10 Palm Springs Hot Spots for Veg-Heads Gourmands & Cocktail Lovers

PSP Palm Springs signageI’ll be grabbing a plane headed to Palm Springs in a couple of weeks {woot!} and if you know me you know that I have been doing my due diligence in travel research! As I mentioned in my post about Napa, I am biiiiig on getting the skinny on the destination I’m going to so that I can take advantage of the most interesting, entertaining, unique, and delicious experiences it has to offer.

This brings me to the very distinctive searching I’ve been doing for this trip to PSP: restaurants and bars that have tasty, thoughtful, yummy offerings for vegetarian and vegan foodies, cocktail lovers, and overall gourmands–people who adore great food and drinks! Hubs recently switched up his regular diet and has been seeking out more vegetarian and pescatarian dishes, and I’ve happily been going along for the ride. As someone who is serious about having delectable and creative food though, I’m pretty darn particular when it comes to choosing a place for us to sip and nosh.

What can I say, I have needs, ya’ll. *shrugs*

So when I began looking for vegetarian and vegan hot spots in Palm Springs, I had to use my specific “Bubbleista-approved” criteria: (1) good design with aesthetics that delight and make you want to linger; (2) not your average, ordinary spots; (3) dishes with unique, thoughtful ingredients where the vegetarian/vegan dishes are not just an after thought on the menu; (4) inventive options for seafood and meat lovers (so that there’s something for everyone, whatever food mood they may be in); and (5) gold star bonus if they have wine and/or craft cocktails, too.

Well, I’m happy to say that my mission was accomplished! The spots on my list have thoughtful, creative dishes that have a healthy respect for flavor and interesting ingredients. Plus, these places are good on design, too, such as cheeky, vibrant wallpaper; Morroccan fabric; fun wall decor; and modern, chic design.

For your reading pleasure and dining convenience, I’ve organized my picks into categories for breakfast/brunch; lunch/dinner; sweet treats; and cocktails. So whether you’re a food and drink lover headed to Palm Springs for business, vacay, or to attend that obscure little music fest known as Coachella, this is the perfect list for you. Let’s feast our eyes, shall we {wink}?

Breakfast & Brunch: Reservoir; Eight4Nine

1.) Eight4Nine

PSP Eight4Nine patio PSP Eight4Nine interior (palm springs life) Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge food Shoot Dungeness Crab-stuffed Piquillo Pepper, Saffron Aioli, Greens

As a self-professed bubbly girl, THIS is a great spot for breakfast or brunch in my book! Their “House champagne” and mimosas come with 2 free refills. The also offer a sparkling rose’ and a split of Prosecco. Rose’ for breakfast? Yeeesssss!

Things that piqued my interest on the menu include Truffled grilled cheese; a Veggie Burger made of smoked mushroom and brown rice; and Ratatouille created with a medley of summer squash, ripe tomato, garlic, fresh herbs, Japanese eggplant caponata in phyllo, fresh tomato sauce;

I was also drooling over the bean and veggie-laden Huevos Rancheros: Two farm eggs, crispy tortilla, refried pintos, sweet peppers, avocado, queso fresco; and the Smoked Mushroom & Spinach Benedict made with house-smoked portobello mushroom, spinach, two farm eggs, and hollandaise.

2.) Reservoir

PSP Reservoir outsidePSP reservoir-restaurant-interiorPSP Reservoir food palm springs life

Reservoir is a restaurant housed at Arrive Hotel boasting fab mountain views. If you can peel your eyes away from the views to look at the brunch menu, check out these options: Muesli soaked in almond milk, baking spices, and “many” exotic fruits; the Green N’ Tings salad which has mustard frill, couscous {love grains in a salad}, and marcona almonds; and a dish that has gianed popularity in the last 2-3 years, Shashuka: farm eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce, grilled bread for soakng up alt the tomato-ey, yolk-y goodness.

They also have some inventive cocktails too, such as the Celery & Basil cocktail made with Gin, Tonic, Citrus, and an Absinthe Rinse.

Lunch & Dinner: 

3.) Frank In Bun

PSP Frank in Bun front better

PSP Frank in Bun veggie dog (Triple D) PSP Frank in Bun wallpaper (Triple D)

I love a really good hot dog, so when I discovered the Vegan Chili Hot Dog at Frank In Buns, I had to see what they were working with. Did some digging and discovered that the hot dog is made with sauteed mushrooms, black-eyed peas, nutritional yeast, garlic, brown rice flour, and a boatload of spices. The “hotdog” is steamed then grilled to give it some great texture.

The “chili” is all veggie-based as well of course and is made of onions, garlic, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and spices. Even more interesting is the fact that the restaurant is owned by a man who is a epidemiologist by trade.

4.) Evzin

PSP Evzin space 2

How can you resist this bright dining room with colorful, fun Mediterranean design touches?

PSP Evzin veggie dishEvzin Mediterranean puts just as much thoughtfulness in their food and they do the dining space itself. Light and airy with splashes of color not only describes the dining room but the food too! One of the dishes on the menu that gets my attention is the “Gemista and Imam” which is “roasted tomato stuffed with herb rice pine nuts, golden raisins, and half roasted eggplant which comes with vegetable ratatouille. They also have a variety of regional wines (French, Spanish, Greek), beer, and Greek coffee to boot.

5.) Workshop Kitchen + Bar

PSP WOrkshop exterior (peaceful pad) PSP Workshop interior PSP Workshop Gravlax

Minimalist chic design and maximalist food flavor and creativity are the order of the day at Workshop Kitchen and Bar. This inside of the space is a design lovers dream with it’s high cathedral style ceilings, concrete walls and tables, high-backed bench dining alcoves, and a bar area that’s been referred to as “alter-like.”

The menu is well designed, too! Great starters include the Apples + Cheese, which is sliced honeycrisp apples served with port salut pot de crème, truffle honey, and duck fat brioche. Now the duck fat might throw things off a bit for staunch veg heads, but those a simple request for brioche sans duck would solve that. Another appetizer option is the “Shaved Brussel Sprouts” with fuji apple, bartlet pear, persimmon, pomegranate, pepitas, balsamico, olive oil, and pecorino romano. The Chef here is serious about the food that comes out of the kitchen!

PSP Workshop Chef and food

As for a main course–and I know you might roll your eyes when I say veggie plate–the offerings on Workshop’s “Spring Vegetable Plate” are insanely creative. Check it: rutabaga puree, chanterelle mushrooms, baby turnips, garnet yams, chinese long beans, young artichokes, flowering herbs, green chili + garlic ferment, and harissa yogurt.

Also, if you are craving a good burger and you’ve been wanting to try the “Impossible Burger” {or if you already love it like I do} then Workshop is the place to get it. Add in seasonal cocktails and you’re in for a foodie lover’s night to remember. Workshop Kitchen + Bar hedges a bit towards the more expensive side, but the thoughtfulness, innovation, and quality that’s put into every bite is worth the splurge.

6.) Las Casuelas Terraza

PSP las casuelas storefront palm springs life

{photo from Palm Springs Life}

{photo from Palm Springs Life}

Although this restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, stepping across the threshold immediately transports you to Mexico. Las Casuelas is a family-owned spot designed to make you feel like you’re having a meal made by your very own abuelita.

My menu picks include  the “Raw Veggie Black Bean Tostada” which is a flat crisp corn tortilla topped with with black beans, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, shredded jicama, red onions, shredded carrots, cilantro and fresh avocado; and the “Tropical salad” made with romaine lettuce, diced tropical mango, dates, avocado, red bell peppers, jicama, toasted almonds and served with honey poblano date dressing. It comes with with grilled achiote chicken so just ask for that the be left off to keep the meal vegetarian. Wash it all down with the restaurant’s hand-shaken, organic margaritas.

Speaking of margaritas, if you’re a tequila lover, or feling tequila adventurous, this spot will be your jam: they have special “Tequila Hall of Fame” menu  with over 100 tequila options! The menu is broken down into Plata (Silver); Reposado; Anejo; Tequila Spirits; and a new to me tequila-based spirit called “Sotol” which, according to Las Casuelas, is a “like Mezcal, without the smoke. Like Tequila, without the spice. Like both, with layers of complexity.”

To seal the deal, Las Casuelas also has live bands every day and was named one of the top 21 Mexican restaurants in America by Thrillist magazine in 2014.

7.) Trio

PSP Trio exterior PSP Trio interior PSP Trio mac and cheeseIn addition to the veggie standard bearers of Hummus ad Tomato Bruschetta, Trio makes the list for a really cool and creative dish called Soy Ceviche! It’s made from edamame, tofu, tomato, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, sriracha, onion, and served with tortilla chips. Another option is the Stacked Veggie Burger made with roasted Portobello, eggplant, roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, basil pesto, goat cheese, with a side of fries

Sweet treats

8.) Over the Rainbow Cupcakes and Desserts

PSP Over Rainbow Cupcakes

Over the Rainbow and its resident Pastry Chef Roman Blas has gotten quite a bit of press {including television appearances on shows such as Top Chef} due to his inventive flavors, and he has has made desserts for famous and infamous alike.

What do I mean by inventive flavors? Well how about Meyer Lemon PomegranateChocolate Peanut Butter Salty Caramel, Blueberry French Toast, and Bananas Foster for starters.

There is a small catch. The tricky, adventurous part of snagging one of these luscious cupcakes is that the menu updates weekly with a designated set of different flavors for each day, and when the cupcakes are gone they’re gone. That means you should check the website before you visit to make sure they are making flavors you want that day, or you can call ahead to see what vegan flavors are available.


PSP Sey Lyons

{photo from Bravo TV}

{photo from Bravo TV}

PSP Seymours food (from website)

PSP Seymours bar top and drink (jet set life)9.) Seymour’s at Mr. Lyons

Mr. Lyon’s Steakhouse is a culinary hot spot in Palm Springs, but there are more reasons to come here beyond beef.  In the dining room, just beyond a pair of plush velvet curtains, you’ll find a fabulous, cozy bar and lounge know as Seymour’s. The entire space only seats 20 in total which makes it perfect for a quiet cocktail-fueled little tête-à-tête. Design lovers will instantly be drawn to the colorful, beautifully tile bar–which seats about seven–and will enjoy perusing a menu which spans from classic cocktails to creatively crafted concoctions.

A great place to start is the Pineapple Tequila Sour, made with Reposado tequila, pineapple gomme, fresh lemon, and egg white; craft cocktails made with hand-squeezed and top-shelf  liquor. If you’re feeling extra adventurous try the Little Owl, comprised of rye whiskey, walnut liqueur, and IPA beer simple syrup. Then settle in for a relaxed evening of being a bar fly.

10.) Truss & Twine

PSP Truss and Twine bar PSP Truss and Twine foodTwo things to love about Truss and Twine right from the jump is that they have happy hour every day and they are open late in order to fully indulge your adventures in imbibing and noshing. They are such a considerate lot, yes? And speaking of adventures in sipping and noshing, here’s some ideas on exactly where to start: the Green Philter, concocted with Pernod absinthe, pineapple, lime, house orgeat, and cucumber cocktail.

If you’re feeling peckish then you can pair it with the Drake Farm’s Goat Cheese appetizer which is a magically delicious dish that includes fresh honeycomb from Temecula Valley (a nearby city that is full of wineries), cactus confit (how much more “desert apropos” can you get than serving cactus?), and–wait for it–bougainvillea dust. It’s like eating floral pixie dust, people! Now how cool is that?