Eat Drink Design Awards releases 2021 Best Café Design shortlist

Eat Drink Design Awards

The annual Eat Drink Design Awards, which celebrates unique and exceptional hospitality venues in which communities eat, drink and connect, has released the competition’s 2021 shortlisted projects, including for Best Café Design.

With the hospitality industry undergoing a tough time, the awards say this recognition is now more important than ever, with these venues representing Australia’s “sharpest and most innovative design minds”.

“The awards are the prism through which hospitality-lovers can celebrate the current state of Australasian hospitality design and also survey the broader dining, food, and cultural narratives that shape the places where we eat and drink,” says the Eat Drink Design Awards.

Eat Drink Design Awards jury chair, Cassie Hansen, says that a common thread between each shortlisted project is how the venue has navigated the pandemic and identified themselves in a crowded and fast changing industry.

“This year more than ever we’ve seen how brands want to show all they have to offer through their venues. By working with the architect or designer, they can highlight their brand philosophy, process and product,” says Cassie.

The pandemic has created a need to develop more spaces of connection, says the Eat Drink Design Awards, which has been a common inspiration between a number of venues. This has resulted in a collection of thoughtfully designed venues that benefit the local community.

“There is no ‘back of house’. More venues are taking patrons inside the industrial confines of their production spaces and highlighting and celebrating this in the design,” Cassie says.

She adds the jury has found that a number of hospitality venues that are offering more than just a food and beverage outlet, but a multi-space area for communities. This ranges from a radio station to a multi-level green park.

“Designers are working beyond the confines of the traditional café or bar, envisioning a space that gives back to locals, and a responsive vision in dialogue with the local community,” Cassie says.

Categories for the 2021 Eat Drink Design Awards include: Best Restaurant Design, Best Café Design, Best Bar Design, Best Hotel Design, Best Installation Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.

Shortlisted best Café design includes:
Lava Espresso Kingston – Avanti Design House, Kingston/ Canberra, ACT
ARC Coffee – Capezio Copeland, Canberra, ACT
Valentinas – How High, Marrickville, NSW
Industry Beans Brisbane – Platform by DesignOffice, Newstead, QLD
Nodo Hawthorne – Cameron & Co Architecture, Hawthorne, QLD
Bottega Bandito – studio-gram, Prospect, SA
Bloom-Sans – Arc Studio, Thebarton, SA
Ona Coffee Melbourne – Breathe, Brunswick, VIC
The Budapest Café – Biasol Studio, Carlton, VIC
Bench Coffee Co. – Arkhe Tekhne, Melbourne, VIC
Ritzy – Moonee – ElvinTan Design, Moonee Ponds, VIC
Midi – Sans-Arc, Richmond, VIC
Top Tea – Wall Architects, Melbourne, VIC
Prior Thornbury – Ritz & Ghougassian, Thornbury, VIC

Every year, one landmark venue is also inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognises enduring excellence in the design of a hospitality venue for more than 10 years. In 2020, Melbourne’s Gin Palace was inducted with the venue. This space was created by Skidmark Designs and Garner David Architects.

Entries are carefully considered, shortlisted and eventually awarded by a jury of industry leaders from across the hospitality and design sectors.

The jury for this year includes Sarah Cosentino, Co-Director of Studio Esteta, Anthony Gill, Founder of Anthony Gill Architects, Katie McCormack, Restaurateur, Congress, Future Future and Lagotto, Matt Shea Editor-at-large at Broadsheet Brisbane, and Cassie Hansen Editor of Artichoke magazine.

The awards focus on projects created between 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021.

Awards will be announced on 5 November 2021, along with a report published in the November edition of Artichoke magazine. Details will also be published online in the Eat Drink Design Awards Gallery and within other Architecture Media titles, both print and online.

For more information visit Eat Drink Design Awards, visit

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