Colin's Palm Springs Getaway Vacation Rental Condo

We had the Best French Breakfast in Palm Springs

While visiting Palm Springs, why not take a side trip to Paris?

That’s what we did this morning as we chose to go down to the historic La Plaza center in downtown Palm Springs and visit L’Atelier Cafe. This cute and casual cafe serves up some authentic and delicious crepes, quiches, croques, and desserts. I usually get the Croque Madame since it is so tasty. But today I went off the specials menu and had the Waffle Henri, a sweet crispy waffle topped with béchamel sauce, ham, brie, and an egg. It was so delicious with all the sweet and savory flavors. Amazing!

The couple that run the place, Charlotte and Raphael, are very nice and have an obvious love for Palm Springs and for preparing simple delicious food. It’s the perfect place for a casual breakfast or lunch, or for relaxing with a cup of coffee and a pastry.

Recommendation: Try to get there a little early since by 10am there is likely to be a line.

L’Atelier Cafe • 129 La Plaza * Website

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Hiking Safely in Palm Springs During Summer

Hiking in Palm Springs

Palm Springs offers some of the most amazing hiking, and most of it is just minutes from the center of town. Whether you choose to just park roadside and take in the Lykken or Rimrock trails, or pay to visit the oases at Tahquitz Canyon or Indian Canyon, it’s important to be prepared as the temperatures get over 100 degrees. Travelers around the world love our “dry heat” but they also sometimes find themselves in trouble. Many have had to be airlifted to safety (or worse) after getting lost or running out of water. When the temperatures are over 100 degrees, consider shorter hikes and make sure to:

  • Go out early, and be aware that heat stroke and dehydration can happen even at less then 100 degrees.
  • Drink water an hour before hiking and bring lots of water with you. Take sips often and stay hydrated. Thirst is a sign of dehydration. Gatorade and other sports drinks are good as well.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes and good hiking boots or shoes. Apply sunscreen on any skin that isn’t covered. Wear a wide brimmed hat.
  • Always stay on the trail. Hikers that get into serious trouble are almost always off-trail.
  • Bring energizing snacks like trail mix or energy bars.
  • Carry a well-charged cell phone with you.
  •  Hike with a buddy, and let someone know where you will be hiking and what time you expect to return.

Finally, if you are an inexperienced hiker, or hiking with the family, the best bet is to take the Aerial Tramway up the mountain where it is much cooler at 8500 ft elevation. Safety rules apply there as well, but you are much less likely to run into trouble.

The Best Bakeries in Palm Springs

Here is a quartet of small locally owned bakeries that carry an excellent assortment of delicious baked goods, from breads and bagels, to cupcakes and fine French pastries:

Townie Bagels   650 E Sunny Dunes Road   website

Pastry Chef Andy Wysocki had a dream of turning his passion for baking into a business. He started by delivering bagels out of his home, and then at local farmers markets. In 2016, he and his partner Bill opened a store-front bakery/cafe selling bagels and other baked goods, as well as sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. It was an instant hit, and is big favorite of locals and tourists. They carry the usual assortment of bagels and cream cheese along with some surprises. If you want to try something sweet, how about a french toast bagel and maple syrup cream cheese. Or for a filling savory breakfast sandwich, try your favorite bagel with sausage, egg, and cheese. They also brew up beverages using Joshua Tree Coffee, another local favorite. If you want to take something home, try the chocolate or cinnamon babka, or choose from a number of specialty breads.

Peninsula Pastries   611 S Palm Canyon Drive (in the Sun Center)   website

The owner of Peninsula came here from France to share her amazing pastries with us. The flour she uses is also from France, which gives them that extra something. The offerings are beautiful and go quickly, so try to go in early in the day. The croissants and baguettes can’t be beat, and the assortment of desserts are fantastic. For a special treat, try the Kouign-Amann pastry, with is like a sweet sticky buttery croissant – like a French version of baklava. It’s a bit of heaven.

Carousel Bakery   440 El Cielo Road   website

This family owned bakery makes the best Tres Leches Cake! I could stop there, but the cakes and pastries are all so gorgeous and delicious. There is a case of traditional Mexican pastries, including a cream filled empanada that is fantastic. They also serve sandwiches and coffee, so it’s a great place to stop by for a bite and a sit-down, or to pick up some treats to take home. The owners are especially friendly and welcoming, so Carousel is always a happy place to stop in.

Over The Rainbow Desserts   1775 E Palm Canyon Dr #150   website

Over The Rainbow is the home base of chef Roman Blas, who made his name making cupcakes and has since become the man to go to for event cakes all kinds of treats. Roman has appeared on numerous shows on the Food Network with his creations. But back to the cupcakes. They are definitely the best in town, and you can get them in an assortment of flavors from predictable to surprising. The salted caramel peanut cupcake is my favorite, and if you are feeling adventurous there is a chocolate dipped potato chip cupcake, or a maple bacon, or green apple with brie. You will want to go back multiple times to try the different flavors.

The Best Small Coffee Houses in Palm Springs

We have a great variety of coffee houses in Palm Springs, each with its own personality. Some will want to check out the gorgeous new Starbucks Reserva downtown, but for something a little more unique, try one of these local favorites:

 

Koffi     3 locations in Palm Springs, but the best for sitting outside is Koffi North, 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive  website

Koffi has become a local hangout because of they roast their own coffee and serve a great selection of baked goods and breakfast sandwiches. The courtyard out back has plenty of relaxed seating in a garden setting with beautiful views of the mountain. The courtyard is also dog-friendly and a great place for people watching

 

Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery     278-C Palm Canyon Drive (across the street from the Hyatt – Hidden in the Henry Frank Arcade)   website

Definitely the coolest and most artistic of the local coffee houses, Gré features the usual coffee choices as well as their frozen hot chocolate, and unique breakfast options like a toast and bagels with tons of topping choices. They also have some fun choices like breakfast cereals that will take you back to Saturday mornings as a kid. In the evenings, they host open mic poetry and music, bands, and game nights. While you are there, you can check out the latest art photography while listening to music you choose from their extensive vinyl collection. 

 

Ernest Coffee    245 S Palm Canyon Drive     website

Ernest Coffee is located in the Uptown Design District in the location that was formerly Don the Beachcomber’s. Catering to a more trendy crowd, they serve Stumptown coffee and an assortment baked goods and small plates. They also have beer and wine, and if you are ready to get the party started, there is a small tiki bar tucked in the back.

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Artist David Cerny’s “Crawling Babies” are coming to downtown Palm Springs

This is sure to get people talking. Artist David Cerny’s “Crawling Babies” are coming to downtown Palm Springs for a temporary exhibit. The artist is known for controversial sculptures, and these should definitely get some attention.

The exhibit is part of the ongoing downtown renovation and drive to get more public art throughout the city.

The Crawling Babies were previously part of an installation on the Zizkov TV Tower in the Czech Republic. They were so well received there that they tried to make them a permanent installation.

What do you think?

 

(Photos courtesy of Palm Springs Public Art)