Arlington has a vibrant dining scene. From cafes to fine dining restaurants, the city is a food destination in its own right.

We have gathered a list of the best restaurant architects in Arlington, Virginia to help restaurateurs create the perfect dining space and ambiance. We chose these architectural firms for their expertise and reputation.


1311 Naylor Court NW, Washington, DC 20001

GrizForm Design Architects finds the intersection between art, design, and hospitality. The firm is committed to improving the built environment with each project. As a premier hospitality design and architecture firm in Washington D.C., it is known for its award-winning designs. The firm prides itself on quality craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, and a deep awareness of historical context. 

The firm strives for creative solutions to meet clients’ varied needs. It presents contemporary design concepts that incorporate unique materials and historical references. This approach results in distinctive designs that always exceed expectations. 

The firm has designed many restaurants in Arlington and the Washington D.C., Metropolitan area. Its projects include Medi, a casual dining restaurant serving Mediterranean fare. The design has a nautical theme with decorative pulleys, rope lanterns, and blue walls. 

GrizForm Design Architects was a 2020 finalist for Casual Restaurant at the Annual Hospitality Design (HD) Awards. Its projects have been featured in esteemed publications like restaurant development+design, Inspire Design, and The Wall Street Journal.

Principal and Owner Griz Dwight, AIA, LEED AP has over 19 years of industry experience. He won the 2008 AIA|DC Emerging Architect Award and was named one of the Wave of the Future designers by Hospitality Design Magazine in 2015. He graduated at the top of his class at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Master’s in Architecture. Griz established the company in 2003.

Architecture, Incorporated

1902 Campus Commons Drive, Suite 101, Reston, VA 20191

Architecture, Incorporated goes beyond predictable designs by providing creative solutions to complex design challenges. The firm is committed to improving quality of life through the built environment. With a 60-person team, it offers planning, architecture, and interior design services in Arlington and the surrounding areas. From new construction to complex renovations, it has delivered projects for the commercial, hospitality, and recreation markets across the region.

The company has worked on multiple restaurants for Bartaco, a chain specializing in upscale street food. Bartaco’s restaurants have a coastal vibe that draws inspiration from beach culture around the world. Its restaurant design typically incorporates a blue and white color palette along with natural wood accents and distressed paint finishes. 

Architecture, Incorporated received Honorable Mention for Restaurant Interior Build-Out at the 2019 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Awards. It also won the Honor Award at the 2019 IIDA Mid-Atlantic Premier Design Awards. Its designs have been featured in Building Design + Construction, Washington Business Journal, and Architectural Record.

Senior Vice President Rusty Shaw, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP has over 35 years of leadership experience. He is one of the two founding partners of the firm. He supports cost-effective design and is committed to improving the metro area’s educational landscape.

President William R. Drury, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB has more than 44 years of industry experience. He is one of two founding partners of Architecture, Incorporated. He is known for solving complex design challenges and promoting excellence in project delivery. Rusty and William established the firm in 1986.

CORE architecture + design

1010 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 405, Washington, DC 20007

CORE architecture + design is known for providing exceptional design services that add value to the restaurant businesses. The company believes in intentional design for shaping experiences. Its diverse portfolio includes mixed-use developments, large-scale offices, and chef-driven restaurants throughout the Washington metropolitan area. 

Its projects include Board Room, a game bar and brewery in Arlington, VA. The bar has Las Vegas-inspired decor with chrome table tops, flat-screen TVs, and a diamond motif. Wooden floors and dark walls help ground the design. 

CORE architecture + design won the 2021 Form + Function Innovation Award for Mozzeria—a Neapolitan-style pizzeria designed for deaf and hard of hearing individuals—at the 5th Annual RD+D Awards. The firm also landed 2nd place for Best Design (Moderate) at the International Restaurant Hotel Awards. Its projects have been featured in Redfin, BizJournals, and Washingtonian.

Founding Principal Dale A. Stewart, AIA, NCARB has more than 38 years of industry experience in the Greater D.C. Metropolitan Area. He leads individual projects at CORE and is licensed in 14 states. His areas of expertise include commercial interiors, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and base building architecture. He established the firm in 1991. 

Principal and Director of Hospitality Design Allison Cooke, IIDA, LEED AP, NCIDQ leads restaurant work at CORE. She studied interior design at the Miami University of Ohio.

RRMM Architects Arlington

2900 South Quincy Street, Suite 710, Arlington, VA 22206

RRMM Architects is headquartered in Chesapeake, VA with additional offices in Richmond, Arlington, Roanoke and Rockville, MD. They are experts in a variety of procurement methods including CM@Risk, Design-Build and Design-Bid-Build as well as PPEA.  The company’s portfolio includes spaces completed for a variety of market sectors, including K-12 Education, Higher Education, Municipal, Federal, Retail/Restaurant and Library projects. Licensed in the 48 continental states, the Retail /Restaurant sector focuses on National clientele. The firm also emphasizes the importance of working closely with its clients throughout the process to ensure that their needs and visions are incorporated into their new spaces.

Depicted above is the firm’s recent work for Which Wich Chesapeake. The newly renovated restaurant was part of two new locations in the Hampton Roads region. With over 1,500 SF of space, this franchise is able to provide healthy casual options for sandwiches and salads.

GTM Architects

7735 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 700, Bethesda, MD 20814

GTM Architects prioritizes clients’ needs above all else. As a premier design firm, it offers planning, architecture, and interior design services to restaurateurs in Arlington and the surrounding areas. It provides access to a team of designers with a wide range of skills and diverse specialties. Aside from restaurant design, the firm also specializes in mixed-use developments, retail spaces, and corporate offices. From architectural planning to historic preservation, the firm is ready to meet clients’ varied needs. 

Based in Bethesda, the firm established an office in Washington D.C. to better coordinate with local agencies. It also delivers projects for clients in Virginia and Florida. Its adaptability and dynamism allow the firm to design restaurants in different landscapes and a variety of markets. 

Its projects include Olazzo in Bethesda, MD. The restaurant serves Italian-American fare in a relaxed setting. The design incorporates brick interior finishes, marble countertops, and stained concrete floors for a rustic vibe. Low ambient lighting allows for a comfortable and laid-back atmosphere. 

GTM Architects has been featured in Bethesda Magazine, Qualified Remodeler, and Work Design Magazine. The company was established in 1989. Founder and President George T. Myers, AIA, NCARB is a Registered Architect in more than 20 states. He is also certified as an expert witness on architectural issues by the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment. 

Principal David P. Konapelsky, AIA, NCARB joined GTM Architects in 1998. His areas of expertise include commercial base buildings, mixed-use developments, and tennis facilities. He is a Registered Architect in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

FOCUS: architecture+design

4601 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 1000, Arlington, VA 22203

FOCUS: architecture+design keeps the focus on the client throughout the design process. This approach allows them to deliver unique and dynamic designs that meet clients’ unique business requirements. Known for creativity, the firm makes the design process easier and more fulfilling for restaurant owners. 

The company offers a full range of planning, architectural, and design services for interior and exterior spaces in the D.C. Metro Area. The firm strives to be a reliable partner for clients who need practical solutions and clear communication. Its robust portfolio includes restaurants, retail spaces, and entertainment facilities. 

Its projects include Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, VA. The restaurant serves Italian, Mexican, and American fare in a casual setting. The design incorporates colorful murals to stimulate diners’ senses as they enter the restaurant. With ample seating and no-frills decor, the restaurant is ideal for family meals and friendly get-togethers. 

Founding Principal Paul Elgin, AIA, LEED AP has over 20 years of experience in base-building and interior projects. He has delivered design and construction projects for the commercial and secure facility sectors. Paul studied environmental design at Texas A&M University. 

FOCUS: architecture+design received the 2015 Award of Merit from NAIOP and the 2015 Space Innovator Award from Global Workspace Association. The company was established in 2005.