Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, filling or light, you’ll find a chefcrafted menu that suits your palate (and the whole family’s) here on El Paseo.
For a taste of desert comfort food, head to JC’S CAFÉ. Family owned since 1987, this laid-back restaurant is tucked inside a quaint corridor near Sage Street. The kitchen serves breakfast all day, with local favorites like the steak-and-egg burrito or homemade pork tamale with eggs.
Speaking of scratch-made, the cheeky treats at WILMA & FRIEDA are what Sunday brunch dreams were made of. Benedict lovers will appreciate the variety of poached egg and English muffin pairings — think short ribs, tomato and avocado, and Duroc pork. But they’re also known for confections. If you go, order Wilma & Frieda’s version of Pop-Tarts to share with the whole table.
THE FIX began as a bakery in the mid- 80s. They still excel in baked goods but now complement that with a full bar and restaurant. Everything is made in house, from the fruit compote and compound butter to the croissants, granola, and corned beef hash. A walk-up counter makes it easy to place a to-go order, but you’ll want to dine in to enjoy the airy bistro atmosphere.
Don’t let the buzzy evening scene at KITCHEN 86 RESTAURANT + BAR fool you. This hot spot, opened in 2019, is also in the business of curing hangovers. For something healthy-delicious, try the salmon frittata with spinach, roasted peppers, and brie. For something a bit richer, treat yourself to housemade biscuits and country gravy.
Whatever you fancy for a first meal of the day, these eateries — and others on El Paseo — are sure to satisfy and leave you impressed.
Photo by Getty Images.
Rise and Grind
Put a little pep in your step.
1 DOUBLE ESPRESSO: Sip your French roast the Parisian way on the expansive patio at Café des Beaux-Arts. Hungry? Pair it with sugar-dusted crêpes or a ham-and-eggstuffed croissant.
2 ICED CAPPUCCINO: Order your iced coffee drink “for here” at Il Sogno, and they’ll serve it in a wine glass. Don’t overlook the pastry cabinet — it’s filled with pictureperfect homemade treats.
3 FRENCH PRESS: Located in the Hotel Paseo lobby, Café Paseo is a counterservice joint touting seasonal bites and H.C. Valentine small-batch artisan coffee. Get the French press to prep your own.
4 GREEN TEA LATTE: For a non-java kick, head to The Fix for this pretty concoction, which goes well with the avocado toast and poached eggs.
5 BLOODY MARY: Bloodys may not have caffeine, but with toppings like blackened shrimp and grilled jalapeños, the loaded options at Daily Grill will absolutely spice up your morning.
MEET A LOCAL
Owner Wilma & Frieda
Kelly McFall fulfilled a decadelong dream in 2013 when she founded her own restaurant, Wilma & Frieda. The brunch spot’s artful take on comfort dishes combines the culinary sensibilities of McFall’s grandmothers: Wilma, a homey Southern cook, and Frieda, a consummate entertainer.
To develop menu items like the griddled meatloaf, this former coffee-franchise director asked her friends’ mothers for their tried-and-true recipes. She learned what to avoid (Cheez Whiz) and what elevates the classic to a new level (Ritz crackers). Just as other women shared their formulas with her, McFall is happy to reveal her honed techniques with guests. If you love the loaf, your waiter will gladly bring you a recipe card.
“I’ve had people from all over the country write me, ‘I made your meatloaf this weekend,'” McFall shares. She credits Wilma & Frieda’s broad reach to its location in Palm Desert. “The same people that travel to Aspen, to Napa, to New York City, they also come here. It’s so vibrant.”