Palm Springs restaurants are well known for their variety and quality. Of course, you will find plenty of fast food establishments and pizza and hamburger joints, but the area prides itself on an eclectic and original haute cuisine, with some restaurants that can hold their own with the fine dining choices found in Paris or New York City. This has long been a playground for the rich and famous (celebrity tours will even show you many of their homes), and the available dining choices reflect that cachet. Palm Springs dining really does always have the possibility of seating you next to a celebrity, whether it's Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones or Robert Downey, Jr.
Palm Springs Dining
Some of the best restaurants in Palm Springs will be found in one of the many resorts in the area. The intimate boutique hotels and spa resorts of Desert Hot Springs often feature healthy gourmet cuisine. The casino properties like the Agua Caliente Casino (pictured at top) and the Spa Resort Casino feature fast food options and steak houses. Other Palm Springs restaurants specialize in Chinese or Italian, Pacific Rim seafood, French, or nouveau California cuisine, or just about every other niche you can imagine.
Some of the best restaurants are located near the best nightlife in town as well. Check out El Paseo in Palm Desert or Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. The popular shopping areas in town are also great places to hang out and find some dining options. One of the best is the River Center, which is an outdoor mall that makes a great place for an evening stroll and has a number of both nicer and casual restaurants.
Many of the best restaurants in Palm Springs will be found outdoors by swimming pools. At one time, this area had the largest concentration of swimming pools in the United States, and it is still high on the list. Virtually all hotels—even the cheap hotels—will have at least one. The larger luxury hotels and resorts often have multiple pools. Because this is such an excellent destination for family vacations, many of the resorts have a swimming pool area that is a mini water park, with lazy rivers, water slides, and sandy beaches. Poolside Palm Springs dining at these spots will feature the chicken fingers, burgers, fires, and pizzas that kids love.
Also look for the best restaurants in Palm Springs that feature a theme of romance. This is one of the premier destinations for weddings, honeymoons, and romantic getaways. The year-round balmy weather encourages plenty of outdoor dining with flickering candles and blazing outdoor fire pits. Even during the summer when daytime temperatures average above 100∞, the evenings cool down enough for comfortable outdoor dining. Look for romantic and intimate Palm Springs restaurants nestled up against the San Jacinto Mountains for fabulous sunset views, or the patio dining areas of golf clubs overlooking green fairways, waving palm trees, and sparkling water features.
The great outdoors is prominently featured among the many things to do in Palm Springs. You can enjoy Palm Springs dining at the top of the famous aerial tramway with views so breathtaking you might not even notice the food. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in an around the area, including desert and mountain trails. Many tours take you out into this pristine wild country, and include gourmet picnic lunches. If you’ve taken advantage of car rentals and are going to do some independent hiking and exploring, most hotels will pack a gourmet lunch for you with advance notice.