Travel

Palm Springs Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Birba
622 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony
Located directly next door, this is Cheeky’s more substantial but equally delicious dinner-focused sibling. The atmosphere is just as relaxed, but the garden patio bar—complete with a rich cocktail offering (the gin martini is our go-to)—make it the ideal evening hangout. Come here for inventive interpretations of traditional Italian specialties like mushroom and ricotta lasagna, meatballs, eggplant and burrata, and of course, pizza. While the more topping-rich options are great, the no-frills Margherita is our favorite.
Mister Parker’s
4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Canyon Sands
Whether you’re staying at The Parker or just checking out the meticulously manicured grounds, retreat to the dimly lit and aptly named, Mister Parker’s for a good meal and even better people watching. Beyond the velvet curtained entrance, the vibe is unapologetically sexy (mirrored ceiling, an all-white baby grand piano, and eyebrow-raising artwork) and the menu is decadent to say the least. Pistachio-crusted scallops, Steak au Poivre, and the shoestring parmesan fries take top billing. It’s also important to note that every meal is kicked off by a mini loaf of piping-hot sourdough bread. Needless to say reservations are a must.
El Jefe
1800 E. Palm Canyon Dr., South Palm Springs
Much like the color-happy Saguaro Hotel it’s situated in, El Jefe is super casual (communal seating, reclaimed wood-paneled walls) and great for accommodating kids and larger groups. Inspired by Mexico City’s thriving street food scene and helmed by chef Jose Garces (of Iron Chef fame), the small-plates menu is extensive yet easy to navigate. For breakfast there’s torrijas (a delicious citrus-vanilla French toast dish) and loads of egg-centric options. Lunch and dinner are devoted to South-of-the-border favorites like ceviche, sopas, and of course, tacos—our go-to is the veggie-and-mushroom Hongos con Rajas.
The Purple Palm
572 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Movie Colony
This is an excellent, history-rich, Moroccan-themed restaurant that merits a visit every single time we’re in town. It’s named for The Purple Gang, a primarily Jewish group of mobsters from the ’30s (Al Meriweather, one of the original members, built the Colony Palms resort it’s situated in as their clubhouse, which included a secret, underground lair). The recently revamped interior (designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard swapped the photo-realistic palm tree wallpaper for a more on-theme pattern) and lovely outdoor space overlooking the pool are just as much of a draw as the food—a medley of hearty seafood dishes, crisp salads, and colorful vegetable sides.
Kings Highway & The Amigo Room
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., South Palm Springs
Occupying an old Denny’s and decked out with mod fixtures and faux taxidermy, Kings Highway is exactly what one might expect from Ace hotel’s riff on a roadside diner. In addition to providing the hotel with room service, the restaurant serves elevated versions of standard diner fare (burgers, omelets, pie) as well as random but welcome additions—grilled Monterey squid, shrimp vindaloo, black eyed pea hummus—all day long and well into the night on weekends. Next door is the Amigo Room bar, a former rancher watering hole which was purposely left out of the renovation to keep its gritty ambiance. There are 21 craft beers on tap and a killer craft cocktail menu that goes perfectly with the slew of campy activities (bingo is a fan favorite) hosted at the bar pretty much nightly.
Cheeky’s
622 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony
Cheeky’s is notorious for having some of the most agonizing wait times on weekend mornings. But once you do get a seat (either on the mist-equipped outdoor patio or at one of the indoor communal tables), you’ll see the wait is entirely justified. Here, brunch is all about the classics: Chilaquiles, the fluffiest pancakes, and a really good eggs Benedict. There are some unexpected options too, like a Piña Colada waffle (caramelized pineapple may sound weird but is actually quite tasty) and a spicy pork shoulder dish. Though not nearly as in-demand, the lunch menu is solid.
Workshop Kitchen
800 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Movie Colony
Uptown Palm Springs is quickly becoming the culinary epicenter of the desert, thanks in no small part to chef Michael Beckman's Workshop Kitchen + Bar. The oft-changing menu is devoted to fresh, seasonal dishes like roasted heirloom carrots, house-cured gravlax tartine, and Iron House ranch rib eye, the ingredients for which are all sourced locally—even the craft cocktails are mixed with them (the scotch-heavy Carrot Penicillin is insane). Other than a singular communal table and a dozen or so private booths, the minimalistic cement dining room doesn't overwhelm with decor.
You may also like