Top Restaurant Options for Fine Dining in Palm Springs



Dining in Palm Springs can be an unforgettable affair, especially if your itinerary includes a night of pampering at one of the desert’s top choices for fine dining. Whether you prefer French cuisine, contemporary menus or a finely presented plate of hand-cut steak, you’ll find just the fine dining experience to please your palate in Palm Springs.

If you only have a chance to splurge on one fine dining experience, make it at Wally’s Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage. Long heralded as one of the top restaurants in the Coachella Valley, Wally’s Desert Turtle leaves a lasting impression with its immaculately decorated dining room and fine French cuisine.

Speaking of fine French dining, you won’t be disappointed at the charming Le Vallauris in Palm Springs, either. Housed in a ranch-style house outfitted with classic French decor, this upscale restaurant is known for its grand menu items and spectacular service.

Beyond French food, fine dining options in the desert include the continental cuisine of Spencer’s and Copley’s on Palm Canyon, two highly rated restaurants in Palm Springs. Steak-lovers won’t want to miss the quality cuts or impeccable service of LG’s Prime Steakhouse or Mastro’s Steakhouse, either.

Explore the full list of the desert’s 10 best restaurants for fine dining below.



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Led by Chef Jimmy Schmidt, Morgan's in the Desert is known for its seasonal menus that incorporate fresh produce from the Coachella Valley and beyond. The James Beard-award winning chef is known for his innovative menu offerings, such as pan-roasted maple leaf duck breast. Steak lovers will enjoy Morgan's in the Desert, which is renowned for its thick, quality cuts of beef. Indulge in a juicy porterhouse or a thick New York strip steak--you won't be disappointed. You'll also be pleasantly surprised with classic sides like macaroni and cheese and garlic steak fries. Plus, with the extensive wine menu, its easy to find the perfect wine to match with your dinner choice.


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Since Mastro's opened its doors in the desert, Palm Springs has a new favorite steakhouse. The upscale steakhouse chain opened in Palm Desert's ritzy El Paseo district in late 2011, offering a dining experience with a glamorous, Old Hollywood atmosphere that fits the desert perfectly. Mastro's Steakhouse is well-known for its succulent, hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood dishes. From bone-in T-bones to lobster mashed potatoes, Mastro's is sure to please the pickiest of carnivores. The thick, USDA steaks are cooked to order, but be careful before digging in--steaks are served on 400-degree plates, and a fresh helping of mouthwatering sizzle. Enjoy your cut of choice with a glass of wine from the extensive list, featuring more than 500 varieties from around the world.


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Cork Tree Restaurant


 

Renowned throughout the desert for its upscale California cuisine, Cork Tree Restaurant uses local products to bring Chef Herve's creations to life. Start with an organic rainbow beet salad with local dates, then try the demitasse soup tasting, which offers a sample of three soups of the day. For your main course, you can choose from offerings like duck breast and smoked mushroom risotto, Patagonian sauteed sea bass or hibiscus braised boneless short ribs. The superb food offerings are complemented by quality service, excellent presentation and an extensive wine list that features many California wines. The dining room is home to intimate booths for a romantic evening, as well as live entertainment in the evenings. Patio dining and private rooms are also available.


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LG's Prime Steakhouse


 

Regularly lauded as one of the desert's best steakhouses, LG's gets kudos for its excellent beef and attentive service. The portions at LG's can't be beat, from the 24-ounce porterhouse for its 30-ounce big brother, known as "The Gold Strike 49er." Both porterhouses are cured in an "on premises" dry-age facility, and all cuts are strictly USDA Prime. Steaks are served with a sizzle of butter and can be accompanied by Bearnaise or peppercorn sauce. Other star players at LG's include a Colossal Poupon Lobster Tail, King Crab Legs and oven-roasted Chicken Breast. Meals are complimented by a Caesar salad, tossed fresh at your table side.


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Mister Parker's


 

Boldly patterned textiles and carpeting, reflective ceilings, expressive artwork, and a tension between light and dark hues add a certain quirky elegance to this estimable hotel restaurant. Located in the famed Parker hotel in South Palm Canyon, dinner at Mister Parker's is sure to impress. Mister Parker's culinary signature is upscale bistro fare with a chic twist, as evidenced by duck confit with truffled potatoes, osso bucco with saffron risotto, beef short ribs, and pistachio-crusted rack of lamb. Choose your favorite main course following a starter of fresh oysters and finish up with a pear and almond tart and a splash of dessert wine.


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Copley's on Palm Canyon


 

Star power is on call at this Uptown Palm Springs restaurant; not only was it a hangout for Cary Grant, but it's also under the masterful tutelage of celebrity chef Andrew Manion Copley, and it attracts personalities like Anderson Cooper. Diners can't get enough of the romantic, open-air patio in the garden, and the sublime cuisine, informed by Copley's tenure at restaurants across the globe, includes Muscovy duck breast, seared Scottish salmon, lobster pot pie, and tandoori chicken breast. A broad wine list arranged by type promises an appropriate accompaniment. Terrific service is a pleasant perk, as is the onsite herb garden.


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Spencer's Restaurant


 

If you're searching for a lunch restaurant soaked in quintessential Palm Springs style, make a reservation at Spencer's Restaurant. This award-winning restaurant in Palm Springs serves American fare influenced by French and Pacific Rim cuisine, and attracts locals, tourists and celebrities alike. At midday, the express lunch option--served with soup or salad, bread, an entree and pastry, is perfect for a filling midday meal. Other options include a lobster club sandwich, wild mushroom ravioli, an Ahi tuna nicoise salad. Reserve a table on the canopied outdoor patio to enjoy a Palm Springs lunch surrounded by Mount San Jacinto, palm trees and sunshine.


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Melvyn's Restaurant


 

If you've ever wondered where Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor dined after shooting their latest films, head to Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn. No detail was overlooked in the design and decoration of Melvyn's, which exudes old world charm. Guests are given a glimpse of Old Hollywood's glamour as they step back in time when entering this swanky restaurant. The dishes at Melvyn's range are just what you'd imagine Old Blue Eyes himself dined on (think Steak Diane, filet mignon stuffed with oysters and wilted spinach salad) and are served by waiters in classy white jackets. After dinner, grab a Manhattan at the bar, appropriated named Casablanca, and enjoy live music from the piano bar.


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Le Vallauris Restaurant


 

Le Vallauris is one of the finest culinary destinations in Palm Springs. Located just off Palm Canyon Drive in a historic ranch-style house, Le Vallauris specializes in five-star dining and first-class service. The menu includes upscale dishes like wild boar pate, Maine lobster ravioli and seared whitefish with mustard sauce. Dine inside surrounded by tapestries and Louis XV furnishings or head to the outdoor patio for one of the best al fresco dining options in the desert. Covered by a canopy of lush trees and surrounded by fragrant flower bushes, the outdoor patio is an elegant option for lunch or dinner. Perfect for date night or dinner with friends, Le Vallauris is commonly considered one of the classiest dining options in Palm Springs.


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One of the desert's most-awarded restaurants, Wally's boasts a curious name but promises an impeccable experience. The elegant establishment is given to fine dining, and murals, a mirrored ceiling, and ancient Peruvian artifacts set the scene. This classic restaurant serves a French menu with selections like roasted pheasant breast, seared venison strip loin, escargot, Dungeness crab and lobster ravioli, and imported Dover sole. If you're in the mood for red meat, you'll find plenty of fine steak cuts are available as well. Live music adds to the elegant, moneyed atmosphere. Take note that the restaurant closes seasonally in the summer.


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Meet 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...  More About Marissa

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