PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATE ABBOTT
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, Lulu California Bistro is a colorful staple popular with locals and visitors alike for its prime people-watching location in the heart of downtown, but the expansive take-out menu has become another stand-out reason to love Lulu.
Over the past year, the boozy bistro adapted its regular offerings to please plenty of palates. From soups and salads to pizzas and entrées — with a generous number of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options — the massive menu accommodates any size group or dietary preferences.
With more than 100 choices on the menu, the biggest challenge is deciding where to start. Popular dishes include the signature Angus beef meatloaf, Chinese chicken salad, and mushroom soup topped with white truffle oil, as well as shareable options like the Lotsa Meat Pizza.
For vegetarians, there’s an Impossible burger, quinoa-stuffed acorn squash, and a roasted beet salad. The numerous gluten-free selections include braised short ribs served with a red wine tamarind sauce and the filet of fresh Atlantic salmon with champagne dijon beurre blanc. And kid-friendly options please picky eaters.
Bonus: Diners can also order beer and wine, making Lulu a one-stop destination for everyone who wants to bring the bistro’s bubbly atmosphere and comforting classics home — or those of us who have grown bored with their Instant Pots. lulupalmsprings.com
Winners Voted by Our Readers
Desert Hot Springs
This restaurant is popular for its tasty Mexican dishes ranging from tacos and tostadas to burritos and birria. Almost all items — even combo plates — are priced at less than $10. zapopanmexicanfood.com
Vicky’s of Santa Fe
Known for its live entertainment, the traditional American restaurant also serves up comfort classics to enjoy at home. For a hearty meal, go for a freshly made and generously portioned chicken pot pie. vickysofsantafe.com
El Mexicali Café
The original El Mexicali Café on Indio Boulevard attracts diners for its chiles gueritos, made of yellow peppers stuffed with shrimp and served with mayonnaise and soy sauce — a perfect take-out item and memorable appetizer before traditional Mexican dish. elmexicalicafe.com
Serving breakfast favorites all day, the menu at JC’s features plenty of take-out-friendly options, including breakfast burritos, fresh salads, and a variety of sandwiches and melts. jcsonelpaseo.com
The freshly baked pies are made with a decades-old family dough recipe, and Stuft’s wide-ranging menu promises toppings for taste. Beyond the slices, there are satisfying salads, pastas, sandwiches, and entrées. stuftpizzabarandgrill.com
O’Caines Irish Pub (Tie)
Take home a taste of Ireland at this recent addition serving Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, and Shepherd’s pie. For something less traditional, opt for the B.Y.O. Irish Nachos — housemade potato chips topped with melted cheddar, bacon, and whiskey pickled jalapeños. ocainesirishpub.com
Wally’s Desert Turtle (Tie)
The multi-layered majesty of Wally’s fine dining experience is now available to go with a prix fixe take-out experience that includes the choice of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert with the option to upgrade your order by adding Ossetra caviar. wallysdesertturtle.com