Design Trends in Restaurants: Differences Between the Continents


Whether you’re a true foodie who enjoys savouring different specialities or you simply enjoy wining and dining in your favourite restaurants, the setting, overall ambience and décor have a major effect on your dining experience. Nowadays, we seek immersive experiences that will enable us to enjoy and admire a unique design, culture and cuisine of a specific country or continent. In fact, the very design of a restaurant is as important as the food to us since it enables us to savour both our environment and our dishes to the fullest. Of course, each restaurant has its unique appeal specific to its country and continent.

Words: Chloe Taylor


afrciaThe African restaurant industry has been slowly growing, putting to the forefront some of the most unique and enticing restaurants. Their design is truly authentic, to say the least, and it definitely stands out in a playful manner. The incorporation of the natural world into the very architecture and décor is one of the greatest and most distinctive features of African restaurant designs. Some of the most popular and unusual restaurants in Africa exhibit the natural beauties of their continent, building their setting around or even inside them.

For instance, Big Baobab, a restaurant in Limpopo Province, can be actually found in one of the symbolic African trees – the Sunland Baobab tree, the widest species in the world. While the quirky interior hides a trendy pub, the restaurant itself is built like a treehouse. Another stunning example, Moyo, lies in the middle of a lush garden in Stellenbosch. The interior is certainly enchanting, featuring subtle, dreamy lighting, exotic plants and traditional African culture.


europeEuropean restaurant design trends are truly elevated and diverse, with each country giving its unique touch to beautiful interiors. Sleek and modern looks with a distinct atmosphere of elegance can be found in almost all of them. Yet, there’s always something recognisably typical of the city or country where a certain restaurant is located. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in Paris is known for its decadence captured perfectly by its extravagant chandelier that takes the centre stage. On the other hand, Mirazur, the gem of the French Riviera, portrays a different type of sophistication and style, realised through elegant simplicity. Such a classic, yet chic design can be seen in other cities and countries across Europe, including London, Copenhagen, Girona, Vienna and many others.


A continent as diverse as Asia certainly brings a range of exciting restaurant designs that you cannot but love. Just take White Rabbit, a popular restaurant in Moscow, into consideration. While its interior design focuses on a simple, classic look, with comfy seating in a casual setting, the domed glass ceiling that reveals a spectacular view certainly creates a “wow” effect.

On the other hand, Singapore’s Restaurant André charms its guests with its enchanting lighting fixtures that emit an enjoyable, subtle glow and truly captivating wall treatments that create an understated, yet impactful effect. Of course, exquisite and mesmerising interior design in Hong Kong is nothing if not breathtaking and inspiring. From Mandarin Oriental style and traditional Cantonese design to a modern Chinoiserie look, you can expect almost anything from Hong Kong’s leading restaurants. In fact, Hong Kong will soon get a fully autonomous restaurant characterised by sleek appeal and stunning futuristic aesthetics.


When it comes to the Australian restaurant industry, you can see a shift towards a more relaxed setting and simpler designs. A greater emphasis is placed on food and its presentation. Yet, dining in an Aussie restaurant will certainly leave you with a memorable experience. In fact, you’ll feel as if you were home, enjoying a delicious meal in a comfy ambience. Seating height is varied and adjusted to meet the open kitchen design, one of the most popular trends. Since Australian restaurants focus on simplicity, they have given their interiors an organic touch, implementing wood, stoneware and ceramics. Furthermore, you can see a lot of daring and bold designs reflected not only through décor but also through menus and logos, such as at Adriano Zumbo’s Fancy Nance. This allows restaurants to portray their brands and create a unique customer experience.

North Americanorth-america

Several distinctive trends have emerged in North America, especially across the U.S. American restaurants are characterised by minimalist, yet carefully thought-through settings that keep guests comfortable, but still enable the food to be under the spotlight. What’s more, every detail matters in a restaurant with a simple design. While some restaurants like Leo’s Oyster Bar and Holy Matcha decide to incorporate authentic and eye-catching wallpaper accents that create bold, impactful looks, others use colour to give their interiors a vibrant, playful flair. Wood textures are also present in different patterns, tones and sizes.

South Americasouth-america

Once again, stylish diversity can be seen in South American restaurant designs. In fact, the enticing design of restaurants in South America has actually been a source of inspiration to a new Copenhagen restaurant. As for the continent’s restaurants, while some of them try to incorporate their local features, others embrace world-popular trends and implement them in their own unique ways. D.O.M., a beautifully decorated restaurant in São Paulo, features a trendy interior with breath-taking high ceilings embellished with subtle lighting. The seating is arranged in a casual, yet elegant layout while wood tones and neutral hues create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Restaurant designs undoubtedly affect the overall dining experience and each of these continents does it in its own unique way.