The Year's Most Fabulous International Bars and Restaurants
December 9, 2020
photos Restaurant & Bar Design Awards Official Website

The winners of this year’s Restaurant and Bar Design Awards are shining examples of luxury, fantasy, and spectacle.

The pandemic may have slowed down business in restaurants and bars around the globe this year, but it certainly did not stop some of the most creative architects and designers from producing incredibly stunning spaces for the Jet Set to wine and dine in. 

The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, the world’s leading independent competition dedicated to excellency in hospitality design, recently announced its winners in 46 categories. Over 100 countries submitted entries to the UK-based organization which has separate categories for UK and International establishments. This year’s panel of 45 judges included global influencers like Sarah Douglas (Editor In Chief, Wallpaper Magazine) and Knut Wylde (General Manager, The Berkeley). 

Here are five of the most fabulous, spectacular, and eye-catching spaces that took home the prize this year. (For a complete list of winners, click here.)

Cathédrale at Moxy NYC East Village

  • Category: Luxury, International
  • New York, USA
  • Designed by Rockwell Group

With a main dining room that boasts a 26-foot triple-height ceiling, Cathédrale has the look and ambiance of a magnificent architectural treasure. A massive wire mesh sculpture by artist Edoardo Tresoldi soars above the tables, giving the space the illusion of a grand domed ceiling while royal blue drapes bring in softness and a pop of rich color to the monochromatic interior. 

To one side is a spacious open kitchen with copper accents that emit a lustrous glow. Once a venue for rock concerts, this landmark in New York’s hip East Village also has an outdoor dining terrace with a retractable roof. The outstanding design of this luxurious restaurant and bar perfectly complements Chef Jason Hall’s unique twist on classic French-Mediterranean cuisine.

Cathédrale in New York’s trendy East Village offers French-Mediterranean cuisine in an atmosphere of luxury and elegance.
A breathtaking wire mesh sculpture is the focal point of the main dining area in this elegant restaurant.
Copper accents lend warmth to the open kitchen in the spacious dining area.
Once a popular venue for rock concerts, the restaurant celebrates the building’s heritage with details that evoke its past life.

Feng Yuan Coconut Chicken Original

  • Category: Surface Interiors, Asia Restaurant
  • Guangzhou, China
  • Designed by: X.J.D Lab of Design

Stepping into Feng Yuan Coconut Chicken Original is like entering the enchanting Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. The theme and basis for the restaurant’s design is the coconut tree; green-plated steel “trees” with abstracted palm leaves glisten along the walls and corridors giving the interior the look of a magical forest. Taking centerstage is a dazzling light feature that references dripping water. The hot pot tables also evoke water with their sleek glass surfaces that appear to ripple like gentle waves. This extraordinary restaurant in Guangzhou City is guaranteed to give discriminating diners an unforgettable culinary and sensory experience.

A dramatic and spectacular lighting feature takes centerstage in the main dining area of this fantastic restaurant.
Water is the design inspiration for the hot pot tables; their sleek surfaces evoke the movement of gentle waves.
The entrance to the restaurant resembles a magical forest of green-plated steel “trees.


  • Category: Café 
  • London, UK
  • Designed by FormRoom

Dyce serves up sweet dreams in the heart of London with its scrumptious desserts and award-winning design. Offering custom-made gelato confections, milkshakes, and bubble teas, this pastel haven is the brainchild of Chef Zhara Khan. Khan instructed London-based creative design agency FormRoom to design a space that would make customers feel like they are “encapsulated in melting ice cream.” Adding fun and panache to the interior are cozy seating pods and round mirrors that echo the tapioca balls in their fruit or milk teas. “The funky setting and decadent treats are a perfect heaven for Instagrammers,” says the chef and we couldn’t agree more. 

Chef Zhara Khan wanted customers to feel like they were “encapsulated in melting ice cream,” thus soft colors appear to trickle down the walls and onto the floor.
Pastel colors and spherical shapes amp up the whimsy in this “Instagrammable” dessert parlor.
A bright, eye-catching hue makes the storefront stand out in this relatively staid London street.


  • Category: Surface Interiors, Europe Restaurant
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Designed by Asthetique

Polet (in English, flight) is a Russian restaurant located in Khodynka Field, a decommissioned airfield 7 kilometers from Moscow. Once the center of Russia’s aviation industry, this area is now home to several large-scale developments featuring one of Europe’s largest shopping centers, a sports arena, the Russian National Air and Space Museum, and a residential neighborhood. New York-based design firm Asthetique honored this location’s heritage by giving the restaurant a retro-futuristic interior that calls to mind “the sleek modernism of the space age with the cinematic grandiosity of early sci-fi movies.” Monumental objects like the concrete bas relief depicting planes taking off and six-meter winged goddesses introduce scale and drama to the spacious dining areas. References to air and space travel abound, from the stainless steel aircraft silhouettes on the walls to the floating glass sphere lights that resemble flying saucers. This extraordinary space is certain to leave a lasting impression on all who dine there. 

Abundant references to air and space travel, an homage to the location’s heritage, are featured throughout the restaurant.
A concrete bas relief depicting planes taking off is the focal point in this area of the restaurant.
Massive winged goddesses in a retro-futuristic design are reminiscent of the grandiosity of early science fiction films like “Metropolis.”

Loong Swim Club

  • Category: Color
  • Suzhou, China
  • Designed by: X+Living

Looking more like a magical set for a modern version of Alice In Wonderland, the Loong Swim Club in Suzhou is the fantastical design of Li Xiang, the founder of design firm X+Living. Citing the visionary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi as one of her influences, Li has created an amazing, almost cartoon-like pastel playground full of whimsy and delight. Although the swimming and sports club caters primarily to children, parents can relax in the charming café with its gentle colors and comfortable seats. Playful patterns and shapes are reflected in the mirrored ceiling of this area giving patrons the feeling of being in a breathtaking optical illusion. 

Sure to delight all who dine here, the restaurant’s playful design perfectly captures the whimsy and wonder of childhood.
Truly deserving of its win in the Color category, Loong Swim Club’s design is a paragon of creativity and imagination.
The vast mirrored ceiling repeats the large-scale circle and stripe patterns to create a playful, almost cartoon-like effect.

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