Feast your eyes on these 15 incredible designs

As 2017 comes to its end, Eater takes a look back at the best restaurant designs of the year. Great restaurant design is transportive and transformative — and this year’s designs delivered.

Last year’s Eater Award winner for design of the year was Gwen in Los Angeles, and many restaurants this year seemed to adopt its principals: dramatic, Deco references and over-the-top glitz all combining for a sense of unabashed, unrestrained luxury. In 2017, openings like BLVD in Chicago (perhaps the most like Gwen with its bunker-like setting) and Born & Raised in San Diego kept this trend alive.

And for all that flash, plenty of restaurant designers were inspired by the idea of “home” this year — especially at Eater’s Most Beautiful Restaurant of the Year Eight Tables, which modeled itself after an (imaginary) midcentury apartment in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Other trends that dominated the best 2017 restaurant designs: Great wallpaper, like the softly hued patterns at Grey Gardens in Toronto or the vibrant cacti at Hello Sailor in North Carolina; plants, so many of them, as in the frond-filled dining room at Hai Hai in Minneapolis or the tree growing through the Pujol dining room. And while there was plenty of luxury to be found, some of the year’s most striking designs were the most paired down, like the ultra-minimal De Maria in New York City or the dramatically simple Corvino Supper Club in Kansas City.

Eight Tables, San Francisco
Opened: October 2017
Key players: Avroko, George Chen
The look: Imaginative and quietly playful, this tasting temple blurs the lines between restaurant and home. – Eater (12.29.17)