Angelenos flocking to Palm Springs now have eight MICHELIN-recommended places to eat. Tuck into poolside carrot cake, bacon flights, and peak-season local produce before retiring to one of Palm Springs' myriad Modernist hotels.
Set on the seventh-floor rooftop of the Rowan Hotel, this is the highest perch in all of downtown. The sweeping views of the San Jacinto Mountains that will really make you swoon. Chef Ysaac Ramirez lends a Southern twang to a shareable menu replete with seasonal produce, as in grilled purple sweet potatoes with creamy Alabama white barbecue sauce and pickled red chiles.
Reservations here book weeks in advance, so if you're seeking a spur-of-the-moment meal, your best bet is to arrive before doors open and put your name down for a coveted bar seat. It would be easy to spend a small fortune here on items like roasted king crab legs or Ossetra with blini, but hearty American fare, like a signature burger dressed up with melted Comté, is still very much in fashion.
What's in a name? In this case, at least, there’s a tongue-in-cheek précis: a dog-friendly cocktail bar. Diners and their canine confrères can enter a spacious enclosed patio area through a separate "doggy door." The stylish indoor space remains a humans-only domain, where the focus shifts to a top shelf drinks menu (replete with dog-themed nomenclature, naturally), as well as an appealingly eclectic bar menu that spans both snacks and more substantial fare.
Bacon is in the air at this perpetually packed daytime-only hotspot. This kitchen taps into the area’s bounty, with most of the produce hailing from within 100 miles. The quirky menu, divided between breakfast and lunch options, changes weekly, offering dishes like birria hash with poached eggs. Don’t miss the “bacon flight,” a selection of five strips of various flavors, ranging from apple cinnamon to jalapeño.
This Moroccan-style oasis at the plush Colony Palms Hotel has history and charm to spare, having once been the stomping ground of stars like Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart. In keeping with the pool-party vibe, the menu is laid-back, from snacks like edamame hummus, to heftier fare like a grilled pork chop with cheesy polenta. To finish, a frosted carrot layer cake with pineapple and toasted pecans is just right.
Amidst the hacienda-inspired elegance of this popular venue, you may find yourself flanked by suit-clad business types quaffing top-shelf tequila on one side, and on the other, poolside-tanned tourists with clothes thrown over their bathing suits as they sip from margarita flights— and everyone seems perfectly at ease. Likewise, the sizable menu offers room for both street tacos with typical fillings like carne asada or al pastor, as well as more upscale options like lobster and seared ahi tuna.
Once an exclusive getaway for Hollywood elites, the privileged serenity of this quaint refuge no longer requires a SAG card to gain entrance (though you'll need a reservation if you’re not staying at the property). Matching with the general wellness retreat aesthetic, the ingredient-driven cooking tends towards wholesome Cali-style simplicity—think fresh salads, grilled cauliflower steak with sauce vierge and the requisite avocado toast at lunch.
Farm-to-table food may seem like an impossibility in the middle of the desert, but nearby Coachella Valley is actually one of the nation’s most productive regions. A dedicated garden in Rancho Mirage, along with a sizeable herb planter behind the kitchen, furnishes peak-season produce for wood-fired dishes like a flat iron au poivre, and even a simple yuzu tart is prettied up with farm-fresh raspberries and wood sorrel.
Hero image: The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge
© Jaime Kowal/The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge