At T&T Innovation Kitchen, the chef hand-delivers each artfully plated dish.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY GREATER PALM SPRINGS CVB
While Greater Palm Springs restaurants are currently open for outdoor dining only, the culinary scene is still unlike anywhere else. For decades, chefs have come here from all over the world to helm the kitchens of world-class resorts. Some even start their own restaurants, where they source fresh, seasonal ingredients from nearby farms.
Whether you’re into craft cocktails shaken with stories from yesteryear or trendy plates with a mountain view, showing local restaurants some love is more important than ever. You can support these businesses now by ordering takeout and delivery or purchasing gift cards, and when the time is right, here are a few of our favorites to add to your foodie itinerary when you're visiting this SoCal oasis.
For a taste of the past (and fine French cuisine), dine under the twinkling outdoor lights at Le Vallauris, located inside a historical 1927 home in Palm Springs. Or order the steak Diane with a side of Old Hollywood glamour at Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge, where the likes of Frank Sinatra and Clive Davis once dined. Manhattans and Old Fashioneds have been flowing for over 50 years in the modern speakeasy space that is now Mr. Lyons, while the Flores family has been serving authentic Mexican recipes at Indio favorite Rincon Norteño since 1964—be sure to grab a seat at one of the original diner stools.
Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge at Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs.
Where there’s rich history, there’s also creativity, thanks to a community of restaurateurs who are pushing boundaries and bending culinary genres. For instance, you won’t find a set menu at T&T Innovation Kitchen, where the chef hand-delivers each artfully plated dish prepared with techniques you may have never heard of, and you’ll enjoy an equally unique dining experience at surprise-filled supper club PS Underground, whose themed menus have ranged from Woodstock to sitcoms. At The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge and sister spot Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey, chef/owner Engin Onural raises the bar with ingredients like feta cheese and high-end Japanese spirit and sake pairings. And in La Quinta, Cork & Fork gives small plates (think Thai shrimp cakes and butter poached lobster shooters) a sustainable twist, sourcing local and organic whenever possible.
Cork & Fork in La Quinta offers small plates.
No place does brunch like Greater Palm Springs. Don’t miss the mimosa flight at Grand Central in downtown Palm Springs or the house-made jams, French-pressed coffee, and garden-like patio brimming with bougainvillea at Farm, right across the street. Wilma & Frieda, a farmhouse-style bistro with locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, bakes their pop-tarts and biscuits in-house, while The Café at Shields serves up pancakes and shakes made with locally grown dates. And Sundays at the family-owned Las Casuelas Nuevas in Rancho Mirage are always festive, with mariachi music, traditional Mexican dishes and all your breakfast favorites.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MEL BELL PHOTOGRAPHY
Wilma & Frieda has locations in Palm Desert and Palm Springs.
The Edge Steakhouse at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage offers striking views.
Mountains and merlot. Swaying palms and small plates. You’ll find plenty of local spots pairing fine food with Greater Palm Springs’ natural beauty. Savor global cuisine, signature cocktails and 270-degree mountain views at 4 Saints, the area’s only rooftop restaurant, or treat yourself to Wagyu and twinkling city lights at The Edge Steakhouse, perched 650 feet above the valley floor at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. For fairway vistas and award-winning cuisine, dine on the outdoor terrace at The Vue Grille & Bar, which boasts one of the best bourbon selections in Greater Palm Springs. And catch some up-close action while sipping a “POLOma” on the field-side patio at Eldorado Polo Club’s Cantina.
PHOTOGRAPH BY LAURIE JOLIET
4 Saints sits at the top of the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs — the area's only rooftop dining experience.