The Best Hidden Gem Restaurants in Palm Springs


Palm Springs – An Eater’s Oasis in the Desert

Just a few hours east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is known for its warm weather, golf courses, midcentury-modern architecture, and fancy resorts.  Many fine dining options abound in this vacationers paradise, but finding casual, neighborhood spots can be challenging in a sea of strip malls and fast food.  We scoured the area and ate a lot, and here are the places we consider to be the best local restaurants in Palm Springs.

Coming From the West

If you come on I-10 from the west, stop in Cabazon at Hadley’s Fruit Orchards (where trail mix was invented). Serving candy, milkshakes and an excellent Fluffernutter, Hadley’s is worth the stop. For hotter-than-hot sauce and great tacos go to Crazy Coyote Tacos.

From the East

Visit Shields Date Gardens in Indio for a date shake, date pancakes, and date ice cream. Also to the east, in Palm Desert, Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant and Bar serves memorable made-from-scratch Italian fare.

Cathedral City

Offering thirty-two hamburgers, eight sliders, and six chicken burgers, Tony’s Burgers is the place to go for an extremely well-dressed hamburger. Visit Salsas for a fantastic shrimp meal, grilled and served in creamy chipotle sauce, they are wonderful.

Proper City

We love Sherman’s Deli & Bakery for piled-high sandwiches and smoked fish; Frankinbun for artisan hot dogs; Felipe’s for blue-ribbon chilies rellenos and killer margaritas; Great Shakes for shakes and malts made to order; and Koffi for stylish caffeination along with beautiful pastries throughout the day.


Hadley Fruit Orchards

Claiming to have invented trail mix, Hadley Fruit Orchards of California is a top source for a date shake as thick as a Midwestern concrete.


Crazy Coyote Tacos

Crazy Coyote Tacos shouldn't be missed by anyone passing through; for those who crave the burn of hot chilies, the salsas are worth a special trip.


Shields Date Gardens

Located by a grove of stately California palm trees, Shields sells luxurious date shakes and has a cafe serving excellent Mexican-accented food.


Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant and Bar

Masterful Italian meals make Mimmo's a Palm Desert hidden gem, from bruschetta thru pastas & seafood to unforgettable tiramisu and mascarpone cheesecake.


Tony’s Burgers

Spectacular mile-high hamburgers dressed and loaded every which way make Tony's a Cathedral City destination for adventurous eaters in search of extremes.



Salsas is a Cathedral City storefront restaurant with a full California-Mexican menu that includes fantastic shrimp dishes and interesting grilled tacos.


Sherman’s Deli & Bakery

Sherman’s of Palm Springs, California, is an old-fashioned Jewish deli restaurant with tall sandwiches, salami omelets, and smoked fish plates.



Frankinbun is a Palm Springs, California, hole-in-the-wall that elevates the hot dog and more worldly sausages to gourmet status. French fries are the best.



Felipe's is a modest storefront restaurant serving some of the best Mexican food in Palm Springs. Margaritas are great; dessert mustn't be missed.


Great Shakes

From-scratch milk shakes in every imaginable (and unimaginable!) flavor make Great Shakes a best bet for sweet tooths in Palm Springs, California.



Superb coffee and espresso make Koffi a good destination for those in search of a quality caffeine fix in Palm Springs. Good pastries, too.