best restaurant architecture

Restaurant Architecture: Building Communities Around Food

Great tasting recipes are without a doubt the main draw to the restaurants that we know and love. However, if we were to sit down and think about it, we would find that the “legendary” establishments that stick around for years and become generational favorites all have one thing in common: a great building design that adds to the character of the restaurant and allows people to come together and bond over their meal.

As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first, and that doesn’t just apply to the food on our plate. It goes for the ambiance, too! Building design is a great way to give restaurant goers a glimpse into the level of creativity that they can expect to find in the dishes that they’re ordering.

Bad building design can break a restaurant’s chances of success even if the food is fabulous, but when done correctly, it can make a food establishment the go-to place for years to come.

In this post, we will fill you in on some examples of restaurant architecture that work to create an excellent atmosphere for fostering community over food.

best restaurant architecture

Tori Tori, Mexico City

The architecture principles used in the design of this building let restaurant-goers know right away that they are in for vibrant, exciting flavors. Just look at the way that the innovative, eye-catching, electric blue exterior grabs the eye!

The interior of the building balances the bold exterior with lush vertical gardens, warm wood-lined walls, and comfy seating.

All of this creates an atmosphere for people to comfortably enjoy the fresh sushi, sashimi, and expansive Sake menu without the cold, cramped atmosphere that sometimes makes going out to enjoy this type of cuisine with friends and family difficult.

best restaurant architecture

Fareground, Austin

This food hall sits on the ground level floor of a recently renovated historic building. It is the first food hall of its kind in the city, and thanks to the excellent design of the space, it is sure to be a destination spot far into the future.

Fareground complements its great food with an atmosphere that feels more like a lounge than it does a dining hall all while retaining its functionality! You can see some of the unique layout here on their Instagram.

Inside you’ll find great lighting, modern beams, and just the right amount of historic charm popping out through the new design elements to allude to the building’s long-standing place within the community.

best restaurant architecture

Tsujita, Los Angeles

The effort that was expended in creating the design for this building serves as a prelude to the quality of the noodles that can be found at this Los Angeles staple. When you first enter the building, you may find it hard to determine whether or not you’re at an art installation or restaurant, until the smell of the food reminds you!

Your eyes will initially be drawn to the ceiling which is comprised of a delicate array of vertically placed wooden sticks that created a wavy, dreamy 3D sculpture overhead that may make you feel as though you’re eating in the clouds.

This ethereal element is balanced by textured walls that are reminiscent of a woven basket, adding earthy, balanced feel to the restaurant that perfectly accompanies the comfy seating making it an excellent spot to unwind over a meal with friends.

best restaurant architecture

Bana, Tel Aviv

Bana is a plant based eatery that features an ever-changing menu packed with vibrant, vegan delights. The bright, fresh menu shines alongside the vibrant sunlight that fills the space through its large, modern, liberally placed windows.

The design of this space is simple, but done elegantly in a way that retains a sense of warmth. It takes full advantage of the surrounding environment in which the restaurant sits by offering an expansive few of the charming street outside.

The interior of the space utilizes a combination of painted brick, a ceiling mounted herb garden, and bright pops of color from the array of fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients in full view.

All of this surrounds a comfortable seating area designed for both individual eaters and those popping in with small groups, making this a go to spot for conscious eating in the community to gather for a quick bite.

Restaurants and Architecture: Why They Matter

All across the world, food is a community building factor. From famous chefs traveling the world to learn about new cuisines all the way down to friends and family exchanging recipes. Whole regions and groups of people are sometimes defined and better understood by the foods they cook and enjoy. In restaurants, we have the opportunity to see and experience other cultures through that common necessity, all condensed into a singular dining experience.

Part of that experience is the location. Whether it’s a million dollar art piece that houses a few tables and a kitchen, or a back alley restaurant with aluminum shutters, the architecture of place makes a big difference. Now, a building might not make the food taste better or worse, but the experience of being in another place, eating food that represents a person’s experiences and talent, and being surrounded by a particular atmosphere? That’s the quintessential purpose of a restaurant.

In that sense, architecture plays a major role in developing that unique atmosphere. And, of course, when the architectural elements become intentional, either through choosing a location or building something to represent the ideas behind a restaurant, we get to see several points of expression all at once. It’s a beautiful cross section of culture, food, and architecture. The restaurants we’ve featured here are but a few of the many and varied places that bring warmth and understanding to people all over the world.

Looking to Refresh Your Restaurant?

At Portella, we pour all of our experience and skill into producing the highest quality steel windows and doors. We work with architects to build and design products that offer both quality and aesthetics to any project. Whether you’re looking to build a brand new restaurant, or overhaul the interior with new glass windows, doors, or walls, we offer custom designs that can be manufactured to your exact specifications.

Restaurants should be an expression of personality and taste, both on and off the plate. We’d love to help build those visions into reality. Check out how our steel windows and doors have given other buildings a facelift over here at our gallery!


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