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A purple-lit bar that looks like an aircraft.
PS Air is an aviation-themed bar opened by two former flight attendants.
[Official Photo]

13 Essential Palm Springs Cocktail Bars

Where to drink well in the desert on your next Palm Springs getaway

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PS Air is an aviation-themed bar opened by two former flight attendants.
| [Official Photo]

Is there another city in the state of California (or dare we say, the country) that’s more synonymous with cocktail culture than the dynamic desert playground of Palm Springs? Whether you want to hit a hotel bar, a hidden drinking den, or a hot new hangout, here are 13 fine spots to imbibe during your next getaway. And for recommendations on where to eat, check out these 20 Essential Palm Springs Restaurants.

Removed: Toucans Tiki Lounge, Melvyn’s, Draughtsman, Purple Room

Added: Paul Bar, Tailor Shop, High Bar, PS Air, Chill Bar

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours is required when entering an indoor bar or restaurant in the city of Palm Springs.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Paul Bar/Food

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3700 E Vista Chino
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 656-4082
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Step inside this locals’ favorite within a strip mall on the north end and you’ll feel like you’re inside an intimate East Coast-style watering hole anchored by a hand-carved wood bar with bowtie-wearing barkeeps behind it. Owner Paul O’Halloran – a New York transplant who spent decades tending bars around Manhattan — puts his spin on traditional cocktails, including his signature black Manhattan, frozen sidecar, and a Cosmo that’s actually good. The food menu includes a burger, steak frites, salmon, and nightly specials.   

2. Tailor Shop

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140 W Vía Lola Unit A
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 537-7227
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Chef Engin Onural of nearby Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey is behind this stunning new cocktail den named for its focus on tailoring classic cocktails to modern times, as well as custom-making creations based on customers’ tastes. You’ll find an Old Fashioned cart for tableside tailoring, a Manhattan done with single-barrel bourbon and amaro, and originals like the Hinky Silhouette with whisky, lemon juice, and local dates. Nearly all the interior features were custom built including the black wood bar, concrete cocktail tables, powder-blue velvet banquettes, and massive glass pocket doors that open to a front patio. The small bites menu features fromage-and-prickly pear dip and snow crab deviled eggs. Reservations recommended. Currently open Thursday through Saturday.

3. Bootlegger Tiki

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140 W Via Lola
Palm Springs, CA
(760) 318-4154
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This pretty little tiki bar located in the same space that once housed the legendary 1950s hot spot Don the Beachomber is decked out with blowfish light fixtures and velvet paintings of topless gals from yesteryear, but don’t let those distract from the drinking part. Bartenders use fresh-squeezed juices, house-made bitters, and high-end liquors to create standout cocktails served up in super fun glassware. Happy hour (which discounts beers to $3 and select cocktails to $5) runs from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 

4. Truss & Twine

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800 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262

At the chic cocktail lounge opened by the folks behind adjacent restaurant Workshop Kitchen + Bar, drinks are categorized by time period (including gimlets from the Golden Age and a Surfer on Acid from the “Dark Ages,” otherwise known as the end of the 20th century) along with some interesting originals. Also check out the selection of small plates like Szechuan wings and a cheese and charcuterie plate. 

5. Tonga Hut

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254 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA
(760) 322-4449
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This outpost of the North Hollywood original touts real-deal Polynesian art and wood carvings, a kitschy faux fireplace, framed menus from long-gone tiki bars, and plenty of other island-y eye candy that’ll make you want to stroll the space. Order up a one of its three specialty daiquiris, a classic dark and stormy or one of Tonga Hut’s multi-straw “bowl” drinks that can serve up to four at once.

6. High Bar

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100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 904-5015
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City and mountain views abound at the Coachella Valley’s only rooftop pool bar, which sits seven stories up, at the top of downtown’s the Rowan hotel. It’s open to the public daily until 8 p.m. with bar, table, and comfy couch seating, plus lots of refreshers utilizing fresh juices and house-made syrups for poolside sipping. Try the Veveno, a tequila-mezcal-and-guava-syrup concoction. There’s also a lunch menu heavy on dips, salads, and wraps.

7. Chill Bar Palm Springs

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217 E Arenas Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 696-9493
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This massive bar and club is a staple on the LGBTQ+ scene with its disco nights, daily specials, day parties, DJs, live acts, weekend afternoon drag bingo, and newly created parking lot patio — its permanent patio faces bustling Arenas Road. You’ll usually find a crowd any time of day, all here for a good time, plus a robust drink menu and food offerings that include pizza, burgers, and salads. 

8. Blackbook

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315 E Arenas Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 832 8497
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A solid spot for a drink and a bite, this Arenas Road go-to with its subway tile-covered bar and concrete floors serves fun cocktails, killer comfort food, and has a whiskey selection that’s several hundred strong. At any given moment, multiple members of the lively crowd are taking down the venue’s signature slaw-layered Nashville hot chicken sandwich on a buttery bun that you can pair with hand-cut fries. Also try the half sheet of loaded nachos and wash ‘em down with Blackbook’s amaro-spiked specialty marg. 

9. PS Air Bar

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611 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 327-7701
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Actual flying sucks right now, so you’re better off staying grounded and hitting up this aviation-themed bar opened by two former flight attendants hidden in the back of a wine shop where you’ll get a taste of what flying was like back in the heyday, complete with good cocktails and real food. The crew procured real plane seats, wall panels, and windows from an airplane boneyard and decorated the space with retro airline ads and other memorabilia. You’ll find live music on Monday and Friday nights, and — for a sky-high dose of kitsch — there’s a Saturday night dinner show with entertainment, bubbly, and a meal served on an airline tray.

A purple-lit bar that looks like an aircraft.
PS Air Bar
[Official Photo]

10. Dead or Alive

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150 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 864-7193

Palm Springs’s go-to wine gal Christine Soto pivoted from wine bar to bottle shop during the pandemic and has now merged both concepts together to offer on-site sipping at the bar or a table on the expanded front patio, plus shelves and a fridge stocked with bottles to-go. Dead or Alive is still focused on smaller production, natural, and biodynamic wines along with interesting craft beers, all of which you can pair with food from Gabino’s Creperie or Mexican eatery El Mirasol next door.

11. Seymour’s

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233 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264

Just a velvet curtain separates swanky steakhouse Mr. Lyons from this small and stylish backroom bar dotted with vintage pieces, clubby seating, and a gorgeous tile-covered bar. Super knowledgeable bartenders mix nuanced drinks including classics like a terrific Old Fashioned and proper daiquiri, plus a menu of originals such as the signature Little Owl made with rye, walnut liqueur, and IPA syrup.

12. The Amigo Room

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701 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA
(760) 325-9900
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The Regal Beagle-esque brick-walled bar isn’t currently offering any of its once-robust lineup of entertainment ( soon, we hope!), but it’s still a groovy spot for a drink inside the Ace Hotel, which, 13 years on, can still bring in the cool kids. The place has a nice offering of craft beers and the cocktail menu is full of plays on classics, as well as one-of-a-kind drinks, like the tequila-mezcal-and-prickly pear Picante Amante garnished with avocado leaf salt.

13. The Reef

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411 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA

Expect kitschy island decor, an expansive tropical cocktail menu, a super delish classic mai tai, and a few flaming drinks at this always-festive indoor-outdoor bar within the equally retro-Polynesian Caliente Tropics Resort. Every detail here — from the furniture to the art and the required no-smoking signs — are curated pieces of tiki decor. Bartenders and servers don aloha shirts and the music will make you feel like you’ve hopped a plane to Honolulu.  

1. Paul Bar/Food

3700 E Vista Chino, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Step inside this locals’ favorite within a strip mall on the north end and you’ll feel like you’re inside an intimate East Coast-style watering hole anchored by a hand-carved wood bar with bowtie-wearing barkeeps behind it. Owner Paul O’Halloran – a New York transplant who spent decades tending bars around Manhattan — puts his spin on traditional cocktails, including his signature black Manhattan, frozen sidecar, and a Cosmo that’s actually good. The food menu includes a burger, steak frites, salmon, and nightly specials.   

3700 E Vista Chino
Palm Springs, CA 92262

2. Tailor Shop

140 W Vía Lola Unit A, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Chef Engin Onural of nearby Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey is behind this stunning new cocktail den named for its focus on tailoring classic cocktails to modern times, as well as custom-making creations based on customers’ tastes. You’ll find an Old Fashioned cart for tableside tailoring, a Manhattan done with single-barrel bourbon and amaro, and originals like the Hinky Silhouette with whisky, lemon juice, and local dates. Nearly all the interior features were custom built including the black wood bar, concrete cocktail tables, powder-blue velvet banquettes, and massive glass pocket doors that open to a front patio. The small bites menu features fromage-and-prickly pear dip and snow crab deviled eggs. Reservations recommended. Currently open Thursday through Saturday.

140 W Vía Lola Unit A
Palm Springs, CA 92262

3. Bootlegger Tiki

140 W Via Lola, Palm Springs, CA

This pretty little tiki bar located in the same space that once housed the legendary 1950s hot spot Don the Beachomber is decked out with blowfish light fixtures and velvet paintings of topless gals from yesteryear, but don’t let those distract from the drinking part. Bartenders use fresh-squeezed juices, house-made bitters, and high-end liquors to create standout cocktails served up in super fun glassware. Happy hour (which discounts beers to $3 and select cocktails to $5) runs from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 

140 W Via Lola
Palm Springs, CA

4. Truss & Twine

800 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

At the chic cocktail lounge opened by the folks behind adjacent restaurant Workshop Kitchen + Bar, drinks are categorized by time period (including gimlets from the Golden Age and a Surfer on Acid from the “Dark Ages,” otherwise known as the end of the 20th century) along with some interesting originals. Also check out the selection of small plates like Szechuan wings and a cheese and charcuterie plate. 

800 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262

5. Tonga Hut

254 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA

This outpost of the North Hollywood original touts real-deal Polynesian art and wood carvings, a kitschy faux fireplace, framed menus from long-gone tiki bars, and plenty of other island-y eye candy that’ll make you want to stroll the space. Order up a one of its three specialty daiquiris, a classic dark and stormy or one of Tonga Hut’s multi-straw “bowl” drinks that can serve up to four at once.

254 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA

6. High Bar

100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

City and mountain views abound at the Coachella Valley’s only rooftop pool bar, which sits seven stories up, at the top of downtown’s the Rowan hotel. It’s open to the public daily until 8 p.m. with bar, table, and comfy couch seating, plus lots of refreshers utilizing fresh juices and house-made syrups for poolside sipping. Try the Veveno, a tequila-mezcal-and-guava-syrup concoction. There’s also a lunch menu heavy on dips, salads, and wraps.

100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262

7. Chill Bar Palm Springs

217 E Arenas Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262

This massive bar and club is a staple on the LGBTQ+ scene with its disco nights, daily specials, day parties, DJs, live acts, weekend afternoon drag bingo, and newly created parking lot patio — its permanent patio faces bustling Arenas Road. You’ll usually find a crowd any time of day, all here for a good time, plus a robust drink menu and food offerings that include pizza, burgers, and salads. 

217 E Arenas Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262

8. Blackbook

315 E Arenas Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262

A solid spot for a drink and a bite, this Arenas Road go-to with its subway tile-covered bar and concrete floors serves fun cocktails, killer comfort food, and has a whiskey selection that’s several hundred strong. At any given moment, multiple members of the lively crowd are taking down the venue’s signature slaw-layered Nashville hot chicken sandwich on a buttery bun that you can pair with hand-cut fries. Also try the half sheet of loaded nachos and wash ‘em down with Blackbook’s amaro-spiked specialty marg. 

315 E Arenas Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262

9. PS Air Bar

611 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
A purple-lit bar that looks like an aircraft.
PS Air Bar
[Official Photo]

Actual flying sucks right now, so you’re better off staying grounded and hitting up this aviation-themed bar opened by two former flight attendants hidden in the back of a wine shop where you’ll get a taste of what flying was like back in the heyday, complete with good cocktails and real food. The crew procured real plane seats, wall panels, and windows from an airplane boneyard and decorated the space with retro airline ads and other memorabilia. You’ll find live music on Monday and Friday nights, and — for a sky-high dose of kitsch — there’s a Saturday night dinner show with entertainment, bubbly, and a meal served on an airline tray.

611 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264

10. Dead or Alive

150 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Palm Springs’s go-to wine gal Christine Soto pivoted from wine bar to bottle shop during the pandemic and has now merged both concepts together to offer on-site sipping at the bar or a table on the expanded front patio, plus shelves and a fridge stocked with bottles to-go. Dead or Alive is still focused on smaller production, natural, and biodynamic wines along with interesting craft beers, all of which you can pair with food from Gabino’s Creperie or Mexican eatery El Mirasol next door.

150 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264

11. Seymour’s

233 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Just a velvet curtain separates swanky steakhouse Mr. Lyons from this small and stylish backroom bar dotted with vintage pieces, clubby seating, and a gorgeous tile-covered bar. Super knowledgeable bartenders mix nuanced drinks including classics like a terrific Old Fashioned and proper daiquiri, plus a menu of originals such as the signature Little Owl made with rye, walnut liqueur, and IPA syrup.

233 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264

12. The Amigo Room

701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA

The Regal Beagle-esque brick-walled bar isn’t currently offering any of its once-robust lineup of entertainment ( soon, we hope!), but it’s still a groovy spot for a drink inside the Ace Hotel, which, 13 years on, can still bring in the cool kids. The place has a nice offering of craft beers and the cocktail menu is full of plays on classics, as well as one-of-a-kind drinks, like the tequila-mezcal-and-prickly pear Picante Amante garnished with avocado leaf salt.

701 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA

13. The Reef

411 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA

Expect kitschy island decor, an expansive tropical cocktail menu, a super delish classic mai tai, and a few flaming drinks at this always-festive indoor-outdoor bar within the equally retro-Polynesian Caliente Tropics Resort. Every detail here — from the furniture to the art and the required no-smoking signs — are curated pieces of tiki decor. Bartenders and servers don aloha shirts and the music will make you feel like you’ve hopped a plane to Honolulu.  

411 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA

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