South Palm Springs Restaurants
The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge
1330 E. Palm Canyon Dr., South Palm Springs
If you can snag a reservation, you’re in for a real treat at this small, cozy hotel’s restaurant (seating is limited, and hotel guests get first priority; walk-ins aren’t accepted). The family-style suppers are served at long, wooden communal tables and include starters like date and orange salad before the entrée (along the lines of marinated rib eye with garlic smashed potatoes or roasted chicken with wild rice). The garden setting feels totally private, like a dinner party at a friend’s gorgeous desert compound.
1030 E. Palm Canyon Dr., South Palm Springs
Though there are 25 locations of this Portland-born diner throughout the Northwest, this is the only California outpost and it’s the furthest thing from a run-of-the-mill franchise. Yes, there’s a massive laminated menu but that's half the fun. Lunch and dinner bring in a good amount of guests, but it’s the all-day breakfast that’s the true standout. German pancakes, oversize skillet omelets, and smokehouse bacon are particularly adored by both kids and those nursing wicked hangovers.
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.
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.