Our readers nominated attractions, restaurants, and experiences throughout Greater Palm Springs in the annual Palm Springs Life Best of the Best competition. The 2018 votes are in, and we’re revealing the results city by city. View the full list at palmspringslife.com/best-of.

The Big Winner

Acqua California Bistro
Visit to experience rancho mirage’s best

Alfresco Dining, American, Breakfast, Burger, Caterer, Continental, Craft Cocktail, Pizza, Romantic Dining, Sunday Brunch, Vegetarian / Vegan

A seat on the waterfront terrace at Acqua California Bistro imbues Sunday brunch with an air of tranquil escape and kindles the romance on a night out with your better half.

California Bristro

Acqua California Bistro

Acqua’s multipage menu of modern California cuisine includes everything from surf-and-turf Benedicts and New England lobster rolls to red and white pizzas and loaded Kobe beef burgers; there are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian items, too. Don’t miss the handspun cotton candy for dessert!

TASTE

ASIAN

P.F. Chang’s

If you like a little heat, try the spicy Kung Pao Dragon Roll; however, you can’t go wrong with made-from-scratch salt-and-pepper prawns, pad thai, or Mongolian beef. This chain restaurant also serves lighter fare, with a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

BARBECUE

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse

For a taste of the South, take your pick of brisket, tri-tip, short ribs, chicken, or sausage and add the fried green tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cast-iron-skillet cornbread with honey butter. You just might need a bib!

COFFEEHOUSE

Koffi

This locally owned coffee shop originally launched in Palm Springs, but its Rancho Mirage outpost contains the company’s roasting facility — which happens to be the only roastery in the Coachella Valley. Stop in for a small-batch espresso ground from flavor-packed beans.

ITALIAN

The Slice

Sure, they serve a mean slice of pizza, but we recommend trying the grilled vegetable salad, cioppino, or calzones — or building your own pasta, with your choice of seven noodle varieties and eight kinds of sauce. Don’t overlook the fresh garlic balls with marinara.

JAPANESE

Kobe

Teppan chefs prepare steak, chicken, and seafood dishes at communal tables before your eyes. Will you be the lucky guest to catch a freshly grilled shrimp in your mouth when the chef tosses one up? Wash it all down with a mai tai or cold glass of Sapporo.

MEDITERRANEAN

Catalan

The mouthwatering menu offerings at Catalan are unlike any other restaurant’s in the desert — charred Shishito peppers, paella negra, and even a whole-roasted pig. The signature red sangria is outstanding, and the chocolate-filled churros make for a sinful after-dinner treat.

MEXICAN

Las Casuelas Nuevas

Servers prepare guacamole tableside at this longtime favorite. This locally owned restaurant is said to have the best fajitas in town — choose from seafood, chicken, steak, pork, or vegetarian. Top it off with tres leches flan drowned in Patrón XO Cafe liqueur.

SEAFOOD STEAKHOUSE

The Steakhouse at
Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa

Order a jammy red to pair with the prime chateaubriand or annatto-and-date lamb chops. As a starter, we recommend the seafood tower on ice or lobster mac ’n’ cheese. Save room for the cast-iron carrot cake!

SPORTS BAR

Yard House

With 100-plus beers on tap and plenty of flat-screen TVs, this buzzy chain restaurant is the perfect place to cheer on your team. Enjoy the game with a pint, or even a half-yard, of your favorite local, domestic, or imported brew.

EXPLORE

ATTRACTION

Sunnylands Center & Gardens

Tour the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s 25,000-square-foot midcentury modern house and 9 acres of gardens, all nestled on their 200-acre estate.

sunnylands

Sunnylands Center and Gardens

Take a Sunday morning yoga class on the Great Lawn; sip an iced tea, made the way Leonore liked it, at the on-site café; and view the property’s Flight Plan: The Birds of Sunnylands exhibition of photographs showcasing the feathered friends that have often visited the property.

CASINO HOTEL / RESORT LIVE MUSIC SPA

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa

A player’s paradise with more than 1,400 slot machines and 39 table games, this 16-story resort has 350 rooms, a casino, four restaurants, a full-service spa, nightclub, and a popular events venue. The 2,101-seat concert theater hosts musicians, comedians, and even MMA championships.

FESTIVAL

Art Affaire

This free two-day event held annually in November brings together fine art, jazz, and local food and drink vendors at Rancho Mirage Community Park. An estimated 100 artists are selected to showcase their work at the festival.

FUNDRAISING EVENT

Ramblin’ N Gamblin’ at Regency Ranch

Supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert’s youth mentoring program, this Western-themed fundraiser held annually in October entertains with live country music and line dancing, casino tables, mechanical bull rides, and a paintball shooting gallery.

KID-FRIENDLY MUSEUM

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

With a mix of hands-on exhibits, activity-oriented camps, STEM experiences, and cooking workshops, the museum gives kids the opportunity to learn a lot while having fun. Check out the tortoise habitat and discovery garden, where it’s OK to get your hands dirty.

Kid Museum

Children’s Discovery Museum
of the Desert

LIVE THEATER

Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre

Soon moving to Cathedral City, this professional theater company has found success with its seasonal lineup of mainstream plays and musicals plus indie productions and has outgrown its longtime Rancho Mirage stage. Get your tickets for White, Jan. 23–Feb. 17, the company’s final production at its current location.

PUBLIC GOLF COURSE

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

Try your luck at one of Omni’s three nine-hole, Ted Robinson–designed courses. Unfurling across 6,400 yards, the fairways are lined with palm trees and stunning mountain views. Individual and group lessons and clinics are available.

WEDDING VENUE

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

If you’re dreaming of a glamorous wedding with a view, look no further than The Ritz-Carlton’s sweeping valley vistas. Here, wedding consultants offer exceptional service and help with everything from vendor selection and floral design to lighting, décor, and reception menus.

SHOPS + SERVICES

CONSIGNMENT STORE / RESALE (tie)

Misty’s Consignments

Misty’s accepts consignments and receives new inventory daily, including high-quality home furnishings, fine art, patio and garden pieces, rugs, appliances, collectibles, and rarities.

FLORIST

Rancho Mirage Florist

Customers rave about the creative arrangements from this family-operated florist that has been in business for 35 years. Staff floral designers create arrangements, wreaths, and plant groupings for any event or occasion.

GALLERY

1st Gallery

A trusted source for decorative needs, 1st Gallery mounts and frames artwork at competitive prices and also vends a collection of lithographs, photography, posters, and fine art.

760-324-6696

HAIR SALON

Chakra Aveda Hair Salon

Beyond cut and color, this full-service salon provides high-shine gloss treatments, Brazilian blowouts, and special occasion makeup and styling.

RESALE (tie)

Collectors Corner

This resale market’s 15,000 square feet house hundreds of high-quality donated items, including framed paintings, clothing, furniture, appliances, and fine China; proceeds support the purchase of new medical equipment and renovation projects at Eisenhower Health.

RESALE (tie)

Victoria’s Attic Antiques

The only antique mall in Rancho Mirage, this 8,800-square-foot trove of relics and collectibles purveys it all: clothing, jewelry, books, home décor, midcentury modern furniture, dinnerware, and artwork. The best part? Every object has a story of its own.