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12 Best Restaurants In Palm Desert California

best restaurants in Palm Desert

Name a food craving, any food craving. Even if it feels strange or weird or impossible to find, there’s a good chance Palm Desert has a restaurant to satisfy it. Pappardelle. Paprikash. Poke. Nothing seems off-limits here. You’ll find cheap eats, messy eats, big eats, and high-end eats all roped into the same city.

From breakfast to dinner, here’s our guide to the best restaurants in Palm Desert.

Best Restaurants In Palm Desert For Breakfast

Wilma And Frieda in Palm Desert California

Wilma And Frieda

Named in honor of founder Kelly McFall’s grandmothers, Wilma And Frieda is situated on the upper story of The Gardens On El Paseo, a scenic, bi-level snip of Palm Desert’s larger, more well-known shopping district.

Brunch – polished-up, homestyle comfort food – is served every day. For the bare basics, get the Eeny, Meany, Miney, or Mo. And if you’re looking for something on the sweeter side (we usually are), opt for the cinnamon sugar-stained Churro Waffle or the gooey Blackberry Custard French Toast (both of which are exactly as delicious as they sound).

General Info

Address: 73575 El Paseo #2310, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$$

IW Coffee Chai Bar

While strolling around the El Paseo Shopping District, we noticed a thin line of people bracing the sidewalks, phones in one hand, pink-sleeved cups in another. The labels caught our eyes: IW Coffee Chai Bar.

A trendy, light-flooded cafe, IW Coffee Chai Bar (stylized {IW} Coffee Chai Bar) is the place to go for a lingering cup of coffee and a light snack. The views feel unreal. It’s easy to think that the big, gaping windows are frames. But the tips of the mountains outside, jagged and blue-tinted under the expansive California sky, are real. They force you to be in the moment, to engage your senses. And somehow, that pull of “now” makes the coffee experience at IW Coffee Chai Bar more pronounced.

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General Info

Address: 74868 Country Club Dr #101, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

Keedy’s Fountain And Grill

Teal-chaired Keedy’s is your classic diner. It’s where you go for greasy deep-fried chicken, hotcakes, pancakes, and of course, malt and floats. In a lot of ways, Keedy’s reminded us of Brent’s Drugs, one of our favorite restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi.

It’s a historic place and a long-standing local landmark. The diner first opened up in the 1950s, and it doesn’t feel like much has changed since. The interior looks, feels, and smells old but it’s part of a purposely-preserved charm. When you want to escape from modernity, head to Keedy’s, sit by the counter, and order a hand-dipped shake.

General Info

Address: 73575 El Paseo #2310, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

Best Restaurants In Palm Desert For Lunch

Cucumber Wedges from Fresh Agave, one of the most popular restaurants in Palm Desert

Fresh Agave

Known for its striking margaritas, Fresh Agave is one of the most frequented restaurants in Palm Desert. It’s a tiny cantina, but don’t let the size fool you. Fresh Agave makes its presence known. It’s loud. Walk inside and you’ll hear a mishmash of music, tv, and conversation. As the day progresses so does the volume. By evening, you’ll witness Fresh Agave at full blast. The food is hit-or-miss. We started off with the Cucumber Wedges, which were fresh, crisp, and oh so lemony. The taste was sharp, distinct, and pungent. If we could do it all over, we’d swap the appetizer for a Guacamole Fiesta, and stick to the giant serving of Fajitas for lunch.

General Info

Address: 73325 CA-111, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$$

Bill’s Pizza

Like many of the most popular restaurants in Palm Desert, Bill’s Pizza also has a location in Palm Springs. Bill’s is your standard, neighborhood pizzeria. It’s our skip-the-chains-and-try-this-instead rec. When you’re jumping all around Palm Desert (hitting up the Living Desert Zoo And Gardens, shopping at El Paseo, hiking Bump And Grind Trail), sometimes you want a big, carb-loaded meal. Bill’s provides just that. For the most flavor, get the Nicolas Cage.

Travel Tip: If the weather is nice, pick up takeout then drive down to Civic Center Park (just five minutes away) for a makeshift picnic.

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General Info

Address: 73196 CA-111, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

Pokehana

Our favorite quick-service lunch restaurant in Palm Desert turned out to be Pokehana, a fast-casual eatery with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. Hawaiian poke is all the rage these days and Pokehana’s Palm Desert outpost is just as on-the-bandwagon as you’d expect. Each bowl is colorful, customizable, and packed with veggies. Tofu is our protein of choice but if you’re craving fish, ask for the Salmon (and skip the Ahi Tuna).

General Info

Address: 73405 CA-111 Suite 104, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $-$$

Best Restaurants In Palm Desert For Dinner

entrance of Alps Village, one of the best restaurants in Palm Desert

Alps Village

Alps Village is surprisingly located in a strip mall. With a border of lush flowers spilling over fat barrels, Alps Village feels out of place. But as soon as you walk inside, you’ll feel right at home. This Palm Desert restaurant is run by mother-daughter duo, Milka and Blanka. It’s a place to find European flavors in Coachella Valley. Alps Village isn’t exclusively German, it also makes space for Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian dishes. The food is homey and good.

General Info

Address: 73405 CA-111 Suite 104, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

Cuistot

One of the fanciest restaurants in Palm Desert, Cuistot is unrelentingly posh. It’s the kind of place you’d step into after months of dating someone you love. It’s the kind of place where an annual birthday celebration seems like too weak a reason to go. It’s the kind of place that you feel like you need to prep for, you need to dress up for. It’s not the kind of place you duck into, though you should (at the right time, when the moment calls for it). You’ll find some of the best food in Palm Desert served here: Wild Mushroom Soup, Roasted Quail With Black Rice, Seafood Quenelles.

General Info

Address: 72595 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$$$

Ristorante Mamma Gina

Finding authentic Italian cuisine is hard in the states, but Ristorante Mamma Gina has all the right certifications: a gray-stoned sister restaurant in Florence, a strong heritage, long-time staff that knows and understands the mission of the restaurant inside and out. These traits make Ristorante Mamma Gina the best Italian restaurant in Palm Desert. Make a reservation here. If you can, go during happy hour (every night, past 4:00 PM, at the bar or patio – it’s a tougher crowd but worth it for the savings). You’ll sit at a white-clothed table and be served on a white dish, so the meal is the only thing that stands out. Ristorante Mamma Gina makes it easy for you to concentrate on the Florentine flavors that cut through each bite. Order anything off the menu. You’ll be pleased.

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General Info

Address: 72595 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$ (Happy Hour), $$$$

Best Places To Eat Snacks & Dessert In Palm Desert

jasmine milk tea from Tea Be Honest in Palm Desert

Beach House Frozen Yogurt

Beach House might seem like an odd name for a California Desert (well, dessert) spot, but on days when the sun sucker-punches your skin, you’ll be glad Beach House exists. This clean, unfussy fro-yo spot in Palm Desert is kid-friendly. And there’s a decent number of fro-yo flavors and toppings to choose from too.

General Info

Address: 72363 CA-111 A2A, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

Lappert’s Ultra-Premium Ice Cream

Here’s what impressed us about Lappert’s date shakes: we could taste the dates. This doesn’t seem like a revolutionary statement, but it struck us that this was the first date shake we had that didn’t taste like a straight-up vanilla milkshake. Lappert’s shines when it comes to flavor profiles but there’s also a lot of sweetness to sift through (it’s a bit much but we have to admit, this turned out to be one of our favorite date shake spots in Coachella Valley).

General Info

Address: 72363 CA-111 A2A, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

Tea Be Honest

The best boba tea in Palm Desert can be found at Tea Be Honest, a small in-then-out stop perfumed by the scents of sweet milk, fruit, and jasmine. Since we’re on a bit of a matcha craze at the moment, we’ll recommend anything matcha. Expect drinks to take a while to make (we waited about twenty minutes for our drinks).

General Info

Address: 72270 CA-111 B-7, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Cost: $$

More Restaurants In Palm Desert

Paseo Shopping District contains many of the best restaurants in Palm Desert
  • Kitchen 86 + Bar: a buzzy drink-and-dine restaurant in Palm Desert serving everything from ramen to wood-fired pizzas
  • Cork Tree California Cuisine: you’ll find nothing less than perfection at this elegant fine-dining establishment
  • Cups Cafe: one of the most underrated restaurants in Palm Desert. a cute mom n’ pop style diner dishing out hearty portions made with love
  • Brown Bag Sandwich Shoppe: a simple, no-frills sandwich shop serving up some of the best sandwiches in Coachella Valley
  • Pacifica Seafood Restaurant: go for the seafood, stay for the romantic sunset views
sincerely anshula

What are your favorite restaurants in Palm Desert? Let me know in the comments below! This is by no means a comprehensive list and I love hearing about your experiences.

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