Best Of The Best

You voted. We reveal. Here is the best of everything, as selected by our readers.



Amber Elorie tends bar at Sullivan’s Steakhouse.

DAVID A. LEE

Each year, Palm Springs Life readers weigh in on the people, places, and things that make the Coachella Valley special: the Best of the Best. In online polling over the past year, you told us your desert favorites, from restaurants, spas, and resorts to dog parks, attractions, and golf courses. Though we reveal monthly winners in our Desert Guide, we’ve rounded up the 2012 winners here.

Eat & Drink

BEST BAR

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
Offering a hip-yet-casual atmosphere that buzzes with energy, a friendly staff , and killer specialty cocktails, Sullivan’s is one of the desert’s favorite places to unwind with a well-rounded selection of spirits, live music, and impressive bar menu.
73505 El Paseo, Palm Desert.
760-341-3560; www.sullivanssteakhouse.com

BEST BARBECUE RESTAURANT

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Boasting mouthwatering meats, succulent sauces, and award-winning beers, Babe’s brings out the best in barbecue with good ol’ Southern favorites.
The River at Rancho Mirage,
71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage.
760-346-8738; www.babesbbq.com

BEST BREAKFAST

Keedy’s Fountain Grill
This joint is a real blast from the past. If you’re craving a little nostalgia and a plate full of great eats for your morning meal, head to Keedy’s.
73633 Highway 111, Palm Desert.
760-346-649

BEST COCKTAILS

Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
(From left) Babe’s Sangria, Raspberry Lemon Drop, and Blue Oasis

DAVID A. LEE

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Babe’s award-winning beers are legendary, but this popular bar and restaurant is also known for its outstanding cocktail selection. For high-end spirits, try Top-Shelf Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
The River at Rancho Mirage,
71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage.
760-346-8738; www.babesbbque.com

BEST COFFEEHOUSE

Koffi
Koffi

Scott Van Dyke

Koffi
A relaxed, fun setting for conver-sation, people-watching, or social networking, Koffi embraces Palm Springs’ minimalist modern vibe. The popular hangout offers a generous selection of coffees and beverages prepared by a friendly, knowledgeable staff.
515 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-416-2244.
1700 S. Camino Real, Palm Springs.
760-322-7776. www.kofficoffee.com

BEST DELI-BAKERY

Sherman’s Deli & Bakery
This Kosher-style family exper-ience is reminiscent of a New York-style deli. Sherman’s sandwich board offers more than 40 favorites, such as hot corned beef on rye. Bread and desserts are baked fresh daily.
401 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs.
760-325-1199; www.shermansdeli.com

BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT

La Brasserie Bistro & Bar
An authentic French bistro offering sophistication and charm juxtaposed with a high-energy environment, La Brasserie embraces authentic style and comfort with a menu that fea-tures fresh and traditional bistro cuisine.
78477 Highway 111, La Quinta.
760-771-4400; www.labrasserielaquinta.com

BEST HAMBURGER

Woody's Burgers
Woody's Burgers

David A. Lee

Woody’s Burgers
Offering a traditional diner feel in front and a lounge vibe in back with live music and a pool table, Woody’s easily lives up to its motto: “We keep the beer cold and the experience fun!”

317 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-230-0188; www.woodysburgersps.com

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse

DAVID A. LEE

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Enjoy a round of smiles during Babe’s happy hour, Monday through Friday. Offering award-winning beers, Top-Shelf Tuesdays, and a delicious bar menu, it’s a great place to get happy.
The River at Rancho Mirage,
71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage.
760-346-8738; www.babesbbque.com

BEST ICE CREAM/FROZEN YOGURT


Eddie's Frozen Yougurt
Eddie's Frozen Yougurt

Eddie’s Frozen Yogurt

Eddie’s offers honest yogurt from a kaleidoscope of flavors. Choose from more than 40 toppings.
300 E. Arenas Rd., Palm Springs.

760-325-6700; www.facebook.com/eddiesfrozenyogurt

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

india Oven
India Oven

David A. Lee

India Oven
India Oven’s dishes may tie your tongue with names like Murgh Makhani or Punjab Kaddi. But they also will tickle your taste buds with spices that bring out the flavors of authentic Indian cuisine.
35875 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City.
760-770-3918; www.india-oven.com

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Johnny Costa’s Ristorante
This family institution serves classic Italian food prepared fresh to order in a nostalgic atmosphere with dark wood, soft lighting, and romantic booths. Try the authentic brick-oven pizzas; you’ll feel like you’re in Naples.
440 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
760-3250-4556; www.johnnycostaspalmsprings.com

BEST LATE-NIGHT BITES

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro
At this combination wine shop and restaurant, you can choose from an abundant selection of wines from around the world to complement a menu designed for discerning palates.
73101 Highway 111, Palm Desert.
760-837-9600; www.the3rdcorner.com

BEST MARGARITA

Las Casuelas Terraza
Located in a remodeled 1924 Palm Springs casa, this Mexican restaurant pulses with live music, great food, killer margaritas (try the fresh lime version) and a perpetual party atmosphere.
222 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-325-2794; www.lascasuelas.com

BEST MOJITO

Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe
Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café

DAVID A. LEE

Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café
Whether you are a mojito purist (the perfect mix of mint and rum) or an adventurer (with pineapple), your getaway in a glass awaits.
The Gardens on El Paseo,
73595 El Paseo, Palm Desert.
760-836-0188; www.tommybahama.com

BEST PIZZA

Pizzeria Villagio Italian Kitchen
Pizza Villagio successfully blends the urban essence of New York City and the farm-to-table abundance of California. Dig in and experience a place where Old World tradition meets new world freshness.
37029 Cook Street, Suite 101, Palm Desert.
760-779-5050; www.pizzeriavillagio.com

BEST POWER LUNCH

Spencer's Restaurant
Spencer’s Restaurant

DAVID A. LEE

Spencer’s Restaurant
It’s not “business as usual” on Spencer’s tree-shaded patio or inside amid an ambiance of stylish elegance. Offering delicious continental cuisine that satisfies diverse passions and palates, Spencer’s epitomizes classic Palm Springs style.
701 W. Baristo Road, Palm Springs.
760-327-3446; 
www.spencersrestaurant.com

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

bluEmber
bluEmber

bluEmber  
With excellent dining all day and well into the evening, bluEmber at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa offers an exciting atmosphere and a stunning outdoor plaza with fire pits, stunning views, and live music.
41000 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage.
760-862-4581; www.dinebluember.com

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
Pacifica Seafood Restaurant

DAVID A. LEE

Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
Presenting delicious treats from the sea, Pacifica satisfies. Popular menu items include bouillabaisse, Maryland-style crab cakes, and a variety of grilled fish. Vodka lovers flock to Pacifica to sample more than 140 of the world’s finest vodkas.
73505 El Paseo,
 Palm Desert.
760-674 8666; www.pacificaseafoodrestaurant.com

BEST SPORTS BAR

The Beer Hunter
Revel in an immense selection of games on big-screen HDTV: football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, and more. Featuring reasonably priced food and drinks, The Beer Hunter serves while you watch.
78483 Highway 111, La Quinta.
760-564-7442; www.laquintabeerhunter.com

BEST STEAKHOUSE

Chop House 


Delight in U.S.D.A. Prime meats, seafood, seasonal fresh vegetables, house-made desserts, and an ample wine cellar. Chops and steaks are grilled the classic way.
262 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-320-4500; www.restaurantsofpalmsprings.com

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

Daily Grill
Daily Grill

DAVID A. LEE

Daily Grill
Daily Grill is the go-to place for a repast including whole-grain pecan pancakes, omelets, crab cake Benedict, and Aunt Ronda’s Monkey Bread.
The Shops on El Paseo,
73061 El Paseo, Palm Desert.
760-779-9911; www.dailygrill.com

BEST SUSHI

The Venue
The Venue

DAVID A. LEE

The Venue  
This sushi bar and Japanese restaurant is an experience in sensual dining. Try the spicy tuna topped with seared salmon or go omakase (in the chef’s hands) for a total sushi immersion.
73111 El Paseo, Palm Desert.
760-346-1500; www.thevenuepalmdesert.com

BEST THAI RESTAURANT

Thai Smile
Healthy, flavorful menu selections marry Thai cuisine’s traditional heat with a toned-down respect for American tastes. You can order your dish as spicy as you can take it.
651 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 
Palm Springs.
760-320-5503; www.thaismilepalmsprings.com

BEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT

Native Foods Café
Delicious vegan creations fresh daily using organic ingredients offer a nutritious diet using 100 percent plant-based foods.
Smoke Tree Village,
1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 135, Palm Springs (closed for renovation until fall).
760-416-0070; www.nativefoods.com

BEST WINE LIST

Spencer's Restaurant
Spencer’s Restaurant

DAVID A. LEE

Spencer’s Restaurant
Spencer’s presents an extensive wine cellar offering a bountiful selection of wines by the glass or the bottle, including Kistler Estate, Sonoma Coast pinot noir (2007 and 2008, $187) and Chateau Petrus, Pomerol 1990 ($8,900).
701 W. Baristo Road, Palm Springs.
760-327-3446; www.spencersrestaurant.com

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT (TIE)

Wang's in the Desert
Wang's in the Desert

David A. Lee

Wang’s in the Desert
Wang’s offers an attractive vibe and great selection of Asian-inspired food. For socializing, unwind in the open bar; or meet and make friends on the outdoor patio.
424 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
760-325-9264; www.wangsinthedesert.com

City Wok
Homemade sauces; no MSG; and the freshest meats, seafood, and produce available make City Wok a stellar place for sit-down or takeout Chinese food. Los Angeles Times rated its Kung Pao chicken the “best outside of Chinatown.”
74970 Country Club Drive, Suite 450, Palm Desert.
760-341-1511; www.citywok.com

Culture & Attractions

BEST CASINO

Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa
Offering slots and table games, fine dining, and beautiful accommodations, Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa is a 24-hour adult playground. See a concert at The Show, party at Rendezvous lounge, or try your luck in a slot tournament.
32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage.
888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com

BEST DOG PARK

Palm Springs Dog Park
Palm Springs Dog Park

DAVID A. LEE

Palm Springs Dog Park
Palm Springs Dog Park is a favorite hangout for canines and their people. Featuring 1.6 acres of grass, trees, antique fire hydrants, chairs, benches, and balls, it’s the perfect place for dogs of all sizes to romp.
222 Civic Drive, Palm Springs.
760-322-8362; www.palmsprings.com/points/dogpark

BEST MOVIE THEATER


Camelot Theatres

Home to Palm Springs film festivals and a host of other prestigious events, Camelot Theatres provides first-run art, foreign, and independent films. Visit Camelot Internationale Café and enjoy dinner and a drink with your movie.

2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs.

760-325-6565; www.camelottheatres.com

BEST TOURIST ATTRACTION

Indian Canyons
Indian Canyons

COURTESY INDIAN CANYONS

Indian Canyons
Marvel at plunging cliffs, waterfalls, and pools fed by clear ribbons of water. Three distinct canyons make up one of the desert’s most-loved attractions, featuring hiking and equestrian trails, picnic areas, and a trading post.
Tollgate at the south end of Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
760-323-6018; www.indian-canyons.com

Health & Beauty

BEST COSMETICS COUNTER

Macy’s
Love Lancome? Go crazy for Chanel? Does Estée Lauder excite you? Macy’s carries these exquisite lines and a wealth of others. Let one of the store’s personnel guide you, or request a makeover from a trained stylist.
Westfield Palm Desert,
72780 Highway 111, Palm Desert.
760-346-9300; www.macys.com/palmdesert

BEST HAIR SALON

Brien O’Brien Salon
Offering big-city style and a resort vibe, Brien O’Brien Salon rocks your hair. Get a razor cut, new color, professional-quality products, and more.
515 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A-2, Palm Springs.
760-778-0333; www.brienobriensalon.com

BEST FITNESS CLUB/GYM

Desert CrossFit
Desert CrossFit

DAVID A. LEE

Desert CrossFit
CrossFit trainers believe exercise should feel more like play and less like hard work. This coaching facility offers scheduled workout sessions and teaches the skills, habits, and nutritional guidelines to keep you fit for life.
73605 Dinah Shore Drive, Suite 1400-N, Palm Desert.
760-533-0642; www.desertcrossfit.com

Shopping

BEST MEN’S APPAREL

Wil Stiles
Wil Stiles

DAVID A. LEE

Wil Stiles
Dedicated to stylish folks and the fashions they crave, Wil Stiles carries an impressive assortment of popular lines, including Fred Perry and Marc Jacobs. Enjoy a selection of chic clothing with an emphasis on European sportswear and British street attire.
875 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
760-327-9764; www.wilstiles.com

BEST WOMEN’S APPAREL (TIE)

Trina Turk
Trina Turk

JONATHAN ELLIS

Trina Turk
Bright and bold, designer Trina Turk’s boutique features daring lines and untamed fabrics that reflect the Palm Springs vibe. Her vivid, ’60s-inspired clothing and home accessories blend perfectly with the desert’s midcentury ambiance.
891 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
760-416-2856; www.trinaturk.com

Wil Stiles
Wil Stiles appeals to women as well as men. It’s the place where fashion-conscious folks outfit themselves from head to toe.
875 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
760-327-9764; www.wilstiles.com

Resorts & Country Clubs

BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL

ingleside Inn
Ingleside Inn

COURTESY INGLESIDE INN

Ingleside Inn
This intimate, European-style inn captures the essence of old Palm Springs. Steps away from the energetic heart of the city, this full-service resort features rooms, suites, villas, and Melvyn’s — the inn’s history-rich restaurant and lounge.
200 W. Ramon Road, Palm Springs.
760-325-0046; www.inglesideinn.com

BEST PRIVATE GOLF COURSE

Indian Ridge Country Club
Featuring championship golf courses with fairways that unwind like green ribbon through desert vistas, Indian Ridge Country Club’s Arnold Palmer-designed courses are widely acknowledged as two of the finest in the Coachella Valley.
76375 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert.
760-772-7272; www.indianridgecc.com

BEST RESORT HOTEL

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa
Find paradise in one place at this premier resort offering a wealth of activities on property, including an award-winning spa. There’s a good reason many fundraising galas, conferences, and other prestige events are held here. The pool even features a sandy beach.
44400 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells.
760-773-4444; www.renaissanceesmeralda.com

BEST  PUBLIC GOLF COURSE (TIE)

Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort / Cimarrón Golf Resort / SilverRock Resort  
With more than 100 courses overall, the Coachella Valley offers myriad opportunities for great golf. Votes were split among three local public courses. Each designed with players in mind, Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, Cimarrón Golf Resort in Cathedral City, and SilverRock Resort in La Quinta tied for first place.

Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort
Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort

COURTESY TAHQUITZ CREEK GOLF RESORT

Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort,
1885 Golf Club Drive, Palm Springs.
760-328-1005; www.tahquitzgolfresort.com

Cimarron Golf Resort
Cimarron Golf Resort

COURTESY CIMARRON GOLF RESORT

Cimarrón Golf Resort,
67603 30th Ave., Cathedral City.
800-701-1656; www.cimarrongolf.com

SilverRock Resort
SilverRock Resort

COURTESY SILVERROCK RESORT

SilverRock Resort,
79179 Ahmanson Lane, La Quinta.
760-777-8884; www.silverrock.org

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