Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the Desert

Readers voted for their favorite businesses in 24 categories in our annual Best of the Best competition. Here are their picks for an upscale meal.

July 21, 2023
Story by Site Staff
Spencer's Restaurant

Spencer’s Restaurant.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRANDON HARMAN

PALM SPRINGS

Spencer’s Restaurant: Set at the historic Palm Springs Tennis Club with a whimsically lit patio, Spencer’s offers an elegant yet comfortable place to nosh on everything from a Black Angus filet mignon for dinner to a loaded Benedict for brunch.

CATHEDRAL CITY

Trilussa Ristorante: Enjoy a Lady and the Tramp moment at this popular restaurant. With fresh twists on classic Italian dishes (like vegan sausage with zoodles) alongside the classics, it’s a dining experience that combines tradition with innovation.

RANCHO MIRAGE

Desert Island Country Club: Sample oysters, sea bream crudo, and other delectable bites at Desert Island’s restaurant, The Penney, where ingredients are king. The stylish space boasts views of the 18-hole golf course, which was private since the 1970s but opened to the public in 2022.

PALM DESERT

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood: The refined atmosphere at Eddie V’s pairs with excellent service, live jazz music, and a menu of exquisite seafood, prime steak, and artfully mixed libations.

INDIAN WELLS

Vicky’s of Santa Fe: Enjoy a wide selection of wine, beer, cocktails, steaks, and fine seafood at this adobe-style hotspot on Highway 111. For your final course, decide between classics such as homemade apple pie, chocolate layer cake, and tiramisu.

LA QUINTA

Lavender Bistro: Fine dining doesn’t have to take place in a stuffy dining room. This restaurant pairs its elevated dining experience with an elegant string-lit patio beneath a canopy of trees. It’s an exceptional backdrop for a special occasion.

INDIO

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino: At Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, you can have it all: a day on the golf course followed by a swim, a fancy steak dinner at The Bistro, and a signature hot fudge sundae at Lique. Before you head home, visit Splurge, where you can spend your casino winnings on a memento to commemorate the trip.