Sheri's Palm Springs Area Blog

Whether it be real estate updates, restaurant reviews, events, or highlights of unique homes in Palm Springs, follow Sheri as she covers all that Palm Springs and the surrounding area has to offer.

Entries in Dining Around The Desert

9 Great Dive Bars in the Desert

Dive Right In

Party with the locals at these great dive bars in Palm Springs and neighboring desert cities with nothing but a good time up their sleeve.

KAY KUDUKIS JULY 9, 2019 CURRENT DIGITALRESTAURANTS

Courtesy of Palm Springs Life

Tryst is open daiiy from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Palm Springs.   PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TRYST PALM SPRINGS

Tryst is open daiiy from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Palm Springs.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TRYST PALM SPRINGS

“This is a total dive” is a compliment in the mouths of those who recognize dive bars’ fabulous je ne sais quoi that turns a so-so evening into “Vegas baby” without emptying your pockets. These neighborhood spots offer a genuine experience where you’re likely to see some familiar faces. It’s where locals and hospitality workers go after the touristy places shut down. These dive bars are all about the drink and the fun, no finery required. No pretentiousness or posing here — you can be your authentic self.

Here are a few suggested dive bars to get you started. Got a fave dive already in mind? We welcome your feedback on expanding this list.

PALM SPRINGS

Tryst

Open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, Tryst is the ideal spot to drink your way through giant Jenga, darts, pinball, or air hockey while selecting your favorite songs on the jukebox. Only snacks are available here, so make sure you eat beforehand. While it is on the periphery of LGBT nightlife haven on Arenas Road, Tryst is neither gay nor straight; they have open arms for everyone over 21, and drinks are reasonably priced. The inside is smoke-free, but they do have an old fashioned cigarette machine for outdoor smoke breaks. You never know what local stars (think innovative chefs and crowd-favorite musicians) might end up here on any given night. There’s plenty of parking in back.

188 S Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-832-6046; Facebook page.

Crazy Mel’s Burgers

This unassuming downtown joint slings bargain burgers and booze six days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar is a small half-horseshoe, but it’s still a great place to grab a beer and a nosh — the french fries are outstanding. It’s also got a laid-back, unadorned patio that’s great for day drinking and people-watching. No games to play, but they do have jello shots. Free parking is behind the Rowan complex, about a two-block walk.

166 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-656-7563; Facebook page.

Pete’s Hideaway

Located just down from the Sunset Center on the south end of Palm Springs, Pete’s isn’t as much of a dive bar as it is a local hangout. Family owned and operated, they have a healthy following of Coachella Valley residents who value good entertainment and decent food. During the cooler months they have entertainment every night, but understandably cut back during the summer.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PETE’S HIDEAWAY

Pete’s Hideaway has space for nightly entertainment.

Rat Pack (and Rat Pack–adjacent) celebrities grace the walls in photos and artist renderings. Weekdays, stop by anytime between 3 and 11 p.m.; weekends at Pete’s begin at 11 a.m. and end at midnight (Wednesdays also get the extended 12 p.m. close time). Lots of parking is available behind Allen’s Tires.

665 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, 760-322-6500; peteshideawayps.com

Fireside Lounge

Current and former Chicagoans longing for the nearly endless stretch of Cicero bar hours, take note: This terrific dive bar keeps its doors open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Between the friendly locals and games — think standards like pool and shuffleboard — a lot of fun is ready to be had. Given the hours, it’s also a haunt for entertainers and hospitality workers. Parking is only on the street, but the endless search for a spot you would experience downtown is rare here. Everyone is welcome to karaoke, and many of the valley’s best singers also participate. The bathrooms are not air-conditioned, so get in and get outta there during summer months.

696 S Oleander Rd, Palm Springs, 760-327-1700; facebook.com/FiresideLoungePalm Springs

CATHEDRAL CITY

AMP

Though it’s relatively new to the area, this barebones sports bar still has what you’re looking for in a dive — namely, friendly staff, pool, darts, and karaoke. They occasionally have live entertainment that tends to exceed the environment. Live music is a random bag, with past gigs ranging from Latin singers to rock ‘n’ roll, but you can count on a consistently nice pour.

68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, 760-699-7090; Facebook page.

PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHELE MCMANMON

The Hood attracts a healthy lineup of musical acts, but it’s also a sit-down bar to hangout at.

PALM DESERT

The Hood

The Hood was named Best Dive Bar and Best Billiards 2018/2019 by CV Independent readers. They have pool, bingo, eats (housemade pizza!), and entertainment from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Prepare to get your drink on with a fun, energetic crowd.

74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760-636-5220; hoodbarandpizza.com.

Red Barn

Red Barn was a runnerup in CV Independent’s 2018/2019 best dive bars, and looks like…well, a red barn, inside and out. They have a jukebox, two pool tables, shuffleboard, live entertainment, and outdoor seating. Patrons rave about the generous pours, as well. Doors open at 8 a.m. (yep, you read that right) and close at 2 a.m. daily.

73290 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760-346-0191; redbarnbar.com.

Desert Fox

The owner refers to his club as a sophisticated dive, and we whole-heartedly agree. It’s cozy; it’s eclectic; it’s perfectly decorated and often has entertainment. Suave bartenders (we said it’s sophisticated, didn’t we?) concoct modestly-priced cocktails from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

44750 San Pablo Ave, Palm Desert, 760-895-4385; desertfoxbar.com.

INDIO

Neil’s Lounge

Also on the runnerup list for CV Independent’s best dive bars, Neil’s has karaoke every night, pool tables with tournaments, and friendly bartenders and patrons, as well as funky and fun aesthetics. It definitely has a sense of humor. It’s a big bar, so bring all your friends and take over the space to sing your hearts out. It’s open 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

80956 Highway 111, Indio, 760-347-1522; Facebook page.

• READ MORE: 9 Palm Springs Bars to Engage in Conversation

Dining Around the Desert: Tacos Gonzalez in Indio

1596278_685686984809655_1665592595_o.jpg

Tacos Gonzalez is a tiny little taqueria right on Hwy 111 and Jefferson on the North/East corner. It consistently comes up when we ask anyone where the best tacos are. It’s a true mom and pop organization, with a very friendly, helpful staff and about 8 tables. You order at the counter but they are very attentive and if you need or want something more, they will take your order and you pay at the end of your meal.

We enjoyed beef, chicken, and pork tacos along with a couple of beers, chips and salsa. All were very tasty, the service was quick and it measured up to all of the good reviews.

They are pretty much open 8AM to 8PM every day, but they’ll close for example on Mother’s Day so that the staff can have the day off. They don’t have a website, but there are plenty of reviews on Yelp and they also have a Facebook page. I don’t think anything is over $10 on the menu and the portions are generous.


80120 US Hwy 111
Indio, CA 92201

(760) 347-6858

53362990_291631558175570_6093754180009197568_n.jpg

Taco Bell is Opening a Hotel in Palm Springs This Summer

It’s certain to be a limited, but colorful, run

by Farley Elliott  May 16, 2019, 12:20pm PDT

Settings inside the Taco Bell Hotel/ Taco Bell

Settings inside the Taco Bell Hotel/ Taco Bell

This is not a drill: Taco Bell is opening an entire hotel in Palm Springs. That’s right, everyone’s favorite Southern California born-and-bred late night munchies spot, founded on a possibly stolen recipe, is adding to its hospitality offerings with a standalone hotel out in the desert. The Irvine-based company already owns a wedding venue in Las Vegas

Taco Bell made the surprise hotel announcement just this morning, showing off some key details for the property along the way. Not only will there be all the usual amenities found on property, from a restaurant to a pool, a gift shop, and hair salon, but each will will be branded heavily with the company’s signature style, fonts, and colors. In short: It’s the single best way to actually live más, and it starts up this summer.

Reps for the restaurant are quick to note that, while the resort hotel is only open for a limited time starting on August 9, their plans for the property are “very valid and very legitimate,” per Business Insider. Word is that the run will only last a few days, and that reservations will become available next month on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As for the actual hotel property’s address, the number of rooms, price, and other key details, those things remain to be seen. But who cares?! It’s a Taco Bell hotel, folks. And, really, it can’t be any more stunty than all those endlessly derivative Instagram food installations that keep popping up in Los Angeles.

Dining Around the Desert: Commons Club at the Virgin Hotel in San Francisco

56474595_848118205521756_7884011589681020928_n.jpg

THROUGH THE LENS OF
GLOBALLY INSPIRED CHEFS

Commons Club offers an elevated menu with a fresh, modern take on California cuisine. Bringing culinary delight to the downtown San Francisco restaurant landscape by combining unexpected ingredients with bold flavors and technique, Commons Club infuses a relaxed, yet elegant experience.

56407504_847081925625384_4885822747160084480_n.jpg

Michael, Adam, Jeanne and I started out with the Parker House Rolls, which were buttery, flakey and I could have eaten about a dozen of them, along with the Crudite which had a buttermilk, almond, dill sauce. Michael had an excellent Old Fashioned, and I had one of the house crafted cocktails named Tangerine Dream made with Absolut elyx, Aperol, tangerine juice, peppermint ginger, served up. Very tasty.

For our main dishes, we had Sonoma Duck ruby beet, broccoli rabe, guajillo, Schmitz Ranch N.Y. Strip potato puree, red wine, spring onion, Halibut English pea, black trumpet mushroom, miso, and Tortelloni wild mushroom, swiss chard. Everything was prepared beautifully, the service was top-notch, and it was a fun atmosphere.

Due to the fact that they have a DJ playing house music at the entrance, which spills over into the dining room, it’s not the place for quiet conversation. Aside from our group of four, that didn’t seem to be an issue with everyone else who was there as it was more of a club vibe.

They also have a rooftop bar and on our way out, we went up to see it. Packed at that time of night, but I would imagine earlier in the evening for cocktails, it would be nice.

Read more about Virgin Hotels here

Everyone Rooftop Bar

Everyone Rooftop Bar


Ground Floor at Virgin Hotels
250 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

DAYTIME MENU

DINNER MENU

BOOK A TABLE

Daytime Menu: 7am-10:30am
Daytime Menu: 11:30am-2pm
Bar Menu: 2pm-10pm
Dinner Menu: 5:30pm-10pm
Fri-Sat Dinner Menu: 5:30pm-10:30pm

IMG_9294.jpeg