Restaurant design should prioritize aesthetic quality, functionality, and a comfortable environment. The overall layout should be able to attract customers and reinforce the restaurant’s brand. Customer spaces are a top priority, but employee areas should also be optimized to make work easy, smooth, and efficient.

For readers looking to start their own restaurant or build a franchise, this article features the best restaurant architects in Oakland, California. These firms stood out to our editorial team for various reasons, including work quality, awards, and feedback. Each company has a solid reputation and is capable of working in multiple markets. These studio’s restaurant portfolios range from bars and cafes to high-end restaurants.

Amato Architecture

1396 Park Avenue, Emeryville, CA 94608

Amato Architecture uses integrative design to create quality spaces with timeless appeal. Form and function are present in every development to make conditions easier for the client. In the field, principal Rebecca Amato fosters a collaborative process that prioritizes attention to detail and sustainability. Her ​firm typically works on residential and commercial properties, including offices, restaurants, and luxury homes.

The Pearl is a remodeling development in San Francisco. The structure originally stood as a boiler factory before its conversion into a commercial establishment. A fresh modern floor plan for the multi-level event space combines classic and futuristic elements. The structure includes an interior elevator, an open mezzanine, and a roof deck with panoramic views of the bay city. The building also incorporates the creative re-use of the old factory’s retired steel cranes, house event lighting, and an indoor garden.


414 Thirteenth Street, Suite 350, Oakland, CA 9461

Arcsine runs a quality-driven operation that upholds a collaborative approach in every project. The studio excels in architecture and interior design and offers engaging qualities that improve the community. 

Founder Daniel Scovill and firm partner Adam Winig strive to provide creative solutions that enrich people’s lives. Their roster’s expertise lies in strategic management, streamlined programming, and modern design. Standout in-house work from the team won awards such as the 2018 Hospitality Design Nightlife Award.

The Duende Restaurant and Bodega in Oakland features a distinct layout, as the building integrates traditional Spanish folklore into its design. The interplay between dark and light playfully fuels the establishment’s aesthetic, a creative concept complemented by contrasting materials that further enhance the structure. The idea extends to every corner of the bar, from the walls to the menus.

Studio KDA

1810 6th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

Studio KDA specializes in commercial architecture and interior design. Its expertise includes new developments, remodeling projects, concept planning, and more. The firm’s work caters to the client’s standards while reflecting social, historical, and cultural contexts as well. Exemplary designs by the studio have received critical recognition, such as the 2020 Grand Prize for Best Interior Renovation from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) Gold Nugget Award.

Operations are led by managing principal Charles Kahn and principals Keith Morris, Marites Abueg, and Ann Slobod. Their service-oriented approach prioritizes clients in every stage of the project. 

TORC is a collaboration with contractor Abernathy Brothers Construction. The Napa restaurant has a dynamic layout that matches its fast-paced business flow. A rustic aesthetic with modern lighting and striking decor makes dining simultaneously relaxed and engaging.

Feldman Architecture

1648 Pacific Avenue, Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94109

Feldman Architecture is dedicated to crafting designs that affect people, the community, and the environment positively. Sustainability is a central aspect, an effort to provide cleaner and healthier spaces that improve conditions.

Jonathan Feldman is the practice’s CEO and founding partner. The industry veteran has a diverse dossier that consists of residential, commercial, interior design, and transformation projects.

Featured is the Dosa Restaurant, an establishment that caters to Mumbai street food enthusiasts. The structure showcases a lively aesthetic with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Traditional Indian elements are prevalent in the design.

The gorgeous structure won numerous accolades in 2018. These awards include Oakland Magazine’s Best New Restaurant, the Gold Nugget Merit Award for Best Commercial Project under 20,000 square feet, and the Best US Hospitality Design Project Award from Build 2018 Architecture Awards.


2101 Webster Street, Suite 2000, Oakland, CA 94612

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 50 locations across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places where people live, work, and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful. 

“Creating a better world through the power of design” has always guided the firm’s practice. This philosophy has not only allowed the firm to produce some of the most unforgettable architectures of today but produce award-winning projects in a wide array of sectors. Awards from industry institutions and publications such as the AIA, Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms in 2019, Fast Company, Building Design+Construction, and Architectural Record highlight the firm’s architectural excellence and innovations.

Photo by Emily Hagopian

Manah Shah serves as Managing Director and Principal of Gensler’s Oakland office. The office worked on Original Pattern Brewing Company’s brewery and tasting room. It was important to the client to preserve much of the building’s original character as possible while updating the space to meet the functional requirements of a brewery and tasting room. The open, cathedral-like space makes for an impressive arrival experience for locals and visitors alike. Beer-lovers can enjoy a variety of seating options, including the bar, counter-height tables, private booths, and a banquet-style communal table. Easily visible behind the bar are two classic, wooden foeders to house and age beers, as well as a 20-hectoliter brew system, and allow bar patrons to witness the rigorous brewing process.