Shields Date Garden
The Cafe At Shields
For almost 95 years, Shields Date Garden has made life a whole lot sweeter for Coachella Valley locals and visitors. While sitting at the authentic soda fountain counter you can enjoy The Café’s original date shake, made with delicious vanilla ice milk and date crystals developed in 1936 by founder Floyd Shields. Looking for another classic flavor? No problem. Shields offers a variety of milkshakes, root beer floats, and a new coffee-infused shake, sure to wake you up. The colorful outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing agua fresca (you can’t go wrong with the lime, cucumber, and chia seeds or the strawberry horchata) or a local favorite, the chavela (choice of chilled beer, clamato mix, and fresh lime juice).
Recent eatery updates that warrant a visit include new fresh-from-the-farm seasonal menus (debuting in fall and spring) featuring gluten-free and vegetarian items alongside new dishes like the Smooth Criminal omelet, made with warm chicken habanero-mango sausage, topped with bell peppers, onions, and cilantro, and drizzled with habanero sauce; the chicken-salad sandwich, with a hint of jalapeño; or, for the sophisticated palate, the smoked-salmon waffle. Really hungry? Try the Pollo Volcano (chicken breast stuffed with a corn tortilla, chorizo, and shredded cheese, with the chef’s grand finale of creamy jalapeño sauce, served alongside traditional rice and beans.
The Café is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week for breakfast and lunch and is available during and after hours via special privateparty packages; the remodeled dining room can accommodate up to 40 people. Alfresco dining on the picturesque patio is pet friendly — guests can sit beneath the colorful umbrellas or in a more intimate setting amid the gardens and scenic date groves, citrus orchard, and soothing water features. All of this and more makes Shields the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding or event. There’s live entertainment on weekends, and occasionally during the week.
A self-guided walk through the 17-acre date farm, which features 23 handcrafted statues created by Italian artist Trinka that depict the life of Christ, is a great way to begin or end your visit. You can also sit in the iconic theater built in 1951 by Shields to screen The Romance & Sex Life of the Date or shop in Shields’ original gift shop, stocked with many products featuring the beloved house-grown dates.
Innovative cuisine, delectable date desserts, and beautiful grounds combine to create an unparalleled experience, earning Shields Date Garden nationwide recognition; not only is The Café at Shields high-ranked in Indio on TripAdvisor, it has won Best Breakfast and Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant awards in Palm Springs Life‘s annual Best of the Best contest and continues to garner new, loyal fans every year.