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Sep 12, 2007 05:23 PM

larochelle's Guide to Palm Springs

In preparation for an upcoming two week trip to Palm Springs, I began gathering notes from my previous visits.

Be sure to go to the PS & PD visitor centers, they are a great resource.

Palm Springs Visitors Information Center, 2781 N. Palm Canyon Dr. (tel. 800/34-SPRINGS; fax 760/323-3021;, offers maps, brochures, advice, souvenirs, and a free hotel-reservation service. The office is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm and on Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

Palm Desert Visitors office also offers maps & local magazine/papers 72-567 Highway 111 (760.568.1441 / 800.873.2428) Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, closed major holidays

Pick up Palm Springs Life magazine's Free monthly "Desert Guide." It contains tons of visitor information, including a comprehensive calendar of events. Copies are distributed in hotels and newsstands and at the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Bureau. They also operate a 24-hour information line (760/770-1992) and a website -- --

Other magazines to pick up locally: - annoying archive interface - paper only, no online archive

Other Internet Resources:
Restaurant Guide -
Cheap Eats -
PS CitySearch -
Indio -

Some Favorite Places:
Ristorante Vittorio - El Paseo, PD - good breakfast, nice $1 mimosas -
Sherman's Deli & Bakery - PS & PD - NY Deli
John's Restaurant - 111, PD - plain but good breakfast & huevos ranchero
LG's Steakhouse - 111,

Good Food Happy Hours:
Roc's Firehouse Grille - El Paseo, PD - comfort food late night happy hour
Matchbox - PS - Excellent Happy Hour 4-6pm & 11-1am
The Falls steakhouse - excellent martinis, mini-burgers, etc.
Piero's Acqua Pazza - 111 Rancho Mirage - good tequila selection. Summer Happy Hour Noon-6; 8-11pm
The Inn on El Paseo - El Paseo, PD - happy hour, nice breakfast
Big Fish grill & oyster bar - 111, PD - happy hour, price fixe dinner
Shanghai Reds - Indian Canyon, PS - Cheap! happy hour, fun late night place

Places I'd go back:
Sullivan's Steakhouse - El Paseo, PD - chain but good
Café des Beaux-Arts - El Paseo, PD -
Sunshine Café - PD & Cathedral City - basic breakfast (PD is next to TJs)
Shame on the Moon -
Café Abuelita Coffeehouse - Indio

Places I would NOT go back:
Elmer's Pancake & Steak House - PS, Indio - yuck!
Haleiwa Joe's - Rancho Mirage - cool architecture, but nasty food - happy hour 4:30-6:30 pupu platter
Thai Smile - Rancho Mirage - bad, too sweet -
Picanha - fine if you like an extreme meat-eating experience
Mama Livreri's Italian Bistro - PD (next to Sunshine & TJs) - good, not great old-school Italian (had the Steak Sinatra), there's got to be better Italian in the area

To Do List:
Find more Mexican food!!!
El Rachito Taco Shop - across from Don & Sweet Sue's
La Palupa - Cathedral City - mexican
Guillermo's - El Paseo, PD - 200 tequilas
Pueblo Viejo - 111, Indio - happy hour, dinner specials
Manhatten in the Desert - heard good things
Veggie & Tea House - PD -
Europa Brunch - highly recommended by several friends
Norma's (Parker Meridian Palm Springs) - went to the one in NYC
Crazy Bones BBQ - PS - chain but recommended
Daily Grill - El Paseo, PD - chain but recommended
Native Foods - El Paseo, PD
Zin American Bistro - PS -
Lord Fletcher's - llooks cheesy but I want to check it out
Cedar Creek Inn (lots of food specials) - probably bad, but I'd to check it out eventually

Jensen's Finest Food
Vino 100 - Cathedral City -
(and of course Trader Joes and that giant Alberston's in PD)

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  1. I loved Veggie and Tea House but believe they are gone, unless anyone knows differently? Personally, I would give Daily Grill a pass. For an authentic old-school diner, try Keedy's.

    If you are headed for Palm Desert, in the same complex as Sullivans, I like Pacifica. They have some good summer specials, and also in season early bird specials. Call to be sure, reserve in season.

    There are also two weekly newspaper magazines that cover events in the desert, one by the Desert Sun and one by an independent. They have current info on happy hours.

    1. I had a good breakfast at Elmer's in ps a few weeks ago: huge german pancake with fresh lemons, nice thick well-done bacon, good coffee. What was so 'yuck'?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Josh90004

        I found Elmer's to be sad greasy diner food - like a really bad Denny's. Super-sysco-fied - bland, frozen processed food, nothing tasted fresh or housemade. Overly greasy. The coffee was brown water. The whole experience was a waste of calories.

      2. The original comment has been removed