Uptown Eats: Restaurants that Define Midcentury Design in Palm Springs

What foodie stops will help complement your Modernism Week experience

Lori Cohen-Sanford Restaurants 0 Comments


As legions of midcentury architecture buffs flood into the Greater Palm Springs area for Modernism Week (Feb. 12-22), the Uptown Design District will be at the center of the exhibitions, tours, lectures, shopping, parties and all-things modern.

Defining the design district area are some noteworthy restaurants to add to your itinerary. Visit locally-owned and operated eateries that have helped to build and define a truly unique part of the Palm Springs neighborhood “revibrantization.”


Copley’s Restaurant

photo courtesy of copley's

Copley’s on Palm Canyon has a famous tie to Cary Grant, as the space was reportedly owned by this famous movie icon as a guest/pool house in the 1950s and '60s. The outdoor courtyard at Copley’s used to be the location for the property’s pool.


The three original owners of Copley’s – Andrew Copley, Juliana Manion-Copley, and Greg Butterfield – greet, serve and prepare food for guests, giving each diner a consistently attentive dining experience. Known for fresh fish and seafood as well as a variety of meat specialties, it is hard to go wrong with any of the dinner selections.


photo courtesy of copley's

Menu items like the Beet Salad exemplify the style of Chef/Owner Andrew Copley, who redefines Contemporary American cuisine using the freshest produce, seafood, and meats available.


Ten years of operation and going strong, Copley’s has become an entrenched favorite among locals, part-time residents and visitors alike. The private outdoor dining space includes a large communal dining table, wood-burning oven, and fire pit area. Consider attending a special wine dinner or a cooking demonstration led by Chef Andrew Copley.

Copley's, 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-327-9555; www.copleyspalmsprings.com


Jake’s Palm Springs

photo by lori cohen-sanford

Jake’s will feature “throwback” cocktails as a special feature during Modernism Week. Sip a Pink Squirrel, Grasshopper, Side Car, French 75, Sloe Gin Fizz or an original Mai Tai.


Jake’s is locally-owned and in its seventh year of operation, boasting that it was the second to open in the Uptown Design District. The bistro-style ambiance of the intimate, covered courtyard with a small indoor dining area and dessert case is always in demand. Hip, casual and bustling for lunch and dinner (and brunch on weekends), Jake’s offers up an appealing variety of “gourmet comfort food.”


photo courtesy of jake's

Fish Tacos are a popular menu mainstay at Jake’s. Be sure to catch a seat for lunch or dinner during Modernism Week.


Also known for a well-stocked bar, mimosas, and a dessert case featuring layer cakes that will make you resolve to to come back for a mile-high slice the next time, it’s a sure-bet that Jake’s will be a hot spot for the Mod Squad. Best to call ahead to make a reservation, as seating is limited.

Jake's Palm Springs, 664 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-327-4400; www.jakespalmsprings.com


TRIO Restaurant

photo courtesy of trio/clark dugar

TRIO incorporates elements of midcentury modern design into the exterior and interior of the restaurant. Circular Bris Soleil grates line the windows and create visual interest inside.


Trio is “where Palm Springs eats,” and co-owner Tony Marchese wants everyone to know it. The restaurant established itself six years ago in the Uptown Design District, in a structure originally built in 1958 as a bank.


photo courtesy of trio/clark dugar

Trio is a friendly, lively gathering spot with a midcentury vibe and a menu diverse enough for everyone to have a good time.


The menu has a wide range of options with favorites like pot roast, mashed potatoes, burgers, fish and seafood. Take a seat in the spacious bar area and enjoy the popular Happy Hour with an order of the crave-worthy, house made potato chips served with Ranch dressing.

TRIO, 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-864-8746; www.triopalmsprings.com



Also a steadfast favorite in Uptown is Cheeky’s, serving breakfast and lunch. The restaurant will go the extra mile to serve Modernism goers with a “Cheeky’s To Go” pop-up location in the former Jiao restaurant space, conveniently located in the heart of Modernism events.

Cheeky’s To Go will serve coffee, a collection of salads, pastries and summer cocktails for a quick snack or sip between the more than 100 events scheduled for Modernism Week.

Cheeky's, 622 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-327-7595, www.cheekysps.com


dish Creative Cuisine

New to the neighborhood, don’t miss dinner or weekend brunch at this modernistic locale. See related story: dish Creative Cuisine Elevates Palm Springs Dining Scene

dish Creative Cuisine, 1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-322-7171; www.dishcreativecuisine.com


Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services www.nourishfoods.biz. Her food column, Tastes Around Town, will appear weekly on Wednesdays. Have a story idea? You can contact Lori at info@nourishfoods.biz or follow her on Twitter @nourishfoodsps.

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