palm-desert-restaurants

Where to Eat in Palm Desert

The city is the backdrop for the Palm Desert Food & Wine festival, and the surrounding restaurants have upped their game.

Emily Chavous Current Guide, Restaurants

palm-desert-restaurants
Wildest Greens is a great pre- or post-hiking stop.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NATASHA LEE

wildest greens

72990 El Paseo
Suite 3
Palm Desert
760-636-0441
wildestgreens.com

When this modern-eclectic café opened in early 2018, it garnered an instant following. Situated at the south end of El Paseo near Palm Desert’s Cahuilla Park and the Santa Rosa foothills, Wildest Greens’ coffee corner, smoothie bar, and grab-and-go market make for an easy pre- or post-hiking stop, while the all-day sit-down restaurant has become a regular choice for locals looking to eat right.

Owner Denise DuBarry Hay (an actress and yogi who also owns the nearby Bikram Yoga Plus studio) focuses on organic, nutritious ingredients — “straight from the field to the fork.” Her interest in wholesome eating stems from childhood, growing up on a banana plantation. The dizzying menu caters to various dietary lifestyles, whether you’ve gone raw, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, keto, or ayurvedic.

From omelets, toasts, and salads to bison burgers and veggie flatbreads, housemade soups, wild salmon, and grass-fed lamb, the wholesomeness is apparent from the first bite. Save room for a fresh-squeezed craft cocktail and actually-good-for-you dessert.

wildestgreenspalmdesert
denisedubarry

PHOTOGRAPH BY NATASHA LEE/PORTRAIT COURTESY DENISE DUBARRY

Wildest Greens owner Denise Dubarry focuses on organic, nutritious ingredients.

desert distilling

34300 Gateway Drive, Palm Desert
760-770-3135
desertdistilling.com

Before going into business together, the Lotz brothers spent a lot of time in their basement. Their homespun concoctions got the tipsy thumbs up from friends, so it seemed like a natural progression to put their liquor on the market. The desert’s first and only boutique distillery, Desert produces triple-distilled red-wheat vodka, American-style gin, and premium white rum. Half-hour tours and tastings are offered two days a week; check the hours before you go.

LIBATION ROOM

73750 El Paseo, Suite 101, Palm Desert
877-869-8891
libationroom.com

Inspired by the secret backroom speakeasies of the Roaring ’20s, this swanky El Paseo spot opened in the summer of 2018 with one goal: to serve up the classiest cocktail hour on the city’s high-end strip. On the menu, fine craft cocktails mingle with cold-pressed juice flights, fresh oysters, and other small bites.

CASTELLI’S RISTORANTE

73098 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-773-3365
castellis.net

This cozy yet elegant restaurant with piano bar, now celebrating 30 years, is an ideal spot to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine and a signature entrée such as the veal chop. Past clientele include Joe Pesci and James Caan.

 castellisrestaurant

PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN KAMINSKY

Castelli’s Ristorante

ac3 restaurant + bar

45350 Larkspur Lane, 
Palm Desert
760-340-6069
ac3palmdesert.com

This artful El Paseo hot spot, recently opened by a couple of Palm Springs’ most successful restaurateurs, cooks up global twists on the classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 ac3restaurant

PHOTOGRAPH BY @BEARLEADERCHRONICLE

AC3 Restaurant at Hotel Paseo.

BELLATRIX

Classic Club
75200 Classic Club Blvd., 
Palm Desert
760-601-3690
classicclubgolf.com/bellatrix.html

This romantic dining spot with breathtaking views of the golf course and a warm, Mediterranean vibe brings the bounty of Coachella Valley farmlands to your plate, plus a roster of 500-plus wines.

bellatrix

PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN KAMINSKY

Bellatrix at the Classic Club.

CAFÉ DES beaux-arts

73640 El Paseo
, Palm Desert
750-346-0669
cafedesbeauxarts.com

Delectable French fare melds with a charmingly Parisienne atmosphere at this all-day bistro known for live music and a happening bar scene.

cafedesbeauxarts

PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN KAMINSKY

Café Des Beaux-Arts

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

74740 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-779-1998
ruthschris.com

At Ruth’s Chris, your last bite is as good as your first. The perfected broiling method and seasoning tech-niques ensure each cut of USDA prime beef arrives cooked to perfection, sizzling on a 500-degree plate — the way Ruth liked it.

ruthschrissteakhouse

PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN KAMINSKY

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

wilma & Frieda

73575 El Paseo
Palm Desert
760-773-2807
155 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
wilmafrieda.com

If decadent comfort food is your jam, you’ve just found your favorite brunch spot. From locally roasted coffee, homemade pop tarts, and loaded French toast to savory egg dishes and bacon-garnished bloodys.

wilmaandfrieda

PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL HUSVAR

Wilma & Frieda recently opened its Palm Springs location.

KOUTOUKI GREEK ESTIATORIO

73675 Highway 111
, Palm Desert
760-834-8221
koutoukigreek.com

Breezy island vibes and fresh, homemade dishes crafted with Greek olive oil and spices will make you feel as if you’ve ventured to Mykonos. There’s even belly dancing on weekends.

KoutoukiGreekpalmdesert

PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL HUSVAR

Koutouki Greek Estiatorio

MITCH’S ON EL PASEO

73951 El Paseo, Palm Desert
760-779-9200
mitchsonelpaseo.com

When you’re in the mood for a vibrant, upscale night out, head to Mitch’s. It’s a people pleaser and an easy choice when everyone’s indecisive on where to dine. Sushi? Filet and potatoes? Leafy greens and paella? They’ve got it all. Dining is available indoors, but the expansive patio and sprawling back lawn are where it’s at.
If you’re a steak-and-lobster enthusiast, go for the Surf and Turf sushi roll as a starter (it’s topped with seared Kobe beef) and the Surf and Turf entrée as a main. No need to thank us, just leave your server an appropriate tip.

& …

Cork Tree is ideal for semicasual special-occasion dinners.

thecorktree.com

MitchsOnElPaseo

PHOTOGRAPH BY @BEARLEADERCHRONICLE

Mitch’s on El Paseo

city wok

74970 Country Club Drive, 
Suite 450, 
Palm Desert
760-341-1511
citywok.com

For the past 24 years, City Wok has served fresh, made-from-scratch Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. Palm Springs Life readers have consistently voted City Wok the best Asian restaurant in Palm Desert thanks to delicious, creative dishes (from orange chicken to Mongolian beef to chow mein) that are prepared to order. Efficient takeout and delivery make City Wok an easy option any night of the week.

CityWok

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY CITY WOK

City Wok