Whether you notice the way the golden hour light hits the wood of a rooftop cocktail bar or the way the colors dance on the walls through the blue and yellow panes of a long favorite lunch , the design of a place makes us feel something when we are there. It can be energizing, calming, welcoming or inspiring.

In this year’s shortlist of Eat Drink Design Awards, the feeling that emerges from the best hospitality designs across Australia and New Zealand is one of comfort.

“We’re definitely seeing a longing for nostalgia right now,” said awards jury chair Cassie Hansen, editor-in-chief of Artichoke magazine, in a press release. “Diners and creators crave comfort to soothe our tired brains.

“In this not-quite-post-Covid era, the interiors and design we’ve seen enter this year evoke a comfortable ease and a desire for familiar, humble interiors that remind us of times gone by – of Nonna’s home or of an old pub – without mere mimicry.”

The Eat Drink Design Awards recognize excellence and innovation in the design of restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, temporary venues and commercial spaces in Australia and New Zealand. There are seven categories: Best Restaurant Design, Best Cafe Design, Best Bar Design, Best Hotel Design, Best Facility Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.

This year’s jury includes Master Chef Australia judge Melissa Leong, restorer and head of Vue de Monde Shannon Bennett, architects Rodney Eggleston (March Studio) and Fiona Lynch (Fiona Lynch Office) and Hansen.

“Architecture and design have become as much of an attraction to the public as food or the offering of a place. When the client invests in design, to create not just a memorable interior but an experience, the crowd will follow. There are definitely some bold and memorable places this year,” says Hansen.

The full shortlist is below, covering projects completed between July 2020 and June 2022. Winners will be announced on November 10.

Best Restaurant Design
Flame – Altis Architecture, Sydney
Jane – Luchetti Krelle, Sydney
Koi – Loop Creative, Sydney
Loam Sydney – Studio Flack, Sydney
Level 1 of Lola – H and E Architects, Sydney
Lucky Kwong – APS Design, Sydney
Meet Fresh – Wall Architects, Sydney
Olea – Guru Projects, Sydney
Santa Caterina – Guru Projects, Sydney
Shell House – Bois Bagot, Sydney
St Alma – Five Feet One Design, Sydney
The Heke – Izzard Design, Auckland
Ursula’s – Brahman Perera, Sydney
Restaurant Wood Engraving – Loop Creative, Sydney
Patina at Alumni Court – DM2 Architecture, Brisbane
Picnic – Espace CTRL, Tauranga
Stratton Bar & KITCHEN – Newstead Hospitality Group, Brisbane
Sunset – Space CTRL, Auckland
Arkhé – Studio Gram, Adelaide
Food and Wine Press – Claire Kneebone, Adelaide
Van Bone – Laura Simone, Tasmania
Archer’s – DKO Docklands, Melbourne
BKK – Dion Hall, Melbourne
Cappo Social – Emma Tulloch Architects, Melbourne
Copycat Bar and Restaurant – Architecture and Interior Design Techne Elsternwick, Melbourne
Di Stasio Carlton – Hassell, Melbourne
Rib Prahran – Brahman Perera, Melbourne
Grill Americano – Mitchell and Eades, Melbourne
His bar – Dion Hall, Melbourne
Domaine Hubert – Cera Stribley, Victoria
Moonhouse – Ewert Leaf, Victoria
Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca – Studio Co, Melbourne
Sakura Kaiten Sushi – Bergman and Co, Melbourne
Sou’West Brewery – Ewert Leaf, Victoria
Stringers Sorrento – Chris Connell Design, Victoria
Tippy Tay – Techne Architecture and Interior Design with Eleisha Gray Design, Melbourne
Untitled – Flack Studio, Melbourne
Gage Roads Fremantle – Finespun, Fremantle

Best cafe design
Blackwood Bondi – Richards Stanisich, Sydney
No Vacancy Gallery and Cafe – Ware Architects, Melbourne
O’Gabee & Co Coffee Roastery – Ni Design, Brisbane
The Common – Sullivan Skinner, Brisbane
Ovo – Georgina Shepherd Interior Designer, Adelaide
Casa Nata – Vania Marotta and Pepper and Well, Melbourne
Code Black – We Are Humble, Melbourne
Compass South – Flack Studio, Melbourne
Lady – Bergman and Co, Melbourne
First Love Cafe – Fiona Drago Architect, Melbourne
Good Chemistry – Flack Studio, Sydney
Juno – Ritz and Ghougassian McKinnon, Melbourne
My Oh My – We Are Humble, Melbourne
Upstanding Citizens – We Are Humble, Melbourne

Best bar design
Arturo’s – Luchetti Krelle, Sydney
Bank – Tom Mark Henry, Sydney
Frank Mac’s – Buck and Simple, Sydney
King Tide Brewing – The Design Cabinet, NSW
Leyla – Luchetti Krelle, Canberra
Mount Pleasant Wines – Luchetti Krelle, NSW
Paski Vineria Popolare – Silvester Fuller, Sydney
The Woollahra Hotel – Richards Stanisich, Sydney
Waterfront Tavern – H and E Architects, NSW
Woolly Bay Hotel – Luchetti Krelle, Sydney
Valley Hops Brewing – Jumble and Stack, Brisbane
Auterra Wine Bar – IF Architecture, Vic Alba Bar – Buchan, Vic
Bar Navi – Finnish, Vic
Clocktower Bar – Woods Bagot, Sydney
Four Pillars Gin Distillery 2.0 – Breathe, Vic
Good Measure – We Are Humble, Melbourne
Its roof – Tamsin Johnson, Melbourne
Lobby Bar Ace Hotel Sydney – Flack Studio, Sydney
Music Room – Dion Hall, Melbourne
Naught Gin – Studio Y, Melbourne
The Bay Hotel – Studio Y, Vic

Best Hotel Design
Ace Hotel Sydney – Studio Flack, Sydney
Silky Oaks Lodge – Hunt Design & Pike Withers, Qld
Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington – Material Creative, Wellington, New Zealand
Holiday Inn Werribee – Studio Tate Werribee, Vic
Hyatt Centric – Hecker Guthrie & Architectus, Melbourne
Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands – DKO, Melbourne

Better installation design
Adelaide Festival Pavilion – The Summerhouse – CO-AP, Adelaide
Penfolds Restaurants – Australian Open 2022 – Chard International Richmond, Vic

Best Retail Design
El Jannah Burwood – Studio MADA, NSW
Loulou Bistro – H and E Architects, Sydney
Top Impression Bakery Cafe – Studio Life, Sydney
Alba – Studio Shibui and H and G Designs, Noosa Heads, Qld
Bird in Hand private cellar door – Enoki, SA
Baker Bleu Hawksburn – IF Architecture, Melbourne
Breadwinner – Flack Studio, Melbourne
Melbourne Handpicked Wines – Platform by Design Office, Melbourne
Moon Croissanterie Armadale – Ewert Leaf, Vic
Piccolina Hawthorn – Hecker Guthrie, Melbourne
Pronto by Via Porta – Studio Esteta, Melbourne
Café Sulbing – TA Square, Melbourne
Up In Smoke, Watergardens – EAT Architects Taylors Lakes, Vic
Via Porta Bakery – Studio Esteta Hawthorn, Vic
Victor Churchill Melbourne – Creative Loop, Melbourne
Tom’s Providore and Wine Bar – Mata Design Studio Perth

Best Identity Design
Dean & Nancy on 22 – The Bar Brand People, Sydney
GellaFrenda – The Colors Club, Penrith
Gowings Bar & Grill – Toben, Sydney
Roxy’s – Fortis, Sydney
Mary Mary – Years Months Days, Hobart
The Still – Stories We Tell, Hobart
Black Star Chadstone Patisserie – Studio Ongarato, Melbourne
Bonnie – Principle Design, Wahgunyah, Vic
Di Stasio Carlton – Pidgeon Ward, Melbourne
Rib Prahran – Caboodle and Co Hospitality, Melbourne
Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca – Congrats Agency, Melbourne
Company – Studio Ongarato, Melbourne
The Bay Hotel – Uppercase Studio Mornington, Vic
Cooee – Two of two, Perth