Consumers want a restaurant’s setting to enrich their dining experience, which can only be achieved by excellent restaurant design. A skilled architect can craft an ambient environment that will engage customers and be adaptable to changing menus and emerging lifestyles.
To help you choose the right designer equipped to handle your building requirements, our team has curated a list of the best restaurant architects in Palo Alto, California. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. We also considered the recognition each firm has received in the form of industry awards, client reviews, and press features. We have laid out the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.
BCV Architecture + Interiors
1527 Stockton Street 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94133
For over 24 years, BCV Architecture + Interiors has delivered exceptional architecture, interiors, and planning services to national and international clients. It develops private residences, wineries, markets and food halls, restaurants, specialty food shops, retail stores, mixed-use developments, and shopping centers. The firm creates detailed and sustainable spaces that are sensitive to context and address clients’ needs. Its work has earned BCV awards from the International Council of Shopping Centers Design and Development.
Founding Principal Hans Baldauf has a special interest in mixed-use urban projects and a range of project types that serve the public and connect to the surrounding cultural fabric. His stewardship of the community led to his elevation to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He is dedicated to integrating sustainability principles in his designs as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional. Hans is a member of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and the Retail Design Institute (RDI), as is Chris Von Eckartsberg, BCV’s co-founder. Chris specializes in specialty food service, public markets, and hospitality design. Chris’s and Hans’s shared passion for sustainable lifestyle design and the Slow Food Movement is a driving force behind BCV’s work.
BCV partnered with the San Francisco Brewing Co. to design a 12,000-square-foot restaurant and brewery that contains an indoor dining and bar area, an outdoor beer garden, and production space. The project balances the rich history and character of Ghirardelli Square with colorful tile and artwork, flexible seating and game areas, and a private tasting room adjacent to the production space.
Cass Calder Smith
44 McLea Court, San Francisco, California 94103
Cass Calder Smith is a multidisciplinary firm offering architecture and interior design services that have earned the firm awards from the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). The firm champions active listening and collaboration throughout the process of crafting commercial spaces for individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. Cass Calder Smith’s in-house staff supports the firm’s services, including ground-up construction, renovations, and interior build-outs for hospitality projects that benefit the community.
A member of the AIA, owner Cass Caler Smith has gained a wealth of experience and developed a design style that emphasizes bold imagery and modernist detail. His service to the city has resulted in leadership positions on the Civic Design Review Committee of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Board for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Smith’s work has been published in The New York Times, Architectural Record, and Metropolitan Home. He has cultivated the firm’s experience in food service retail design and the team’s know-how around the specific challenges of restaurant construction, demonstrated by Reposado in Palo Alto.
Designed in an existing 1920s feed and grain warehouse, the restaurant seats 180 in the main dining space and large mezzanine. The double height space on the ground floor consists of the main dining room, with banquet seating along the wall and a large, raised communal table adjacent to the kitchen. The main dining area is separated by a 30-foot long, stainless steel and glass-backed bar with raised bar dining booths against the wall.
2620 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Lundberg Design engages closely with clients in designing noteworthy homes, restaurants, wineries, corporate headquarters, distilleries, hotels, apartment buildings, and bars. With LEED Accredited Professionals on staff, the firm factors environmental sustainability into all of its projects. It is well-versed in working with materials with heft and texture, including wood, stone, and steel, to convey a personalized, “nature-inspired modernist” style. The company’s artisanal work has been recognized with awards by the AIA, IIDA, and the American Society of Landscape Architects. The Lundberg team is constantly refining its craftsmanship skills by playing and experimenting with materials and techniques in the firm’s fabrication shop, which was incorporated into the practice by founder Olle Lundberg.
Olle worked for Marquis Associates and operated independently before establishing Lundberg Design in 1987, with the shop at the center of the practice. Lundberg Design’s clientele includes Google, Twitter, Ramey Winery, and Mourad.
Lundberg Design partnered with Michelin-starred Maum to build out the interiors of this intimate restaurant using a single windfall tree. All of the woodwork was handcrafted by the firm’s shop. A screen wall of rotating vertical wood slabs allows the space to open to the downtown sidewalk or close to create a private room with a single large communal table made from the same tree, providing a stage for the Korean tasting menu.
1648 Pacific Avenue Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94109
With expertise in residential and commercial design, Feldman Architecture has won AIA and IIDA awards for fashioning site-sensitive and carefully detailed spaces tailored to their clients’ needs. The team works closely with clients in exploring sustainable design solutions. It employs a research-based approach, examining the constraints of each site. It forms solid partnerships with consultants, builders, and artisans to ensure that design decisions are well-informed and produce meticulous craftsmanship.
Founding Partner and CEO Jonathan Feldman is a member of the AIA and a LEED Accredited Professional. Jonathan and the FA team manipulate the built space to solve complex problems and enrich lives. His background in filmmaking influences his architectural style, shaping the experience of space to tell a story. As an advocate for sustainable design, Jonathan’s work demonstrates a grasp of the fundamental links that exist between structures and their surroundings. This is reflected in Feldman Architecture’s work on Dosa by DOSA.
Feldman took full advantage of high ceilings and abundant natural light in the century-old, brick-and-timber building at 2301 Broadway. An all-day bar keeps the energy light and lively from breakfast through dinner. The open kitchen and its wood-clad hearth showcase the handwork of creating fresh dosa. Two large mural walls commissioned from local artists transport the customer from Oakland to India.
Habitec Architecture & Interior Design
2290 North 1st Street, Suite 304, San Jose, California 95131
Habitec is known for its outstanding architectural, planning, and interior design services. It reconciles the myriad of program, budget, and regulatory requirements for commercial architecture, including corporate, retail, multi-use, educational, medical, and manufacturing spaces. In addition, Habitec has worked on a number of land planning and development projects, including industrial and business parks. Habitec creates buildings that are responsive to the community and the environment.
Jim Starkovich is the Founding Principal of Habitec as well as the Founding Partner of EarthStar Architects. A member of the AIA, Jim carries more than 50 years of experience that includes educational, commercial, recreational, residential, and industrial projects. Under his leadership, Habitec designed this casual Mexican restaurant in the historic San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. Olla Cocina’s bright and airy dining room opens to a street-front patio with plenty of outdoor seating. It features Spanish ceramic tiles, decorative block dividers, festive tones, and open space for large gatherings.
MSA Architecture + Design
360 22nd St. #800, Oakland, CA 94612
MSA uses its prowess in architecture and interior design to provide creative and technical spatial programs that comply with LEED standards. The firm fosters a constant dialogue between the team and clients, who range from small businesses to large corporations. MSA has worked with companies like Macy’s, Universal Music Group, and Tesla, and has received recognition from the San Francisco Small Business Network and the American Public Works Association.
Collaborative leadership sets MSA apart, enabling it to be its clients’ strategic partner and an innovator among design firms. Principal Erin Bowes is an exemplar of this leadership model. Erin brings more than 20 years of experience in workplace, retail, health care, and hospitality projects. She has driven the company to earn membership with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), reinforcing MSA’s commitment to environmentally conscious design.
MSA was responsible for the design of Philz Coffee in Cupertino, California. The team optimized the floor-to-ceiling glazing on three sides of the building. Light wood for millwork and decorative paneling and a polished, concrete floor gives the coffee shop a customer-friendly and casual feel. A range of blue tones on the walls and a pop of bright yellow for light fixtures and furnishings resonate with the client’s trademark eclectic interior design.
414 Thirteenth St. Suite 350, Oakland, CA 94612
Arcsine combines architecture, interior design, and sustainability to connect people and physical space, partnering with clients in the hospitality, workplace, retail and residential sectors across the U.S. Its areas of expertise encompass hotel renovations, new restaurants, commercial spaces, and custom residences. Arcsine implements an approach that involves full immersion within a design concept to produce an experience-based response to a problem. This method was conceived by co-founder Daniel Scovill, whose career has revolved around restaurant, hospitality, and retail projects.
Daniel is masterful in designing large, commercial projects with a strong emphasis on branding and hospitality. He was employed at Axis Architecture + Design and Gensler, where co-founder Adam Winig worked as well. Adam has been lead architect on many large hospitality projects, and has worked with prominent designers, builders, and brands. Daniel and Adam have been instrumental in Arcsine’s work in redesigning buildings and interior business spaces such as The Periodic Table, a sake bar and taproom.
Every inch of the 400-square-foot space is fitting for an intimate and educational bar experience. The overall design is contemporary, rooted in the owners’ passion for geometry and chemistry. Half-hexagon patterns, inspired by the benzene molecule, are a recurring visual element throughout the space.
1810 6th St., Berkeley, CA 94710
Rooted in community stewardship, Studio KDA designs large-scale multifamily properties, restaurants, and commercial and living spaces that reflect their social, historical, and cultural context. The firm takes a research-based approach that involves outreach activities and mood board pin-up presentations to ensure each design is responsive to the site, budget, brand vision, and schedule. Effective communication from start to finish is given emphasis at Studio KDA, as clients and their community are encouraged to share their insights.
Managing Principals Marites Abueg and Keith Morris have particular strengths in working with clients, city officials, contractors, and the general public, which is useful when it comes to working with disparate stakeholders to get complex projects entitled. They maintain a hands-on approach alongside the other leaders of the firm while guiding a staff of exceptional designers, architects, and project managers. Marites and Keith lend their knowledge of the design process to Studio KDA’s collection of restaurants, including Nopalito, which translates to “handcrafted.”
In alignment with the concept, the design aims to highlight the human hand with wine-soaked oak strips used in flavoring barrels, pierced tin pendant lights made from tomato cans, and acoustic panels from organic coffee bags. The indoor space is divided equally between an open kitchen and the dining area, with a bar acting as the focal point from which customers can watch the chefs prepare food. The clean, modern design merges utility and imagination.