Willie's Modern Fare.
PHOTO COURTESY WILLIE'S MODERN FARE
O’Caine’s Irish Pub
Mother-and-son team Brenda Johnson and Mark Pierce have created a tribute to their homeland with this authentic public house decked in Irish art and memorabilia. Named for their forefather who emigrated from Northern Ireland in the 1600s, O’Caine’s churns out real-deal Irish dishes including Scotch eggs and shepherd’s pie along with good old American bar food. The list of Irish whiskeys is large, and live music ties it all together.
Haus of Poké
Design your own poké bowl with the help of friendly counter-service staff at this fast-casual, family-run restaurant owned by Monica and Tim Bradley, the International Boxing Hall-of-Famer who grew up in the desert. In addition to poké (diced raw fish), the restaurant offers vegetarian alternatives including beets and tofu. Haus of Poké has a second outpost in Palm Springs.
The local coffee chain — which also operates three locations in Palm Springs — roasts its beans at this outpost. Grab-and-go bakery, breakfast, and lunch offerings make it an easy stop for something quick but yummy, like a chicken Caesar or a quiche. Order an espresso beverage, and you’ll get to choose between dark or light roast and, for those who avoid dairy, a variety of milk alternatives.
PHOTO BY MOLLIE KIMBERLING
Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
With bronze hogs marking the entrance, decorative horse murals inside, and cowhide-upholstered chairs, the ambiance at this restaurant and brewery is as Southwestern as its menu of smoky, fall-off-the-bone barbecue and signature housemade cornbread. Belly up to the bar for beers that are made on the premises, many of the varieties incorporating locally sourced ingredients.
Babe’s Bar-b-que & Brewhouse.
PHOTO COURTESY BABE'S BAR-B-QUE & BREWHOUSE
Carboholics, rejoice! There are myriad waffles, crêpes, and French toasts to choose from for breakfast at this all-day favorite. In the evening, pastas, moules frites, and a tender filet mignon star on the menu, crafted by a Belgian chef.
Brandini Toffee ice-cream.
PHOTO COURTESY BRANDINI TOFFEE
In high school, desert native Brandon Weimer and a friend decided to make and sell his family’s almond toffee to raise funds for a school trip to Italy. Beyond bankrolling the getaway, the venture snowballed into a toffee empire that has been featured on The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah Winfrey’s esteemed “O List.”
“We like to play the hits,” Weimer says. While some toffee companies delve into different flavors with an assortment of ingredients, Brandini still serves the same small-batch almond toffee that Weimer has been making since he was a kid. “Butter, sugar, dark chocolate, and some almonds,” Weimer says — and that’s it. Of course, they use it in a variety of ways: for toffee popcorn, delicious milkshakes, toffee-dipped ice cream bars, and other delectable treats.
With a second storefront in Palm Springs and an outpost in Cabazon, the Rancho Mirage flagship houses Brandini’s factory. Visit to see how the award-winning confection is made.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY BRANDINI TOFFEE
Willie’s Modern Fare
Restaurateur Willie Rhine combines the elegance of fine dining with the warmth and conviviality for which he is known. His namesake Rancho Mirage restaurant, Willie’s Modern Fare, emphasizes classic cuisine with a modern twist alongside creative cocktails and a thoughtfully selected wine list.
Executive chef Richard Perez and his culinary team present classics such as lamb three ways, prime rib, and shrimp cocktail — as well as caviar service and more inventive options, like a trio of vegan soups served in espresso cups and pan-seared salmon garnished with onion soubise and orange gel.
The lounge menu skews more casual with a wagyu burger, fish and chips, and buttermilk fried chicken. Save room for dessert as the housemade selections are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Rhine and general manager Veronica Cavazos have created an inviting place to celebrate life’s special moments with family and friends in a private dining room or on the expansive patio. Alternatively, guests can sip and snack in the bustling lounge.
Willie's Modern Fare.
PHOTO COURTESY WILLIE'S MODERN FARE
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
In the heart of Rancho Mirage, this replica 300-year-old Asian country inn houses a teppanyaki steakhouse, an intimate sushi bar, and a low-key cocktail lounge. Always fun with a group, the restaurant promises a memorable show as your chef slices and dices delicacies on the tabletop grill. Kobe opened in 1978, and many original staff members remain.
Shabu Shabu Zen & Sake Bar.
PHOTO COURTESY VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
Shabu Shabu Zen & Sake Bar
Following a career as a flight attendant for All Nippon Airways, famous for its hospitality, Miho Suma opened this Japanese hot pot restaurant where diners cook their own meat, seafood, and vegetables in flavorful broth. This spot was ranked among the top 100 restaurants in the country by Yelp reviewers. Be sure to book a reservation; the intimate space fills up fast.
Las Casuelas Nuevas
Florencio and Mary Delgado opened the original Las Casuelas in Palm Springs in 1958, bringing authentic Mexican flavors — recipes passed down from Florencio’s grandmother, Maria Fajardo Delgado, of Mazatlán — to their small family restaurant.
Sixty-five years later, Maria’s Sinaloan-inspired dishes and the company name live on at multiple restaurants in the Coachella Valley, each operated by their grandchildren, including Las Casuelas Nuevas in Rancho Mirage, open since 1973.
Outdoor seating at Las Casuelas Nuevas.
PHOTO BY NATE ABBOTT
Whether eating in the beautifully tiled dining room or outside on the romantic patio underneath string lights, there’s no bad spot to enjoy time-honored dishes like albóndigas soup, chile verde, and tamales. Wash it all down with a classic margarita.