– By Marc Friedman, Special to Palm Springs Traveller
A premier destination for sun seekers, golf, swimming, tennis, and relaxation, Palm Springs and nearby cities in California’s Coachella Valley offer an abundance of diverse dining opportunities. New restaurants open seemingly every month, meaning and embarrassment of riches for an already busy dining scene.
The Best New Palm Springs restaurants
Start your day with a hearty breakfast or brunch, catch-up with friends during a leisurely lunch, or if it’s just the two of you looking to try one of the area’s newer restaurants, here are a few suggestions we’re sure you’ll enjoy.
THE HEYDAY – Hamburgers
(opened March 2023) 1550 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 92262
Craving some comfort food? We highly recommend a juicy smashed burger and fries at The Heyday, known for large portions served in a comfortable, un-burger-like atmosphere.
Maybe you’d prefer a vegan mushroom burger, fried chicken sando, wings, or a salad? And don’t forget a creative beverage, with Heyday’s full bar serving great margaritas, Jack & Coke, or maybe a Tom Collins that goes perfectly with everything on the menu. There’s even a martini and burger special. Sandwiches are served on a griddled potato bun with caramelized onions and other toppings – YUM! Best of all, after placing your order at the front counter, choose a table and your food will soon arrive.
CLANDESTINO – Upscale Mexican
(opened 11/2022) 175 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 92262
Located in downtown Palm Springs adjacent to the Marilyn Monroe statue, this casual yet classy spot is a product of the same team that brought Farm and Tac/Quila to the Valley. Beautifully decorated with French, American, and Mexican art, Clandestino is tucked behind Johnny Was, so is slightly off the beaten path. But don’t let the location fool you. Serving elevated Mexican dishes that you won’t find anywhere else along with superb service makes for a wonderful dining experience.
The only downside of Clandestino is the extensive menu makes it difficult to decide what to order. The stuffed Guerico peppers and oyster starters are amazing but leave room for the main courses. Small plate street tacos and enchiladas, gourmet tacos, and various cerviches are delectable, but with plates like Cochinita Pibil (slow cooked pork in a banana leaf with house made corn tortillas), you really can’t make a bad decision.
PALMINA BY PUGLIA – Italian
(renovated & reopened 11/2023) ***Originally open 1/2022 but was only outdoors dining.
2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 92262
Owner Patrick Abbate is adamant that Palmina is not an Italian-American restaurant, and that’s a very good thing. The food here is the real deal, authentic Southern Italian, expertly prepared by Executive Chef Antonelo Zeto. From amazing antipasto such as bruchetta, and prosciutto with buratta cheese, to the homemade pastas (spaghetti, rigatoni, tortellini, cannelloni) and out-of-this world sauces, you’ll be wowed by the kitchen’s creativity.
Entrees include vegetarian options like eggplant parmigiana and black truffle gnocchi, plus chicken, fish, and beef specialties. Palmina also serves individual pizzas that are beyond belief. Be sure to arrive hungry, as you’ll be enjoying an amazing meal of Puglian cuisine and Primitivo wines that you won’t soon forget.
DSRT CLUB – American
(opened 9/2023) 78075 Main St., 92253
With an atmosphere reminiscent of a high-end social club in the 1940s and 50s, DSRT CLUB is a truly unique experience that draws diners back in time over a delectable lunch or dinner. From its central location in Old Town La Quinta, DSRT CLUB’s vintage menu offers an extensive sharing menu including small plates of smoked salmon tacos or Spanish Manchego with truffle fries.
Whether you prefer a sandwich, salad, or a larger entrée, the seafood forward menu is sure to have something for everyone. Burgers, roasted branzino, scallops, mussels, lamb chops, and steaks are all on the menu, as are nice options for vegetarians.
The warm and classy atmosphere and superb service makes DSRT CLUB a truly unique dining experience.
BRUNCH 101 – Brunch
(opened 2/2023) 68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, 92234
Who doesn’t love brunch? You get to sleep in, but can combine a late breakfast with a sumptuous lunch for a fantastic meal. That’s what Brunch 101 is all about.
The Doughnut Waffle is great anytime, and if you’re craving the Cobb 101 salad at 10 a.m., no problem. Brunch 101’s menu is ideal if one of you had an early breakfast at home while your companion slept. And everything on the menu pairs well with a fresh Mimosa or Bloody Mary.
Unsure if you want breakfast or lunch? Check out “Chef J’s Chilaquiles”, a creative combo of fresh tortilla chips in a spicy red salsa, with cilantro crema and queso fresco. It comes topped with two eggs and pickled onion, and you can add chorizo, pork belly, or steak for up-charge.
Is one of your new favourites missing from our list? Post in comments below or send us a recommendation so we can grow our list.