There’s a sizable portion of the world out there searching for the best spots to post on Instagram about their beautiful, well-curated life. Picking restaurants to visit based on their aesthetics is no exception. The food industry has been taken over by Instagram-friendly design — enough so that it’s a tough task to narrow down the most Instagrammable restaurants in the world.
To be clear, we’re not talking about the most Instagrammable food in these restaurants, though some do have really good food. But others are locations where food is definitely sold, but no one is going to be talking about it after finishing. Regardless of which side these restaurants fall onto, these are the spots people would still go for the ‘gram even if all that was served was hardtack.
Rules are simple: the place must primarily be where people go for food (which excludes bars that serve food, of which there are many Instagrammable options), and it must have spots that appear to exist primarily for the ‘gram.
1. Panna II Garden in New York City
Good lighting is the key to good photography. Panna II might not have exactly what you would call “good” lighting, but there’s lots of it. Strings of multi-colored holiday lights and red chili pepper-shaped lights hang from the ceiling like an over-decorated Florida trailer in December. The Indian food (and the service) is something you should just accept is going to be mediocre at best. Instagram bait comes with a wait here, so expect to spend some time in the line that stretches out the door. Celebrity cred: Vanessa Hudgens has stopped by and Emily Ratajkowski celebrated her 27th birthday here — both posted about it, naturally.
2. Pietro Nolita in New York City
With Pietro’s dedication to pink, you’d think that the color makes healthy Italian food taste better. But who are we kidding. It’s for the ‘gram. This New York City restaurant is all pink everything, both inside and out. That includes the walls, the tables, the entrance to the door, the chairs, the napkins, the plates — you get it. After waiting to order a coffee to go (if you’re truly not there for the food, at least) you’ll have to then wait in line to snap a shot by the most popular spot: a pink bench next to a mirror next to a black door spray painted with pink hearts.
3. Unicorn in Seattle
Admittedly, Unicorn comes close to being more bar than restaurant. Then again, it’s more carnival than either bar or restaurant. Taxidermied animals line the walls, which are painted in a way reminiscent of the inside of a tacky carnival tent. The drinks are bright and colorful to match the decor, and the food is exactly what you’d expect: corn dogs, cheeseburgers, and fried rainbow cheese on a stick. Posting from here is like posting from the county fair, only way, way cooler.
4. Catch in Los Angeles
LA is all about looking your best and getting caught by the cameras in all the right places. Catch is one of those places. The upscale seafood restaurant has multiple locations in the country, but the LA spot is where you need to go for the photo. First there’s the plant-filled walkway to strut down like you’ve been inducted into the fashion model hall of fame. Then there’s the open-roof dining area with views over the city. Then there’s you, posing like you always eat at expensive restaurants alongside the celebs. Celebrity cred: Recently Kylie Jenner and Zoe Saldana, but you never know who’s going to show up next.
5. Sketch in London
Sketch is five places in one, each as Instagrammable as the next. The whole place is like a theme park, but for eating and taking pictures in. Take The Glade, for example, which is designed to look like an enchanted evergreen forest, or The Lecture Room & Library, a Michelin-starred grand hall on the upper floor. Take advantage of the variety as much as you can so that you don’t have to feel guilty when you post six #latergrams from the same day and the same place.
6. Media Noche in San Francisco
Floors are an underrated part of the dining experience. It’s where you stare after dropping your fork while pretending you didn’t just make a mess. It’s where you look when you’re bored of the conversation. When floors are done right, they’re a total mood setter and the perfect background pattern for photos. That’s the case at Media Noche, which has vintage tiles with a Cuban pattern. The Riddler in San Francisco is a close second, but the most Instagrammable object — a giant Champagne bottle painting — is on the outside of the building so you don’t technically need to eat there to ‘gram it.
7. Urban Farmer in Denver
Few things attract people with their phones out like neon. Urban Farmer in Denver has one of the best. It’s a David Bowie quote that reads, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” Jack White posted it on Instagram and it blew up, garnering eight to 10 times the number of likes on his photos of his shows that he posted at the time.
8. Bananas in Barcelona
This shit is bananas. Barcelona is a beautiful city with plenty of beautiful people and beautiful places. Bananas is one of them, and the one with the best spots for a selfie or three. It’s all moody colors and bright food, and it gives off the feel that there’s not a standard light bulb in the whole place. Who needs standard light bulbs when there are light-up palm trees and tropical couches, though.
9. Lolos Cantina in Miami
You can find tropical vibes all over Miami, but few are as photo ready as Lolos. There’s a deck with views that look out onto about as many palm trees as you’d expect would be at a Miami spot. The floor is made up of colorful tiles. Striking artwork hangs from the walls. Plus there are food and cocktails that look great on their own, but even better in your hand.
10. Azul Histórico in Mexico City
Azul Histórico looks like the fever dream of every person stuck in the cold north in the dead of winter. It’s exactly the type of decor and beauty you expect when you travel to Mexico City. High ceilings and walls that resemble an old Spanish-style mission set the tone, while indoor trees space out the tables. How the trees are decorated switches up every now and then, but your followers won’t be disappointed whether they’re strung up with red lights or have small lanterns hanging from them.
11. The Hampton Social in Chicago
As previously mentioned, neon signs are great for the gram, as is pink. The Hampton Social in Chicago puts both of those together with a pink sign that says “Rosé all day” in cursive lettering. You know you’re doing something right when Chance the Rapper stops by for a photo op.
12. Sempre in Moscow
Moscow is one of the most popular cities for Instagram. It’s not all caviar, vodka, and cold, either. Sempre’s many indoor plants can warm your soul along with rustic wooden tables that look like they were cut from a tree only yesterday. Mossy-looking plants hang from the ceiling like it’s the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. On top of all that, it’s a fine dining restaurant with photoshoot-worthy food plating.
13. Derrière in Paris
Yes, derrière is a “euphemistic term for someone’s buttocks,” according to the dictionary. You’ll want to get your buttocks here for a photo and some food, though. Derrière looks like someone’s extremely photo-conscious studio apartment. There’s ping pong, foosball, and a bed surrounded by tables. Post about it and show how cool you are that you don’t even bother with haute cuisine when in the City of Lights.
14. Above Eleven in Bangkok
Sitting pretty while high above everyone else on a rooftop can make you feel like royalty. Even better with food and drink in hand. Above Eleven looks out over Bangkok so you can post a photo of yourself with sparkling city lights in the background as you chow down on aesthetically pleasing sushi and pretty cocktails. To those with a fear of heights — do it for the ‘gram.
15. Aoyama Flower Market Tea House in Tokyo
Flower crowns have nothing on an entire flower-filled restaurant. AFM Tea House in Tokyo looks like a greenhouse that is just as nourishing for humans as for plants. The ceilings, walls, and table tops are all flowered out, just like your Instagram feed will be after stopping by.
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