Palm Springs' best local restaurants have helped the Californian city garner a reputation among foodies as a major hot spot for quality dining. Blending classic American fare with Mexican influences, restaurants in Palm Springs are renowned for the flair of both their menus and their decor. Renowned the world over for its unique mid-century architecture and as a celebrity haven, Palm Springs is up there with the most stylish cities in America when it comes to fine cuisine.

    These places locals love to eat in Palm Springs range from down-at-heel vegan spots to glamorous sushi restaurants. Take a look at the entire spectrum of the Palm Springs dining scene through the top picks below.

    1

    The Heydey

    Nostalgic bites at a pop-up burger shack

    • Food

    The Heydey is one of the premier spots in Palm Springs when it comes to old-fashioned fast food done right. Whether it’s their signature Smash Burger or a hearty portion of loaded Late Night Fries, this local institution is pure Americana.

    Since beginning life at the Palm Springs Village Fair, The Heydey is a pop-up business that now functions every Thursday to Saturday at the Cole Hotel. Although unassuming, The Heydey is far from just another burger stand.

    Location: 2323 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Thursday–Saturday from 3 pm to 8.30 pm

    Phone: +1 760-297-6937

    Map
    2

    Sandfish

    Sushi and whiskey in refined surrounds

    • Food
    • Couples

    Sandfish is a petite yet upscale restaurant in Palm Springs offering sushi and Japanese seafood in addition to a large whiskey menu. The cocktails are as fresh and original as the decor, which takes plenty from Palm Springs’ 50s golden era.

    With immaculate presentation and an innovative menu featuring dishes such as spicy tuna tostada, Sandfish is a wonderful choice for dates and special occasions in Palm Springs. This Japanese-inspired restaurant is a fashionable spot that’s popular for dates as the well-presented dishes provide constant conversation topics.

    Location: 1556 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 4.30 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 4.30 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 760-537-1022

    Map
    3

    Rolly China Fusion

    Locally sourced Chinese fusion and dim sum

    • Food

    Rolly China Fusion serves up some of the finest Chinese dishes in Palm Springs, all in modern and elegant surrounds. The menu is far from your average noodle bar, with innovative dishes such as sea bass satay and lobster kimchi fried rice ensuring that this place is a cut above most.

    Attracting a trendy young crowd, most visitors to Rolly China Fusion come for the delicious dumplings, which they present in a variety of flavours and are always homemade. To try Rolly China Fusion dishes on the cheap, head here for lunch and take advantage of the excellent lunch sets.

    Location: 1107 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 5 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 760-548-0041

    Map
    4

    Eight4Nine

    A slick restaurant serving modern versions of American classics

    • Food
    • Couples

    Eight4Nine sits in the trendy Uptown area of Palm Springs. With modern decor that’s as sleek as it is tasteful, this spot serves up contemporary versions of classic North American dishes.

    Highlights on the menu at Eight4Nine include the ahi tuna poke bowl and the corn and crab chowder. Both are deeply American yet totally different, something that’s reflected in the decor of this unique restaurant. The cocktails at Eight4Nine are also popular with locals, who come to sip on original creations that are often made using local ingredients.

    Location: 849 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday to 5 pm to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 760-325-8490

    Map
    5

    Birba

    A chic, open-air pizza spot

    • Food
    • Group

    Birba is renowned throughout Palm Springs for the freshness of its food and the refined surroundings of its alfresco dining area. Serving up an international menu that focuses on pizza right out of the oven, this spot is something of a Palm Springs crowd pleaser. There’s a wide variety of pasta dishes, with the spaghetti pomodoro a particular highlight.

    Staff are friendly and attentive, while the clientele tends to be of the young, hip variety. The cocktails at Birba are as much a reason to visit as the food, with the Italian offerings such as the negroni and spritz particularly excellent.

    Location: 622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 760-327-5678

    Map
    6

    Tac/Quila

    Polished Mexican cuisine and unique cocktails

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Group

    Tac/Quila is one of Palm Springs’ most highly rated restaurants which straddles the line between a restaurant and cool, nighttime hangout spot. Locals and visitors come here in their droves to get a taste of the delicious contemporary Mexican cuisine. With menu staples including the likes of beer tempura avocado bites and short ribs enchiladas, the flavour is of the utmost importance at Tac/Quila.

    The ambience of this restaurant is another key driver behind the success of Tac/Quila. Funky decor blends with expertly chosen plates, glasses and furniture to make for an unforgettably chic experience. In a city known for stylish hangouts, Tac/Quila is one of the finest.

    Location: 415 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 12 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 12 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 760-417-4471

    Map
    7

    Juniper Table

    Patio dining draws a crowd to this Mediterranean spot

    • Food
    • Couples

    Juniper Table is a Palm Springs restaurant serving small plates of Mediterranean-inspired fare on a sprawling patio. At first glance, this restaurant could be in Madrid or Florence with its heaving patio fringed by verdant trees and shrubbery. The outdoor area of Juniper Table is pet friendly.

    The food is also deeply connected to southern Europe, with menu favourites including the likes of date and citrus salad, challah French toast, and Jacinto omelette. If you’re here during lunch, there are a range of quiches and salads to choose from. The staff here are known for their positive demeanour and a willingness to help you decide on a suitable meal.

    Location: 100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Daily from 7.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 760-904-5032

    Map
    8

    Rooster and The Pig

    A hip spot with unique takes on Vietnamese fare

    • Food

    Rooster and The Pig bills itself as a Vietnamese-American restaurant, fast becoming one of Palm Springs’ hottest spots to dine. The space at Rooster and The Pig itself is minimal chic at its finest, with plenty of light wood and open space making for a welcome respite from the baking heat outside.

    The menu at Rooster and The Pig, however, is what this place is all about. Highlights include Vietnamese crispy rolls, made with ground pork, wood ear mushrooms, jicama and glass noodles. Rooster and the Pig is also renowned for its huge sharing platters, designed for 2 people. One of the most popular of these is the caramelised whole black tiger prawns, which come with Fresno chilli, garlic, shallot, and cilantro sauce.

    Location: 356 S Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 4 pm to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 760-832-6691

    Map
    9

    Azucar

    Locally sourced food in a trendy restaurant with rooftop bar

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Azucar is a hip restaurant in central Palm Springs offering delicious Mexican-inspired fare that uses the best of local produce. The decor borrows heavily from traditional Mexican style, with plenty of Frida Kahlo on the walls.

    The food at Azucar is known as some of the best in town, with dishes such as cauliflower tacos and watermelon salad encompassing the fresh, vibrant approach here. After dinner, the rooftop bar known as Sugar High makes for a sweet place to enjoy views across Palm Springs and beyond as the sun dips into the desert.

    Location: 339 S Belardo Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday until 10 pm

    Phone: +1 844-932-8044

    Map
    10

    Chef Tanya’s Kitchen

    A top spot for low-key vegan eats

    • Food
    • Budget

    Chef Tanya’s Kitchen is a stripped-back eatery where it’s all about the quality of the vegan food served. With delicious salads, sandwiches, soups and more, plant-based eaters in Palm Springs need look no further than Chef Tanya’s Kitchen.

    In a city where stylish restaurants are seemingly everywhere, Chef Tanya’s Kitchen stands out from the crowd thanks to its simple approach that focuses on the deliciousness of the food over everything. This restaurant is also known for its amazing vegan desserts, which include peanut butter cup parfait that’s a cooling dish to enjoy during the hottest days of summer.

    Location: 706 S Eugene Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 760-832-9007

    Map
    James Connolly | Guest Writer

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