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Uniquely Palm Springs: The Tastes

ahi tuna 849

Discover the Locally Owned Restaurants of Palm Springs

By Kevin Perry

Taste. It’s a simple word that connotes a smorgasbord of different meanings: your individual style, your threshold for experimentation, your discernment of unexpected variations in sweetness, saltiness, and acidity…

But in Palm Springs, taste is a celebration of unique flavor profiles that you can only experience here.

Dig into decadence with table settings that set us apart…

Where better to start than with a boffo brunch at Cheeky’s? Their world-renowned bacon flight features notes of jalapeño, black garlic, apple cinnamon, applewood, and thyme honey. Locally owned by Chef Tara Lazar who also owns Birba and Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. And if your spending the night, she also owns Alcazar Resort just around the corner from Cheeky’s. Speaking of the caffeinated nectar of the gods, sip your way through Ernest Coffee, and Koffi.

cheeky's bacon flight

And turning south to our other national neighbor, say olé to Tac/Quila and their triumphant tapas, specifically the guerito peppers stuffed with Oaxaca cheese and vegan chorizo. This Palm Springs restaurant is locally owned by Liz Ostoich, who also owns Farm in La Plaza.

Meet Liz.

Palm Springs Dining – Entree to Excess

For a hidden gem that blends the best of Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, look no further than… Palm Springs! Il Giardino presents salsiccia, a sausage dish that hails from Marche, but they put their own Milan twist on the dish in the form of creamy gorgonzola imported from their cousins in Italy. Mangia suprema!

Miro’s has extrapolated his Yugoslavian heritage to a menu that embraces all things Mediterranean. From Moroccan lamb meatballs to Budapest schnitzel, your palate will need a passport by the time this meal is over! This Palm Springs dining hotspot is nestled right next to Bar Cecil. We highly recommend making reservations.

Tradition is at the top of the menu at Melvyn’s, a longstanding local staple, where you can enhance your already elevated dining experience with roasted bone marrow or beetroot wellington. This has been a favorite spot for the Hollywood crowd since it opened. Not to be outdone, Il Corso boasts the “world’s best gnocchi” served with sautéed veal wrapped in prosciutto, all graced by an elegant butter sage sauce. And one of the best-reviewed restaurants in Palm Springs is Le Vallauris, known for its raspberry infused duck breast salad. This is the best French restaurant in Palm Springs.

But perhaps the most uniquely Palm Springs facet of our foodie landscape is steak. But not just any steak; the kind you would savor in a dimly lit enclave where celebrities and savoir faire cavorts in a timeless waltz. Welcome to Mr. Lyons

Libation Nation

Now that you are fully immersed in the Rat Pack aesthetic of Mr. Lyons, it’s time to peek behind the curtain and discover yet another PS gem: Seymour’s speakeasy, brimming with such disparate flavors as passion fruit puree, maraschino liqueur, and angostura amaro. Speaking of speakeasies, PaulBar is encased in rich wooden splendor so lush, you’ll feel blanketed from the world outside in your prohibition-era cocoon.


Sip into exclusivity with craft cocktails like the Velvet Knife, Baby Sledge, or the Floating Hat from Del Rey. Meanwhile, Truss & Twine is pouring a Surfer on Acid alongside a Queen’s Park Swizzle, not to mention some Hanky Panky for your date. And their neighbor Workshop Kitchen + Bar serves up seasonal sensations such as the Good Lion and Bee’s Knees. They’re all abuzz!

For a uniquely inclusive cocktail vibe, visit Blackbook on Arenas Road and prepare for miles of smiles…

Truss and Twine

Desert Desserts

From Gay Palm Springs to Yay Paris, our tasty tour continues. Next stop: Peninsula Pastries, where the flour is imported from France to give every morsel a delicious European refinement. Ooh la la at their macaroons, think small and dream big with their tartlets, and salute their triumphant Napoleon cakes.

To wash it all down, live the dream at Kreem, the artisanal dairy confectionary and café that offers Instagram-worthy options such as turmeric-ginger, purple Ube, Vietnamese coffee, peach sorbet, and pistachio with olive oil. Now that your imagination is ignited, cool it off by concocting your own creation at the appropriately named Great Shakes. Start with a solid foundation of birthday cake, sprinkle on some salted caramel, and throw in a mini donut for garnish, and voila! You’ve got a balanced meal in a cup.

For a signature smoothie that puts our town on the map, book a date with the tangy shakes from Palm Springs Fudge & Chocolates. We’re talking date shakes – actually, we’re drinking date shakes. Pause for indulgence.

Date shake break over!

To give your sweet tooth something that really sticks to its ribs, drizzle on over to Brandini Toffee. Their popcorn, chocolate, and almond permutations look almost too good to eat… WE SAID ALMOST! Pick up a gift tin for someone you love and then go back and buy another one after you tear into your loved one’s gift prematurely.

Palm Springs is all about variety, which is why we want to end with a chews cruise to Balboa Candy. They boast one of the largest selections of saltwater taffy in the world. Balboa also honors vintage candy brands like Dubble Bubble, Abba Zaba, and Atomic Fireballs, so your visit to our sweet ciudad will whisk you back in time with a flavor fast-forward.

You are now officially a tastemaker in the making.

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