Dining out is one of life's greatest pleasures. When food, companionship, and atmosphere merge successfully, the result is a truly memorable experience. Diners travel far and wide in search of the perfect meal.
Competition in the restaurant industry is fierce, and style matters to today's clients. What your space looks like can make or break the meal. Unique restaurant designs have the power to build excitement and keep customers coming back.
What makes restaurant designs special? The answer depends on who you ask. Every designer has their own process to achieve decorative nirvana.
If there's a restaurant design project on your 2021 to-do list, it's helpful to gather inspiration from industry leaders before you begin. Keep reading to learn about 7 of the best restaurant designs and designers.
Located in the Mayfair neighborhood of London, Sketch is a Michelin starred Instagram sensation. The location is actually divided into four separate spaces, each with its own personality and menu. Sketch opened its doors in 2003 and remains a crowd favorite in the city.
The Gallery, designed by India Mahdavi, is the most photographed room. It somehow manages to be both sophisticated and bubblegum pink. Custom velvet chairs and banquettes are accented with gold hardware, set against matching pink walls.
The glassware is clean and modern, and the black and white tile floors gleam. Framed cartoons by the artist David Shrigley decorate the walls. The elements together are restaurant design perfection.
Mahdavi is an Iranian-French designer based in Paris. Her style is feminine and exotic. She is known for her playful designs and bold use of color. In fact, she is partially responsible for the re-emergence of color as a design trend after years of neutral minimalism.
The Gallery at Sketch has received a long list of awards. Most recently, TripExpert gave the space the Experts' Choice Award and Best of London Award in 2018.
If you go to Sketch, don't miss the sunset-hued Lecture Room, the fairy forest-inspired Glade Room, or The Parlour, where the chairs wear ballet shoes.
2. Mandolin Aegean Bistro
The Design District is one of Miami's up-and-coming neighborhoods. An abundance of charming local shops and restaurants have popped up in the area recently, including Mandolin Aegean Bistro.
Inspired by coastal towns in Greece and Turkey, husband and wife restaurateurs Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis opened the space together in a 1940s bungalow. The delightful, authentic surroundings will transport you to the Mediterranean, if only for an hour or two.
Painted in shades of white and blue, the walls and doors surround a courtyard filled with potted herbs and rustic wooden tables. A menu of fresh, healthy favorites is served from hand-painted ceramics, cast iron skillets, and bread baskets.
The setting could not be more perfect for sipping a glass of wine. An attached market offers beautifully packaged feta, honey, olives, and other Mediterranean treats to take home. Baked goods are also available.
Erkaya and Koutsioukis designed the restaurant themselves, restoring the space with love and care. Koutsioukis worked as a stylist in the fashion industry before taking on the design and renovation of Mandolin. The Miami New Times named it the Best Restaurant in the Design District/ Midtown in 2019.
Pujol is a stunning restaurant in the ritzy Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City. The upscale, inspired menu is overseen by Chef Enrique Olvera.
Olvera also worked closely with architect Javier Sánchez and interior designer Micaela de Bernardi to build a new space for Pujol. The establishment moved into its current, midcentury modern-inspired site in 2017.
Less formal than the original location's design, this one features expansive windows overlooking an artfully overgrown garden. The floors are poured granite, and the wooden tables have a perfectly soft texture.
To honor the local culture, de Bernardi sourced everything but the silverware and wine glasses from Mexico. The seat cushions are upholstered in handmade fabrics and the plates are by Moisés Hernández.
Every last detail of Pujol's design was carefully considered to create a comfortable, chic atmosphere that keeps the focus on the award winning food. The restaurant was one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2019.
4. Le Rouge
Gamla Stan is Stockholm's old town, located on an island in the center of the city. Le Rouge joined the area's vibrant dining scene in 2007. As its name suggests, the restaurant is decorated in seductive shades of red.
A menu featuring French and Italian dishes made with Sweden's finest ingredients is served in a luxurious setting. The ceiling is draped in plush fabrics and a fringed lamp hangs over each table.
Elaborate tableware, upholstered chairs, and plenty of tassels complete the look.
The design team at Stylt Trampoli AB is behind the dramatic environment that occupies three floors. They took inspiration from Amsterdam's red-light district, Indian wedding tents, and the Moulin Rouge.
Le Rouge appears frequently on lists of Stockholm's best restaurants.
5. V DTLA
Los Angeles is home to a thriving food scene, and the city's downtown is no exception. New to the neighborhood in 2019, V DTLA has an atmosphere unlike any other.
In the center of the room, a marble bar sits under a forest of lush, tropical foliage. Customers can order casual food and drinks from the bartender, then curl up in a cozy corner with friends.
Soft, tufted furniture surrounds low tables, and the lighting is dim. It all feels very inviting.
Intricate millwork brings to mind classic European interiors. Deliberately placed graffiti balances out the formal look. Contrast is a recurring theme.
Christian Lagerlöf and Benjamin Calleja of the Swedish firm Livit are the designers of V DTLA. They build futuristic, tech-inspired dining spaces that are casual and comfortable. V DTLA was given Eater LA's Design of the Year award in 2019.
6. The Manzoni
The Manzoni is designer Tom Dixon's restaurant and showroom in Milan, Italy. Dixon used a palette of mint green, bronze, grey, and black to decorate the shoppable space. Everything from the light fixtures to the coffee pots can be purchased.
Stainless steel and glass cabinets display the brand's line of glassware and dining accessories. Curvy chairs covered in grey tweed fabric surround low coffee tables. The menu is decidedly Italian.
In an outdoor courtyard, a green marble table is surrounded by silver chairs. Vines grow up the walls and candles flicker all around.
Dixon is British, and The Manzoni is his company's first permanent space outside of the United Kingdom. His design career began in the 1980s. He gained notoriety by welding salvaged furniture parts together to form new creations.
Dixon has worked for Cappellini and Habitat, and he has decorated some of the best hotels in the London area. His Melt pendant lights can be found in homes and public places all over the world. Dixon's designs are part of the Victoria and Albert Museum's permanent collection.
7. Yakumo Saryo
A list of award-winning restaurant designs would be incomplete without a nod to Japanese minimalism. Yakumo Saryo serves traditional, multicourse kaiseki meals in a gorgeous setting. Located in a residential area, guests enter the glass-walled restaurant through a garden.
Natural finishes blur the line between inside and outside. The floors are polished cement. Most of the furniture is made of raw wood.
Simple pendant lights hang from the ceiling, allowing the dishes to remain front and center. Each food item arrives on a unique, handcrafted Japanese plate. A central rock garden completes the property's zen feel.
Yakumo Saryo is the brainchild of designer and chef Shinichiro Ogata. Born on the island of Kyushu, he grew up dreaming about Tokyo. After studying architecture in school, he developed his own aesthetic.
Ogata's designs have a modern sensibility, with traditional Japanese elements woven in. He is the creative mind behind Aesop's locations in Japan, and he decorated Tokyo's Andaz hotel. Ogata received the Chicago Good Design Award in 2010.
Get Inspired by the World's Best Restaurant Designs
The best restaurant designers in the world have gotten to where they are by following their hearts. They march to the beat of their own drummers, gathering inspiration everywhere they go.
These 7 winning restaurant designs prove that there are no limits to what can inspire and excite diners. Bright pops of velvet upholstery and sleek, stainless steel seats are equally charming if done right. All of these spaces are enjoyable and Instagrammable in their own way.
The world is full of incredible restaurants to discover, so what are you waiting for? Before you begin your next design project, book a flight to an exotic locale. Or take a trip from the comfort of your favorite sofa – the internet is a great place to find ideas.
When you are ready to turn your design dreams into reality, please contact us. Richardson Seating specializes in manufacturing upholstered restaurant furniture. Our team of professionals will help you achieve the exact look you want.