We’re Not Drooling, You Are
The desert is a laid-back region filled with all manner of fun things to do, beautiful sights to see and delicious food to eat. In particular, the community is home to a coterie of incredible Mexican restaurants, and that means one thing for residents and visitors alike: delicious tacos of every variety! So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best taco spots in Greater Palm Springs. These 12 establishments serve up fresh, south-of-the border cuisine that is truly somethin’ to taco ‘bout. Best Tacos Palm Springs
1 | Tu Madres Cantina & Grill Best Tacos Palm Springs
Must Order: Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos
At this popular Indio establishment, Chef and owner Andie Hubka puts a modern twist on traditional Mexican dishes, incorporating fresh seafood, organic ingredients and health-conscious vegan options. Dig into a pair of tacos with your choice of locally made corn tortillas or lettuce wraps—we love the gluten-free tequila lime shrimp tacos with bacon, chipotle lime aioli, tomato, cotija cheese and lime! When it comes to culinary innovation and eating clean, Tu Madres checks all the boxes.
2 | Adobe Grill Best Tacos Palm Springs
Must Order: Chicken Tacos
Set on the beautiful grounds of La Quinta Resort & Club, Adobe Grill plays host to a romantic spot that offers diners a traditional taste of Mexico. This eatery features an open-air patio, live mariachi music and to-die-for margaritas in an elegant, Southwestern setting. Enjoy an evening dining under the stars at The Plaza; feast on fresh starters like the ceviche de camaron or tasty chicken, steak or shrimp tacos. When it comes to upscale Mexican fare, Adobe Grill is—no doubt—a cut above.
3 | TQLAS Agave Bar & Grill Best Tacos Palm Springs
Must Order: Baja Fish Tacos
Venture into the heart of Old Town La Quinta and you’ll find a vibrant tequila bar and grill with authentic Mexican flavors and crafty Mezcal cocktails. TQLAS may be the new kid on the block, but the husband-and-wife owners, Nancy and Sebastian Prieto, sure know how to take their guests south of the border with some zest and spice. To eat? Try the baja fish tacos—beer-battered white fish, sour cream, mayonnaise, pico de gallo and cabbage on corn tortillas!
4 | Tac/Quila Best Tacos Palm Springs
Must Order: Short Rib Taco
To nobody’s surprise, Palm Springs’ Tac/Quila does two things really well: tacos and tequila! But unlike other Mexican restaurants, this eatery boasts a modern, whimsical vibe with its red banquette booths, olive green chairs and a living wall full of lush greenery and exotic flowers. The menu focuses on Jalisco-style bites and boasts an assortment of seafood-centric dishes that are sure to please any palate. Choose between the street tacos (served in a pair) or larger gourmet tacos (served individually). A few favorites include the fried calamari, seared ahi tuna, arrachera steak, avocado tempura and short rib tacos!
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5 | El Patrón
Must Order: Al Pastor Tacos
In the heart of Downtown Palm Springs lies El Patrón—a boutique, Baja-inspired eatery committed to serving fresh, local produce, wild-caught seafood and hormone-free meats. Authentic Mexican spices and seasonings shine in each dish, but the al pastor taco loaded with marinated and grilled pork, cilantro, onion, salsa roja and pineapple is the star of the show.
6 | La Noria
Must Order: Carne Asada Taco
Marked by a small, intimate dining area, this hidden gem is as authentic as it gets. With a menu written in Spanish and walls decorated with mural artwork, La Noria prides itself in homestyle cooking, which cuts straight to the point. The flautas are sure to delight, but the carne asada taco—made with black angus meat and served on handmade tortillas—reigns supreme. This mouthwatering bite comes loaded with cabbage, guacamole and pico de gallo.
Must Order: Tacos de Camarón
This bustling, family-owned spot serves up some of the best tacos this side of the border. The selection may be small, but it’s mighty! Order the tacos de camarón—sautéed shrimp with jicama coleslaw, creamy chipotle sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole and mango salsa. Grab a seat on the expansive, lively patio, and pair your tacos with an ice-cold cerveza for a buena noche.
Must Order: Grilled Lobster Tacos
Smooth tequila and authentic Mexican food is what Don Diego’s is all about. Since 1981, this hotspot has been serving up delicious south-of-the-border bites to the locals of Indian Wells and beyond. Whether it’s Friday night margs with your coworkers or an al fresco dinner with the fam, Don Diego’s is the place to be. Don’t leave without indulging in one of the grilled lobster tacos—these bad boys come loaded with all the goodies!
Don Diego’s of Indian Wells
Location: Indian Wells
Must Order: Tacos De Birria
Ensconced in a quiet portion of an unassuming strip mall, this small local staple offers a casual environment, perfect for a relaxing dinner with family and friends. Though the restaurant prepares a slew of Mexican standards, particular focus is placed on the tacos de birria, which utilizes a spicy goat-meat mixture as its filling. Often served as a stew in the Mexican state of Jalisco, birria is infused with onions and lime and marinated with adobo seasoning.
Local Insight: Try the house green salsa at your own peril, as locals know it to be bracingly hot to the tongue!
10 | Jalisco Restaurant
Must Order: Tacos de Cabeza
Though perhaps a step up in price range, this mainstay has a historical leg to stand on, as it opened its doors in 1971. And along with that long-standing reputation comes some seriously tasty dishes, including enchiladas, fajitas and crunchy tostadas. But the clear winner is the tacos de cabeza, which is made with—you guessed it—meat from the head of an animal, typically a cow. This meat can vary from parts like the cachete (cheek) and lengua (tongue), which are steamed and brined with cilantro, citrus and chiles.
11 | Casuelas Cafe
Must Order: Ground Beef Tacos
The charming patio and live music scene of this Palm Desert hotspot may be the initial draw, but one bite of the tasty beef or chicken tacos will make Casuelas your Friday night tradition. Pro tip: order a combination plate and try one of their enchiladas, tamales or taquitos!
Local Insight: The restaurant was redesigned in 2018 and now features a zocalo (public plaza) for outdoor events.
12 | La Bonita’s Best Tacos Palm Springs
Must Order: Breakfast Tacos
Family-owned and operated, La Bonita’s prides itself in using the freshest ingredients and making everything in-house and from scratch. Grab a seat on their quaint sidewalk patio for breakfast, lunch or dinner and feast on homestyle Mexican favorites. For breakfast, we love the breakfast tacos, but for lunch or dinner, opt for the Bonita Tacos—three queso tacos with melted cheese, salsa, onion and cilantro.