Best Restaurant Architects In 2024 (+ 43 Great Examples)
Creating a beautiful, welcoming restaurant ambiance is just as important as curating the perfect menu. Did you know that the colors red, orange, and yellow help stimulate appetite? More details go into restaurant design than you might think. And who are the masterminds behind the best design services? Architecture firms- professionals who have extensive experience in both restaurant interior design and architectural design.
These masterminds not only shape physical dining rooms, but also contribute to the overall aesthetic and functionality of the restaurant projects. As we explore the best restaurant architects, we’ll also include some of their top examples.
In this article, we’ll outline the best restaurant architects and their work from casual restaurants to fine dining establishments in 2024.
Restaurant Floor Plan Templates
How to choose a design firm
As you read about these top restaurant architects keep your specific restaurant business and brand in mind. Ask yourself the following questions:
What’s important to your restaurant space?
What makes your restaurant stand out?
How do you want your guests to feel when they’re in your dining areas?
What do you like most about the restaurant examples we provided?
You can think about a restaurant architect the way you might think about a tattoo artist. Just because they do outstanding work doesn’t mean they’ll do your aesthetic best. Their past work showcases their specialty, so check it out and find an architect whose work aligns best with your brand. Remember, you want to work well together to bring your vision to life.
Top 25 restaurant architects (+ 43 examples)
New World Design Builders/K2 Studios is an NYC full-service design firm. What makes this firm stand out is that each piece is independent. At the end of the design process, full construction drawings are provided so that the potential restaurant can still obtain bids from other contractors. This empowers restaurant businesses with the best of both worlds – price transparency and the option to have a party with complete accountability.
New World Design Builders is a great option if you want an immense amount of collaboration. If you have ideas and want to work together, this firm does it best. New World Design Builders provides an all-in-one point of contact and service from design to construction for your restaurant interior design in NYC. This firm has plenty of work, but check out these 2 examples:
Molyvos is a Greek Restaurant located in Hell’s Kitchen. This restaurant is a celebration of the Livanos Family’s ancestral hometown located on the island of Lesvos, and you can feel that in its design. You can review images of the design here.
Another example of New World Design Builder’s great work is Faccia a Faccia, a new coastal Italian restaurant located in Boston, MA. What makes this restaurant design unique is it features an expansive outdoor patio with lush greenery, inspired by al-fresco dining in Italy. Check out images here.
The Rockwell Group is an award-winning, architecture and design firm specializing in hospitality, culture, healthcare, education, and more. They’ve been around since 1984 and are very well-known in the restaurant industry. Check out these amazing examples for beautiful inspiration:
Zaytinya is located at NoMad’s The Ritz-Carlton New York and is inspired by Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisines. This restaurant is absolutely stunning and worth checking out. The mixed use of warm bronze metals and white oak wood makes the design here pop. Read more here.
Located in Nolita (NYC), Wayan offers Indonesian cuisine with a modern French flair, in a sleek space warmed by teak paneling, lush plants, and whitewashed brick. Check out the beautiful space here.
Since 1994, Basile Studio has been creating innovative and functional structures. Located in San Diego, CA, Basile Studio has curated stunning work nationwide. Basile is made up of a team of 60+ designers who have unique visions and talent.
Puesto is a restaurant that was founded by first-generation Mexican Americans. With award-winning tacos, delicious margaritas, and their own beer, Puesto needed interior architecture that suited its impressive menu. Basile Studio built them an impressive space that you can check out here.
Tecture is dedicated to designing great spaces. This firm is a one-stop-shop for creative projects. Located in San Diego, CA, in this team’s humble opinion, they “design cool stuff”, and they’re not wrong.
Nolita Hall is a full-service restaurant located in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego. With floor-to-ceiling windows, a large skylight, and a U-shaped bar Nolita Hall not only offers a great menu but a lovely ambiance for locals and visitors. Check out their space here.
Bestor Architecture is a Los Angeles-based design studio that was founded by Barbara Bestor, FAIA in 1995. This studio is well-known for its work in the combination of architecture, urbanism, infrastructure, and landscape. You can discover some of their restaurant work below.
In 2019, Bestor Architecture designed Bettina, a restaurant located in Santa Barbara, CA. This brick-and-mortar restaurant has a warm space including saddle leather banquets, signature green slatted wood, and Santa Barbara-based Raoul textiles. We recommend you check out some images here of this warm space.
In 2012 in Hollywood, CA, Bestor Architecture salvaged the best of an old restaurant and updated it to create a whimsical redesign. This cafe offers everything from breakfast pizza to lemon ricotta pancakes with an inviting design to go with them. You can look at images of the bright restaurant here.
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Los Angeles-based Studio UNLTD is an award-winning hospitality design firm that specializes in interior architecture, architecture, furniture, and lighting. This design firm takes your idea, your preferences, and your inspiration into account in their process. They work closely with their clients to create work they’ll love. You can review some of their work below.
Located in the historic Fulton Market with its origins in the meatpacking hub of Chicago’s West Loop, this restaurant evokes the traditional family-run taverns of Croatia known as konobas. The design of Rose Mary is inspired by the natural elements of Croatia’s Mediterranean coast. It features whitewashed brick walls which are accented by moments of red clay and blue tilework. You can admire Studio UNLTD’s work at Rose Mary here.
The Otium project included creating a ground-up restaurant on a new bridge in Downtown Los Angeles. The goal here was to transport guests from the concrete city to feel like they’re in Napa Valley. At Otium guests get the feeling of home, and comfort amid the surroundings of elegant rusticity. Check it out here.
Founded in 1989, Tag front is an award-winning architectural and design firm located in West Hollywood, CA. This firm specializes in modern design, with work ranging from residential projects to commercial projects. Uncover one of their designs below.
Gaucho Grill Pasadena is an Argentine Steakhouse whose menu is made up of empanadas, chimichurris, Prime Picanha, and more. The contemporary upscale design of the Pasadena location is warm and inviting. You can look at its design here.
Bergmeyer is a design collaborative of architects, interior designers, graphic designers, and brand strategists. Bergmeyer has teams in Boston, Ohio, and California. This studio focuses on telling the story of its clients. Check out some of their Boston work below.
Trade was recently named Boston Magazine’s Best Mediterranean Restaurant 2023. This restaurant is inspired by the deepest notions of the Greek way of life, and its design reflects this. Bergmeyer covered Trade with deep blues found in classic Greek landscapes and supported it with accents of sunny yellows and earthy greens. View imagery here.
If you’ve ever spent any time in Boston you’ve probably heard of Lolita. This restaurant is all over Instagram, partially due to its beautiful design. Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar is a vibrant restaurant and tequila lounge. The bold and colorful design of Lolita’s Fort Point location embraces Mexican culture and Old Spanish influences while celebrating the beautiful and haunting themes of the Día de los Muertos. Observe Lolita’s design here.
Arrowstreet is another Boston-based architecture and design firm. At the heart of Arrowstreet’s practice is the ability to, “take complex projects and distill them into dynamic design and development opportunities.” This firm is known for its use of new technology and has continuously evolved since its start in 1960. For each project, Arrowstreet forms a team that brings together expertise based on the specific assignment. They harness the experience and creativity of the entire firm to bring the best and most innovative ideas to the forefront. You can look into one of their examples below.
Dryft is located in Revere, MA, and has panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. They serve authentic New England-style dishes with an emphasis on fresh seafood, local ingredients, and homemade pasta.
The design of Dryft contains aquatic motifs that complement the space’s views of the Atlantic Ocean. The color palette, anchored by tonal grays, is awash with cool blue hues and warm tones of teak and walnut, creating a space that is at once invigorating and intimate. You can view the vision here.
Hacin is an award-winning, interdisciplinary design firm. They have all different types of clients across the country. From restaurants to game rooms to office spaces, Hacin has a large portfolio to offer. Check out some of its hospitality industry work below.
Black Lamb is an American restaurant in Boston’s iconic South End where locals can count on a top-notch meal and an inviting atmosphere. Black Lamb’s decor aims to make guests feel comfortable and at ease. The 46-seat dining room’s deep greens and rich earth tones are contrasted by clean, light gray walls and a mix of wooden finishes. You can flip through images of this design here.
Glass House is a restaurant, bar, and modern-day “meeting house” inspired by the
history and present-day identity of Kendall Square, a neighborhood in Cambridge, MA. An important element of the design is a ‘room within a room’ — the “glass house” — that acts as a dining room and dedicated space for meetings, events, and social activities. The interiors consist of a minimal color palette, accented by nostalgic shades of green with copper details in lighting, bar taps, door handles, and fixtures. For pictures click here.
Preen creates spaces that “up-level energy for the world”. Preen trains internally to be accountable for all aspects of a project and in how to create integrity for their clients and build teams. They transform job sites with the shared intent to create a world in which, “everyone has a place in the tribe.” This firm has plenty of work, but check out these 2 examples:
What a wonderful name! The restaurant's name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning 'delicacy' or 'thoughtfulness'. Tesse is a French restaurant with a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. Tesse's menu is designed with wine in mind, and the food pairs well with it.
Tesse was voted the most beautiful restaurant in LA in 2018. Preen crafted a space that’s beautiful outside and in. She is consistent, from her deeply textured, turned and sometimes twisted façade to her interior face. Tesse is welcoming and warm. Check it out for yourself here.
Alimento is a soulful Italian restaurant by chef and owner Zach Pollack. Located in L.A.'s historic Silver Lake neighborhood on a busy street of shops and restaurants adjacent to the famous reservoir, the food at Alimento draws inspiration from Italy's regional traditions while not adhering too strictly to them. The food is complemented by an eclectic wine list showcasing lesser-known varietals and hard-to-find wines from small producers.
Alimento’s dining room showcases both modern and rustic décor using repurposed materials for eco-sensibility while reflecting Silver Lake’s keen mid-century aesthetic with clean lines and pops of color. You can admire its design theme here.
Ora Studio has completed work across residential, commercial, hospitality, and institutional sectors creating an intentionally diverse portfolio that’s been recognized with several design awards. Their work is a mix of playful and practical. This Los Angeles-based firm has many amazing projects but check out one example below.
This project was an adaptive reuse of a landmark 1922 horse stable into a 3,650-square-foot restaurant including a food market, cheesery, wine shop, bar, and outdoor seating. Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery is a tasty modern American restaurant and cheese shop. Designed with flexibility in mind, the space can accommodate a variety of dining experiences. The design is a prime example of creating a balance between contemporary and traditional restaurant design. Check it out here.
Stephen Francis Jones founded his own firm, “My objective is to make the total sensory experience as delicious as the food, setting the mood from the moment you walk in the door,” Jones says. “I like to call it the ‘wow’ factor.” The “wow factor” is clear in Jones’ work. Explore 2 examples here:
Located at Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles, CA, Hamasaku is a sophisticated harmony of Japanese cuisine and Californian exuberance. This restaurant serves delicious sushi rolls and excellent sake pairings. The design of Hamasaku is contemporary with some traditional Japanese design features. Check out its gallery here.
Serving lunch and dinner 7 days a week, Toscanova is always bustling and continually offers Chef Sciandri's new and innovative specials, a modern approach to his classic dishes. The design is very warm and welcoming. Check it out here.
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Founded in 1982, Richard H. Lewis Architect provides a full range of architectural services. The firm's work includes restaurants, retailers, bakeries, offices, apartment building renovations, private townhouses, new house construction, and house additions. Check out some of their restaurant work here:
Mark’s Off Madison is located off the corner of Madison Avenue and 26th Street in NYC. The menu features the classical European and rustic Italian dishes of all of Chef Mark Strausman’s career, along with the traditional Jewish foods of his upbringing in New York City.
With the menu in mind, Richard H. Lewis Architect designed this restaurant in 2021. The space is very pleasant and suits its NYC setting. Check it out here.
This absolutely iconic NYC restaurant is most popular for its steak frites and is notorious for serving celebrities. Balthazar opened in SoHo in the spring of 1997. The bustling, romantic brasserie serves traditional French fare. This design of Balthazar is traditional New York, old New York, it’s very classy. If you ever have a chance to dine here we highly recommend it and you can check out images here.
Meyer Davis is a globally recognized New York City-based design boutique specializing in residential, hospitality, retail, and workplace environments. Meyer Davis enjoys seeking new and unexpected solutions, values lasting impact over flash, and believes in the power of restraint. Their work proves that intelligent subtraction often yields the greatest results.
Sorelle brings a modern spin on classic southern Italian cuisine made with the freshest ingredients to the heart of Historic Downtown Charleston at 88 Broad Street. Everything about this restaurant is beautiful from its welcoming entryway to its groovy barstools. Check it out here.
Proxi is a Chicago restaurant that serves a variety of global flavors to take your tastebuds on an adventure. They offer delicious wine pairings and a fantastic dining experience. With its barrel-vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows, and beautiful details throughout, Proxi’s interior design is rooted in the beloved American brasseries of the mid-century. View images here.
Home Studios is very aesthetically pleasing, and we must note that their website is very satisfying to look at; check it out yourself. Home Studios is an interior design firm based in Brooklyn, NY. As a close-knit, collaborative team of 10 led by founder Oliver Haslegrave, the studio combines their accomplished backgrounds in architecture, interiors, custom fabrication, and fine art to illuminate the stories of our clients through a process that is intuitive, exacting, and attentive. Here are some examples of their lovely restaurant design work:
The Pearl is a stunning restaurant that was designed in 2023 in Nantucket, MA. This restaurant heralds its return by paying tribute to its legacy of modern Japanese coastal cuisine set in an elegantly vibrant space. The dining room, patio, bar, and private dining rooms are boldly redesigned to reveal a transformative space that is breathtakingly new but comfortably familiar. It is a beautiful encounter between legacy and modernity. You can view images of this beauty here.
Laurel serves classic European cuisines with a modern American approach in the heart of Salt Lake City, UT. This restaurant is a neighborhood brasserie with upscale, modern-day touches. Open and flexible all day, their grand space and gracious hospitality welcome all. In 2021 Home Studios designed this space and you can check out the grand design here.
GKV Architects is a full-service architecture and interior architecture design firm that’s been around since 1995. GKV has an outstanding portfolio of both commercial and residential interior architecture projects. Here is a restaurant example below:
Temple Court Bar & Restaurant serves as both the living room and the room-service venue for The Beekman Hotel and Residences. Its stunning interior design speaks for itself. The restaurant, lined by banquette seating, includes stained glass framed between original brick piers, decorative chandeliers, and old-world charm. Check out images here.
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CBD Architects specializes in integrated architecture and design services for the hospitality industry. With this being said, they don’t just have experience working with restaurants, they specialize in restaurant design. Founder Jeremiah Johnson collaborates with each client personally – sharing his vast knowledge of technical architecture, and playful design sense. If you’re looking to get in touch with a firm that knows how to work with restaurants, and has established processes on how to collaborate, CBD is it. Here are 2 examples of their work:
Siena Tavern is a Modern Italian restaurant located in Chicago, IL. This 10,000 square foot space bridges old-world comfort and hospitality with a contemporary menu and design. Siena Tavern's 200-person dining room, spacious Oval Bar, and intimate private dining options have cemented the restaurant as a River North staple in Chicago's energetic dining & nightlife scene. You can scroll through images for inspiration here.
Nella is a critically acclaimed authentic Italian restaurant in Chicago's Hyde Park, featuring wood-fired pizza, pastas, and Italian sandwiches by Nella Grassano. Nella has won Michelin Bib Gourmand 2020, 2021, 2022 And 2023. Nella intends to bring to life a restaurant that is bright and stylish, anchored by a centerpiece wood-fired oven, built with the mud of Monte Vesuvio. Pops of color give the room definition and Nella’s passion for authentic ingredients is front and center as they display their favorite pantry products with open storage throughout the space. View images of Nella here.
Aria Group has been around since 1989 and has a team made up of honest and talented craftspeople who work hard and who love building personality-rich experiences. Aria Group lives and breathes hospitality. Aria Group has a thick portfolio of restaurants. From fast casual donut shops to fine dining experiences this group can design for any concept. Let’s look at some of their work here:
Bar Sótano is a Chicago, IL-based Mexican restaurant that’s won many local awards. This Oaxacan-inspired speakeasy with small plates, mezcal-forward cocktails, and youthful vivacity was an exciting project for the Aria Group team. The smoky flavors of the mezcal are represented in the charred wood tables, as well as through the gradient glow effect along the stone foundation walls of the space. Check out some images here.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is located in the heart of Pittsburgh. The two-story restaurant offers impeccable chef-driven cuisine, wine lists, specialty cocktails, and superior hospitality. Aria Group’s design set out to honor the roots of this classic American steakhouse, well-known for mouth-watering steaks and its extensive award-winning wine list, and define this exceptional experience through history and elegance. Being nestled in an extraordinary building, in a remarkable city, Aria Group didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Guests certainly feel the Pittsburgh vibe here. You can view the gallery here.
Founded in 1959, OKW Architects has a successful history of design. OKW has evolved to become one of Chicago’s leading providers of architectural, interior, and urban design solutions serving diverse markets. Let’s check out one wonderful example of their work:
Fred’s Garage provides guests with a modern and bold design aesthetic with concrete, tile, and reclaimed wood. There are two fully functional garage doors and two banquettes with car bench seating, as well as open-air dining on a large, inviting patio with lounge seating and a game area for guests young and old. This restaurant features reimagined and elevated classic menu items, like burgers and salads, prepared with high-quality, fresh ingredients. Check out some images of the space here.
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Myefski Architects is an award-winning architecture, planning and interior design firm located in Chicago, IL. This firm’s goal is to improve the way its clients live, work, play, and learn. They offer design in a variety of different states. You can view their work here:
Aba is a Mediterranean restaurant with a California influence. The menu features Chef CJ Jacobson’s modern approach to Mediterranean cooking and the beverage program showcases spirits and rare wines from lesser-known Mediterranean regions. Located in Chicago, this rooftop concept features an immense amount of greenery cultivating a warm, Mediterranean ambiance. Check it out here.
This exquisite Chicago-based restaurant features an expansive patio, breezy decor, and boat docking. Pizzeria Portofino offers hand-stretched pizzas, coastal wines, an expansive patio, and breezy decor that will instantly transport you to the Italian Riviera. Myefski did a phenomenal job with the restaurant design. You can check it out here.
This Chicago-based design firm was founded in 2003 and is all about creating bold spaces. They offer full-service design to create memorable experiences. They have plenty of experience designing for the hospitality industry – let’s take a look at 2 examples here:
Adalina is a restaurant located in Chicago that serves up a modern Italian menu in a timeless yet alluring setting. Led by Michelin-starred chef Soo Ahn, previously with Band of Bohemia, Adalina's menu creates a balance between Northern and Southern cuisine. The design here is unforgettable, with a beautiful purple color scheme and unique prints. Check out Adalina’s gallery here.
Another Chicago restaurant, The Graceful Ordinary has a menu created from multiple American regional styles that always feel authentic. Founded in 2021, the concept here centers on the hearth, cooked on a wood-burning fire. Every dish is seasonal because they use only the freshest ingredients, sourced from local purveyors and farmers. Check out the design here.
CORE architecture + design is based in Washington, DC and thrives on complex design projects. With over 30 years of experience, this award-winning architectural design firm has provided its clients with superior design services that add tremendous value to their business. Let’s check out some of their work here:
barmini by José Andrés is a cocktail lab that specializes and perfects classic cocktails and crafts unique specialty ones. This innovative concept is located in Washington, DC. The design here has lots of white, similar to a science lab, but feels a lot more welcoming. View the design gallery here.
Award-winning Buena Vida transports guests into a natural, jungle-like experience in Tulum, Mexico. The design of the multilevel restaurant delivers a sense of curiosity that directly reinforces the client’s vision for the menu, which encourages exploration of new dishes through a shared experience. You can view the design here.
Grizform Design Architects has a lot of lovely work on their website; we recommend taking a look. This firm creates unique solutions specifically for the hospitality industry. A DC-based award-winning architecture firm that prides itself on craftsmanship, strong attention to detail, and innovation. Here is some of Grizform’s noteworthy work:
The Salt Line’s new location in Bethesda, Maryland will transport the surrounding community to the Northeast, providing New England and Chesapeake Bay-inspired design and cuisine within a fresh and contemporary atmosphere. Looking to evoke New England’s traditional maritime essence, the design team carefully curated an aesthetic that calls to mind a nautical ambiance. This restaurant’s design looks almost as good as its fresh menu. Check it out here.
Oyster Oyster is a bright, modern restaurant located in Washington, DC. This concept focuses on a sustainable design and menu. The menu focuses on seasonal, local produce, sourced from individuals who believe in organic and regenerative farming practices. The design features lots of natural light and green plants. Take a look here.
Last but certainly not least, Architecture Incorporated is a firm located in Reston, Virginia. With projects located in more than 30 States, this firm has successfully completed projects involving extensive renovation, as well as new construction, for a variety of projects in both public and private sectors. Let’s take a look at some of their work here:
Architecture Incorporated did an amazing job giving Barcelona Wine Bar the unique design it deserves. From the eccentric lighting fixtures to the wooden tables, everything about this space is warm and welcoming. Check it out here.
BLT Prime has a luxurious interior with amazing chandeliers, marble countertops, and gold details. This concept is truly one of a kind and will suit you on your best night out. Check out its beautiful gallery here.
Choose the right firm for your business
Restaurant design in 2024 is marked by the innovative work of many outstanding architecture firms. These design firms can make your restaurant vision a reality. The top examples highlighted in this article showcase a diverse range of styles and approaches. Use this article as both a guide and inspiration for your own restaurant brand; it’s important to choose the best restaurant architect for your specific concept. And don’t forget to complete your business with the right technology so your staff can keep up with the demand of guests your beautiful design will bring in.
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