The Palm Springs area is about to get crazy! With a double weekend dose of Coachella followed by Stagecoach, the valley takes on a more festival vibe reminiscent of Sonny Bono’s Spring breaks of the 90s. Palm Springs is not the only place to party as the festivals pack the 8 or so cities that make up the Coachella Valley, but in this piece, we wanted to draw your hunt for local food to the once small village of Palm Springs. Here is our list of 11 restaurants where you can eat like a local in Palm Springs. Although there are many other eateries that might be more Insta-worthy these are a few of our long-standing favorites (being from the area), some which we have been dining at with family for over two decades.
So if you’ve been looking for a place to eat this festival season but want to avoid the highly known Instagram spots and the vanity aspect that Coachella can bring, here is our list, in no particular order, of places that are beloved by Palm Springs locals.
1 La Bonita’s
Cheese shell tacos (KETO friendly), Mexican fries, and extra large burritos the Raei family has crafted a Mexican food staple with a fun vibe and all that family love. Stop by to see Chef Alex and David in action behind the counter. Casual vibes, seat yourself, good margaritas and even better times at La Bonita’s.
330 N Palm Canyon Dr
2 Bill's Pizza
The king of pizza in Palm Springs. Bill’s secret, they fire up pizzas with only fresh ingredients, imported pizza flour from Italy, and made to order. Eat it there or order your pie to go and bring back to your Airbnb or hotel to grub in peace after a long day in the crowds.
119 S Indian Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA
73196 CA-111, Palm Desert, CA
3 Tyler's Burgers
A local favorite this burger joint once housed in an old bus station, turned A&W, turned favorite burger of Palm Springs residents. Tyler’s makes big burgers with a perfectly toasted bun but, you can also order their sliders or other classic sandwiches.
149 S Indian Canyon Dr
4 Billy Reed’s Restaurant
Ask a true local in the desert and there is a good chance two to three generations have dined at Billy’s Reeds over its almost 40 year history. Stepping foot into the restaurant will take you back… way back. One family member says it's like walking into Disney’s haunted mansion. You may be quite a bit younger than most others in there but this place is worth checking out for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Billy Reed's Resturant
1800 N Palm Canyon Dr
5 Sherman’s Deli & Bakery
This family owned and operated Jewish deli will make you feel right at home. Not only is the service fantastic but, the sandwiches are piled high and full of flavor! After your meal, grab a huge slice of cake to share or not, up to you.
Sherman’s Deli & Bakery
401 E Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs, CA
73-161 Country Club Drive Palm Desert, CA
6 John’s Restaurant
John’s is the breakfast, lunch and dinner grease spot sure to wake you up for another day in paradise to party. You order, they give you a number and then deliver food to your table. Nothing fancy but good food along with endless coffee refills to help cure your hangover.
900 N Palm Canyon Dr
7 Shanghai Reds Bar & Grill
Fish Tacos, oysters and shrimp this restaurant is a get-a-way cherished by locals. The two-in-one restaurant combo features a seafood market that has a chill lunch spot and Shanghai’s which is more of a party on the wharf setting with live music and lively crowds.
Shanghai Reds Bar & Grill
235 S Indian Canyon Dr
8 Elmer’s Restaurant
Elmer’s has more of a family vibe but we wanted to include it because it is a great breakfast spot. When inside, you will see pictures all over the walls of celebrities that have passed through Elmer’s including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Sonny Bono, among others. Grab 1 (or 2 or 3) pre-Coachella mimosas while you enjoy breakfast. They are known for their Classic German Pancake.
1030 E Palm Canyon Dr
9 Thai Smile
Thai Smile is beloved by many (including us) as you will be able to tell by how busy it stays. Though it may be packed a lot of the times, you will still have attentive service. Food always comes out quick, hot and delicious. Give their Thai iced tea a try to help you cool down. They also have a large outdoor covered patio to dine on. Even Martha Stewart has given Thai Smile a try! They also have vegetarian options available.
100 S Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA
73725 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA
10 Giuseppe’s Pizzeria
Giuseppe’s not only offers pizza loaded with toppings but also large fresh salads, pasta, crispy ravioli and bruschetta. Something for everyone in your group who danced up a hunger. They offer gluten free crust. Along with lunch, brunch and dinner menus you’ll get a warm welcome and what feels like a homemade meal.
1775 E Palm Canyon Dr Ste 410
11 The Hey-Day Pop-Up At Village Fest
Arrive before the big parties start Thursday afternoon for Palm Spring’s weekly Village Fest in Downtown Palm Springs. Dozens of food vendors, art shops and a farmers market take over downtown just as the sun sets behind the mountains.
Although there are several food vendors with lines we wanted to point out one of our personal favorites and new comers, The Hey-Day. Grilling up smash burgers this husband and wife team are serving up elevated backyard burgers with some fresh ingredients. Great flavors and filling but if you’ve really got an appetite, try their double patty melt with the buns flipped, a secret menu item that you won’t regret.
The Hey-Day starts taking orders when Village Fest opens at 6 pm and is only around until they sell out, and they will sell out so get there on time! You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook (@the_heyday) to keep up with their schedule of events.
The Hey-Day Pop-Up Every Thursday at
Village Fest in Downtown Palm Springs
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