Lunch can be solely for sustenance or you can make it an event. You’re in Palm Springs, so make it an event with adult beverages or festive mocktails. Here are some spots to have a boozy or an inspired lunch while you enjoy our stellar Palm Springs weather and hospitality. 

On the Strip

Maracas — The aroma from their fajitas will call to you like a cartoon finger. Located right next to Sonny Bono in the Mercado Plaza, their margaritas are some of the best you’ll ever have, and the street tacos are delish. In fact, everything is fantastic all the way down to the service.

JimmyB’s — On the other side of Sonny Bono, this is a new-ish restaurant. It was Ruby’s before the pandemic, then it was Sammy’s, and now it’s Jimmy’s. Breakfast and lunch served, there’s live entertainment and great people watching, and they plan to open for dinner at a later date, which is likely why their sign says “Grill, Steaks, Cocktails.”

Grand Central — In La Plaza where the anchor department store for the mall used to live. It’s a very big space, and it’s loud. Less so outside. Food is good too.

Bill’s Pizza — Only beer and wine on the alcohol front, but they have about five beers on tap and their pizza is the best in the Valley. Try the Elton John. I don’t know why it’s called that, it’s more like a Greek pizza with artichokes, onions, dried tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese — no red sauce. Not a lot of atmosphere here, so I’d get it to go and eat it by the pool with a six-pack. Like Ryan Gosling.

French Miso — Located in La Plaza, but kinda behind it. That area is one of my favorite parts of Palm Springs because it feels like you just stepped into old Palm Springs. And there’s a record store back here, a hairdresser, some art galleries, and the biggest cactus I’ve ever seen. French Miso is a great spot for an upscale experience that won’t break the bank. Nice-sized wine selection, and Sapporo beer. It’s a little hidden gem that’s not as hidden as it used to be. 

Pomme Frite — Lunch on Saturdays and Sundays only. French bistro food known for their mussels. 

Lulu — You’ve likely heard of Lulu. They’ve got a great menu, something for everyone, and it’s tasty too. The decor is fun, and it’s great for people watching. Check out the bathrooms. Uptown Funk plays on a loop, and there are videos. The guys have a two-way mirror to the service hallway. 

Thirsty Palms — Their lunch/dinner menu is just as creative as their breakfast menu; half of it is refreshing and half of it is hearty, so pick your adventure. They have an extensive and fun cocktail list, and they’re kinda new. Let me know what you think — it’s on my short list to try.

Groups of diners eat under yellow umbrellas at Eight4Nine in Palm Springs, California

Lunch tastes even better when dining outside at Eight4Nine. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Eight4Nine — It used to be the Palm Springs post office, but now it’s one of the most popular restaurants in town. Dressed in white with red accents, the interior is pretty swanky. Dine al fresco here — you’ll get good food while enjoying our fantastic weather.

TacQuila — Upscale and fun. Lunch is a little less pricey than dinner, but you should definitely try it. And get the deep fried avocado. SO good.

Farm — As I mentioned in the breakfast blog, it’s like the French countryside when you dip in off the street. If the line’s too long, and you’re early enough, you can get a drink and something light off the menu at their sister restaurant, The Front Porch. This one is also in La Plaza. 

Fuzion Five — At Baristo on Palm Canyon, this place has been around for awhile, and I recently tried it. I can whole-heartedly recommend their shrimp and avocado roll. Their noodles were pretty fire too.

Thai House Palm Springs — I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s easy to miss because it’s sandwiched between The Village Pub and Las Casuelas Terraza. It’s vegetarian, and I’ve heard it’s good. Let me know, ‘k?

El Patio — The sister to Felipe’s (see below), with the same good food but a marketing flare: your tacos are served on a clothesline with clothespins.

Bongo Johnny’s — Tiki bar above La Quinta Brewing. Fun atmosphere, and there’s often a line.

1501 Gastropub — In the former Big Boy’s restaurant, it’s co-owned by two local restaurateurs, Willie Rhine and Chad Gardner. The food is inspired, and the drinks are good. Close to Arrive.

The Heyday — Across the street from Gastropub, this burger joint went from street vendor to hotel residences to their own brick and mortar in four years. That’s pretty impressive. Their burger is a local favorite — they have a mushroom burger that will rock your world — and the vibe is great; a DJ was spinning the afternoon I went, and the place was swinging. Takeout too.

Tyler’s — It’s a burger joint in La Plaza, and it’s good. Beer on tap.

A red plate filled with rice and tacos and a pink margarita from Las Casuelas Terraza in Palm Springs, California

Lunch is served as Las Casuelas Terraza. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Las Casuelas Terraza — Decent food, party atmosphere, usually a band. I just learned it’s in an old casita (I thought castitas were small, this one was not). Open Thursday through Monday for lunch.

Mickey’s Kitchen — This is behind the Shamrock’s Pub, and if you’re looking for a place to get your Irish on and eat Mexican food, just pop on into Shamrock’s. You can order and have it delivered to the pub.

Off the Strip

Billy Reed’s Many people make this the last stop on their way out of Palm Springs. Their homemade potato chips are a big draw too. Very big place. 

El Mirasol North and South — If you’re staying at Los Arboles, you’ve got a direct line to the North property and its lovely patio. The food (all family recipes) is always good, and their margarita menu is extensive. The restaurants and hotel are owned and managed by the Castaneda family, so there’s a lot of pride there. 

The Pantry at Holiday House — You definitely need a reservation, but I hear it’s a great experience. And lucky you, if you’re staying at Holiday House you’ve got an in!

The Barn at Sparrows LodgeSparrows Lodge and Holiday House are sister properties, and Sparrows is pretty special. You’ll need a reservation here, and good parking skills. 

Six white chairs lined up in front of the white bar at Drift Hotel in Palm Springs, California

The bar at Maleza. Photo by Erin Feinblatt

Maleza — In one of the newest of our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, The Drift. The menu isn’t extensive, but it’s good. And again, if you’re staying at Drift you don’t need to drift anywhere else for lunch. 

Fisherman’s Market & Grill — Much like the fish joints you see on the boardwalks, but it smells better. Order your food cafeteria style, then they’ll give you a number and find you either outside or inside, your preference. Fish is fresh, prices and food are both good. You can be healthy or get it fried. 

Ruben & Ozzies — You can make a meal on appetizers alone. Featuring mostly seafood, they do have other options (chicken, steak) for those who are landlubbers. 

Sherman’s Deli — It’s a nice deli. It has sandwiches, soups, desserts, booze, and more. 

Boozehounds — On the north end near Toucan’s. Food is good, and your pooch is welcome to have cocktails and food with you.

Felipe’s – Waaay off the beaten path, Felipe’s is on El Cielo just west of the airport. Food has a Jalisco influence with an emphasis on seafood. Also a local favorite.

Loco Charlies — In the Albertson’s shopping mall, the food is quite good, and so are the drinks. It’s pretty far off the beaten path, so you’re going to find a lot of locals here. It is not in the least bit trendy or chi-chi. Just good food and booze.


Blackbook — Fun, finger-food kind of menu. Wings, burgers, fries.

Hunters — At first it looks like it’s all bar food, but their menu is pretty extensive.

I may have missed a few — it happens, I’m a perfectly imperfect human and that’s okay. But now I’m also a perfectly imperfect hungry human … and there’s so many choices I can’t decide where to go! See you at dinner, coming up next.