If you've been eating in Palm Springs for decades, since Hamburger Hamlet was the only edible place around, you've learned to be thankful for small things: A good beer list. An ample, tasty burger and fries. A decently-made pizza crust. A place that's guaranteed to have lively customers, instead of a sea of empty tables.
All these things can be found at Matchbox Pizza, an offshoot of a Washington D.C. pizzeria that has become many desert visitors' default dinner stop. Pretty much every place in Palm Springs, including the plush revamped Riviera Hotel, has happy hour every night of the week from 5-7, and Matchbox's is a good one. There are $6 pizzas, $5 cocktails and $2 off draft beers. While I was in the desert, I worked my way through the drafts, trying Acme IPA, Leffe Blond, Allagash Curieux and Chimay Triple. The $13 Bistro burger is pricier than Tyler's, but was enough for a hearty meal and went well with the Chimay. A big salad with apples, pears and pecans was fine, but skip the glazed scallops and stick with pizza, beer and burgers.
The setting is right in the middle of the tourist action, which is a little rough on the nights live top 40 bands play in the plaza below, but nice on a warm, breezy desert night with the flickering firelight of the central bar area. In the desert, it's best to keep it simple, and Matchbox does simple just fine.
Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro
155 S. Palm Canyon Drive