Veg Out!

Vegetarians and vegans move to the head of the class



Make a “date” with The Café at Shields.

There was a time when being a vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian meant eating boiled potatoes and lifeless iceberg lettuce, or supping on bland fish that looked more like a kitchen sponge than a bold culinary endeavor.

Those days are gone, with a number of daring restaurants elevating the ordinary veggie into an extraordinary meal to remember. Vegetarians and vegans, if food is your passion, celebrate it at the desert’s best eateries.


Native Foods Café has taken the vegan food movement and infused it with contemporary cool. Refresh your tastebuds with a cooling watermelon fresca or lavender lemonade. Stay slim, trim, and healthy with a portobello and sausage burger, prepared with juicy grilled portobellos, homemade Native sausage seitan, caramelized onions, pomodoro, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.
1775 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-416-0070
www.nativefoods.com

A substantial portion of the menu at Peppers Thai Cuisine in Palm Springs is devoted to vegetarian palates. Feast on basil and chili tofu, which is pan-fried with basil leaves, chili, onions, bell peppers, and bamboo shoots. Or dine on the red curry with vegetables, which is cooked in a flavorful, mild sauce with just the right amount of spice.
396 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-322-1259
www.peppersthai.com

Make your first date at The Cafe at Shields a delicious one. Date farmers Floyd and Bess Shields founded the Coachella Valley eatery, located on the grounds of Shields Date Garden, in the 1920s. The Cafe at Shields serves a number of diverse choices for vegetarians seeking a balanced meal of proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Satisfy your hunger with the Santa Fe omelet. It’s prepared with cilantro, onions, and jalapeño, topped with tortilla strips, avocado, and red salsa. For European flair, try the Ratatouille omelet, prepared with three eggs, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, red bell peppers, eggplant, basil, and feta cheese.
80225 Hwy. 111, Indio.
760-347-0996
www.shieldsdategarden.com

Lick your fingers and smack your lips while sampling any number of the crisp and inviting salads at Jake’s Palm Springs. Jake’s discerning clientele loves stopping by this Uptown staple for a quick bite to eat during any season. Credit the Asian fusion flavor profiles created by head chef Mario Curci, who joined the restaurant in 2009. Take in the sights and sounds while dining on the patio, or gather around an  intimate table near the fountain. Dine on the Southwest salad loaded with avocado, black beans, roasted corn, yellow peppers, chopped romaine, pico de gallo, and sour cream with a spicy lime vinaigrette and tortilla strips. It’s a game-changer.
664 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-327-4400
www.jakespalmsprings.com

Tucked away in the plaza at Sunrise Center is Monsoon Indian Cuisine. Chomp your way through Malai Kofta —  vegetable dumplings cooked with mild spices, almond and cashew-nut gravy. The Palek Paneer is also a quaint favorite consisting of cheese cooked with fresh spinach and aromatic peas.
555 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs.
760-325-2700
www.monsoonindianrestaurant.com

The Tropicale Restaurant and Coral Seas Lounge is a stylish place to enjoy a veggie-only diet. Melt as each morsel of the Thai Rice Noodle, Green Papaya & Crispy Squid Salad passes your lips. For a fun deviation in your diet, munch on the crispy onion ring tower. Next, indulge in happy hour, which takes place from 4-7 p.m.
330 E. Amado Rd., Palm Springs.
760-866-1952
www.thetropicale.com

Your tastebuds are begging for diverse flavors. Give your mouth what it wants at Pho 533. Order vegetarian egg rolls vermicelli, which is served over rice noodle angel-hair pasta, Asian greens, and with dipping sauce. Succumb to temptation, while making healthy choices.
1775 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Ste. #625, Palm Springs.
760-778-6595
www.pho533.com

Jake's Palm Springs

Try healthy and delicious salads at Jake’s.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

The Search for Sushi in the Desert

Shortly after making the move from her native Seattle to the desert, our new restaurant/foodie columnist became obsessed with finding her culinary go-to…fresh sushi.

Creative Mexican Cuisine Marks Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club's Reopening

New entertainment, special events, and a new executive chef in Ruben Galvez mark the reopening of Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club in South Palm Springs.

Imaginative Edge Marks New Chef at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

The newest restaurant by celebrity chef Kerry Simon, Simon Kitchen + Bar, just opened at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, bringing talented Executive Chef Jeremy Saccardi into the arena.

Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ 2014 James Beard 4-Course Luncheon

To kick off the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ 2014 there was a a four-course gourmet luncheon featuring James Beard-recognized chefs, including David LeFevre, Brooke Williamson, Matthew Accarrino, and Gale Gand,

Cook Like a Pro

Elevate your culinary skills with classes hosted by local chefs.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.