Comfort Food Palm Springs
Credit: Nathan Cox
Comfort Food Palm Springs
Credit: Nathan Cox

7 Comfort Food Restaurants in the Desert We Love—Wear Your Stretchy Pants

Enjoy Classic Comfort Food Dishes in Greater Palm Springs

When we think of the desert and the Greater Palm Springs area, our minds usually conjure up images of poolside cocktails, palm trees and bright blue skies. But during colder months, locals and visitors alike can easily cure their comfort-food cravings with the region’s broad selection of eateries, regardless of cuisine. Ready to cozy up in the desert and treat yourself to a hearty and delicious meal? Here are seven of our favorite comfort food restaurants in Greater Palm Springs.

 

Ristorante Mamma Gina

Must-Try Comfort Dish: Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Comfort Food Palm Springs - Ristorante Mamma Gina
Credit: Nathan Cox

With hot plates, gooey, stretchy cheese and perfectly cooked pasta, Italian dishes really excel at hitting the comfort food trifecta of carbs, warmth and a feel-good texture. If you’re seeking some delicious Italian food to sink your teeth into, look no further than Palm Desert’s Ristorante Mamma Gina. With its elegant ambiance, the restaurant manages to offer an intimate and comfortable dining experience—partially in thanks to scrumptious menu highlights like the nourishing minestrone alla Genovese, the creamy and indulgent spaghetti alla carbonara and the mouthwatering osso buco di vitella alla Florentine. And if it happens to feel like you’re visiting and being fed by a true Italian family, it’s because you are; Ristorante Mamma Gina has been serving traditional Tuscan recipes to loyal customers in both Florence and Palm Desert for decades!

Location: Palm Desert

 

Wilma & Frieda

Must-Try Comfort Dish: Kim’s Banana Caramel French Toast

Comfort Food Palm Springs - Wilma & Frieda
Credit: George Duchannes

With a personal mission of serving comfort food with a twist, Wilma & Frieda is a Greater Palm Springs must-visit. Named after the owners’ two grandmothers, Wilma & Frieda is set on feeding you like family with tasty comfort staples like French toast, eggs Benedict, meatloaf and one of the most delicious slices of apple pie you’ll ever taste. Ready to chow down? The Palm Desert location offers brunch from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, and the Palm Springs spot has the same brunch hours but also offers dinner from 5-9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.

Location: Palm Springs, Palm Desert

2/23

 

Elmer’s Restaurant

Must-Try Comfort Dish: Classic German Pancake

Even though Elmer’s Restaurant has nearly 30 locations throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Arizona, the restaurant has not strayed from its comfort-food roots and still manages to deliver that classic homestyle cooking it originally became known for back in the ‘60s. For a dish that combines just the right amount of comfort and novelty, we recommend the classic German pancake (aka a Dutch Baby)–a light-as-air pancake dusted with powdered sugar and served with lemon wedges and butter.

Location: Palm Springs

 

Cheeky’s

Must-Try Comfort Dish: Chilaquiles With an Egg

Photography Provided By: Greater Palm Springs CVB

Originally known for its egg dishes, Cheeky’s in Palm Springs is a quirky and reliable breakfast spot for those who want to start their days with a nutritious and anything-but-boring kind of meal. Since Cheeky’s has its own chickens and prides itself on serving only eggy perfection, we recommend ordering an egg-forward dish like huevos rancheros, chilaquiles with an egg, custard cheesy scrambled eggs or Blondie’s eggs Benedict. And don’t forget to try one of their famous cinnamon rolls! With all this sweet and savory goodness, it’s easy to see why they’ve developed a cult following.

Location: Palm Springs

 

533 Viet Fusion

Must-Try Comfort Dish: Chicken Lemongrass Meatball Pho

One of the most iconic comfort-food dishes across cuisines is a noodle soup, and 533 Viet Fusion’s pho is no exception. The restaurant offers six varieties of pho (our personal favorite is the chicken lemongrass meatball pho) and a full menu of other truly delicious Vietnamese dishes. Combine nourishing, hearty (but not heavy) food with the eatery’s open and inviting ambiance and you’re in for a satisfying and relaxing meal.

Location: Palm Springs

 

Trio Restaurant

Must-Try Comfort Dish: Mushroom Pizza

Comfort Food Palm Springs - Trio
Credit: Nathan Cox

We’ve all had those days when we wake up and immediately crave some cheesy goodness. So if you’re feening for a slice (or three) of pizza, then head over to Trio Restaurant on Palm Canyon Dr. Our go-to is the mushroom pizza, which is piled high with truffled goat cheese, roasted mushrooms, arugula and thyme, but we trust you’ll find a crust that’ll ease all of your pizza-related hankerings. Trio also offers a generous menu of American comfort faves, such as like baby back ribs, rigatoni and roasted chicken.

Location: Palm Springs

 

Smokin’ Burgers & Lounge

Must-Try Comfort Dish: The “Big Wow” One-Pound Burger

When it comes to comfort food, you can’t go wrong with a burger, and when it comes to burgers in the desert, you certainly can’t go wrong with Smokin’ Burgers and Lounge. The restaurant prides itself on flavorful, high-quality burgers and offers a variety of protein options, including turkey and chicken. Not in a burger mood? Smokin’ Burgers and Lounge has a menu full of dishes that’ll make any carnivore or pescetarian happy, including fish and chips, fish tacos, Coney Island hot dogs, patty melts and more.

Location: Palm Springs

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.

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