Ten stylish eateries with nostalgic retro interiors

A decadent 1920s-style restaurant and a pastel-hued cafe informed by the playful symmetry of Wes Anderson movies are included in our latest lookbook, which collects ten eateries featuring retro design.

The stylish details in these projects range from dark-cherry wood panelling and bulbous sconce lights to pops of bright red colour similar to that found in 1950s American diners.

In other projects, the designers maintained the original design features found in the cafes and restaurants – such as vintage ceiling beams or reclaimed furniture – to create retro interiors that still feel modern.

This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing self-designed homes by architects and designers, modernist open-plan living rooms and interiors with cosy conversation pits.

Cafe Banacado, Sweden, by ASKA 

Design influences from Anderson’s movies collide with Cuban aesthetics at Cafe Banacado, an all-day breakfast cafe in Stockholm by architecture studio ASKA.

Known for his playfully retro sets, American filmmaker Anderson’s visual style typically includes bold symmetrical layouts similar to the geometric built-in sofas and custom tables reflected in a large mirror at the Stockholm eatery.

Find out more about Cafe Banacado ›

Maido, UK, by Child Studio

Local design office Child Studio converted a London former post office into a sushi restaurant featuring interiors that reflect the late modernist building’s 1960s style.

The eatery’s retro elements include dark-cherry wood panelling, a glass-block wall and a soft blue coffered ceiling that hangs above rows of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic MR10 chair, which hug petite circular tables.

Find out more about Maido ›

Elgin Cafe, India, by Renesa

Chunky blocks of emerald-green granite sourced from Udaipur, India, take centre stage at Elgin Cafe, a restaurant in Punjab that was built on what was once dilapidated farmland.

Architecture and interior design studio Renesa was informed by “the feel of the outdoors,” adding curved wicker chairs and various potted plants to the all-green space, which celebrates bold maximalist design.

Find out more about Elgin Cafe ›

Abstinence, France, by Lizée-Hugot

Abstinence is an elegant Parisian eatery that features materials commonly found in traditional French brasseries, including low-slung lacquered seating and wooden panels adorned with sconce lights.

The project is the first by local studio Lizée-Hugot and also has tubular steel furniture and other elements that recall 1970s interior design, such as birdseye maple and olive and tan leather.

Find out more about Abstinence ›

The Harvey House, USA, by Home Studios

Created to evoke “the golden age of train travel,” a Wisconsin former rail baggage-claim building was transformed into a retro restaurant that takes cues from the 1930s and 1940s supper club culture in the midwestern state.

Brooklyn-based Home Studios combined a mixture of dark wooden furniture, decadent tiling and tactile upholstery with the space’s original design features, which include vintage ceiling beams and sliding doors.

Find out more about The Harvey House ›

The Budapest Cafe, Australia, by Biasol

The Budapest Cafe in Melbourne is another eatery informed by Anderson’s films, which have a whimsical style that nods to retro design.

Local studio Biasol designed the space as an ode to Anderson’s 2014 feature film The Grand Budapest Hotel, with soft pink interiors and quirky architectural motifs that evoke the filmmaker’s playful symmetry and nostalgic colour palette.

Find out more about The Budapest Cafe ›

Jackie, Finland, by Studio Joanna Laajisto

Named after the song Jackie by late musician Scott Walker, this Helsinki bar, which also serves food, was created after designer Joanna Laajisto was given a soundtrack of 1960s and 1970s Italian lounge music and 1970s French cosmic disco by the bar’s owner to gain an idea of his vision for Jackie.

“The dark green walls and ceiling with long tan leather sofas take you away, maybe to a bar in Milan in the 1970s,” explained Laajisto. “A Pipistrello table lamp designed by Italian architect Gae Aulenti in 1965 reinforces the illusion.”

Find out more about Jackie ›

Piraña, UK, by Sella Concept

Retro signage and red banquette seating pay homage to the interiors of 1950s American diners at Piraña, a restaurant in London by Sella Concept.

Bold shapes and colours persist throughout the space, including a bespoke jade terrazzo floor, a bar lined with curved timber slats and an abundance of red accents resembling the colour palette of traditional diners. Circular lamps match the round cafe tables and add a playful geometric detail.

Find out more about Piraña ›

Mimi Kakushi, UAE, by Pirajean Lees

British firm Pirajean Lees channelled the spirit of Japan’s 1920s jazz age in this richly textured Dubai restaurant that was converted from a nightclub.

The studio maintained a party theme at Mimi Kakushi through the placement of beaded curtains and mirrored tables that refract light, while a bespoke stained-glass window adds a touch of colourful glamour.

Find out more about Mimi Kakushi ›

Caffettiera Caffé Bar, Canada, by Ménard Dworkind

1970s-style Rubik’s Cube mirrors and a floor tiled to look like checkerboard Vans trainers stars at Caffettiera Caffé Bar, a coffee bar in downtown Montreal.

Canadian studio Ménard Dworkind mounted curved mirrors onto faux-wood plastic laminate panels, while framed photos of iconic 1990s supermodels line the walls, aiming to connect customers through a sense of shared nostalgia.

Find out more about Ménard Dworkind ›

This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing domestic gyms, modernist living rooms and kitchen extensions.