Where to Eat and Drink in the Desert During Coachella
The Coachella Music Valley and Arts Festival kicks off next weekend in the Coachella Valley in California. For the second year in a row, this massive festival will take place over two weekends (April 12-14 and April 19-21) bringing thousands of music fans and party people to the area. Many festival goers and artists playing the festival have decided to make an extended vacation out of it and stay in the desert all week. If you are one of lucky ones who will be chilling under the desert sky, we’ve put together a short list of where to eat and drink in Palm Springs, Indio, La Quinta and all areas in between. Special thanks to our California-esque friends Marisa Brickman, Oli Isaacs, Mandy Brooks, Celeste Tabora, Anne Lee, Greg Bresnitz and Jill Bradshaw for their tips!
BREAKFAST & BRUNCH
Norma’s at The Parker
4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 | www.theparkerpalmsprings.com
Brunch at Norma’s is like a big deal out here, and it’s not the type of place you should drag your hungover buddies if they are still wearing last nights clothes. Tucked in The Parker hotel, this classy brunch features all your favorites gussied up like rock lobster omelettes, foie gras french toast, and “Chunks of Lobster Swimming in Cheesy Macaroni.” So pull yourself together, order a chilled glass of prosecco and enjoy the scenery.
622 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, CA 92262 | www.cheekysps.com
Cheeky’s is one of those glorious places that serves breakfast all day (but they are only open Wed-Mon from 8am-2pm). This casual eatery serves up a mix of healthy choices and traditional breakfast and lunch items all sourced locally and organic whenever possible. They also have something called “A Bacon Flight” on the menu and you can try five different types of bacon for $4!
1030 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 | www.eatatelmers.com
Yes, Elmer’s is part of a chain, but it’s more like a Jim’s in Texas than a nasty Denny’s. Come here for breakfast and cozy up in a booth, drink bottomless coffee, and enjoy your over sized breakfast of pancakes, omelettes, country biscuits, chicken fried steak and hash browns.
Palm Greens Cafe photo c/o Palm Springs Life
Palm Greens Cafe
611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 | www.palmgreenscafe.com
Our “healthy” LA friends suggested Palm Greens Cafe because of all their veggie, vegan and all around good for you menu items. They also serve plenty of organic, locally sourced meats, poultry and fish dishes, so it’s not just for vegetarians. This is a good place to re-up (or gear up) after a long weekend of partying at Coachella.
The Natural Sisters Cafe
61695 29 Palms Hwy Suite B, Joshua Tree, CA 92252 | No website
Joshua Tree is a bit far from the Coachella grounds, but if you’re spending an extra day or two in the desert or need a place to stop on your way back to Los Angeles, The Natural Sisters Cafe is a great place to check out. The menu is all vegetarian and vegan and they serve a nice selection of smoothies, salads and wraps. Plus they make their own kombucha!
AMERICAN & TRADITIONAL
King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel
701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 | www.acehotel.com/palmsprings
King’s Highway is the kitschy diner attached to the very cool Ace Hotel. The vintage decor and lofty design lend a fun and retro feel to the place, but the menu is pretty straight ahead modern American. Lots of farm to table, locally sourced and organic items pepper the menu of salads, sandwiches, small plates and entrees. Bonus: they serve Stumptown coffee!
80400 Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201 | www.thejackaloperanch.com
Jackalope Ranch is a large restaurant on a six acre ranch located close to the Coachella grounds. It’s perfect for large groups and they serve a mix of “California Ranch Style BBQ” (ribs, chicken) and California style Mexican cuisine (tacos, nachos, tamales) alongside giant salads, sandwiches and upscale bar food.
317 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA 92262 | www.woodysburgersps.com
Woody’s doesn’t look like much from the outside (or inside really) because it used to be an old Greyhound bus station, but the burgers, fries and shakes are top notch. Our favorite is the Blue Burger topped with blue cheese AND blue cheese sauce, but any of their gourmet burgers are just as good. Cold beer, cocktails and the occasional lounge singer make this place something special.
Murph’s Gaslight Restaurant
79-860 Avenue 42, Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203 | www.murphsgaslight.com
Murph’s is famous for their pan fried chicken. It’s served family style with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy and all the fixin’s. On Sundays it’s ALL they serve. Don’t bother with the rest of the menu.
El Gallito photo c/o The Anglophile
68820 Grove St, Cathedral City, CA 92234 | www.elgallito.menutoeat.com
There are a lot of Mexican places to eat in the area, but El Gallito is our favorite. It’s a mom and pop style, hole in the wall Mexican joint that looks completely out of place next to the rest of the strips malls in this desert brown landscape. The food is cheap, tasty, filling and the combination plates are under $10. The tacky decor seems to make the food taste better too.
Adobe Grill at La Quinta Resort & Club
49-499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, CA 92253 | www.laquintaresort.com
Located in the La Quinta Resort, Adobe is a more of an upscale, Mexican dining experience. Perfect if you’re in the mood for table side guacamole, award winning tamales and top shelf margaritas. They also offer over 100 types of tequila!
222 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 | www.lascasuelas.com
Las Casuelas is an old school staple in Palm Springs. Located on the main drag, Las Casuelas is a big, open air Mexican restaurant with a palapa bar serving all kinds of giant margaritas and a huge array of tequilas from their “Tequila Hall of Fame” list. There’s is the occasional live band playing Mexican versions of cover songs, but it actually works with the vibe. Good for groups too.
Citron at the Viceroy
415 South Belardo Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262 | www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
Located in the luxe Viceroy resort, Citron is a good spot for a romantic dinner by the pool at night or a casual business meeting during the day. Citron offers a modern twist on classic, gourmet dining in the desert with an extensive wine list and a seasonal menu. The lunch menu includes fish tacos and the Viceroy burger, and for dinner try the lime marinated seafood salad, Mediterranean lamb or steak frites with truffle butter.
707 N Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA 92262 | www.triopalmsprings.com
Self-described as an “energetic desert-casual atmosphere,” Trio is popular with the locals in Palm Springs. They serve a mix of creative comfort food and American modern dishes like country pate, crawfish pot pie, roasted half chicken and Yankee pot roast. Great wine and cocktail list too.
OLD SCHOOL PALM SPRINGS
Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn
200 West Ramon Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264 | www.inglesideinn.com
Melvyn’s has been called “One of the 10 Best…” according to Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Ten best what, you ask? Who knows, but that’s why this place is awesome. Great old school Palm Springs vibes and they even have a page on their website dedicated to the celebrities who have been spotted at Melvyn’s. Champagne brunch on Saturday and Sundays!
Wally’s Desert Turtle
71-775 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 | www.wallys-desert-turtle.com
The over the top 80′s fancy restaurant decor is the best part about this restaurant. Don your best “desert casual” duds and order a bottle of French champagne and enjoy your escargot, ceasar salad and roasted rack of lamb in true 80′s rich guy style!
ASIAN & INDIAN
46520 Washington St. Suite 3, La Quinta, CA 92253 | No website
Casual, easy, tasty. Dine in or take out.
35875 Date Palm Drive D-8 Cathedral City, CA 92234 | www.india-oven.com
Surprisingly good Indian food in the desert!
Pappy & Harriet’s photo c/o The RV Goddess
80956 US Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201 | No website
Great dive bar with karaoke that has been around forever.
The Beer Hunter
78-483 Hwy 111, La Quinta, CA 92253 | www.laquintabeerhunter.com
The greatest sports bar ever?
Pappy & Harriet’s
53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268 | www.pappyandharriets.com
A well loved dive bar and restaurant set in the old Wild West of Pioneertown. Many of the bands playing Coachella are also playing shows here mid-week, so check their calendar!