Cork & Fork specializes in small plates like deviled eggs and lobster shooters.
PHOTO COURTESY CORK & FORK
Cork & Fork
The lively local gathering spot excels in items you can pass around (especially during happy hour, when small plates are 20 percent off). Try the crispy cauliflower, deviled eggs, and butter-poached lobster shooters. Multicourse wine dinners and intimate chef’s table experiences often sell out and are worth the splurge. Chef and owner Andie Hubka also runs nearby Heirloom Craft Kitchen, another great option for a fabulous meal out.
After getting their start with a pop-up coffee cart, Coachella Valley natives Matthew Ortega and Efrain Mercado now sling caffeine at a sleek brick-and-mortar. They pour a custom chai blend, and their syrups are made in house. Don’t miss Everbloom’s popular iced butterscotch latte. Order it the way Mercado likes it: hot with oat milk.
Big Rock Golf & Pub.
PHOTO BY DANIELA STALLINGER
Big Rock Golf & Pub
This classic rock–themed restaurant and bar serves elevated pub food with a side of live music. The menu features dishes like a spicy fried chicken sandwich, carnitas tacos, and a bananas Foster bread pudding. Sited on the course at Indian Springs Golf Club, the outdoor beer garden is a great place to chill out post-golf and catch the latest sports event on the big-screen TVs.
Owner Ken Hanna collects music memorabilia, which is displayed throughout the pub, including one of Jimi Hendrix’s ensembles and a fleet of signed guitars. Many of the items are for sale, and proceeds benefit Desert Cancer Foundation.
Pueblo Viejo Grill
Time-honored Mexican recipes and a well-stocked tequila bar: This is what Indio dining is all about. If you can’t choose between the crispy tacos or the homemade tamales smothered in tomatillo sauce, opt for the combo plate and try both. A favorite among locals, this family-run spot is low-key but lively — particularly for happy hour. There can be a considerable wait, but the meal and the margaritas are worth it. The family operates a second location in Palm Desert.
June Hill’s Table
Located at Trilogy at The Polo Club, a members-only active-living resort, June Hill’s Table presents an elevated take on seasonal eating. You don’t have to be a member to dine here, but you’ll feel like one. Much of the produce, herbs, and spices used are sourced at community gardens.
TKB Bakery & Deli.
PHOTO COURTESY TKB BAKERY & DELI
TKB Bakery & Deli
If you haven’t already heard of TKB, you clearly aren’t on Yelp. This family-owned deli was ranked the No. 1 restaurant in America in 2018. Let that sink in for a moment. TKB beat out Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred Per Se restaurant in New York City and that spendy Los Angeles sushi spot you saw on Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Why? Their sandwiches are the stuff lunch legends are made of. Popular options: the Mexican Marilyn Monroe and the Trump Card.