Every Foodie Should Attend These 8 Food and Drink Festivals in Greater Palm Springs—#7 is the World’s Largest Tamale Festival

These 8 Greater Palm Springs Food and Drink Festivals Will Keep You Coming to the Desert Year-Round

Written By: Crystal Harrell
Photos Provided By: Greater Palm Springs CVB Food Festivals Palm Springs

Greater Palm Springs is known for its festivals, from Coachella to the Palm Springs International Film Festival, but this desert paradise has even more food festivals to offer that will make your stomach growl and your mouth water. These delectable events offer one-of-a-kind cuisine and beverages to attendees every year—some of which are so famous, they have earned national recognition. From authentic Mexican dishes to exquisite craft beer, Greater Palm Springs provides a flavorful getaway with yearly food festivals that are guaranteed to make you want to grab a plate and come back for a second helping.

Food Festivals Palm Springs

1 | Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week Food Festivals Palm Springs

Restaurant Week 2019: May – June

Taking place May 31 through June 9, Restaurant Week returns in a 10-day dining extravaganza at various restaurants in the Coachella Valley. Over 100 eating establishments are participating in this year’s Restaurant Week with special menus and deals at set prices for lunch and dinner. No passes are required for this event, but it is encouraged that guests make reservations in advance, as the restaurants can get crowded. Restaurants that have participated in Restaurant Week in the past include Lavender Bistro in La Quinta, The Nest in Indian Wells, Jackalope Ranch in Indio and Acqua California Bistro in Rancho Mirage.

Restaurant Week 2019
Various restaurants throughout Greater Palm Springs


2 | Save Wildlife One Beer at a Time Food Festivals Palm Springs

Brew at the Zoo: February

Taking place among the breathtaking desert plants and wildlife at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, over 30 vendors are represented at the Brew at the Zoo event. Many of the region’s finest specialty breweries, wineries, liquor and even some non-alcoholic beverages will be represented on the grounds. Tethered balloon rides are also a new feature of Brew at the Zoo, where you can see the luscious zoo grounds from up above for an additional price. Even though The Living Desert is considered to be family friendly, this event is 21+ only and all visitors must present a valid photo I.D. for admittance. The general admission ticket price covers includes unlimited beer and food samples, entertainment and animal encounters. Non-members of the Living Desert pay $65 dollars, members pay $60 and designated drivers pay only $20.

Brew at the Zoo
47900 Portola Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Food Festivals Palm Springs

3 | Cheers to That!

Dining Out For Life: April

Dining Out For Life, presented by the Desert AIDS Project, is a food festival that also aims to give back to an important cause. On April 25, over 80 participating restaurants across GPS will donate 33 percent or more of every food and beverage tab at their location that day to support the Desert AIDS Project. At last year’s Dining Out For Life, 75 local restaurants and bars participated, raising a total of $280,000 for client services at the Desert AIDS Project. Some restaurants that will be taking part in this year’s Dining Out For Life include LULU California Bistro, Kaiser Grille, Toucan’s Tiki Lounge and Wilma & Frieda’s Palm Springs. Enjoy trademark dishes from your favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all while making a difference for the Desert AIDS Project.

Dining Out For Life
Various restaurants throughout Greater Palm Springs

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4 | It’s Always Wine O’ Clock! Food Festivals Palm Springs

Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival: March

Enjoy the finer things in life at the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival. This three-day event, held at The Gardens on El Paseo, showcases some of the nation’s best chefs, vintners and brewmasters as they educate the public on fine dining. Set against the fashion capital of the desert, the festival also features over 60 different premium wines and food from local restaurant favorites to taste. Even if wine is not your drink of choice, there are other beverage options to cleanse your palate. Beer lovers are not forgotten with unique craft brews, IPAs and draught ciders. Special ticket packages and prices are offered to guests, including a 12-month subscription to Palm Springs Life magazine, entry discounts to Fashion Week El Paseo and even hotel deals.

Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival
73545 El Paseo (West Side Upper Level Parking Deck)
Palm Desert, CA 92260

5 | Say, “Howdy!”

The Stagecoach Country Music Festival: April

The Stagecoach Country Music Festival will grace the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio on April 26-28, and while the main attractions are always the twangy tunes, the food is also a major draw. There will be several food stands stationed throughout the festival grounds, ensuring that your whistle will always be wet and your belly full while you listen to country music’s best acts. Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse will serve up barbecue dishes with a wide array of sauces special to each state. Recharge your batteries at the Power Crunch Retreat with protein snacks and the chance to win prizes in one of the many giveaways held throughout the festival. An assortment of alcoholic beverages and spirits will also be available at Bai Lounge, Barefoot Treehouse, Budweiser Country Club and Malibu Rum Beach House.

The Stagecoach Country Music Festival
81800 Avenue 5
Indio, CA 92201

6 | It’s Not Too Good to Be True!

Taste of Summer Rancho Mirage: July – August

The third annual Taste of Summer Rancho Mirage will return this year with new restaurant deals that are almost as hot as the desert weather. From July 19 to Aug. 19, eateries around Rancho Mirage will offer special summer deals for their dishes in an event created by the Rancho Mirage Restaurant Association and the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce. Attendees are able to purchase a wristband to enjoy an unlimited offering of deals on appetizers, desserts and drinks. Although participating restaurants for this year’s event have yet to be announced, last year’s establishments included Brandini Toffee, The Old Spaghetti Factory and Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. What better way to experience all the wonderful flavors that Rancho Mirage has to offer?

Taste of Summer Rancho Mirage
Various restaurants throughout Rancho Mirage


7 | Masa Matter?

Indio International Tamale Festival: December

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The world’s largest tamale festival will return this year on Dec. 7-8 in Downtown Indio. Over 100 vendors and booths will be set up for attendees to purchase a wide assortment of tamales, from the traditional chicken and beef to more outlandish flavors like chocolate and pineapple. Entry into the festival is free, and there are folkloric dance performances and traditional mariachi music played on multiple stages throughout the day. The Indio International Tamale Festival has garnered widespread acclaim, being ranked in the Food Network’s top 10 “All-American Food Festivals.” It has even set the world record for being the world’s largest tamale festival, with 120,000 people in attendance in 2000.

Native Knowledge: Tamales are priced around $2.50 each, but vendors usually sell them in dozens for discounted prices.

Indio International Tamale Festival
Downtown Indio

8 | Prop & Hop to It

Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival: November

Being the only craft beer festival with flying, vintage aircraft in Southern California, the 2019 Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival will take place on Nov. 23 at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Enjoy the sights and sips of over 25 new and returning quality brews made in California. An In ’n Out Burger food truck is a popular mainstay on the premises, and other food options have included Tost Pizza, The Cone Zone and Tacos A La Mexicana in past years. Festival favorite brews known to make an appearance are Coachella Valley Brewing, Coachella Valley Homebrewer’s Club, Drake’s, Fig Mountain, Firestone Walker, Hangar 24 and King Harbor.

Native Knowledge: There are a limited amount of tickets that will be sold to prevent overcrowding, so be sure to get your tickets in advance!

Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival
745 N Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, Crystal Harrell is a Communication-Media Studies graduate from California State University, San Bernardino. She has contributed to various publications within Greater Palm Springs, such as The Desert Sun newspaper, Coachella Magazine, CV Weekly, Desert Health, and After School Magazine, as well as creating content for the Los Angeles Times' High School Insider website. When she's not writing, Crystal enjoys traveling, photography, fashion, and all things film.


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