8 Insta-Worthy Restaurants with Stellar Interior Design

By Houston Chronicle – StoryStudio April 6, 2017 12:00 PM

Inarguably, Houston is a hotspot for culinary delights, but next time you dine out, why not head to a restaurant that pleases your visual senses as well as your palate? Coldwell Banker United, Realtors © presents the list of striking spaces below, all of which take their stylish decor as seriously as their delectable eats. Read on for eight hotspots, all with high design and solid menus, that will make you the envy of your Instagram followers.

Le Colonial

Chic French Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial, designed by architect Mark Knauer, resembles a modern-day 1920s French Colonial villa. As you enter the two-story picturesque space through steel doors from a Houston artisan, you’ll find pressed tin ceilings, framed rug patterns reminiscent of houses and hotels in turn-of-the-century Saigon, and wicker dining room chairs and Art Deco brass table bases from the Philippines. The second floor is fashioned by a tropical themed wall mural created by acclaimed Swedish painter Jonas Wickman.

 The Dunlavy

By day, grab-and-go eatery The Kitchen at The Dunlavy offers counter service for breakfast and lunch. By night, the venue turns into an elegant event space. The sleek, free-standing building, located on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, offering guests scenic views of Buffalo Bayou Park, the downtown skyline and Lost Lake, a restored pond located onsite. French white oak floors, Spanish wood beams, and glamorous Italian and French crystal chandeliers set the backdrop at the contemporary glass treehouse, while crisp gallery-like interiors serve as a blank slate allowing the interior designer inside you to shine.


The interior of Caracol, designed by John Kidd Associates, pays tribute to Mexico, especially the country’s beaches. The walls of the restaurant, located in the Galleria-area, is decked out with aquatic-themed art by American Modernist painter Charley Harper. The bar area is complete with sailboat booms and a suspended sailcloth with hues of sand, straw and blue throughout.

Osso & Kristalla

Visual stunner Osso & Kristalla, designed by the Houston office of the acclaimed Gensler firm, catches your eye from the moment you walk in. Expect bronze and black lighting fixtures, beige and green banquettes, butcher-block tabletops, and triangular flooring. Get inspired by the open exhibition kitchen which provides insight into the creative culinary process. The lively yet casual vibe makes you feel right at home.

 Pax Americana

A collaboration between Archi-Arts, general contractor James Montgomery and restaurant owners Shepard Ross and Dan Zimmerman, this Montrose eatery is decked out with a bar that was originally a way station for Wells Fargo coaches in the 1800s. A giant map of the U.S. cut from a single piece of steel and an impressive art collection with several pieces by Keith Haring further delight the visual senses.  Inside the bathrooms, pieces by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein artfully canvas the walls.

BCN Taste and Tradition

Set in an intimate 1920s home in Montrose, original works of art by Miro and Picasso pop up against crisp museum-white walls at BCN Taste and Tradition. The two-story restaurant, designed by San Antonio–based architect and designer Augustin Orozcohas sports bright orange window awnings and a custom burnished copper sign, which complement the original period details of the building. Refinished wood flooring and sand-colored tablecloths add warmth while keeping things simple.

State of Grace
The architects at Square Feet Studio in Atlanta, along with in-house designer Elizabeth Ingram, skillfully created a cozy yet elegant setting at James Beard Award semi-finalist Ford Fry’s State of Grace. Dine at a table under one of three custom sparkling chandeliers or at the bar with a window view of a live oak tree.

A color palette of greens, grays, and warm whites set off blackened-steel frame doorways and natural elements (think walnut, marble, and leather) in the timeless space.

Oporto Midtown

Relaxed European tavern-like eatery Oporto Midtown, located on the ground floor of Post Midtown Square apartments, is modish with an old-world feel, drawing inspiration from the owner’s Portuguese-Italian background. Dramatic features from Spanish cedar ceilings to Mexican cement tiles and to wood-and-tile flooring, are all the work of Austin’s award-winning architect Michael Hsu.

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