The LA TACO Guide to Eating and Drinking at Coachella and Indio


On a recent drive to Indio, I did the usual and researched recommendations for the area ahead of time. However, each article pointed me to Palm Springs, 25 minutes in the other direction on I-10. Whether it’s delicious Chinese fare, Mexican classics, or just plain delicious food, you don’t have to return to the resorts and tourist traps of Palm Springs to eat. Music festival or not, there are plenty of great spots in Indio and Coachella proper worth checking out.

TKB bakery and delicatessen

TKB, or The Kid’s Business, was born in 1991 in the home of Athena and Paul Sippel in their Rancho Mirage home. Their children, Brandon, Nathan and Melina, went door to door selling their mother’s pastries. Now older, they operate one of the most successful sandwich shops in the United States, according to Yelp. They were voted America’s Best Restaurant of 2018 on the popular user review-powered website. With offerings such as Mexican Marilyn Monroe, which features chicken salad, bacon, avocado, tomato, chipotle peppercorn sauce, everything from homemade jalapeno focaccia bread; chipotle chicken, pastrami or the Dirty Riverside – roast beef, bacon, pepper jack, avocado, on this jalapeno focaccia bread. You’ll wonder if this is one of the best sandwiches you’ve ever had. They also serve breakfast (until 11:00 a.m.) and have a bakery section and various iced coffees, so get yourself a chorizo ​​con papas burrito or their brekkie sandwich between homemade English muffins and get pies and lightning bolts for the ride home.

45334 Golf Center Parkway, Indio, 92201

Arriola’s Tortillería

Southland’s oldest tortillery doesn’t reside in East LA or the San Fernando Valley. Instead, the Coachella Valley gets to make that claim with Arriola, founded in 1927. The low-rise, unassuming building and no-frills waiting area offer fresh corn and flour tortillas a few times a week, and d other Cal-Mex classics such as chili colorado (pork stew in red salsa) and chile verde (pork stew in green salsa), breakfast burritos, chorizo ​​and egg burritos, and even menudo on Sunday for this Coachella cruda. But, their ultimate triumph is the “Tamale Boat”: beef tamales (using fresh batter), smothered in colorado chili and nacho cheese. Delicious and perfect for eating out and enjoying the desert air. Don’t forget to get some tortillas for later. For a deeper dive on Arriola, see Gustavo Arellano’s article about them from 2019 here.

82721 Wilson Ave, Indio, 92201

Right and Marrow

Dumplings and pho in the desert? Yes please. Chef Linh Young creates a variety of Asian-inspired dishes ranging from dumplings and lemongrass chicken to pho and Vietnamese dishes on special occasions. Every Thursday they are at the Indian Wells Farmers Market and are based in Indio. Online ordering is available for pickup or delivery.

Check their Instagram for menu offerings and schedule: @Straightandmarrow_street_food.

Nick’s Pizza

The mobile pizza trend is reaching the Coachella Valley with Nick’s Pizza, this time from a food truck. Offering staple pizzas such as Buffalo Chicken Pepperoni and Cali Chicken Pesto, Nick’s Pizza serves up some of the best pizza in the Coachella Valley. Check their Instagram for their schedule and menu here.

Tacos Quesabirria in El Tranvia. Photo by Sean Vukan for LA TACO.

El Tranvia

A lot of big things happened in 1969. Scooby-Doo first aired on CBS, Apollo 11 landed on the moon, John married Yoko, The Beatles had their last concert, John quit the Beatles, the Stonewall Riots ushered in the modern gay rights movement. , Woodstock and Long John Silver’s opened their first store in Kentucky. For residents of the Coachella Valley, a more immediate event occurred in 1969, as that was when El Tranvia opened its doors. Half a century later, El Tranvia remains the region’s go-to spot for delicious Mexican cuisine. Reinforcing their menu with handmade corn tortillas, they offered their birria type barbacoa before Birriamania swept the country…always a good sign that they did it and did it well for a long time. The quesabirria tacos are outstanding, and the consomé is hearty without being too oily and greasy. Other highlights include the tacos, gobernador (shrimp and cheese taco), costillas con nopales (pork ribs with cactus) and chicken mole. Wash it down with a fresh agua fresca. I prefer the agua de piña.

1221 6th Street, Coachella, 92236

Everbloom Coffee

Festival or not, any weekend is good to head to Indio to eat and drink. This brings me to Everbloom Coffee. One afternoon in town I went to Everbloom for an iced coffee. I asked the barista for a suggestion on the delicious Mexican food in town. No bullshit chain or anything like that – give me the good stuff. The suggestion? El Tranvia. Not only was it El Tranvia, but one of the guys in the back heard the question and shouted it from the kitchen, and the barista agreed. So I’m including this cafe in this guide simply because you can get delicious mochas and lattes (and delicious cold chocolate right there on that hot afternoon), but these guys know their town and know how to make a great iced mocha .

81730 CA-111, Indian, 92201

Spicy Chicken Wok from CIE Sichuan Chinese Cuisine.
Spicy Chicken Wok from CIE Sichuan Cuisine. Photo by Sean Vukan for LA TACO.

Sichuan Cuisine CIE

Abundant portions and spicy dishes are the names of the game at this spot near Old Town Indio. Popular orders are the usual Panda Express like orange chicken and kung pao chicken, but you’re here for Sichuan, so spice it up a bit. The spicy chicken wok had generous amounts of peppery chicken, jalapeños, potatoes, celery and chili peppers. Sichuan-style boiled fish, sliced ​​beef, chili sauce lung, and wonton soup are great options. Dim sum options are also available, but “due to COVID” the $8.50 lunch special advertised on the window is not.

45682 Towne Street, Indio, 92201

windmill market

It’s the “½” because it’s technically in North Palm Springs, more rural and far less glamorous than Palm Springs itself. I first came across Windmill Market on a solo trip to Joshua Tree on my way back around the 10th. I noticed they had ‘the best date shakes in town’, and I don’t didn’t want to drive to Salton Sea or Indio, so I stopped by. Made on-site with vanilla ice cream and locally grown dates, the shake offers incredible amounts of date chunks mixed into the ice cream, giving you a sweet dessert to sip on when you get home. Shields Date Garden is the more touristy choice, offering a restaurant and gift shop. However, Windmill Market is a great option if you want to try something off the radar while still getting your date fix (something unique to Coachella Valley).

17080 North Indian Canyon Drive, North Palm Springs, 92258

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