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With so Many Options, There Is Something for Everyone!

Written By: Stephanie Teasley Best Italian Palm Springs

It’s easy to forget the choices we have in restaurants, especially coming out of the summer months when many people tend to stay inside their air-conditioned homes. Now that fall is here (along with significantly cooler temperatures), step outside and treat yourself to authentic Italian cuisine. From Palm Springs to Palm Desert, these are the best nine Italian restaurants in the Coachella Valley. There is breakfast, lunch, dinner, menus with vegan, vegetarian and meat-lover options for the early birds and night owls. Check out the best of the best today!

 

1 | Don’t Throw This Mamma From the Train! Best Italian Palm Springs

Ristorante Mamma Gina

Must Try: With a ton of choices for happy hour, it’s hard to decide—but try the Gamberi “Spiedino!”

Mamma Gina sticks with what works. The doors first opened back in 1986 with Piero Pierattoni and Chef Tony Gonzalez creating the Palm Desert menu featuring many recipes from the original Mamma Gina in Florence Italy – and he is still there today with the same incredible dishes. The restaurant and lounge is divided, so guests can have a quiet, intimate dinner or get happy with their all-day happy hour! 

Ristorante Mamma Gina
73705 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260
760.568.9898

 

2 | Wine About Il Corso! Best Italian Palm Springs

Il Corso Palm Desert

Must Try: The grilled calamari served on a bed of arugula and tomatoes! Pair that with the II Corso Lemondrop that tastes more like a decadent Creamsicle than a cocktail. 

II Corso means “the path” in Italian, keeping in tradition with being located on El Paseo. II Corso is a beautifully designed restaurant with modern decor, peppered with pictures of Executive Chef and part owner Mario Marfia’s family in Sicily. Chef Marfia creates nightly specials that pair well with II Corso’s extensive wine list. 

Il Corso Palm Desert
73520 El Paseo, Ste B
Palm Desert, CA 92260
760.341.6700

3 | Late Night Just Right Best Italian Palm Springs

Birba

Must Try: Stop in for lunch (on weekends only) and try the Tricolore salad with endive, arugula, radicchio and aged parmesan. For dinner, we recommend the orecchiette with broccolini, zucchini and oregano pesto. Wash it down with the Accidental Gardener which is made with snap pea-infused vodka.

Birba in Palm Springs is the place to go for great late-night Italian cuisine. Open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m., Birba has become a staple in the nightlife of Palm Springs. 

Birba
622 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760.327.5678

 

4 | Bistro, Bar and Bocce! 

Enzo’s Bistro and Bar

Must Try: Pesce Spade Pizzaiola is a perfectly grilled swordfish topped with capers, black olives and tomato sauce, served on ricotta and vegetables. Follow that with Enzo’s Cafe Misto, a dessert that has 11 ingredients, including Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Belgium chocolate and Frangeilco. 

Enzo’s Bistro and Bar has everything! Indoor and outdoor seating, and there’s even an outdoor area to play bocce ball. Work up an appetite outside and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine inside where everything is made in-house! 

Enzo’s Bistro and Bar
78121 Avenida La Fonda
La Quinta, CA 92253
760.564.7333

 

5 | Johnny Is Worth the Costa Coming

Johnny Costa’s

Must Try: The Steak Sintra, of course! It’s a pan-seared New York strip steak that’s sautéed with garlic and mushrooms in a red sauce. 

Italian-born Johnny Costa had such a great talent and palette for cooking that he became the personal chef for Frank Sintra. Unfortunately, Costa passed away in September after 40 years of owning and running his restaurant. His name, legacy and business still lives on through his children and their families. 

Johnny Costa’s
440 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760.325.4556

 

6 | Plan a Staycation With Pinzimini! Best Italian Palm Springs

Pinzimini

Must Try: Pork shoulder with chestnut mash, braised radicchio and escarole; pair it with the Lavender Buck cocktail which has Hendricks gin, lemon juice, ginger beer, monin lavender syrup and rosemary.

Located at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, Pinzimini is an Italian restaurant that also has a breakfast menu created by its James Beard Honored Executive Chef, Joel Delmond. Chef Delmond and his culinary talents have tantalized taste buds worldwide, and he has worked with Westin Hotels and Resorts all over the country for the last 26 years. 

Pinzimini
71333 Dinah Shore Dr
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
760.770.2150

 

7 | Mario’s: Not the Plumber, but Plum Good! Best Italian Palm Springs

Mario’s Italian Cafe

Must Try: Build your own pasta dish with 17 different options of pasta and sauces. Another treat is the Lobster and Crab Cannelloni—pasta stuffed with lobster and crab, topped with a white sherry shrimp sauce over linguini.

Founder Mario Del Guidice moved his family to Palm Springs in 1972. Since then, he has opened multiple Mario’s Italian Cafe restaurants across the Valley. A truly generational family business, Mario’s Italian Cafe is well-known in Coachella Valley for its fresh and authentic Italian cuisine.

Mario’s Italian Cafe
78152 Varner Rd
Palm Desert, CA 92211
760.345.8900

 

8 | Trot down to Trattoria Best Italian Palm Springs

Kalura Trattoria Italiana

Must Try: The Insalata Maria Elena is thinly sliced pears, mixed baby greens, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Kalura Trattoria Italiana’s three owners (Ignazio Battaglia, along with Vincenzo and Pino Amodeo) are all chefs who attended culinary schools in Italy. Their goal was to bring quality Italian food at affordable prices to the desert, and they have succeeded! Open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Kalura has many vegetarian-friendly and vegan options as well.

Kalura Trattoria Italiana
124 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760.323.4748

9 | Under the Tuscan Grill

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill

Must Try: The seafood risotto with tiger prawns, clams, mussels and calamari in a zesty tomato sauce!

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill knows how faminished traveling and shopping can make you, so that’s why they are conveniently located in the center of downtown Palm Springs. From live music and catering to private events and weekend brunch, Sammy G’s welcomes all dining needs.

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill
265 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262 
760.320.8041

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