Desert Dining: Best Bites in Palm Springs | RTX Traveler Magazine

134122264wThe Best Bites in Palm Springs

Palm Springs’ dining options fall into a variety of categories from casual to upscale, traditional American fare to modern takes on international flavors and basic comfort food to complex plates and presentations.

Some restaurants aim to keep alive the vibe of dishes served to Palm Springs’ old Hollywood crowd, while some want to keep up with the latest culinary trends while using fresh and local ingredients. Regardless of where they fall on that spectrum, Palm Springs’ best restaurants never lack character.

Wake up with organic coffee and chat with locals, enjoy brunch on the patio while your canine companion munches on a treat, make friends at a communal table while tasting the town’s best burger, sip on the best date shake in the region and dine al fresco in what was once Cary Grant’s front yard. All of these experiences are essentially Palm Springs, and they’ll have you coming back for more as soon as the hunger strikes you.

Dine in luxury at Copley’s

Famously known as Cary Grant’s estate, Copley’s on Palm Canyon has gained local and national acclaim over the last 10 years. Through a wrought-iron gate at a small entrance house, the lush courtyard features a huge outdoor fireplace with tables suitable for groups or intimate dining under the stars. The indoor dining room has a different yet equally appealing ambiance with cozy banquettes, intimate tables tucked into alcoves and a convivial bar.

134097383wWhile the space is sophisticated both inside and out, the service is so friendly you’ll feel like you’re being welcomed into an old friend’s home. A favorite starter is the Hawaiian Ahi Taco dish, with tuna tartar, avocado and green onion tossed in a ginger soy dressing and tucked into two tiny crispy sesame miso shells. Copley’s Caesar Salad is a fresh take on the traditional dish with pineapple croutons topping the fresh romaine, shaved padano cheese and smoked apple bacon. While the nightly specials are often a top pick for entrees, the grilled beef tenderloin over corn and lobster risotto with asparagus and tomato relish is a good pick for a hearty appetite. For a lighter dish, the pan-seared Scottish salmon over basmati rice and baby carrots topped with red Thai curry sauce is a winner.

The lemon lavender-scented pound cake with basil ice cream is a dessert that keeps regulars coming back, and if you’re feeling nostalgic, the Copley’s S’more – a chocolate soufflé cake with a graham cracker crust topped with toasted marshmallows and salted caramel ice cream – is pure indulgence. All of the ice cream is made in-house, so take note of any specials. The cocktail and wine list offers plenty to complement your menu choices before, during and after your meal. Dining at Copley’s will make you feel like a star, and will give you a glimpse of why Palm Springs keeps drawing people back, year after year.
Tip: If you’re on a budget, come to the bar during Happy Hour between 6 – 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for great prices on cocktails and a special bar menu.


Wake up with Koffi Coffee: With two locations in Palm Springs, this favorite local spot is bustling from 5:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Choose from a variety of house-roasted organic Premium and Espresso blends made to your liking and pair your beverage of choice with a giant muffin, a toasted bagel or a yogurt and fruit parfait with house-made granola. Koffi is a great place to start your day and get the scoop from chatty locals.
Tip: If you get hooked on Koffi’s brews, you can order them online and have the beans delivered to your home for Koffi goodness all year.


Have a brunch date at Cheeky’s: The smell of bacon from blocks away will lead you to this busy breakfast and lunch spot. Open Tuesday through Saturday, Cheeky’s quickly became a contender for Palms Springs’ best restaurant when it opened in early 2009. Seasonal, local and organic dishes are emphasized on their menu, which changes weekly save for a few favorite dishes whose removal may result in a riot. Inside the small but cozy space diners can watch the chefs work in the open kitchen and outside on the spacious patio dogs can enjoy water and treats while their humans feast.
Tip: Arrive before 11 a.m. to avoid a long line.



Belly up for a burger at Tyler’s: Sometimes, you just need a really good burger. In Palm Springs, Tyler’s is the answer, every time. The owner grew up helping out at her mom’s burger stand in Venice Beach, and has continued the family tradition in Palm Springs since 1996. The menu is as simple as the concept: Burgers, sandwiches and sides; all freshly made, right down to the beef which is ground daily and never frozen. Everything on the menu is less than $9. In the words of the owner, “In a complex world, there is still a need for simple, real food … that makes you feel good.” We couldn’t agree more.
Tip: It’s cash-only.



Get a date shake at Hadley’s: On your way into or out of town, a stop at Hadley’s for their world-famous date shake is a must. The Coachella Valley is known as the “Date Capital of the World,” and they’re not talking about a haven for singles. Groves of date palms have been thriving in this area since the 1800s, and the Hadley family began capitalizing on the fruit in the 1930s. Shop in the retail store for dried date and other California fruits and nuts, as well as trail mix, candies, local honey and baked goods. Grab an affordable and delicious lunch at the in-store café, and be sure to finish it off with a date shake.
Tip: If you don’t want to haul your goods back home in your luggage, Hadley’s will ship; or you can order online.




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