9 Great Restaurants for Families in Palm Springs

Mar 2, 2019

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Palm Springs is a desert playground for the young and old alike. Our family has been visiting this sunny Southern California town since the kids were babies, and we still love going there now and here’s why. Across our many visits, we’ve discovered several great family restaurants in Palm Springs that will please any palate.

Image by Anne Pujadas / Getty Images
Image by Anne Pujadas / Getty Images

With an Old Hollywood glamour mixed with modernist 1960s architecture, Palm Springs has a plethora of fun and delicious dining destinations. Since this is TPG, remember to use a credit card that rewards you for restaurant charges, regardless of where you choose to dine.

Here’s a few of our favorites in Palm Springs.

9 Great Family Restaurants in Palm Springs

Breakfast Restaurants

Koffi — For morning coffee for the grown-ups and hot chocolate for the kids, Koffi (515 N. Palm Canyon Dr.) is a great spot to start the day. We love it because the back opens on to a courtyard landscaped with green lawn, palm trees and lots of places to sit and enjoy the scenery. The kids can run around while the parents sit and chat or read the news. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend morning, complete with its in-house roasted coffees, fruit smoothies and sticky homemade cinnamon rolls.

Koffi Palm Springs garden courtyard
The garden courtyard behind Koffi in Palm Springs is a peaceful place to enjoy coffee and a breakfast roll. (Photo courtesy of Koffi Palm Springs)

Cheeky’s — Our favorite place for breakfast if we can get the kids out of bed early is Cheeky’s (622 N. Palm Canyon Dr.), a fantastic breakfast café. The restaurant only serves breakfast, and it does it so well that sometimes the wait is up to an hour. We like to go early before the crowds, and enjoy the pineapple French toast, chilaquiles and sweet corn muffins at our leisure. If you go, try the bacon flight: a series of several slices of bacon, each with interesting flavors such as maple syrup, chipotle, coffee and more.

Pineapple French Toast at Cheeky's Restaurant in Palm Springs
The pineapple French toast at Cheeky’s is to die for. (Photo courtesy of 2DadsWithBaggage.com)

Elmer’s — A local institution, Elmer’s Restaurant (1030 E. Palm Canyon Dr.) has been around since 1960 serving up some of the best breakfasts in town. Known for its large variety of pancakes, the place is packed on the weekends, so go early. We love its famous German pancake with lemon and powdered sugar, or maybe the lingonberry crepes. Honestly, everything is great at this diner whether you order a skillet breakfast or biscuits and gravy. It’s impossible not to roll out of here full and happy.

Biscuits and Gravy Elmer's Restaurant Palm Springs
Biscuits and gravy with bacon and eggs at Elmer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs is one of our favorites. (Photo courtesy of Elmer’s Restaurant)

Lunch Restaurants

Blaze Pizza — For lunch, we often end up at Blaze Pizza downtown (201 N. Palm Canyon Dr.). A relative newcomer in a newly constructed building, Blaze is a chain where you can basically make your own pizza. Each guest gets to choose their toppings on an individual-sized pizza, which means everybody is happy with their own slices. Our kids tend to play it safe with pepperoni and cheese or maybe even just cheese. For the more adventurous, you can spice it up with barbecue sauce, jalapeños, pineapple and a whole host of meat and veggie options.

Blaze Pizza exterior in Palm Springs
Right on the main boulevard of downtown Palm Springs, Blaze Pizza is loved by both kids and parents. (Photo courtesy of Blaze Pizza)

Chicken Ranch — For a simple and easy lunch or dinner, we like Chicken Ranch (515 No. Palm Canyon Dr.) because it’s really good and relatively healthy. Free-range, farm-raised rotisserie chicken is its mainstay, and you can order it in pieces, slices, sandwiches and salads. Last time we ate here, the girls had salad with juicy pieces of white meat chicken, which they loved. The sandwiches are thick and hearty, with fresh tomatoes and leafy lettuce. Another favorite is the rotisserie chicken breast with coleslaw and thick-cut fries.

chicken salad Chicken Ranch Palm Springs
We eat healthy(ish) at Chicken Ranch in Palm Springs, enjoying dishes like this beautiful chicken salad. (Photo courtesy of Chicken Ranch)

Dinner Restaurants

Lulu California Bistro — On the fancier side, Lulu California Bistro (200 S. Palm Canyon Dr.) is a huge restaurant with a wide menu touting many options. The interior is festooned with images of Old Hollywood starlets, dark and brooding actors and fun favorites like Carmen Miranda and Lucille Ball. It’s all very colorful and slightly over the top — perfect to entertain kids and keep them off their devices. Really, there is so much on this menu that anyone in the family can find virtually anything they are in the mood for. We got the sense that if it wasn’t on the menu, we could still ask them to make it. Great fun.

interior of Lulu California Bistro in Palm Springs
Lulu California Bistro in Palm Spring is both colorful and delicious. (Photo courtesy of 2DadsWithBaggage.com)

Blue Coyote Grill — On Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs, Blue Coyote Grill offers good Mexican food with a Southern California flair and lots of outdoor seating. The kids love to start by munching on the guacamole and chips, with bean and cheese burritos for the main course. The adults in the family tend toward Blue Coyote Grill’s spicy dishes, such as chile rellenos, carnitas and Tampico — carne asada-style steak and a cheese enchilada topped with an ortega chile and pico de gallo. Yum.

There's something about Blue Coyote Grill in Palm Springs that keep us coming back for more. (Photo courtesy of Blue Coyote Grill).
There’s something about Blue Coyote Grill in Palm Springs that keeps us coming back for more. (Photo courtesy of Blue Coyote Grill).

TRIO — On the nicer side, TRIO is a trendy restaurant with great design, fun menu and inventive bar. We like going here for the diversity of its dishes, and we each find things that make us happy. Sometimes with kids, that is hard to do! Try TRIO’s fried calamari appetizer, and then check out the Yankee pot roast and chicken Marsala. Our kids go straight for the juicy burgers and the Mac and 5 Cheese – with Gouda, cheddar, blue, Romano, goat cheese and bacon.

TRIO Restaurant exterior Palm Springs
TRIO Restaurant is bright, colorful and fun for families with kids of any age. (Photo courtesy of TRIO Restaurant)

Palm Springs VillageFest — Every Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs, they block off streets and hold a fun event called Palm Springs VillageFest. Live music, art, jewelry, crafts and more are all on colorful display. Interspersed in the festivities are numerous dining options — everything from barbecue to tacos to ice cream to paella. It’s fun to wander through the booths and enjoy looking at the things for sale, while enjoying a giant cookie or a bag of salted caramel popcorn.

VillageFest Palm Springs
VillageFest is a fun street fair with food, arts and crafts under the warm Palm Springs night sky. (Photo courtesy of VillageFest Palm Springs)

How to Get to Palm Springs

For a smaller city, Palm Springs has a relatively large, charming and well-appointed airport. Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) offers a whole host of nonstop flights on all the major carriers. Alaska, American, Delta, Jet Blue and United all fly direct from several major US cities, especially from the cold-weather states, to Palm Springs.

Where to Stay in Palm Springs

There are so many fun places to stay in Palm Springs, from small boutique B&Bs to large resort hotels.

The Riviera Palm Springs is a Tribute Portfolio Resort, part of the Marriott Hotels family. Its renovated mid-century modern design, fire pits and enormous pools make it a family favorite. Use a Category 5 free night certificate available with select Marriott cards or use 35,000 Marriott points (cash rates from $178/night). Be aware of the daily $35 resort fee though.

Riviera Hotel Palm Springs pool
The pool scene at the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs is hopping. (Photo courtesy of 2DadsWithBaggage.com)

For a more trendy stay check out the stylish and chic new Rowan Hotel, which is part of the Kimpton Hotels group. Rooms available from 60,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night or $217 nightly. If you stay here, check to see if Kimpton is still running its “secret password during your stay.” If so, tell your kids to share the password at check-in to get some cool surprises. This hotel also features a $35 plus taxes per night resort fee.

The Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
The Rowan Palms Springs is the tallest hotel downtown and probably the most stylish. (Photo courtesy of 2DadsWithBaggage.com)

Bottom Line

There is so much to do in Palm Springs that you’ll want to return again and again and, when you do, there will be a multitude of restaurants for you to sample. What are your favorite Palm Springs dining venues for families?

Want to know more about Palm Springs vacation options? Read on…

Jon Bailey covers LGBT family travel for TPG and blogs at 2DadsWithBaggage.com. Follow Jon and his family’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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