The menu is a restaurant's first attempt at marketing its food selections. Aside from being a list of food or beverage offerings, a good restaurant menu design is a visual representation of the people, story and culture behind the dishes they serve.

Here are the seven best restaurant menu designs that creatively capture the brand in every illustration and color. And in the end, luring seasoned and new customers into a unique dining experience.

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1. Curry Bliss by God Particles

[Source: God Particles]

Standout Features:

  • High-resolution images of best-selling dishes
  • Creative illustrations in white
  • Varied colors per menu page

Playful menus don’t always associate with Indian cuisine. However, the partnership between design agency God Particles and Curry Bliss gave way to a stylish and lively restaurant menu design.

At first glance, one would think that the menu leans toward more Italian fusion cuisine or even American food. With its stone-like texture background placed under lively colors, it emphasizes the already delicious-looking images of the food.

White illustrations of food accentuate the dark gray background perfectly. Some resemble doodles, while others look like detailed hand-drawn representations of several items on the menu, giving it a friendlier vibe.

Readability is top-notch, thanks to the clear and crisp font used. Each item features a “chili” logo or “plant” logo, indicating whether the dish is spicy or vegan friendly.

Flip through the pages and see varied colors for each menu, differentiating which type of Indian cuisine you are viewing. South Indian food corresponds with teal, North Indian/Curries with olive, desserts with purple and so on.

2. Cardapio by Lemos Publicidade

[Source: Lemos Publicidade]

Standout Features:

  • Simple one-page menu
  • Savory color palette
  • Eye-catching photo reel

Restaurant menus have developed into booklets over the past few years. While others started to broaden their offerings and tap into different markets, Cardapio chose to keep things simple. The execution of the brand’s menu, in partnership with Lemos Publicidade, brings back the appeal of one-page food menus.

The agency adopts a leaflet-like menu with three folds: (front side) The first section uses a cream background, which features its starters. The middle section is in mustard and houses the specials and main dishes, while the last section has all the beverage offerings. The color-coordinated background makes selection straightforward.

When you flip the page, the dashing color story continues. But the eye-candy here is the Instagram-inspired photo presentation right in the middle section.

Lastly, texts are either in black, white, red, or yellow, which fits the overall theme of the menu while maintaining good readability.

3. 100 Wardour Street by Colt

[Source: Colt]

Standout Features:

  • Elegant design execution
  • Impressive use of whitespace
  • Homage to classic Red Light district design sphere

Jazz bars and class are almost synonymous. And this restaurant menu for 100 Wardour Street, which was designed by Colt gives us a glimpse of that classic feel in the 21st century.

Neon lights are an integral design element on this menu. The cover page features bright orange light strokes that immediately grab attention. Sitting on top of the lights' macro image is the "100 Wardour St Club" logo text.

The elegance transcends to the pages through clear-cut formatting. As you turn the pages, you'll unearth a minimalist menu list with great use of whitespace. A white background on the inner page also increases clarity and neatness.

Also, the designers created a separate menu for the restaurant lounge in a rough brown textured printout: this menu houses breakfast items, drinks, and typical daytime orders.

Overall, the designers at Colt have dazzled the audience with this unique and creative menu for 100 Wardour Street.

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4. Vivo Latino by Alliance Agency

[Source: Alliance Agency]

Standout Features:

  • A splash of color on the menu
  • Neat organization of food items
  • Funky font styles

Colorful and lively. Two words that perfectly describe Vivo Latino's restaurant menu design by Alliance Agency. The bright color palette grabs attention in one glance, stimulating appetite while communicating a friendly vibe.

The design agency delivered a classic South American feel with retro themes. Illustrations of old cars and structures resembling the early Americas are seen in the background.

This restaurant menu takes its audience on a trip to Latin America just by the color design. Every graphic art, font and color blend together in harmony. Browsing the menu is like dancing through the rainbow given by the beautiful color story.

Shift your focus to the lower corner of the menu, and you'll see a dedicated section for Key Information. Here, customers are informed about the icons beside each food that say whether the dish is gluten-free, vegetarian, spicy hot, or has nuts.

5. Leadbellys Bar & Kitchen by Betwixt & Between

[Source: Betwixt & Between]

Standout Features:

  • Hand-made and printed floral patterns
  • Multiple menus showcasing design versatility
  • Harmonious letter spacing

The sophistication of Leadbellys Bar menu design by Betwixt & Between is out of this world. The restaurant has four menus featuring different selections for brunch, evening, Sunday and drinks.

The brunch menu uses a cool dark turquoise theme, while the evening menu is livelier in hot pink. The Sunday menu sports a warmer vibe in yellow, and the drinks menu nods to old-school neon signs in pink.

Bridging the menus together is a specific element: a calathea plant design pattern. Its distinct leaves are an instant visual treat to the restaurant goers. It goes well with the interior, further strengthening the restaurant’s aesthetic.

Ultimately, the final design direction hints at the rich shrubby environment of the space.

6. Mo Bar by ACRE Design

[Source: ACRE Design]

Standout Features:

  • One-of-a-kind astronomical theme
  • Premium prints and material texture
  • High-definition images

The collaboration between Mo Bar and design agency ACRE Design clutches inspiration from the Pacific Ocean and the rich culture of Asia. The outcome? A visual celebration of the Oriental flavors and aromas found in Asia.

Since the brand adopts themes of the sea, exploration, and the galaxy, it’s only fitting that ARCE Design keeps up. The menu pages feature themes of the sea, exploration, astronomy and artifacts.

This menu is on a different level when it comes to design and craftsmanship. The prints are as detailed as they can get. The astronomy theme especially got our attention. The space-inspired background gels well with the illustrations and texts on the page.

If we're talking about uniqueness, this design takes the cake!

7. Spice N Soul by 17dnorth

[Source: 17dnorth]

Standout Features:

  • Cute food icons beside dish name
  • Pleasing and appetizing hues
  • Comprehensible vector images

Indian food resonates with people from around the globe. And for Spice N Soul to resonate with their broad demographic, they teamed up with 17dnorth for an inclusive and creative restaurant menu design. Seeing an Indian menu with various artwork, food visuals and lively color patterns is a breath of fresh air.

The leaflet-style menu is divided into three sections. The middle part features a multi-colored geometric pattern with illustrations of traditional kitchen must-haves and herbs.

The left and right sections display the food offerings grouped according to Base, Filling, Sides, Chutneys and Drinks. Unlike other menus where the actual food image is displayed, the designers opted to illustrate some of the selection as cute cartoon icons.

Overall, 17dnorth makes good use of whitespace and delivers a tidy look. This restaurant menu design serves as a channel to new cultures and a fresh look at Indian cuisine, especially for new customers.

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