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Menu Management

51 Examples of Excellent Restaurant Menu Design to Inspire You

by

Dana Krook

Your menu is more than a simple list of the items your restaurant has to offer. Carefully thought out restaurant menu design can improve everything from your brand identity to your customer’s experience to your profits. In fact, good restaurant menu design can increase your profits by 10–15%

Ingredients of Good Menu Design

Creative restaurant menu design is a recipe for success and, just like the menu itself, should always be changing. So, we’ve put together a list of ingredients to make sure you achieve the best possible results whenever you’re ready for a refresh. As you sit down to plan out your menu design, consider each of the following: 

  • Placement and categories: You’ll want to keep your cost and sales data close at hand as you lay out your items into four quadrants (listed below), strategically drawing attention to items that are highly profitable but may not be as popular. 
    • Profitable x Popular 
    • Profitable x Not popular
    • Not profitable x Popular
    • Not profitable x Not popular  
  • Limited choices: For each menu category, the magic number is 7. Decision fatigue is a real thing. Too many options can be overwhelming and make people want to stick to what they know. 
  • The golden triangle: Speaking of strategy, make sure to include your high-margin items in the area known as the golden triangle. So where exactly is the golden triangle? According to restaurant consultant Aaron Allen, it starts at the center of the page and then works its way up to the top right corner and across to the top left.
the golden triangle menu
  • Color theory: Have you ever been driving along the expressway and looked around at a sea of red and yellow fast food chain signs? It’s hardly a coincidence. The psychological impact of color on our appetites dates way back to our early ancestors who deemed certains foods safe or unsafe to eat based on their color. 
  • High-margin items: Aside from highlighting these within the golden triangle, consider choosing fonts and colors that will attract the customer’s eye. 
  • Photos: When it comes to selecting food photos for your menu, follow these two rules religiously: less is more and quality over quantity.  
  • Menu modifiers: Without venturing into too much choice territory, consider the power of suggestion when it comes to including a couple of menu modifiers directly on your menu. 
  • Cross-selling: Whether it be as classy as a wine or beer pairing suggestion under each high-margin item, or as simple as pairing soups and salads under the same header, cross-selling is real. 
  • Accessibility: Have fun with your design, but make sure it remains readable and uncluttered. Bright fonts on a bright background, or item descriptions being too small to read will have the same overwhelming effect as an overabundance of options. 
  • Platform: As you plan out your restaurant menu design, consider how it would work across your restaurant’s digital platforms as well. If it isn’t likely to translate, you’ll want to include a line item in your budget for digital menu design as well. 

For a more in-depth dive into each of these ingredients, check out:

51 Examples of Restaurant Menu Design Done Right

We’ve put together a list of 51 menu card examples to serve as a bit of restaurant menu design inspiration, including what exactly is so good about each one.

By the time you reach the end, you should be fully equipped to design a menu that elevates your brand, increases your profits, and ties into your brand identity in a way that stands out and gives your customers something to talk about around the water cooler – or wherever it is people talk these days. 

1. Quo Vadis – London, UK

Quo Vadis - London, UK menu design
Quo Vadis

The individual square boxes on this menu allow for highlighting high margin items and make the choices easy to navigate. Simple yet effective.

2. Michi Ramen – Austin, Texas

michi ramen menu design
Michi Ramen

Simple illustrations on this menu make the dishes pop off the page. 

3. Kittyhawk Cocktail Bar – Sydney, Australia 

kittyhawk menu design
Under Consideration – Kittyhawk Cocktail Bar. Designed by Gemma Warriner.

Concept-based menu design can help bring your backstory to life for customers. 

4. The Sinclair – Cambridge, Massachusetts

sinclair menu under consideration beside mechanics tools
Under Consideration – Sinclair. Designed by Oat Creative.

Sometimes it’s all about being clean, elegant, and easy to navigate.

5. The Dead Rabbit – New York City, New York

The Dead Rabbit menu design
Static 1 Square Space

This one gets people talking. The cocktail menu reads like a graphic novel and tells the story behind each drink item listed. 

6. Smoke & Duck Sauce – Atlanta, Georgia

Smoke & Duck Sauce menu design
Vigor Branding

You know the types who fidget with their beer labels or tear up their coasters? They’ll love these menus designed to be folded up into little origami cranes. 

7. Eleven Madison Park – New York City, New York

Eleven madison park restaurant menu design

Under Consideration – Eleven Madison Park. Designed by Juliette Cezzar.

Here we’ve got minimal design, placed in a grid. When it comes to less is more, this menu design takes the cake. 

8. The Fat Cow Japanese Steakhouse – Singapore 

The Fat Cow menu design
BPANDO – Designed by Foreign Policy

This menu was printed using wooden blocks made to resemble the branding of cows, which speaks to the restaurant’s Japanese style of “Wabi Sabi” beef. 

9. 13 Wives Cocktail Bar – Singapore 

13 Wives Cocktail Bar menu design
Under Consideration – 13 Wives. Designed by Foreign Policy.

This cocktail menu is meant to feel like you’re reading the cocktail mixer’s personal little black book of ideas. 

10. Arthur’s Nosh Bar – Montreal, Canada

arthurs nosh bar menu design
Arthurs MTL

This menu is simple, fits on one page, and uses an easy to read, black on white typeface.

11. Smith – Toronto, Canada

smith toronto menu design
Fab AwardsDesigned by Tracy Ma.

Made to look like a newspaper, this menu offers simple text and black and white images of the seasonally-changing food items on offer.

12. Zapiain – Astigarraga, Spain

Zapiain menu design
Grabo Laser

When your focus is on wine, your taco list can be short and to the point. This menu, designed by Grabo Laser, was etched into a wood block which can easily be left on tables. 

13. Ninebark – Napa Valley, California

ninebark menu design
Avroko

Fresh herbs are Ninebark’s thing, so they decided to feature them front and center on their menus. 

14. Toko – Dubai, UAE

Toko menu design
Behance – Toko Downtown Dubai. Designed by Brighthead Studio.

With all the minimalism and black and white type in the world these days, it’s refreshing that this Dubai-based Japanese restaurant went colorful with their unique marbled menu design.

15. Cafe Vera – Zaragoza, Spain 

Vera menu design
Under Consideration – Vera. Designed by El Calotipo.

The tactile feeling of holding this solid wood plank menu in your hands immediately elevates the quality of the restaurant in your mind.

16. Cellarmaker Brewing Co. – San Francisco, California 

Cellarmaker Brewing Co menu design
Pinterest. Designed by Gamut.

Not only is this vintage cellar inspired menu beautiful to look at, it serves as a bit of a bingo game for beer tastings. 

17. Hula de Hawaii – Monterrey, Mexico 

hula de hawii menu design
Under Consideration – Hula de Hawaii. Designed by Parametro Studio.

When your menu is inspired by all things Hawaii, it makes sense to design it with that in mind. There may even be some strategic color theory work happening behind the scenes.

5 Online Tools for DIY Restaurant Menu Design 

If paying a professional to redesign your menu isn’t in your budget at the moment, there are a number of online services you can turn to for easy-to-customize restaurant menu design templates. 

  • Canva: Let Canva do the heavy design lifting. All you have to do is drag and drop your logo and menu items into their well-designed templates. 
  • Adobe Spark: Unlike many other Adobe products, you don’t need any design or programming skills to use Spark and build a beautiful menu in line with your brand identity. 
  • iMenu Pro: This program has only one focus and it’s menus, so the tools and graphics included are designed with restaurateurs in mind.
  • Poster My Wall: Hundreds of templates, free downloads, and no design skills required!   
  • Flipsnack: This one is a little different because it focuses on digital menu design. If you’re looking to pretty-up your online menu, this tool is great! 

18. Chick-a-Biddy, Atlanta, Georgia

chi a biddy menu design
Under Consideration – Chick-A-Biddy. Designed by Tad Carpenter.

Yellow is the happiest color. No really. It’s been shown to trigger the release of serotonin in our brains, which in turn stimulates our appetites.

19. Fieldwork Brewing – Berkeley, California (multiple locations)

Fieldwork Brewing menu design
Under Consideration – Fieldwork Brewing Co. Designed by Gamut.

This craft brewery got a little crafty with their two-ring rolodex-style menu, which allows them to add and remove items as their taps change and rotate.

20. Nudo – Spokane, Washington 

Nudo classic comic book styled menu design
Nudo Ramen. Designed by Jesse Scheller.

Make your pop art really pop by contrasting it against neat and tidy columns. 

21. Admiral Maltings – Alameda, California

admiral maltings menu  design
Gamut – Admiral Maltings

This California brewery’s menu doubles as a chart that lists the flavour profiles and ingredients of their beers. 

22. One Night Only – Singapore

One Night Only menu design
Behance. Designed by Foreign Policy

Themed around the idea of ephemera and the transient nature of old Americana road trips, this restaurant designed their menu to fit their vibe.

23. Fade Street Gastro Bar – Dublin, Ireland

fade street gastro bar menu design
Steve Simpson

Keeping the actual menu clean and simple is good for your bottom line. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun and get a little loud with your cover design.

24. Mr. Brown – Barcelona, Spain

mr. brown menu design
Jerome & Zimmerman

This restaurant menu was designed to be part of the decor when it’s not in use. 

25. The Clifford Pier – Singapore 

the clifford pier menu design
Under Consideration  – Clifford Pier. Designed by Foreign Policy

The designers behind this menu know the value of a strong first impression. 

26. La Banane – Toronto, Canada

La Banane menu design
La Banane 

This single page, black and white design is so classy it hurts. 

27. Parson’s Chicken & Fish – Chicago, Illinois

Parson's fish and chips menu design
Thrillist

Has all that red and yellow made you hungry for some fried chicken yet?  

28. Biderman’s Deli – Austin, Texas

Biderman's deli menu design
Biderman’s Deli

This deli serves up breakfast staples, so they’ve kept their menu as simple and straightforward as the contents. 

29. La Cubana – Toronto, Canada

La cubana menu design
La Cubana

Limited choices, simple design, doubles as a placemat. This Toronto-based, Cuban-inspired joint is covering all their menu design bases.

30. Kuro Sushi – Poznań, Poland

kuro sushi menu design
Under Consideration – Kuro. Designed by Artentiko.

These menus come rolled just like your maki! 

31. Black Bean Deli – Orlando, Florida

Black bean deli menu design
Black Bean Deli

 This Orlando-based Cuban joint keeps it easy to read on their behind-the-counter menu board. 

32. Bar Raval – Toronto, Canada

Bar raval menu design
Taylor Fladgate WordPress

This Spanish tapas joint is known for its extensive wine list, so they’ve designed a menu that highlights this focus.

33. The Golden Girl Rum Club – Springfield, Missouri 

Golden girl rum club menu design
Under Consideration – The Golden Girl Rum Club. Designed by Frank Norton.

This menu is as fun and quirky as the cocktails within it, with individual illustrations for each of The Golden Girl’s signature cocktails. 

34. Hiding in Plain Sight – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hiding in plain sight menu design
Under Consideration – Hiding in Plain Sight. Designed by Moulsari Jain.

When stashed on a bookshelf, this menu really lives up to the restaurant’s name. 

35. The Noble Experiment – San Diego, California

the noble experiment menu design
Under Consideration – Noble Experiment. Designed by Dane Danner.

When it comes to noble experiments, these San Diegans got it right with a gold embossed textured menu.

36. Hero – Paris, France

Hero menu design
Under Consideration – Hero. Designed by Safari Sundays and No Vacancy 

Clean and clear design allows this restaurant to get away with a more complicated layout.

37. Evo Vegetarian – Portland, Maine

EVO vegetarian menu design
Under Consideration – Evo. Designed by Might & Main.

Clean, clear, and classic.

38. So9 – Melbourne, Australia 

So9 Menu design
Under Consideration – So9. Designed by BrandWorks.

By breaking items down into different categories, you have the opportunity to suggest pairings with items in different boxes, which will boost your sales.

39. MataMata – Paris, France 

MataMata menu design
Under Consideration – MataMata. Designed by Content Design Lab.

This grid makes the golden triangle easy to execute. 

40. Gaslamp Social Provisions – Spokane, Washington

Gaslamp menu design
Under Consideration –Gaslamp Social Provisions. Designed by Jesse Scheller.

Simple illustrations that fit your restaurant’s theme can go a long way toward tying your brand identity together. 

41. Alamo – Zaragoza,  Spain 

Alamo menu design
Under Consideration – Alamo. Designed by Noem9 Studio.

Make like a tree and leave a lasting impression on your guests with menus printed directly onto a slice of a tree trunk.

42. Catch and Release – L.A., California

Catch and release menu design
Under Consideration – Catch and Release. Designed by Farm Design.

The Catch and Release menu highlights their specialty, with a fish index card to help guide customers.

43. Clerigo Tapas Bar – Porto, Portugal 

Clerigo Tapas menu design
Under Consideration – Clerigos. Designed by White Studio.

The golden triangle is being used to perfection here.

44. Savio Volpe – Vancouver, Canada

Savio Volpe menu design
Under Construction – Savio Volpe. Designed by Glasfurd & Walker.

Some menus tell a story. This one illustrates the adventures of a clever fox, the namesake of the restaurant.

45. El Vez Burrito – New York City, New York

El vez burrito menu design
Under Consideration – El Vez Burrito Bar.Designed by Roberto DeVicq.

Burritos are fun and so are these menus. 

46. Flamingo – Hegyeshalom, Hungary

Flamingo menu design
Under Consideration – Flamingo. Designed by Akos Sarkadi-Toth.

For menus that change regularly, include a permanent piece like this wood board with binder clips, and print off new menus when needed. 

47. Real Sports Bar – Toronto, Canada

Real sports bar menu design
Under Consideration – Real Sports Bar and Grill. Designed by Jar Head Designs.

At first glance, it may seem like there are too many choices on this menu, but the strategically placed categories and carefully selected fonts and bolding make it easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. 

48. Coldwater Creek – Wollongong, Australia 

coldwater creek menu design
Under Consideration – Coldwater Creek. Designed by The National Grid.

This menu design ticks off a lot of boxes: color theory, strategic categories, limited choices, and eye-popping design.

49. La Principal – Bogota, Colombia

La principal menu design
Under Consideration – La Principal. Designed by Arutza Rico Onzaga.

Food photography done right. 

50. C. Senor – Dallas, Texas

C. senor menu design
Under Construction – C. Senor. Designed by Hungry Studio.

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one example of a food truck menu. The simple design of this menu board uses the right mix of colour and eye-catching fonts.

51. Batinse – Quebec City, Canada

Batinse menu design
Under Consideration – Batinse. Designed by Deux et Quatre.

Another example of golden triangle perfection.

Whether you’re just starting out or considering a rebrand, a well-thought-out restaurant menu design can go a long way to improving your bottom line. Working within the parameters listed at the top of this page will ensure your success – whether you’re jumping on a new design trend, or sticking with a tried and true classic look. 

For more tips and tricks to achieving the ultimate restaurant menu design, check out:


Dana is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.

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