Brothers Ruben and Ozzy have been cooking together for decades, earning a reputation for their spectacular fish tacos and charismatic service. In 2012, the brothers opened their first restaurant in downtown Palm Springs, specializing in seafood dishes like shrimp buckets, oyster shooters, clam chowder, campechanas (Mexican seafood cocktails) and crab enchiladas. You'll also find pasta and surf and turf selections on the menu, though this is the kind of place to kick back with a few beers and an endless run of small seafood plates. Ruben and Ozzy's Oyster Bar & Grill is open for both lunch and dinner all week long.
Recommended for Best Value because: Ruben and Ozzy's Oyster Bar & Grill offers the desert's best fish tacos for less than $3 a pop.
Marissa's expert tip: You simply can't go to Ruben and Ozzy's Oyster Bar & Grill without trying the brothers' signature fish taco. During late night happy hour, you can score these massive tacos for just $2.50.
If you're thinking about doing a pizza night in Palm Springs, forget the greasy delivery joints and head downtown to Brickworks. This pizza joint specializes in quality wood-fired pizza that keeps the locals coming all year long. The restaurant's combination of freshly made dough and artisan toppings have earned it the title of "Best Pizza in the Desert" for several years. Popular pies include the chicken pesto and the Q special, and all pizzas are served with thin crusts. The menu also includes American fare like grilled steak, fish and chips, and pan-seared salmon. Located upstairs, this pizza bistro also offers some of the best views of Palm Canyon Drive and Mercado Plaza below.
Recommended for Best Value because: Brickworks dishes out wood-fired pizzas at a palatable price point, especially during their daily happy hour.
Marissa's expert tip: Brickworks' daily happy hour includes an extensive food menu, in addition to cocktails, beers and margaritas. Fare includes pizza, sliders, ahi tempura rolls and bruschetta. Go during Matchbox for a full meal at a fraction of the price.
Just because the nearest ocean is more than a hundred miles away doesn't mean you can't enjoy fresh seafood in Palm Springs. To dine on the desert's freshest fish, head to Fisherman's Market & Grill in Palm Springs. With sister locations in La Quinta and Palm Desert, this popular seafood restaurant is a local favorite and serves everything from fish tacos to swordfish steak. Take in the extensive seafood menu at the counter and place your order before staking out a seat. Settle in for your fresh catch, served at your table, and you'll soon forget the ocean isn't just outside the restaurant.
Recommended for Best Value because: Fisherman's Market and Grill serves fresh seafood at a value-driven price point you wouldn't expect in the middle of the desert.
Marissa's expert tip: If you visit on a weekday, be sure to try the special lunch menu. It includes catfish fillets, mahi mahi sliders and shrimp tacos.
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.
Recommended for Best Value because: Sherman's Deli and Bakery offers a great value on New York-style breakfast and lunch, with generous portions to boot.
Marissa's expert tip: Hold off on the pastries--instead, opt for the authentic New York-style pastrami, and grab a few pastry selections from the case to go.
While the Forever Marilyn statue has been getting a lot of attention for celebrating the iconic actress in her most famous pose, this downtown restaurant has long been celebrating with a life-sized statue of the blonde bombshell. With large portions and reasonable prices, breakfast at Pinocchio's in the Desert is one of the best values in town. This local favorite serves breakfast staples like omelettes, buttermilk pancakes and eggs benedict. Try a protein heavy breakfast off the egg menu, which combines eggs with your choice of bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, ham steak or pork chops. The extensive eggs benedict menu includes salmon, lox and lobster.
Recommended for Best Value because: Pinocchio in the Desert offers one of the best values for brunch in the desert, with a bottomless champagnes for just $4.
Marissa's expert tip: Pinocchio's in the Desert is famous for its bottomless champagne, the perfect $4 complement for your Palm Springs breakfast.
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.
Recommended for Best Value because: John's Restaurant is a local diner with generous portions and very reasonable prices.
Marissa's expert tip: Try the breakfast burrito, an oversized local favorite.
Modernism meets the restaurant scene at LULU California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs, the funkier, modern version of Acqua Pazza in Rancho Mirage. With sleek mid-century modern design and chic artwork, LULU has a modern vibe that embodies the spirit of Palm Springs. Seating includes the circular bar area, two floors of indoor seating and a patio boasting the best views for people watching in Palm Springs. Serving California cuisine, LULU is known for its paninis, chicken piccata and seafood benedict. Lunch patrons can also opt for the 3-course prix fixe lunch menu for just $19.99. If you're looking for a dining experience with atmosphere and character, head to LULU California Bistro in Palm Springs.
Recommended for Best Value because: LULU California Bistro offers great values all day thanks to its lengthy happy hour and reasonable prices.
Marissa's expert tip: Dine upstairs for lunch with a view. You'll be able to enjoy the modern design and decor that's as much a part of LULU as the fresh cuisine.