Sometimes, you just don't feel like sitting down to a full-on meal – especially when you're on vacation in Palm Springs. After all, who can resist the powerful allure of lounging by the hotel pool during the sunny days or warm desert nights? This is Palm Springs, where the easy pace of resort-style living is simply infectious. But not to worry: if you find yourself wanting to retreat to the pool or your hotel room rather than sit down for a full meal, there are plenty of greta take-out options to consider in the desert.
One of the best bets for take out in Palm Springs is City Wok, a made-to-order Chinese food restaurant serving up freshly cooked orange chicken, chow mein and sweet and sour pork that would make that day-old Chinese food restaurant at the local strip mall weep. City Wok is a fun experience for dining in, thanks largely in part to the open kitchen that sits in the middle of the restaurant, but it's also one of the top choices for grabbing a to-go meal that doesn't sacrifice quality for convenience.
Another great take-out option, especially for those staying near downtown Palm Springs, is Jake's. This alfresco eatery is known for having one of the city's most charming dining patios and larger-than-life dessert cases, and it's also a great option if you're looking for a gourmet sandwich, salad or homestyle entree on the go. For health-conscious travelers, you won't want to miss the take-out options at Luscious Lorraine's in Palm Desert, and for New York-style deli options, be sure to grab some take-out from Sherman's Deli.
Check out the full list of Palm Springs' 10 best take-out restaurants below.
Founded on a farm-to-table principal before it became the latest restaurant trend, Luscious Lorraine's is committed to serving organic, wholesome foods while supporting sustainable agriculture. Executive Chef and owner Lorraine Ornelas draws menu inspiration from her own quarter-acre farm and local farmers' markets. With an emphasis on serving fresh and organic ingredients, Luscious Lorraine's specializes in wholesome breakfast and lunch options. The menu revolves around four S's: Smoothies, salads, soups and sandwiches. Among the popular options are "green drink," which is fresh kale, celery, cucumber, green apple and lemon juice, and the chicken wrap sandwich. Luscious Lorraine's is located inside Harvest Health Food Store, where you can buy fresh ingredients to recreate your Luscious Lorraine's experience. ((760) 862-1911)
The Daily Grill
El Paseo is one of Palm Desert's premier shopping destinations, and after a morning of hitting the designer shops, there's no better way to recharge than by settling in at The Daily Grill. This classic American restaurant has no shortage of healthy options, and its special "Simply 600" section offers more than a dozen dishes less than 600 calories each. Their lunch menu ranges from soup and sandwiches to pasta and seafood, and the generous portions will leave you more than satisfied. If you can't resist the tempting offerings at The Daily Grill, at least you can head right back to El Paseo after lunch and walk off your meal. (760-779-9911)
Clementine Gourmet Market
A longtime local favorite, Clementine Gourmet Market and Cafe is the perfect spot to kick off an inspired day in Palm Desert. This Mediterranean-inspired cafe blends co-owners Christophe and Jennifer Douheret's respective French and Italian upbringings under one orange roof. Locals love breakfast at Clementine, which offers fresh baked breads, gourmet breakfast paninis and indulgent Nutella croissants. The breakfast menu also includes smoked salmon on toasted levain, baked egg ficelle boats and granola parfait cups. Farmhouse tables allow you to meet new friends over coffee, and after breakfast, you can browse the retail area to take home a taste of the Mediterranean. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. everyday except Sundays, when breakfast is served all day. ((760) 834-8814)
Don't let the neon sign on Palm Canyon fool you--this no-frills restaurant does breakfast right, making it one of Palm Springs' best breakfast gems. When you walk into John's, order off the wall menu at the front counter and grab a seat. Settle into a booth and wait for your food to be delivered to your table, and prepare to dig into a generous helping of your favorite breakfast fare. From pancakes and French toast to omelettes and breakfast melts, John's has something for everyone. Be ready for leftovers, as you might not be able to finish the generous portions in a single sitting. ((760) 327-8522)
Jake's Palm Springs
If you're in downtown Palm Springs and looking for fresh lunch options, be sure to stop by Jake's Palm Springs. Named for the owners' beloved West Highland Terrier, this popular restaurant is known for its fresh fare and superior service. The pet-friendly courtyard is also perfect for a leisurely lunch filled with people watching. For a hearty lunch, try the chicken milanese sandwich, a breaded chicken breast served with melted gruyere cheese, greens and dijonaisse on a ciabatta roll. Be sure to check out the custom cocktail menu, too, which includes a cactus pear margarita and Bloody Mary served with horseradish-infused vodka. ((760) 327-4400)
TKB Bakery & Deli
What started as a summertime fundraiser for three siblings looking to raise a little cash has blossomed into one of the desert's top sandwich shops over the past 20 years. TKB, or The Kids Business, serves up loaded deli sandwiches and salads, in addition to a line of baked goods like cookies, muffins and scones. You can even order cookies and scones with no sugar or gluten added, if you have special dietary needs. As for sandwiches, you can try the Up in the Club (hot combination sandwich with olives, pepperocinis, cheese and Italian dressing) or the Mexican Meatloaf (homemade meatloaf with melted cheese and chipotle sauce). Custom creations are also welcome. ((760) 775-8330)
Sherman's Deli and Bakery
If you're spending the day in downtown Palm Springs and looking to recharge over lunch, try this authentic New York-style diner just off of the main strip. Sherman's Deli and Bakery is a Palm Springs institution, beloved for its authentic New York fare and fresh baked pastries. Among the must-tries are the towering pastrami sandwich, the beef and latkes and matzo ball soup. If you have your puppy in tow, feel free to grab a seat on the patio. The friendly servers are ready to make suggestions if you have a hard time choosing between all of the delicious options. (760-325-1199)
When Tyler's closes seasonally in the summer, local burger lovers can't help but count down the days until this family-owned burger institution reopens. Owner Diana DiAmico grew up around her mom's beachfront hamburger stand, and today, Diana uses her lifelong experience to run a burger joint that locals can't ignore. This old-fashioned hamburger stand sticks mostly to the basics--a few hamburger variations, sandwiches, classic sides like French fries, soup and potato salad, and thick, creamy milkshakes--and only fresh ingredients are used to create a Tyler's burger. Tyler's is open just five hours a day--from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.--so plan your trip accordingly. ((760) 325-2990)
Looking for authentic pad thai in downtown Palm Springs? Look no further than Thai Smile, a family-owned restaurant serving the best authentic Thai dishes in the Coachella Valley. Inside, original Thai artwork and saltwater fish tank set the scene for a lunchtime escape to Thailand. This award-winning local favorite serves up fresh Thai staples like red curry, gai kua and mango with sticky rice. Lunch specials are served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include your choice of popular dishes like pad thai, Panang pork and shrimp lard prik, served with rice, iced tea and a choice of soup or salad. (760-320-5503)
With a focus on fresh Chinese cuisine made to order, City Wok offers an upscale spin on one of America's classic quick and casual dining options. The restaurant's open kitchen offers a behind-the-scenes peek as freshly battered orange chicken and heaping mounds of chow mein noodles fly in the woks. The menu at City Wok includes all the familiar Chinese favorites you'd expect, including broccoli beef, kung pao chicken and sweet and sour pork. You'll also enjoy house specials like chicken lettuce cups, garlic chili scallops and spicy salt and pepper calamari. Entrees are offered in both half and full size portions, so you can order just enough. ((760) 341-1511)
About Marissa Willman
Marissa Willman moved to the Coachella Valley in 2001 and loves discovering the best that the desert has to offer. As a Palm Springs local, Marissa enjoys sharing her knowledge of this desert destination through her travel writing.
In a previous life, she worked as an English teacher in South Korea and spent months traveling throughout Asia. Today, Marissa prefers to explore her backyard in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, while occasionally jetsetting as her wanderlust strikes.
Read more about Marissa Willman here.
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