Interior design is a fascinating and complex combination of form and function. Sure, great design has to be beautiful and inspiring, to set pulses racing and get hearts and minds soaring. But it also needs to be practical, to do a job, and above all else to work. The function of the spaces we inhabit is sometimes overlooked, but it is a vital aspect of design. This has become even more significant over the last few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has driven public and private spaces to adapt to accommodate incredibly specific configurations and needs.
As a result, restaurant design is an incredibly interesting concept and one that offers a wealth of amazing examples. These spaces have to tread a delicate line between serving the senses and serving the practical needs of their patrons, so good design is paramount.
When it comes to architecture and interior design, Mexico is one of the foremost countries in the world. From the traditional to the esoteric, Mexican designers are some of the most innovative and imaginative, and as a result, Mexican restaurant design is worth paying attention to for anyone with even just a passing interest in interior design.
So if you are cruising around Mexico or planning a beach vacation to Los Cabos, Puerto Escondido, or Tulum, here are some of the most interesting and unique restaurant designs to discover.
Tierra Garat / Esrawe Studio + Cadena Concept Design
The Tierra Garat coffee chain is Mexico’s answer to Starbucks, with an additional focus on cacao that makes it a slightly more interesting option. What sets it even further apart is its gorgeous design concept, from the world-renowned Esrawe Studio and Cadena Concept Design. The interiors of each store are a beautiful blend of contemporary and traditional Mexican design, with a focus on natural materials and textures. The result is an elegant and refined space that is also cozy and inviting. If you need a break from all the sightseeing, Tierra Garat is the perfect place to relax with a coffee and a book.
Nobu Polanco / Sordo Madaleno Architects
Designed by one of Mexico’s most celebrated architecture firms, Nobu Polanco is one of Mexico City’s most upscale and exclusive restaurants. Located in a converted 19th-century townhouse, the design makes excellent use of the building’s original features, blending traditional and contemporary Mexican design to create a charming and intriguing atmosphere. The food is, of course, exceptional, and if you are looking for a truly special dining experience, Nobu Polanco is well worth a visit.
Tetetlán / Luis Baragan
Set in the old stables of Casa Pedregal, Tetetlán is a stunning multi-purpose space, including a restaurant, a library, a music archive, a yoga studio, and an art gallery. Glass floors give visitors a tantalizing glimpse of the volcanic rock that forms the foundations, while the structure of the building itself blends the original brick walls with Luis Baragan’s signature pink metalwork. The result is a breathtakingly beautiful blend of old and new that makes for a fabulous space to enjoy a relaxed meal.
La Tequila South Restaurant / León Orraca Architects
Set in a shopping mall in the south of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, La Tequila belies its modest location and aims to rethink the aesthetic and architectural identity of this longstanding restaurant franchise. A blend of rustic texture and natural touches echoes the restaurant’s deeply traditional menu, and makes for a truly delightful dining experience, while more industrial accents leading up to the double-height mezzanine ensure that the vibe remains grounded in modernity.