John’s Restaurant | Classic California Coffee Shop | Palm Springs

Review by: Michael Stern

Blue Collar Palm Springs

The Roadfood film crew came to John’s because it exemplifies the classic California coffee shop. An overall-clad fellow in a nearby booth smiled broadly over the fact that we were there. He leaned across and advised us, “This is the best blue-collar restaurant in Palm Springs. When I am working in this part of town, I eat here every day. Sometimes twice a day.”

Prices are blue collar, that’s for sure, with full-scale dinners (after 4pm) in the $12 range and enthusiastically dressed burgers costing well under $10. The cuisine is blue collar with an old-school California twist. That makes it a rarity in the rarified world of Palm Springs restaurants.

Burgers Rule

Hamburgers, billed as “gourmet burgers” lead the menu. They weigh one-third of a pound. They come off the charcoal grill plenty smoky if not dramatically juicy. Compensate for whatever succulence might be missing from the meat by taking advantage of the resplendent topping choices. A classic burger sports 1000 Islands dressing, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and (if requested) onions. It all adds up to a beautiful package reminiscent of the days extravagantly dressed burgers were an emblem of Southern California cooking. You can get a patty melt on rye, a Santa Fe burger with chipotle mayo and pepperjack cheese, or a mushroom burger. Order one called the Heartstopper and you’ll get a burger piled with bacon, sausage, an egg, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, and 1000 Islands dressing.

Breakfast All Day

Other than Sherman’s Deli, Palm Springs does not offer too many compelling breakfasts. But John’s opens at 6am and offers hearty ones (all day). Choose from among eggs and omelets in every configuration, breakfast burritos, and pancakes. Along with standard French toast, the menu offers cinnamon roll French toast. For that, the kitchen slices a roll horizontally into three disks. They batter and fry the disks and serve them with a breakfast meat of choice.

Service is semi-do-it-yourself. Order and pay for the food at the counter. They give you a tray, utensils, your drink, and a number that tells the waitress where to bring the food when it has been prepared.

What To Eat



BBQ Tri-Tip Salad

Mango Smoothie

Hash Browns

French Fries

Cinnamon Roll French Toast


John’s Restaurant | Classic California Coffee Shop | Palm Springs Recipes


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