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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 5 times today

Backstreet Bistro

4.0
587 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
"Where Friends Meet Friends" is what the locals say about Backstreet Bistro…and that is exactly what you"ll find at this Tuscan inspired hidden gem just blocks from the busy El Paseo scene. Dishes are a blend of rustic Italian cuisine and family recipes that feature a wide array of fresh fish, pastas, soups and salads. Lunch and Dinner specials are available daily, along with a full bar and specialty cocktail menu. Enjoy dining in the relaxing ambiance indoors or on the pet-friendly outdoor patio as you gaze upon the beautiful views of the San Jacinto Mountains. This local favorite is also one of the area's best live jazz venues with popular valley musicians performing every Tuesday from 7pm to 10pm and Saturdays from 12:30pm to 3pm. Prices are under $30 at $12-$15 per person.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Vegetarian, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of operation
Breakfast
Sat, Sun 8:00 am–1:00 pm
Lunch
Daily 11:00 am–5:00 pm
Early Bird/Happy Hour
Mon–Fri 3:30 pm–5:45 pm
Dinner
Daily 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(760) 346-6393
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Private dining is available for up to 150 people. Reservations are required.
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Private party contact
Lavane Hause: (760) 346-6393
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Catering
Please call for catering information.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Monterey
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Entertainment
Backstreet Bistro is known as one of the best local jazz venues in the area, featuring popular local favorites such as Steve Madaio, Linda Peterson, The Brian Nova Trio, Jason Peterson De Laire and more.
**UPDATE - We won't have live music again until the Fall 2016 season!**
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Gift Card
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Dancing, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Kosher, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 587 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.1
food
3.9
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Fantastic, as always!!

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

As good as usual

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Consistently great. Excellent service and reliably delicious food.

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3.0Dined on April 8, 2018

We had a reservation at 6:00 and was made for inside sitting. Another couple came in ahead of us and had dinner reservations for 6:00 for outside eating. It was very windy outside and the couple didn’t want to eat outside. The hostess sat the couple who had reservations for outside seating immediately inside and we who had reservation for inside had to wait for 1/2 hour until a table cleared. Service was good and food was okay. Will not be going back

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Excellent food and service

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3.0Dined on April 4, 2018

We had a chicken ciabatta, the reuben, a burger and a BLTA. All were tasty and nicely plated. The food arrived hot but the time between placing our orders and the food arriving seemed unduly long. Our server was not particularly attentive and we had to ask for water re-fills long after our glasses were empty. The restaurant was not busy. We've eaten here before and have enjoyed the food and found the service to be cheerful and efficient.

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Live music was great. Service was slow

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

It was just perfect!

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4.0Dined on April 2, 2018

I love the salads that they have available. We sat on patio and it was very pleasant until a dog was barking there.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Service was wonderful food was perfectly prepared.

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3.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Truck making delivery kept its engine running the whole time which produced a lot of noise.

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5.0Dined on March 26, 2018

The menu is extensive with options for vegetarians.

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4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

This was our first visit. We sat outside and enjoyed our meal. The service was friendly and the atmosphere is casual. We will return again next year.

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

We often go to Backstreet and the food is consistently excellent. It is easy to relax when at Backstreet.

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Just a great place.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Delicious Italian food - lots of choices - full bar - great service

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4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Love the Bistro. But they need to figure out the service. The service was slow to not extent the last two dinners. Heard other diners complaining as well. Don’t want to discourage but service needs to be better.

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1.0Dined on March 19, 2018

Made reservation for Sunday. Showed up, ate, paid. Found out by email Monday reservation had been cancelled by restaurant. Called restaurant Monday and person with whom spoke said couldn't reverse prior day's cancellation which was mistake; was told to make reservation in 1/2 hour and that person would make sure reservation went through and I would then get 100 point credit and not be cancelled. Tuesday got another email showing restaurant had again cancelled reservation. Called Wednesday and was told cancellation would be reversed. Entirely too much trouble which I've never had anywhere else. I'm not calling them back again.

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1.0Dined on March 18, 2018

It was extremely crowded due to the weather. There were high winds so people who called for outside seating was sitting inside. We had to wait a 45mintues. When I told them I made the reservation with OpenTable they proceeded to show me two lists, one for call ins and one for Open Table Reservations They tried to blame Open Table for double booking. Initially there was no one in charge with people screaming about their reservations. We will never go back as the food was also disappointing.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

We're here on vaca from out of town, it was clear the locals go to this restaurant. We got a reservation early enough that when we arrived it was not packed. But as we sat there it got more and more crowded. Enjoyed it a lot, food was good too.

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5.0Dined on March 12, 2018

We always come back to this place when we come to the desert. We love it here on the patio. The dinners were a bit disappointing this year but that may be the high expectations from previous years. The lasagna wasn't as meaty as we remembered but it could be that we had recently had a very meaty one in Palm Springs at the Tuscan Grill and this didn't compare very favourably. It was still good though. We will be back next year.

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2.0Dined on March 8, 2018

Manager did not have enough help. Took one hour to get service.

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5.0Dined on March 5, 2018

Everything was wonderful but the server was impatient and rude.

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5.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Always a wonderful experience great ambiance excellent service and the food is divine.

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1.0Dined on March 3, 2018

We waited for our entree’s approximately 40min! When we spoke to the manager she said we had been waiting “39min.” Tables that we’re sat after us were served their dinner before us and we ordered right away after we gave our appetizer order. The server was very apologetic, but the management seemed to care less. First time visiting the Backstreet Bistro and we were very disappointed! Will not be returning.

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Amazing meal. On our must do list for next time.

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5.0Dined on February 26, 2018

We are not in Palm Desert very often, but always come back to this quiet spot - and always on a Sunday night to enjoy their Osso Bucco ...

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Great that we could get in with a party of 9 but service was pretty slow. If the drinks would have come faster we maybe would not have noticed. Food was excellent.

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2018

On Valentine's Day we had a lovely dinner and decided to go back. We were a bit hesitant due to prior slow service and encountered the same thing recently. We had to ask for the second round of cocktails before being served dinner and when asked about the slow service, the person in charge said "well, we have a small kitchen and you were served in 43 minutes." We were at the table longer than 43 minutes since we had to wait for the first round of drinks. A 43 minute wait time may be acceptable for the restaurant, but not us. Too bad.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Our first time trying. Party of 8, service was impeccable, food was wonderful! We'll be back!

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1.0Dined on February 22, 2018

Long wait, bad table ruined experience.

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2.0Dined on February 22, 2018

Shrimp in the scampi were like leather!!!Sent them back and 2nd try was just as bad. Never again.....

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3.0Dined on February 21, 2018

We've had lunch at the Backstreet Bistro before, but this was our first dinner. Food was a solid "good". Service was a bit lacking. Our server check with us right after the entree was served, but that was too quick (before we really sampled the food), we said everything was OK, and then she never check back later. We were at a corner table far out in the patio area, so maybe we were a bit remote for the best attention. Overall, a solid meal. But there a so many choices in Palm Desert . We'll try it again for lunch and see how it goes.

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1.0Dined on February 18, 2018

The worst dining experience i have ever had. After an hour and a half after ordering our food didn’t arrive. I spoke with the manager who blamed me for using open table and not calling her directly ( I’m traveling from across the country so not sure how I would know not to use open table ). Very rude staff. Food never arrived.

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3.0Dined on February 18, 2018

This was our second visit this month and about 30th over past few years. On Feb 8th food and service were excellent. Meals were properly prepared; eg all ingredients included and seasoned nicely. On Feb 17th the meals were lacking. My Zingara had 4 very small pieces of sausage with some chicken; three thin slices of peppers. Sauce and onions were adequate in taste. Server was harried, distracted and needed prompting to get water, more drinks and bread.
Sooo... whoever was the chef on Feb 8th gets an A+, the chef on 17th a C-. We will continue to patronize Backstreet Bistro as they are an independent business.

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2.0Dined on February 18, 2018

I made a reservation for inside, we arrived and only outside was available. They told me they would put the heater on and they did but the table next to us was hot so they had the heater turned off which means we were cold. The service was non existence, we ordered hot soup for appetizers to warm us up. We waited and waited and noticed people leaving from other tables because things were taking so long, just when we were ready to get up to leave they served our dinner, but we never received our soup so we cancelled them. We got up to grab the water pitcher to refill our own waters, and we did not receive refills for ice tea’s.
We will not return....

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

Always a good meal on a nice patio

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2018

After waiting about 50 min for our dinner, the waitress said 10 more minutes. Then 30 minutes later our food arrived. At least it was hot.

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1.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Valentines Day. Horrible service. You have to be prepared on an evening like this. Asked to speak to the owner, she never came out. We asked for indoor seating, we were seated outdoor. And for a heater, THREE TIMES before we finally got. Our reservations were for 6:30 and we were finally served at 8:15. Talked to the owner when we left and she was not APOLOGETIC nor did she give excuses.

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4.0Dined on February 11, 2018

The food and service was very nice. The owner Lavane, recommended a perfect wine to go with 4 different dinner selections. We will most definitely return.

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