A Taste of Latin Flavors in Palm Springs - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

A Taste of Latin Flavors in Palm Springs

Assorted Mexican entrees

Best Places for Tacos, Tequila, and Tamales

By Marissa Willman

California is known for its exceptional Mexican food, and Palm Springs is home to some of the tastiest tacos, tequila, and tamales around. Whether you’re a Palm Springs local or a visitor looking for the best Mexican food in town, you’ll find plenty of delicious options at these favorite Palm Springs Mexican restaurants.

Palm Springs Mexican Restaurants: Tacos

Tacos are a must when enjoying Mexican cuisine, and luckily, Palm Springs has plenty of options for authentic and mouth-watering tacos across the city. These favorites will take your next Taco Tuesday to a new level.

Maleza

The flavors of the Baja coast are on full display at Maleza, which is now open at The Drift Hotel. The name comes from the word meaning “underneath” or “from the earth.” Here, guests can enjoy a selection of six Baja-inspired tacos, including adobo shrimp with chorizo aioli, mahi with lime crema slaw, and pork carnitas with pickled vegetables. There’s even a grilled mushroom option served with pea puree for those looking for veggie options. Best of all, these tacos can also be served poolside. Pair it with a rare mezcal or craft cocktail. 

Maleza Taco
Source: Maleza

Low Desert / Modern Mexican

At Smoketree Shopping Center, Low Desert / Modern Mexican serves up authentic Mexican street tacos–with a modern twist. Choose from seven varieties of street tacos, including grilled shrimp in a chipotle marinade and al pastor adobo pork served with pineapple chimichurri. Are you looking for more? The “Low Desert Tacos” menu has three more options: ahi tuna with mango pico de gallo, asada steak with chimichurri sauce, and quesabirria with Oaxaca cheese and pickled onions. They also have a Happy Hour with a discount on street tacos from 2 – 5 pm.

Low-Desert-Food-taco

La Bonita’s

La Bonita’s is a local family-owned Mexican restaurant on Palm Canyon Drive known for its authentic Mexican fare. Expect a casual and intimate atmosphere with homemade food. Choose from grilled chicken or carne asada soft or hard shell tacos, and don’t miss the signature Queso Bonita Tacos, with taco shells made from three melted cheeses. Yummy! For the seafood lover, they offer a traditional fried cod fish taco and a Mahi Miahi taco.  Pair it with a lime or Jalapeno margarita.

La Bonitas Cheese Tacos

El Patio Palm Springs

As the sister restaurant to local favorite and family-owned Felipes, El Patio brings a taste of Guadalajara to the heart of Palm Springs. With ample indoor and outdoor seating, El Patio offers a lively ambiance in which to enjoy an elevated taco menu.

You can begin the day with a breakfast chorizo taco with over-easy eggs on corn tortillas served with avocado and choose. For lunch and dinner, options include Tacos Lidia, which are steak and chorizo tacos with grilled onions and serrano peppers, and Tacos Gobernador, which includes sautéed shrimp and melted cheese. Puerto Vallarta and La Paz also have namesake tacos on the menu, and the jicama salad tacos (jicama stuffed with cucumber, carrot, and pineapple or mango) are a delicious start to your meal. 

El Patio Tacos

El Jefe Desert Cantiana

El Jefe is a Palm Springs staple for tacos and tequila, located in the colorful lobby of The Saguaro Palm Springs. The cantina’s “Tacos Y Mas” menu includes surf and turf taco varieties, plus veggie options for vegetarian and vegan guests. Choose from Baja fish, shrimp, chicken tinga, short rib, pork, or mushroom tacos. Don’t miss the extensive tequila and mezcal selection.

They also have a $5 taco Tuesday and taco Thursday menu served from 6 – 9 pm.

El Jefe tacos

Clandestino

Sophisticated, moody, and mysterious, Clandestino offers an upscale ambiance where you can enjoy delectable tacos with views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Here, the taco offerings are split into two menus: “Streetwise,” which features small street tacos served in pairs, and “Elevated Moments,” a collection of individually served gourmet tacos. Street taco options include carnitas, fried sole, and chicken sopes, while gourmet options include seared ahi tuna, arrachera steak, roasted romesco and cauliflower, and grilled salmon. Whichever you choose, pair your tacos with Clandestino’s signature margarita flight, which features cucumber, mango, jamaica, and guava margarita tastings.

Clandestino Taco

Palm Springs Mexican Restaurants: Tequila

What pairs better with Mexican food than tequila and margaritas? Palm Springs knows its way around a cocktail, and the tequila offerings are no exception. Don’t miss these Palm Springs favorites.

Blue Coyote

Besides traditional Mexican cuisine, their Wild Coyote Margarita is one of the best you’ll ever taste. The recipe is a family secret, and believe me, we’ve asked. They tell us one of the secrets is it’s aged a bit and is not made to order. You will see them pouring them out of a gallon pitcher.  This is a must-try margarita made with gold tequila, orange curacao, and fresh lime juice.

Blue Coyote Wild Margarita2

Las Casuelas Terraza

Family-owned and one of the oldest restaurants in Palm Springs, Las Casuelas Terraza on South Palm Canyon is known for its impressive tequila and mezcal selection. You’ll find dozens of varieties to try and a selection of flights. They offer unique selections from different places of origin and different producers.

Don’t skip the margarita menu, which includes the Jalapeno Scratch Margarita, served with sliced jalapenos and a float of chile liquor, and the El Diablo, made with reposado, creme de cassis, lime, and ginger beer. Margaritas frescas are also offered in jamaica, blood orange, tamarindo, and guayaba flavors.

Las Casuelas margarita

Tac/Quila

The culinary team behind beloved spot FARM and Clandestino offers a modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine at Tac/Quila, a Michelin-recommended restaurant on North Palm Canyon Drive. Tacos with house-made tortillas are always a must, and the tequila and mezcal menu shouldn’t be missed. More than 50 varieties are available, whether you enjoy blanco, reposado, or anejo tequila.

Would you prefer a cocktail? Tac/Quila has both a margarita menu and a menu of signature handcrafted tequila and mezcal cocktails, so it’s easy to take your pick. The margarita menu is fruit-forward with spicy blackberry and kiwi options and a flight of four options. For cocktails, don’t miss the Mexican Coffee Martini with reposado and coffee liquor or the Cielito Lindo with tequila, chinola, and starfruit. 

Tac Quila Margarita Flight

Sancho’s

You might not expect Mexican cuisine and margaritas at a Polynesian-inspired resort, but Caliente Tropics Resort is home to great tacos and margaritas at its restaurant, Sancho’s. Try the signature Cantarito, made with their house label blanco tequila, fresh citrus, and Squirt for a refreshing sip, or the tequila sunrise, which features homemade hibiscus-habanero syrup. Margarita Mondays and daily happy hour also keep the cocktails easy on your wallet.

Felipe’s

Felipe’s is a beloved first or last stop for locals and visitors traveling through the Palm Springs International Airport, thanks to its location within walking distance. Two Filipes co-own this local favorite, known for its high quality Mexican fare. And while the food alone is worth the visit, the creative margarita menu is also a guest favorite. Margarita varieties include jamaica, mango and tajin, passionfruit, and pineapple mezcal. An Instagram-worthy choice is the Margarita Tower, which features three different varieties served like a bouquet.

Felipe-drinks

El Patron

Located in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs, steps from Forever Marilyn and the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, El Patron is known for its Baja-inspired cuisine and local ingredients. Guests can pick tequila cocktails or enjoy a flight of fruit-flavored margaritas, including mixed berry, prickly pear, pineapple tamarindo, and roasted pineapple serrano. El Patron also offers various tequila and mezcal flavored shots, like the Mangonida with tequila and mango puree or the Mexican Candy with tequila, Watermelon Pucker, pineapple juice, and Tapatio.

El Patron

Casa Blanca

Tucked inside downtown’s La Plaza shopping center, Casa Blanca Palm Springs serves traditional Mexican food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When it comes to cocktails, the Mexican Flight offers a sampling of Casa Blanca’s four signature margarita flavors: tamarindo, watermelon, mango, and lime. Another signature tequila cocktail guests love is the Toxica Mula, a Mexican-inspired spin on a Moscow Mule made with Cazadores, Watermelon Pucker Mint, and ginger beer with a tajin and chamoy rim.

Sol Agave

Impeccable views pair beautifully with upscale Mexican cuisine at Sol Agave in Downtown Palm Springs. When it comes to trying their tequila offerings, the Sol Agave Margarita Flight is the star of the show. Tour Sol Agave’s four signature margaritas: tamarindo, spicy mango, cucumber cilantro, and watermelon basil, while enjoying crispy tinga chicken tacos or blackened Mahi tacos.

Sole Agave Drinks

Palm Springs Mexican Restaurants: Tamales

Traditionally a winter treat, tamales are always on the menu in Palm Springs. Here’s where to sink your teeth into some of the most delicious tamales in town.

Savory Mexican food served up on a blue background

Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill

Master Chef Ernesto serves quality Mexican cuisine at Rio Azul, and the homemade tamales are no exception. The Oaxaca tamale is a must-try, featuring signature masa stuffed with pork, topped with a special house sauce, and wrapped in a banana leaf. Hungry diners can add carnitas, chicken, chile verde, steak, or shrimp to the tamale plate, served with black beans and salad.

Maracas

You’ll find delicious Mexican fare in the heart of downtown Palm Springs at Maracas. Mexican classics fill the extensive menu, and you can take your pick of pork, chicken, or beef tamales when ordering a combination plate. Choose from pork with adobo red sauce, chicken with tomatillo green chili sauce, or shredded beef in red mole sauce, all served with Mexican rice, refried beans, and a side of Maracas’ signature corn cake. For the perfect pairing, pick from over 100 tequilas, margaritas, and cocktails. Salud!

Las Cazuelas Original

For over 60 years, the Delgado family has served up their great-grandmother’s recipes at Las Casuelas, one of Palm Springs’ oldest family-owned restaurants that opened in 1958 and is located on North Palm Canyon. Grab a seat on the patio at Las Casuelas Original and enjoy homemade pork, chicken, or beef tamales with views of downtown Palm Springs and the San Jacinto Mountains.

La Perlita

This family-owned Mexican restaurant highlights the vibrant flavors of Mexico’s Guadalajara region, from their house salsas using freshly roasted peppers to the house-made tamales. Try the pork tamales stuffed with pork mole ranchero and smothered in a delicious salsa ranchera.

tamale dinner

El Mirasol

A Palm Springs staple, El Mirasol is a family-owned spot known for its authentic Mexican flavors. Here, homemade chicken tamales are offered in combination plates with tacos, enchiladas, or chile relleno. Two locations–one south of downtown Palm Springs and one at Los Arboles Hotel–mean these tasty tamales are never far away.

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