Palm Springs Eating, drinking and dancing
Fabulous diners, stylish cocktail bars, even a honky-tonk live-music venue…
(+1 760 771 4653)
Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant
If you want to take the Palm Springs golf obsession to new heights, try this homage to golf in La Quinta. Don't imagine it's all about plaid plus-fours and high tees, though: the food is good, and the restaurant has an impressive 600-bottle wine cellar, including golf pro Palmer’s own Cabernet Sauvignon.
78164 Avenue 52 La Quinta, Palm Springs, CA 92253
(+1 760 327 9555)
Copley’s on Palm Canyon
This exclusive (and expensive) British-run restaurant adds a European twist to New American classics. Look out for the monthly Happy Hour Cooking Classes, with open-air cooking demonstrations, wine and nibbles. Booking recommended, especially at weekends. Closed on Mondays in May–December.
612 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 323 0721)
This is a great, inexpensive Mexican restaurant – it's always a good sign when you hear that lots of local chefs flock here after their own shifts to pig out on tasty enchiladas.
140 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
(+1 760 778 0017)
Popular, upscale restaurant with fine Austro-Californian cuisine (closed Mondays). Try spiced duck breast with apple and chestnut-infused red cabbage, or updated classics such as Wiener Schnitzel.
196 South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 323 1003)
An informal affair; perfect for refuelling at lunchtime. We like the split-pea soup with andouille sausage and the Ahi tuna Nicoise salad, but there are more pedestrian pizzas, burgers and subs to pick from, too.
205 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 9226
(+1 760 325 9900)
Booths upholstered in saddle leather rather than sticky vinyl set the tone at this updated American diner. The oh-so-hip Ace Hotel’s restaurant has a fresh take on down-home classics and plunders world cuisine for fast-food borrowings; our menu picks include Irish porridge with ‘torched’ bananas, mezze plates, Moroccan-spiced meatloaf sandwiches and sticky date pudding. Grab a table on the patio for gorgeous mountain views.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
(+1 760 327 6601)
Japanese restaurant owned and run by talented and charming sushi chef Kiyo and his wife; it’s not cheap, but it is fantastic. Don’t be deterred by the strip-mall setting and don’t miss the amazing sashimi-stuffed Grapefruit special.
1555 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
(+1 760 325 5059)
A Palm Springs landmark, the award-winning Le Vallauris is a fine French restaurant with equally fine interiors. Traditional delicacies such as sautéed foie gras and Grand Marnier soufflé are served up in an elegant setting of Louis XV furniture and Flemish tapestries.
385 West Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262-5647
(+1 760 778 6000)
A fantastic little bistro cum pizzeria on the second floor of the Mercado Plaza with wood-fired ovens on South Palm Canyon Drive. Order Angus beef and brioche mini-burgers, crabcakes, or one of the delicious (and huge) 14-inch pizzas. It does take-aways, too.
155 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262-8300
(+1 760 321 4629)
Flounce into this modern rococo fine-dining restaurant in the Parker hotel and order up a plate of fancy French food. We love the classic duck confit, bouillabaisse and clafoutis, and Jonathan Adler’s kaleidoscopic retro-cool interiors would lift even the dullest of spirits. Open Wednesday–Sunday inclusive.
Parker Hotel, 4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
(+1 760 320 4500)
The Chop House
Decent downtown steakhouse with good seafood, chops and (obviously) prime steaks, and a 3,500-bin wine cellar.
262 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 416 8664)
This steakhouse and martini bar has juicy, melt-in-the-mouth beef and expertly mixed cocktails, including the Falls' famous (albeit naff-sounding) 'Smokin' Martinis'. Good fun.
155 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 864 8746)
In the uptown design district, this Modern American restaurant has a red-hot happy hour and simple but delicious food. Try a melt-in-the-mouth Yankee Pot Roast, succulent seafood stew or a big ol’ burger.
707 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 325 2990)
Voted one of the top five burger places in California (and that’s against some pretty tough competition), this fun little joint set inside a former bus depot is the best place in town for home-made burgers with all the trimmings. Lunchtime only (11am–4pm). Closed Sundays.
149 South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 325 9900)
This dream of a drinking den shakes classic cocktails and modern mixes with aplomb. Burgundy-leather horseshoe booths, exposed brick and bare lightbulbs add to the underground-venue vibe, and quirky events include a vintage bingo night hosted by a bespectacled ex-Broadway songbird.
Ace Hotel, 701 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264
(+1 760 325 2794)
Las Casuelas Terraza
The bartenders here make mouthwatering margaritas and there’s often live music; try to get a table on the terrace. The Mexican menu is popular, but we come for the buzzy atmosphere and killer cocktails.
222 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 325 0046)
Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge
Legendary nightspot on the one-time estate of Cary Grant, where the Rat Pack came to schmooze and booze. Head for the Casablanca Room piano bar, groove to irony-free lounge music and rub shoulders with Palm Springs’ retired glitterati.
Ingleside Inn, 200 West Ramon Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264
(+1 760 365 5956)
Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace
If you can’t make the Joshua Tree festival, make it to Pappy & Harriet’s instead: the live acts at this out-of-town destination bar are a magical musical mash-up of funky honky-tonk, bad-ass blues and hillbilly gospel. On the menu? Great things grilled, plus cantina-style chilli, burgers and dogs.
53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268
(+1 760 327 7595)
Get in line for the brunch sitting at this perky LA-style café: weekly-changing menus feature seasonal, organic produce (sourced locally) and killer smoothies. Closed Tuesdays.
622 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(+1 760 322 3354)
Manhattan in the Desert
Palm Springs’ sizeable Jewish community makes sure this NY-flavoured deli knows its lox from its liver; it’s a great brunch spot. Choose from amazing pastries, super-size sandwiches and freshly baked bagels. Order to share – the portions are huge.
2665 East Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, CA 92262