and price-perfect menu runs the gamut of breakfast, lunch and dinner with three-course prix fixe options at $19.99, plus the 12-hour happy hour in the bar.
Summer Hours: Breakfast 8-11 a.m.; Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner 3-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Happy Hour 11 a.m. to close
Acqua Pazza 71800 Highway 111, The River, Rancho Mirage, (760) 862-9800
Lulu Palm Springs, 200 S. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 327-5858
From a stunning wrap-around corner patio overlooking El Paseo, Tommy Bahama’s island décor and South Pacific-inspired menu brings the tropics to your taste buds. Luscious tropical drinks, martinis, margaritas, select wines and premium breweries, Tommy Bahamas’ libations match the cuisine.
Summer Hours: 11 a.m. daily for lunch and dinner. Island Time, 3-6 p.m.
73595 El Paseo, The Gardens on El Paseo, Palm Desert, (760) 836-0188
The new Il Corso draws exceptional reviews for its layered, authentic Italian cuisine: Wood-fired thin crust Roman-style pizzas, panini and innovative salads, Pomodoro y Burrata, and Mediterranean-inspired seafood, shrimp, homemade meatballs, lamb, filets, chicken, and imported pastas.
Summer Hours: Monday through Sunday, Pasta & Pizza Bar; Dining 4:30-10:30 p.m.; Bar 4:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
73520 El Paseo, Palm Desert, (760) 341-6700
Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
Sourcing fresh seafood from coastal and fresh waters throughout the world, Pacifica offers shrimp, scallops, oysters, halibut, barramundi, Lake Superior white fish, salmon, Chilean seabass, calamari and more. Pacifica is also known for an international vodka bar and award-winning wine list. Sunset Suppers with a view of the desert for $19.75 are from 3-5:30 p.m.
Summer Hours: 3 p.m. bar, Dinner, 4-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
73505 El Paseo, Palm Desert, (760) 674-8666
Pomme Frite Belgium Bistro
Quaint, charming and ever so European, Pomme Frite delivers a true Belgium experience from the steamed black mussels – prepared nine ways – to Flemish stew simmered in Belgian beer, lamb shanks, pork chops and, of course, delicious pommes frites with homemade dipping sauce. This popular sidewalk bistro with its French music, Belgian beers and sturdy California-French wine list, has attracted serious food lovers and romantics for more than a decade.
Summer Hours: 5-10:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
256 South Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 778-3727
The Tropicale, Copa Palm Springs
Two of Palm Springs hottest restaurant, bar and nightclub scenes are located next door on East Amado. Inspired by farm-fresh produce, Tropicale offers a world-cuisine menu and luscious cocktails from its Coral Seas indoor/outdoor lounge. The Copa’s blazing laser lights, pulsating music and polished dance floor is Palm Springs newest nightspot for dancing, live shows and creative cocktails.
Tropicale Summer Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday brunch; Happy Hour 4 to 7 p.m. nightly
330 E. Amado, Palm Springs, (760) 886-1952
Copa Palm Springs
224 E. Amado, Palm Springs, (760) 866-0021
Copa Summer Hours: 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and closed Monday and Tuesday.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Innovative chef/owner Michael Beckman’s summer menu includes tastes of honey and white shoyu glazed black cod, Iron House Ranch beef burgers, mesquite grilled Salmon Creek Farms pork, and market veggie enchiladas. Workshop’s bar explores new versions of classic, prohibition-era cocktails such as the original 1911 gin-and-vermouth martini.
Summer Hours: 5 p.m. dinner nightly; Sunday brunch at 10 a.m.
800 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 459-3451
Trio offers contemporary American comfort food and libations to quench any size thirst at this popular Uptown eatery, bar and lounge.
Brother to TRIOis the Purple Room on East Palm Canyon, a hip 1960s style reimagined nightclub and restaurant that boasts to be a former haunt of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack.
Summer Hours: Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; Brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday; Dinner 3 p.m. nightly; Happy Hour 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. bar and patio.
707 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 864-8746
At the historic Palm Springs Tennis Club, a number of intriguing dining areas and a contemporary seasonal American menu with French and Pacific-Rim influences makes this an award winner. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, Spencer’s is considered the place for “power lunches.”
Summer Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
701 West Baristo, Palm Springs, (760) 327-3446
Solano’s brings a fresh farm-to-table bistro experience to Old Town La Quinta’s commercial area. A unique melding of seasonal west coast and south-of-the border dishes with touches of Pacific northwest has earned it a respected following.
Summer Hours: Monday through Saturday, 4-9 p.m.
78075 Main, Old Town La Quinta, (760) 771-6655
Owned and operated by the Kaiser Restaurant Group, whose roots in the ranching and meat business offers authentic “wild west” flavors of smoked and barbecued meats and poultry.
Summer Hours: 11 a.m. to close, Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday
80400 Highway 111, Indio, (760) 342-1999