These Burgers in the Desert Are Stacked With Fresh Ingredients and Plenty of Meat
Written By: Michelle Jaco
Photographed By: Francisco Flores Palm Springs Best Burgers
In its most humble form, a burger is comprised of a beef patty and put between two pieces of bread. Sounds simplistic, but there’s something about this American classic that never grows old and keeps us salivating. Why? There are layers to it—literally. From the special prep techniques and time allocated to achieve maximum flavor to the imported exotic meats and toppings that tie this prized sandwich all together, this crowning comfort food can be enjoyed in a number of ways, and we’ve got a list of the best burger spots in Greater Palm Springs for you to sink your teeth into this summer.
1 | Déjà Brew Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: Beyond Veggie Burger
This GPS architectural wonder is known for its 3 B’s: beer, bourbon and burgers. Floor Manager Kylie Castro explains that the restaurant’s title is “a play on words,” as “draughtsman,” pronounced (draf(t)smən), can refer to an architect’s layout sketches, or more commonly, our beloved draft beers. In relation to thinking outside the box, Draughtsman now offers a fresh take to this American classic with their Beyond Veggie Burger. Made with a Beyond Meat patty, the burger is “designed to look and taste just like beef,” explains Castro. The patty itself does not contain any meat products and is instead made from plant-based ingredients. The Beyond Veggie Burger comes loaded with tasty vegan toppings like gruyere, caramelized onions, mushrooms, dijonnaise and a gluten-free bun.
Native Knowledge: Draughtsman is set in a prime location, and you can view the lovely San Jacinto Mountains while dining in.
Draughtsman at ARRIVE Palm Springs
1501 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
2 | I Got You Babe Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: Brewhouse Burger
From the same creative visionary of Marie Callender’s—yes, you read that correctly—sits Don Callender’s Rancho Mirage foodie wonderland, Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewery. After co-founding the popular restaurant and bakery chain, graciously named after his mother, Don went on to pursue other food ventures in Babe’s. Donald “Lucky” Callender, Don’s son, has since taken ownership but carries on with the family tradition to providing delicious dishes, one of which can be tasted in the Brewhouse Burger. Stacked with a half-pound of ground beef and topped with lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, bacon and your choice of cheddar, provolone or pepper jack cheese and served on toasted brioche bun, this burger will not disappoint.
Native Knowledge: Babe’s offers delivery through Grubhub and Postmates.
Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewery
71800 Hwy 111, Ste A176
Rancho Mirage CA 92270
3 | No Shortcomings Here Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: Homemade Burger Sliders
What this landmark building may lack in stature makes up for in gargantuan taste. Tyler’s homemade burger sliders pack a lot of punch as they come in sets of three and layered in fresh bacon, whole cheese and chili, all nestled between fluffy buns, which is baked fresh every morning. According to Owner Diana Diamico, “It was my dream and vision to recreate the hamburger that I fondly remember from my childhood…on the boardwalk in Venice Beach.” Adding to that innocent nostalgia, Tyler’s showcases accenting hints of yesteryear with vintage photos displayed throughout the indoor dining area. The restaurant also keeps the tables stocked with the classic red and yellow condiment squeeze bottles.
Native Knowledge: The restaurant’s small frame is attributed to its origins, as the building formerly functioned as Palm Spring’s first bus depot in 1936.
149 S Indian Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
4 | I’m Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: 187 Burger
Notoriously noted on their menu for being the “hottest burger in the desert,” this Coachella Valley burger joint is home to the scorching 187 Burger. With never-frozen, 100 percent Angus Beef, Smokin’ Burgers & Lounge’s 187 comes brilliantly amassed with all the fiery trappings that make this hamburger one of the hottest things under the desert sun. The sandwich comes stacked with jalapeño pepper jack cheese, grilled habanero, jalapeño peppers, onions, crispy onion straws, bacon, ancho chili spread and their house ghost pepper sauce. Think you can you handle the heat?
Smokin’ Burgers & Lounge
1775 E Palm Canyon Dr, Ste 220
Palm Springs, CA 92264
5 | Come for the Hamburgers, Stay for the Harmonies Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: Slider Sampler
Featuring a variety of live musical entertainment ranging from R&B to jazz, Woody’s Palm House is the premier destination for a great time and greater food. With so many delicious burger options, it’s difficult to choose just one. Lifehack: don’t. Instead, opt for the Slider Sampler, as Woody’s offers all of their 100 percent Angus Beef burgers in miniature proportions. The sampler comes with any three hamburgers of your liking. Popular favorites include the classic Cheeseburger, Mushroom Burger and Western Burger. Woody’s also offers vegan options in their veggie and portobello burgers, both containing the homemade house sauces of Thousand Island and mushroom aioli.
Native Knowledge: “Woody’s After Dark” features world-class live entertainment every Friday through Monday, starting at 6:30 p.m. for the month of July (times and days subject to change), with acts posted on the site calendar.
Woody’s Palm House
450 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
6 | Monkeying Around Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: Buddha Burger
With over 30 one-of-a-kind patties and fun entrée titles like Chili Chili Bang Bang, Muther Clucker and Guac-A-Doodle-Doo, Grill A Burger is the perfect dine-in destination for signature tastes, all prepared with fresh ingredients. This burger haven is home to the exclusive Buddha Burger. According to Co-Owner Salima Nurani, she drew inspiration for this unique take on the traditional hamburger, which includes a hint of curry “from our Mediterranean and Indian background.” The Buddha is comprised of a turkey and curry patty, stacked with green onions, cilantro, soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, cumin and spread with sweet chili mayo, shredded napa cabbage, bean sprouts and topped with a slice of red pepper and tomato. Wow, that’s a mouthful. With the intent to escape the dry texture that is typically experienced with many turkey burgers, Nurani explains, “We wanted to play with the flavor and try different combinations to avoid that dryness, and adding the curry accomplished that.”
Native Knowledge: Grill A Burger was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri, who personally hand-selected to try the Buddha Burger.
Grill A Burger
Plaza de Monterey
73091 Country Club Dr
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Must-Order: Bone Marrow Burger
Despite the exclamation in its title, this desert dream is pretty laid back and filled with chill vibes, reassuring that you’re in good hands. With its comfortable low-lighting, airy open patio layout and exceptional service, Eureka! is committed to creating “enduring memories one burger at a time.” The restaurant takes pride in their handmade dishes, with a taste that can be attributed to localizing their menu. Eureka!, who has partnered with regional purveyors, prepares their burgers from local scratch ingredients. With a number of options to choose from, we’re singling out the Bone Marrow Burger. With limited availability (because it tends to sell out), this must-try burger is more than a meal but an experience, featuring a thick juicy patty, shiitake bone marrow butter, charbroiled onion, mustard aioli and roasted Roma tomatoes.
74985 Hwy 111
Indian Wells, CA 92210
Must-Order: State Fare Prime Burger
Inside this lavished Rancho Mirage Ritz Carlton is a hidden gem, State Fare Bar + Kitchen. Whether overlooking the gorgeous desert valley that lies ahead of the tall Palm Springs mountainsides on the terrace or sitting inside the private dining room, draped off with sheer scarlet curtains, guests can enjoy various dining experiences at this Ritz restaurant. Headlined as the State Fare Prime Burger, this impressive hamburger is a “prime” example of a meal done right. Made with a hefty patty, complemented with hopscotch cheddar, a layer of chopped onion-bacon, jam aioli and sandwiched between arugula pretzel buns, this burger is so beefy, it can satisfyingly feed two.
State Fare Bar + Kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
68900 Frank Sinatra Dr
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Must-Order: Twin Palms Burger
Running alongside Camino Real Street, which literally translates to “Royal Road,” King’s Highway provides Instagrammable moments, thirst-quenching cocktails and, of course, appetizing dishes. With a retro aesthetic of the classic American diner remixed with a bit of contemporary chicness, King’s vintage vibes are apparent in the décor and weekly events. Every Monday evening, the restaurant hosts Bingo and Trivia night where guests are welcome to enjoy themselves with dinner and a good time. On the menu, you’ll find the delectable Twin Palms Burger. Made with two Wagyu Beef patties, the hamburger is topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, diced onion and Thousand Island spread on a sesame roll. According to Chef Josh Han, “The Twin Palms is inspired by classic Southern California fast food burgers, and we wanted to elevate that standard.” Opposed to incorporating other meats into the signature sandwich, Chef Han explains that the Wagyu Beef is a perfect fit because it’s “high quality, full of flavor and stand[s] out on their own, which are all important when you add in all of the other ingredients of the burger.”
Native Knowledge: Once upon a time, the King’s Highway building used to be home to another popular diner: Denny’s.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Palm Springs Best Burgers
10 | All Aboard! Palm Springs Best Burgers
Must-Order: Chicken Burger
Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, this historic 1930s building underwent a major renovation after being abandoned for 12 years. With the new design plan in place, it was important that the integrity of the historic building be maintained in look and feel. Grand Central’s train station theme was born from the concept that train stations through the years were where people gathered to be rejoined with loved ones and company. It only seemed fitting to repurpose this building into a restaurant where that same idea could be carried on. At Grand Central, you can unwind with great company and delicious food. We recommend the Chicken Burger, which is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet, as this burger is stacked with 14 spice ground chicken, sliced apples, arugula and pepper jack remoulade, on a brioche bun, exploding with flavor.
Grand Central Palm Springs
160 La Plaza
Palm Springs, CA 92262