willies modern fare rancho mirage ca

Where to Eat: Rancho Mirage

From Spanish-inspired paella to fall-off-the-bone American barbecue to hearty Irish pub fare, the desert's ever-expanding culinary scene shines brightly at these five locally owned restaurants in Rancho Mirage.

Staff Report Current Guide, Restaurants

willies modern fare rancho mirage ca

Willie's Modern Fare emphasizes classic cuisine.

Willie’s Modern Fare

69830 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage

The latest collaboration by restaurateurs Willie Rhine and Chad Gardner combines the elegance of fine dining with the warmth and conviviality for which this duo is known. Their Rancho Mirage concept emphasizes classic cuisine with a modern twist alongside creative cocktails and a thoughtfully selected wine list.

“We wanted to make Willie’s a place to celebrate life’s special moments with family and friends,” Gardner says, noting that guests can sip and snack in the bustling lounge and enjoy their meal indoors or on the expansive patio.

The kitchen presents classics such as red wine–braised wagyu beef short rib, chicken cordon bleu, prime rib, and shrimp cocktail — as well as caviar service and more inventive options, like a trio of vegan soups served in espresso cups and pan-seared salmon garnished with onion soubise and orange gel. The lounge menu skews more casual with a wagyu burger, fish and chips, and buttermilk fried chicken. For dessert, the Fabbri Amarena cherry gelato, black pepper sponge cake, and torched French meringue are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

71380 Highway 111
 Rancho Mirage

The local coffee chain — which also operates three locations in Palm Springs — roasts its beans at this outpost. Grab-and-go bakery, breakfast, and lunch offerings make it an easy stop for something quick but yummy, like a chicken Caesar or a quiche. Order an espresso beverage, and you’ll get to choose between dark or light roast and, for those who avoid dairy, a variety of milk alternatives.

Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine

70026 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage

Fusing tastes of Spain, Italy, and Greece, Catalan will transport your taste buds to the Med. Start with the sangria and marinated olives. Then dive into roasted Jidori chicken, pan-seared scallops, or paella prepared traditionally with bomba rice and stirred with chorizo, calamari, shrimp, mussels, and delicious spices. Pair it with sides of charred shishito peppers or cauliflower purée. You won’t have room for dessert, so take the caramel-cream custard to go.

O’Caine’s Irish Pub

36101 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage

Mother-and-son team Brenda Johnson and Mark Pierce have created a tribute to their homeland with this authentic public house decked in Irish art and memorabilia. Named for their forefather who emigrated from Northern Ireland in the 1600s, O’Caine’s churns out real-deal Irish dishes including Scotch eggs and shepherd’s pie along with good old American bar food. The list of Irish whiskeys is large, and live music ties it all together.


Babe's Bare-B-Que & Brewhouse

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse

71800 Highway 111
, Ste. A176
Rancho Mirage

With bronze hogs marking the entrance, decorative horse murals inside, and cowhide-upholstered chairs, the ambiance at this restaurant and brewery is as Southwestern as its menu of smoky, fall-off-the-bone barbecue and signature housemade cornbread. Belly up to the bar for beers that are made on the premises, many of the varieties incorporating locally sourced ingredients.