Every Southern California traveler knows that Palm Springs has sparkling swimming pools, chic Mid-century Modern shops, and a glamorous Hollywood pedigree. But this palm-studded hideaway also boasts a sophisticated dining scene with only-in-the-desert benefits—meals served alfresco even in mid-winter.
Join the lively crowd at Birba at outdoor tables arranged near sunken fire pits. Start with a spicy Heated Snake cocktail, then linger over salads, pizzas, and braised meats. Or dress up for date night at French-Belgian Le Vallauris, then share bites of escargot and roasted duck under the leafy shade of ficus trees. Romantic patio seats are also found at Copley’s, an old-school glamour spot on the former Cary Grant estate. Dine on scallops or salmon under a canopy of twinkling lights, and don’t skip the savory basil ice cream.
For a more contemporary evening, book a table at Workshop Kitchen. Chef Michael Beckman’s forward-thinking menu has included octopus carpaccio and pork cheek fries—innovative dishes that pair perfectly with the concrete-chic dining space (and also taste great on the mister-cooled back patio).
When the weather turns hot, spicy food cools you down, and there's no better sunny-day food than guacamole and margaritas. The Coachella Valley boasts dozens of fabulous Mexican restaurants—check out this blog for local favorites. If your taste buds crave a different kind of heat, Rooster and The Pig delivers the savory smack of Vietnamese lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. It's worth driving from Los Angeles for tea leaf salad and crispy beef and egg noodles.
Morning food matters, and Palm Springs takes brunch very, very seriously. At Norma’s in the Parker Palm Springs, linger over artichoke eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes, and hangover-friendly mimosas on the colorful outdoor terrace. In downtown, rev up for the day with French-press coffee and croque-madame breakfast sandwiches at FARM. Or head uptown, where venerable Cheeky’s doles out plates of peach brioche French toast and five flavors of bacon. And what morning libation goes with that dish? A bacon-garnished Bloody Mary, of course.