Feed Your Tennis Fever

Here are suggestions for where to eat within easy distance to the BNP Paribas Open

Lori Cohen-Sanford Restaurants, Tennis 0 Comments

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If watching the on-court action works up your appetite and has you thirsting for a something beyond a bottled sports drink, this list of restaurants within a short drive from Indian Wells Tennis Garden are game to show you some Love.

With almost a full month of activities scheduled at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden leading up to and during the annual BNP Paribas Open, the action will lure tennis fans of all ages to the area. Whether you are planning to join for the clinics, the qualifying challenge rounds, or the finals, every tennis fan should have a plan for where to munch and replenish their energy stores before heading back to the stands. 

Photo courtesy of Bucatini Trattoria

If sharing a slice and a cold beer or glass of wine is your idea of a “Break-Point,” then Bucatini Trattoria in La Quinta is a winner.

Bucatini Trattoria is open for a third season to serve up winning Napoli style Italian fare to famished fans of the BNP. This contemporary Italian trattoria and pizzeria touts the secret to its success as the wood burning oven used to crisp up a flatbread or pizza in minutes.

Open for lunch and dinner, Bucatini can have tennis followers in and out quickly to maximize their breaks in the action. The outside patio boasts mountain views for fans wanting to relax and wind-down after the intensity of a great match. The casual atmosphere is conveniently located next to the newly built Century Cinemas with plenty of parking.

When asked why customers return to Bucatini, Chef Enzo thinks the recipe is, “the food…we are reasonably priced and our menu offerings are fresh and made to order with all of our sauces made in house.”

Bucatini Trattoria, 46-660 Washington St. Ste. 8, La Quinta, 760-777-9007;

Photo courtesy of Bucatini Trattoria

For a call “Close to the Line,” order a Panini or Pizza to-go.

Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar has been a long-time stop for fans of the BNP Tennis Tournament. Family run and a local favorite for Japanese “tapas-oriented” dining over the years, Okura is a great option for groups wanting to share and enjoy a quick, fresh, bite.

photo courtesy of okura robata grill & Sushi bar

When your favorite player is on a “Roll”, head to Okura to toast with a signature martini and a Happy Hour menu fit for a Sushi celebration.

Open from 4:30-10 p.m., Okura is known for its Happy Hour, running in the bar from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thirsty tennis travelers may want to try one of the two most popular Happy Hour libations, The Geisha Girl or Lychee Martini.

photo courtesy of okura robata grill & Sushi bar

The Geisha Girl and Lychee Martini at Okura both offer cool sips to enjoy as you savor the sweet taste of victory or shake-off a hard-fought loss.

For those who want to linger for dinner, the outdoor patio is a great option to enjoy the ending to a day at the stadium. Or, don’t miss a moment of the action and grab a table indoors at the bar, where the tournament can be viewed on televisions.
Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar, 78370 Hwy 111, Ste. 150, La Quinta, 760-564-5820;

Photo Courtesy My Thai Restaurant

Pad Thai with Shrimp is a lunch or dinner meal of champions at My Thai in La Quinta.

My Thai has been open just over six months in La Quinta and is the long-time dream realized for Chef/Owner, Sathin Henderson. Chef Sathin was born and raised in Thailand and is classically trained in the cuisine of her native country. Her husband, and co-owner, Dave, was born and raised in the Palm Springs area, and they have raised their children here.

If the idea of healthy, authentic, handmade Thai specialties like Potstickers, Egg Rolls, or Crab Rangoon strings your racquet, this may be the ultimate place to munch while you watch the tournament on TV inside the cozy, indoor space.

Other top recommendations from owner Dave Henderson include, “the Tamarind Deep Fried Chicken, Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce and the Wonton Soup.”

My Thai, 46520 Washington St., Ste. 3, La Quinta, 760-564-8424;

More Dining Options:

Pho Vu La Quinta – Vietnamese,

Fisherman’s Market Grill La Quinta – Fresh seafood,

TKB Bakery Deli Indio – a drive to Indio is worth it for award-winning sandwiches and baked goods.

Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services — Tastes Around Town will appear weekly. Follow her on Twitter @nourishfoodsps.

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