With a very large LGBT population, it is not surprising that Palm Springs supports a top-notch dining scene. Some of the most creative chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs are naturally drawn to the Palm Springs lifestyle.
The overused cliche “hidden gem” applies to the John Henry Cafe on 1785 E Tahquitz Canyon Way but to the frustration of regulars, it is not as hidden as they would like. Locals love this place off the beaten path and love to show it off to out of town guests. It is about a mile from downtown or about halfway between downtown and the airport. Be warned, reservations are strongly recommended especially if you want to eat outside. John Henry Cafe is also one of the few Palm Springs restaurants that closes for the summer.
Many of Palm Springs newer restaurants are gay-owned and are attracting a loyal following including Eight4Nine appropriately located on 849 N Palm Canyon Drive on the north end of downtown. Eight4Nine presents gourmet food in colorful dining rooms that are art by themselves.
The gay-owned Rooster and the Pig on 346 S Indian Canyon Drive is a trendy restaurant featuring American and Vietnamese food. It deservedly has drawn a loyal and appreciative crowd since opening in 2015.
The gay-owned Trio on 707 N Palm Canyon Drive was popular since the day it opened in 2007. The bar's happy hour always draws a crowd. Trio's gourmet food is only matched by its desert-cool mid-century modern orange motif.
The Tropicale Restaurant and Coral Seas Lounge on 330 E Amado Rd is another gay-owned restaurant and is wildly popular during happy hour and through the evening.
Koffi coffee has two locations in Palm Springs and has long been popular with LGBT caffeine addicts and anyone who appreciates a good cup in the sun. Koffi North Palm Springs on 515 N Palm Canyon Drive is part of the art deco delight Corridor shopping area that includes a beautiful landscaped courtyard that draws a big LGBT social following. Koffi South Palm Springs on 1700 S Camino Real, is conveniently located next to the trendy Ace Hotel and Swim Club.
Townie Bagels and Breads on 650 E Sunny Dunes Rd, is in the heart of Palm Springs’ Sunny Dunes Vintage Row. You can have your coffee and bagel before you tackle your search for that perfect antique. Townie is known for its gourmet bagels and locally produced Joshua Tree Coffees. Since this stylish cafe opened in 2013, it has helped bring in even more foot traffic to the Sunny Dunes Rd strip, which, by the way, includes a gay bar, Tool Shed, and a couple of gay stores, Q Trading Company and Gear Leather and Fetish.
Wangs In The Desert on 424 S Indian Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs features Pan Asian Cuisine and is famous for its crazy popular Boys Night Out Happy Hour Friday nights.
Oscars Cafe and Bar in the heart of downtown Palm Springs on 125 E Tahquitz Canyon Way is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features live entertainment. The Sunday tea dance is perfect for Palm Springs LGBTs who want to squeeze another night out of a party weekend.
Alibi Azul is in the heart of downtown on 369 N Palm Canyon Drive and is a combo video bar, nightclub and restaurant. You can munch down a wide variety of sandwiches, salads and entrees while enjoying a live show, including some of the best drag acts in town. The restaurant’s big patio on Palm Canyon Drive makes a perfect perch for people watching.
Bongo Johnny's Patio Bar and Grille is in the middle of the city's gayest block, Arenas Road, between Indian Canyon and S Calle Encilia. The surf-themed eatery features grilled specialty burgers and even more special cocktails that keep diners coming back for more and more.
Eddie’s Frozen Yogurt is a self-service yogurt shop a few steps west of Bongo’s in the heart of the Arenas Road gay nightclub district and stays open late serving up a wide variety of flavors, some that are fat free and sugar free.
The Purple Room Supper Club is a gay favorite for dinner and a show. The room is part of Club Trinidad and plays musical tributes to LGBT favorites and gay icons. Sunday nights are a drag with Michael Holmes’ spot-on impersonation of Judy Garland in The Judy Show.
Tyler's Burgers is in the center of downtown at the historic La Plaza Shopping Center. Reasonably priced burgers are served inside or outside.
Pinocchio in the Desert is another great downtown and very gay restaurant. On 134 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Pinocchio serves up large portions of delicious food at very reasonable prices. Look for the statue of Marilyn Monroe out front. By the way, the statue of another gay icon, Lucille Ball, is a few steps away at the corner of Tahquitz Canyon and Palm Canyon.
Manhattan in the Desert on 2665 E Palm Canyon Drive is the city's best New York style deli with very reasonable prices. Be sure to try its specially prepared mile high sandwiches of corned beef, pastrami or brisket.
Tipper's Gourmet Marketplace offers breakfast, lunch and dinner inside the historic Henry Frank Arcade in downtown along N Palm Canyon, across from the Hyatt Palm Springs. While you are in the arcade, be sure to check out the best view of the mountainside profile of Abraham Lincoln. The best vantage point is just in front of Tipper's through a hollow pipe that directs your gaze to Mr. Lincoln. While you are up the alley, check out the Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery as well as the fabulous gay-owned Geras Tousignant Gallery.