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The Best Names for Restaurants: 11 Great Examples

Kit Jenkin
9 Aug. 2023

Picking a  great name for your restaurant will set your business apart from your competition and set the tone for your image and brand for years to come. It is the currency of your reputation - when someone says ‘I ate at X’, that name stands for everything you do, from the food you serve to the quality of the service, to the types of table settings and menus you have. 

If you’re planning on opening a restaurant, here are some of the best restaurant names we could find to help inspire a brilliant name to define your brand into the future. 

1. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - London, UK

World-renowned chef Heston Blumenthal opened this signature eatery in January 2011, and it has won truckfuls of awards ever since. 

What makes Dinner [1] such a great name is its simplicity. Without being reductive, the restaurant’s name is also the name of the meal most people will eat at it. 

However, there’s more to the name of Dinner. Here’s Heston Blumenthal on why he chose the name:

“It is never easy naming a restaurant. On this occasion, I wanted something that represented our menu that is inspired by historic British gastronomy, so I searched for a name that had a bit of history but was also fun. In the past, the main meal -dinner- was eaten at midday, before it got too dark. But affordable candles and, later, gaslight saw dinner shift. By the mid-1800s people were dining later. People working in the cities were taking a 'lunch' to work and having their main meal at 5.00 pm when they got home, while in rural areas the main meal was still taken at midday.

“Even today, depending where you are in the British Isles, 'dinner' might be served at lunchtime, suppertime or, indeed, dinnertime! This made 'Dinner' the natural choice for its typically British quirky history and linguistic playfulness. If nothing else, I hope it's easy to remember.”

2. Mana - Manchester, UK

According to Polynesian legend, Mana is the spiritual life force or healing energy that permeates the universe. It can live in all things and can be passed on, inherited, and taken. These elemental forces were embodied in an object or person. 

Mana [2], an award-winning restaurant in Manchester, UK, is named after this force. Their menu is inspired by the perpetual cycle of the seasons and incorporates many different aspects of the UK’s natural resources. 

This restaurant’s name reflects the restaurant’s attitude to food and is intriguing all on its own. 

3. Ninja Akasaka - Tokyo, Japan

Many restaurants want to stand out and will go to almost any length to do so.

There is a restaurant in Tokyo in Japan, Ninja Akasaka [3] that trains all its servers in ninjutsu, the martial art used by ninjas. The restaurant goes all-in on the theme, with servers uniformed in black gi, leading patrons to their tables through dark, winding passages, serving shuriken-shaped ice cream and lifting dishes on fire with a snap of their fingers. 

With this restaurant, you certainly get what’s advertised: ninjas!

4. Kinderkookafe - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Kinderkookafe [4], translated to Kid’s Kitchen Café, is a wonderful Dutch institution. Located in a small house by Vondel-park in Amsterdam Wonderland, the restaurant allows young and older children to experiment with making their own food. They collect ingredients and cook them at the table. The name’s alliteration reflects the playful nature of the restaurant’s theme centred around providing a space where children can both play and produce. 

5. Steam Plant - Spokane, Washington

Located in Spokane, Steam Plant [5] is a hybrid kitchen/brewery business set up in the Steam Plant building, a multi-purpose space reinvented out of the remains of the city’s old steam plant. The restaurant’s name gives the customer a sense of what they are likely to encounter when they arrive, as the restaurant is set up with a view of the exposed industrial interior of the old plant. 

6. The Dorrence - Providence, Rhode Island

The Dorrence [6] is one of Providence’s most unique and popular bars in the city, known for its unique offerings of cocktails and beautiful interior design.

The Dorrence is a great example of using your immediate surroundings for inspiration. Where did they get the name from, you may ask? It’s just the name of the street: Dorrence Street!

7. A Salt & Battery - New York City, New York

This wonderful play on words is the name for a very popular fish and chip shop in New York City [7]. The restaurant is dedicated to bringing the best of the UK’s fish and chip recipes to America. No doubt the clever name will charm anyone who comes across this merchant of fried foods from the briny deep. 

8. Life of Pie - Ottawa, Ontario

This iconic Ottawa pie shop delightfully played on the name of the famous Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel [8]. This classic of Canadian literature is well-known among the upper-middle-class neighbourhood of Ottawa South, where the shop first got its start. The shop is well known in the neighbourhood for serving a new, interesting pie every day. 

9. The Little Easy - Natchez, Mississippi

The Little Easy [9], located in Natchez, Mississippi, serves big eats in a small location. Serving comfort food, craft coffee, and delectable cocktails, this restaurant sits at the beginning of the gateway to Mississippi’s legendary blues trail in idyllic Natchez. 

The restaurant’s name mimics ‘The Big Easy’, the nickname for nearby New Orleans. No doubt, the restaurant’s owners wanted to capture the big, boisterous, bluesy spirit of Louisiana’s biggest city, repackaged for main street Mississippi.

10. Cibo Matto - Mansfield, Massachusetts

Cibo Matto [10] serves Italian comfort food to the fine citizens of Mansfield, Massachusetts. The restaurant’s name literally means ‘crazy food’. However, we don’t think that would sound as elegant or fun! If you’re looking to give your restaurant a little panache, experiment with using a different language, especially if you’re serving foreign food. 

11. Lord of the Fries - Multiple Locations, Australia

Another example of finding literary references in our gastronomic tour of restaurant names, Lord of the Fries [11], is one of Australia's most beloved fast-food chains. Serving burgers, tacos, hot dogs, and more, the restaurant takes its name from William Golding’s 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies

Marketing with your POS

Choosing a great name for your restaurant is only one part of setting up your business. You have to market yourself to the world to make sure people know who you are and what you do. With an Epos Now Restaurant POS, you can future-proof your business and keep up with shifting consumer trends. Easily pivot to online ordering & delivery with our suite of leading apps.

  • Offer delivery, collection and table ordering services with our online ordering platform
  • Integrate with over 100 apps, including leading accountancy and CRM tools
  • Identify popular delivery orders to create smarter promotions 
  • Grow your marketing list and add to your base of regular customers
  • Collect more online reviews to boost your reputation

You can also take advantage of many different apps like Loyalzoo and Mailchimp to help you craft marketing strategies to grow and maintain your customer base. 

Contact Epos Now today to find out more about our systems.

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