Outdoor Dining in La Quinta – our top 10 picks

By Kylee Niederhauser

Once a seasonal retreat where most restaurants would close their doors from May to October, the city of La Quinta, California, has undergone a remarkable transformation into a year-round vacation destination. With top chefs making their mark on the Coachella Valley, La Quinta has a growing selection of dining options enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

What’s more, the Valley’s mild winter temperatures provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor dining nearly all year long. Whether you’re indulging in a leisurely brunch or savoring dinner under the stars, La Quinta’s inviting climate allows for an al fresco experience throughout the seasons.

Here are a few of our go-to restaurants for outdoor dining:

Lavender Bistro

Lavender Bistro is a charming spot in La Quinta, offering an enchanting outdoor patio adorned with lush greenery and twinkling lights. The Mediterranean-inspired ambiance complements a diverse menu, and the attentive service and upscale atmosphere make it an ideal spot for special occasions. They often have live music in the evenings on weekends during the season.

Our go-to spot for: Date night, family visiting from out of town

We usually order: Bacon-wrapped Medjool Dates, Cabernet-braised Short Ribs, Honey-brined Durok Pork Chop

Notable: Half-priced bottles on wine on Tuesdays, no corkage fees on Sundays

Lavender Bistro | 78073 Calle Barcelona, La Quinta, CA 92253

La Quinta Cliff House

Nestled into a rocky cliff with a backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains, outdoor dining at La Quinta Cliff House is one of a kind. The menu blends American and Mediterranean flavors, offering an array of dishes from steaks to seafood. The upscale setting and scenic surroundings make it a destination for those seeking a memorable dining experience, but we equally enjoy the more casual bar menu on the patio.

Our go-to spot for: Special occasions, dinner and drinks with friends on the bar patio

We usually order: (on the bar patio) Poke Fire Cracker Stack, Cilantro Corn Soup, Moyo’s Fish Tacos

Notable: Daily happy hour from 3:30pm – 6:00pm in the bar

La Quinta Cliff House | 78250 CA-111, La Quinta, CA 92253

Casa Mendoza

Casa Mendoza is a vibrant spot for Mexican cuisine, and its outdoor seating area has a lively atmosphere. From tasty tacos to signature cocktails, guests can savor a fusion of flavors. If you, like us, are sometimes hesitant to take kids to a restaurant for fear of being the loudest table, then this is the spot for you.

Our go-to spot for: Dinner with kids, Margaritas with out-of-town friends

We usually order: Chile Gueritos, Carnitas, Enchiladas

Casa Mendoza | 78110 Calle Estado, La Quinta, CA 92253

Stuft Pizza

Stuft Pizza offers a laid-back outdoor patio where patrons can enjoy an extensive menu of creative pizzas, small plates, and salads. The casual atmosphere and diverse beer selection make it a perfect spot for families and friends to gather. There are also large tvs in the bar area, making it a popular place on game days.

Our go-to spot for: Casual dinner with family or friends

We usually order: Pizza, Southwest Chicken Salad, Street Tacos

Notable: Daily happy hour from 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill | 78015 Main St #100, La Quinta, CA 92253

Rd rrnr

RD RNNR (pronounced Roadrunner) stands out with its trendy setting and a spacious, 2nd floor patio. The menu showcases modern American cuisine with a focus on bold flavors and inventive combinations. The energetic vibe and craft cocktails contribute to a lively dining experience perfect for socializing.

Our go-to spot for: Casual dinner with family or friends

We usually order: House Wings, The Cheesy Date salad, RD Burger

RD RNNR | 78065 Main St Suite 200, La Quinta, CA 92253

Adobe Grill

Located on the second floor of La Quinta Resort & Club, Adobe Grill offers a large and charming outdoor setting with a Southwestern ambiance. Specializing in authentic Mexican cuisine, the restaurant’s patio provides a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy dishes like tableside guacamole and flavorful enchiladas.

Our go-to spot for: Big groups

We usually order: Guacamole y Salsa, Costillas en Adobo, Esquites

Adobe Grill | 49499 Eisenhower Dr, La Quinta, CA 92253

Arnold Palmer’s

Arnold Palmer’s restaurant combines classic American fare with an elegant outdoor setting. Walking through the restaurant, guests will see the walls adorned with the legendary golfer’s journey before heading to the large patio with soft lighting and mature palm trees.

Our go-to spot for: Big groups

We usually order: Thai Chili Calamari, Coachella Date and Bacon Skewers, Pesto Crusted Mahi Mahi

Arnold Palmer’s | 78164 52nd Ave, La Quinta, CA 92253


Melange creates a cozy atmosphere with a welcoming outdoor area. The diverse menu draws inspiration from global culinary traditions, offering a range of dishes from various cuisines. The laid-back setting overlooking Lake La Quinta makes it a great spot for a relaxed and flavorful dining experience.

Our go-to spot for: Special occasions, Date night

We usually order: Charcuterie and Cheese Board, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Picatta

Melange | 78120 Caleo Bay Drive, La Quinta, CA 92253

The Grill on Main

Situated in the heart of Old Town La Quinta, The Grill on Main features outdoor dining where patrons can soak in the vibrant atmosphere. The menu focuses on American comfort food, including steaks, burgers, and salads. It’s a casual yet enjoyable spot for a satisfying meal.

Our go-to spot for: Casual dinner with family or friends

We usually order: Cast Iron Baked Pennsylvania Brie, The Grill Burger

The Grill on Main | 78065 Main St, La Quinta, CA 92253

Fisherman’s Market

Fisherman’s Market provides a casual outdoor setting for seafood enthusiasts. The restaurant is known for its commitment to fresh, high-quality seafood dishes, ranging from fish tacos to clam chowder. The laid-back atmosphere makes it a favorite for those seeking a taste of the ocean in a relaxed setting.

Our go-to spot for: Seafood, Casual dinner

We usually order: Fish & Chips, Fish Tacos

Fisherman’s Market & Grill | 78575 CA-111 # 100, La Quinta, CA 92253

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