Home California Going Meatless In The Desert: Guide to Vegetarian Eating in Palm Springs

Going Meatless In The Desert: Guide to Vegetarian Eating in Palm Springs

written by ParoChak March 5, 2016
 palm springs travel

Palm Springs is a fantastic destination to let your hair down and explore the aridness of the desert, but when it comes to food, you may often find yourself stuck in the same rut of overcrowded touristy eateries in noisy downtown where everyone flocks to grab a bite. The cuisine scene is definitely improving with upcoming new and trendy restaurants, but if you want good food and that too on a budget, here are some of the bay monkey’s recommendations, all tried, tested and certified gold! We usually refrain from eating meat during travel and so all these places are either 100% meat free or have plenty of vegetarian/vegan choices.

1) First up is King’s Highway, a diner and lounge located in Ace Hotel on Indian Canyon Road, a virtual food oasis in the desert. Food so fresh, tasty and delicious that we went twice-once for dinner and then for breakfast. The cocktails were to die for (recommend the Speedy Gonzales splashed with tequila and agave to set you in the desert mood). Don’t forget to get your Instagram fix with a photo shoot near the huge coir elephant head mounted on one of the walls. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options in the menu for all my vegan/vegetarian friends out there; both our meals were meatless and we loved every morsel!

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vegetarian food palm springs travel

2) Native Foods Cafe: a fast casual vegan restaurant established in 1994 in the arid desert of Palm Springs which sells lip smacking plant based grub, tasty enough to make you forget meat. A great option for dinner, don’t give their quinoa bowls and lavender lemonade a miss!

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3) Palm Greens Cafe: Located in another strip mall off the two main streets criss-crossing the city, this was voted the best vegetarian restaurant of Palm Spring recently. Food was great, but you have to try one of their smoothies or detox juices.

vegetarian food palm springs travel

Now, onto Joshua Tree, the city which is home to the Joshua Tree National Park. Surprisingly it had quite a few good options for breakfast and lunch and although we could not get a seat at the wildly popular Pappy + Harriet’s in Pioneertown (our famished stomachs were deterred by a wait time of  over an hour!) we did manage to hit up a few other local favorites, as testified by the food pics below.


4) Country Kitchen: this modest, tiny diner run by an incredibly friendly Cambodian couple is super famous, thanks to being featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations on the travel channel. You cannot leave this place without ordering the sinfully fluffy chocolate pan cakes (not too sweet, not too gooey, just right with a sprinkling of chocolate chips), cause anything else will be a treason!

vegetarian food palm springs travel

5) Finally, we had a great lunch at Crossroads Cafe & Tavern, another tiny, friendly spot serving great vegetarian &vegan food (they have meat featured on their menu as well for those interested). Good portion sizes plus great taste left us feeling smiling and satisfied.

vegetarian food palm springs travel

This concludes the chapter on eat, drink Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. I hope you visit this incredibly beautiful part of Southern California to experience a slice of desert life and witness its beauty first hand. Do share your travel experiences with me and let me know if you stopped by any of these joints! Read both my previous posts on handy guide to Palms Springs and Joshua Tree National Park for weekend trip ideas.


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