Sometimes we all crave some good tacos, tamales, mole, enchiladas, chile rellenos, and – of course – margaritas, but we’re not sure where to go and need some guidance. If you’re in the greater Palm Springs area and need a fix of Mexican food, here are some of the best places to try.
Our Local’s Guide to the Best Authentic Mexican Food in Greater Palm Springs
One of the newest yet most popular Mexican restaurants in the area is El Patio. Located at 139 E. Andreas Road in Palm Springs, the cozy place offers brunch, lunch, and dinner. Whether you like the typical bacon-and-egg or pancake type of breakfast or an ethnic twist like huevos rancheros, El Patio definitely has something you would love. Lunch and dinner include your typical Mexican fare such as chile rellenos and tacos, but if you want to be adventurous you may want to try the filete al mojo de ajo (a fish filet topped with a special butter sauce) or the shrimp burger. Of course, you can also find excellent cocktails at El Patio, which include flavored margaritas, piña coladas, and more.
In the Indio area and looking for a great spot to enjoy Mexican food on a patio? Try Rincon Norteño at 83011 Indio Boulevard. Like El Patio, the restaurant is open for all three meals of the day, but focuses on traditional Mexican dishes instead of some that are “Americanized.” If you are looking for a bold appetizer with your group, the Tostada Marinara (shrimp, octopus, abalone, cucumber, and devil sauce) is a must-try. Don’t miss out on the menudo, too, as it’s some of the best in the region.
La Tablita Mexican Restaurant
One of Cathedral City’s top spots for Mexican cuisine is definitely La Tablita Mexican Restaurant located at 68369 E. Palm Canyon Drive. This place refers to itself as “California’s Best Mexican-Inspired Bar” with a relaxed atmosphere and occasional live Spanish music. While mostly known for its amazing mole, the fried ice cream dessert should also not be missed. La Tablita offers online ordering, so if you’re craving Mexican food but would rather eat-in, takeout may be an attractive option for you.
Jalisco Restaurant at 1605 6th Street in Coachella is a small, family-oriented spot where you can find breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu is smaller than most places, which means they have mastered their authentic Mexican dishes and have gained a solid following from fans. While they have typical plates such as quesadillas and tortas, they offer exquisite meats such as goat meat and lengua (beef tongue). The restaurant opens at 7:00 AM every morning and closes late, so you have the whole day to stop in for a great meal.
In the heart of Palm Springs at 330 N. Palm Canyon Drive sits La Bonita’s, which is one of the greatest Mexican restaurants in the area. The restaurant deems itself “the best home-made Mexican food in Palm Springs,” and its repeat customers tend to agree. The family-owned business makes everything right there in their kitchen with fresh ingredients, so you know the quality of the food is top-notch. The chimichangas are a cannot-miss, and La Bonita’s also offers delivery to nearby locations if you want to stay in.
The bungalow-style building at 415 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs houses Tac/Quila, another excellent Mexican restaurant in the area. The owners, two former attorneys, say that they not only focus on the food and the ingredients the restaurant uses but also its “presentation and environment” that keep customers coming back. If you’re a drinker, the Tres Agaves cocktail is a huge hit here, and as far as food goes, while everything is tasty you cannot go wrong with any variety of the fajitas.
The cozy place at 901 Crossley Road in Palm Springs is home to La Perlita, which is another family-owned Mexican restaurant visitors love. The restaurant serves up home-style cooking Monday through Saturday, which includes excellent combination plates and popular shrimp dishes. La Perlita has some of the best appetizers in the area, including its queso and its taquitos. The portions are plentiful, and the margaritas are large and the strength of them is just right.
Loco Charlie’s Mexican Grill
If you’re looking for great food and a fun vibe, you won’t want to skip the newly-renovated Loco Charlie’s Mexican Grill at 1751 N Sunrise Way in Palm Springs. The menu is expansive and includes everything from soups to traditional Mexican plates and other dishes like fish and chips. The restaurant also just started serving “American Breakfast” on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM, so you can try that in the morning and come back for some authentic Mexican cuisine later in the day. Loco Charlie’s also offers catering and if you’re having a large private event, the restaurant has a separate room for that.
El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana was founded in 1985 and has since expanded into two different restaurants in Palm Springs, one as a standalone restaurant at 140 E Palm Canyon Drive and the other inside the Los Arboles Hotel at 266 E Vía Altamira. Both offer the same delicious cuisine and the presentation is unmatched. Avocado aficionados rave about the guacamole salad, and the amaretto flan is one of the best desserts you’ll find in the area. El Mirasol also offers a lengthy list of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
If you’re in need of a menu with options for all dietary preferences, check out Fresh Agave at 73325 Highway 111 in Palm Desert. Serving lunch and dinner, the menu offers dishes made with seafood, chicken, pork, and beef, but also includes a special section for vegetarians. Kids are also welcome at Fresh Agave, as there are both Mexican and traditional American options for them. The drink menu is huge and allows for customizations including an upgrade of chavela (Clamato juice, lime juice, chili and a salted rim).
Las Casuelas Terraza
Las Casuelas Terraza is located at 222 South Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of Palm Springs and has been a popular place in the area since 1958. Eating outside is a top pick for regulars, and the patio is heated so people can still eat outside in the cooler temperatures. Most visitors opt to order a combination plate, as the restaurant offers one item, two item, and three item mix-and-match options. Patrons rave about the service at Las Casuelas Terraza, and there is oftentimes live music in the evenings.
Celebrating Taco Tuesdays is great, but why not celebrate Taco Thursdays, too? El Jefe is located in the Saguaro Palm Springs at 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive and celebrates tacos two days of the week. The restaurant is an extremely laid-back spot for food and amazing beverages, and you won’t want to miss the discounted food and drinks at Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Top picks on the menu include their loaded nachos and the Spicy Guava Margarita, which contains jalapeño-infused blanco tequila.
Blue Coyote Bar and Grill
Giving off an Old Southwestern-style vibe, the Blue Coyote Bar and Grill at 445 North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs is a perfect option for you and your group. The red and blue taquitos with chicken or beef are great as a starter, and the tacos are quite a hit at Blue Coyote – especially the Mahi-Mahi tacos. Diners also thoroughly enjoy the option to customize quesadillas with whatever veggies, meats, or seafood they want on them. The restaurant also accepts takeout orders and is available on UberEats and GrubHub.
Casa Luna Restaurant
The Casa Luna Restaurant can be found at 72355 CA-111 in Palm Desert and has one of the largest menus on this list so everyone in your party can find something they will enjoy. The restaurant has typical Mexican cuisine staples like chile rellenos, enchiladas, and burritos, but it also offers a ton of seafood options, including many shrimp and salmon dishes. Happy Hour is quite a hit at Casa Luna, as it runs Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and offers $4 or $5 beers, $5 wines, $6 margaritas, and several discounted food options.
The Greater Palm Springs area has some of the best Mexican food in the area, and you cannot go wrong with any of the ones outlined above!