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The Best Restaurant Architects in San Diego

11 Min Read

Known for its pristine beaches and gorgeous climate, San Diego is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful attractions and inventive culinary scene. It is a foody haven for upscale restaurants, great seafood, and the best tacos. It is an ideal place for entrepreneurs that want to start a restaurant business. Our editorial team has compiled 12 of the best restaurant architects working in San Diego, California, the architects capable of bringing your dream cafe to life.


1515 Morena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110

RDC is an award-winning architecture firm founded in 1979. It has been dedicated to making everyday spaces extraordinary via successful design solutions and great customer relationships. The firm specializes in the retail, interior, workplace, hotels, cinema, and restaurant sectors, and it provides those buildings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., Arkansas, and Shanghai. The team is comprised of over 160 members, all dedicated to helping clients’ visions come to life. RDC’s comprehensive expertise allows it to cater to just about any need.

Project by RDC

The company operates under the leadership of Brad Williams. He joined the firm in 1999 as a junior designer and currently functions as RDC’s president and CEO. His past projects include urban infill revitalization, high-density retail developments, and numerous successful façade revitalization programs for both public and private entities.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

726 9th Avenue, Suite 1, San Diego, CA 92101

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects is an award-winning firm founded by brothers Steven and David Hawkins in 1998. From its offices in San Diego and Gig Harbor, Washington, the firm specializes in architecture, space planning, feasibility study, and master planning services. The firm is licensed to perform work up and down the west coast and into the southwest: California, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona. Since its inception, H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc. has built a portfolio of commercial, cultural, residential, and mixed-use projects. The firm seeks creative solutions to provide a human sense of place.

Project by H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc

Founders Steven and David Hawkins are both registered architects in California and are members of the American Institute of Architects. Steven serves as the firm’s vice president and is responsible for design development, production documents, and construction services. Meanwhile, David is the company’s director of design and provides continuity between the client and the project team.

ACRM Architects + Interiors

1045 14th Street, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92101

ACRM Architects + Interiors is a multi-faceted design firm recognized for its ability to transform clients’ visions and aspirations into elegant and unique solutions with lasting value. The firm has been in the business since 2002, specializing in hospitality, retail, restaurants, multifamily residential, office, and mixed-use projects. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm extends its services to Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. ACRM Architects + Interiors has strived for excellence since its founding. It won the 2021 Loved by Guests Award from

Project by ACRM Architects + Interiors

Tom Awbrey is the principal architect of ACRM Architects + Interiors. He graduated from Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture, then was a design principal for a previous firm before establishing his own company. The firm has been featured by multiple press publications, including Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

Ergo Architecture

2039 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113

Operating out of its office in San Diego, Ergo Architecture has been passionate about making the world a better place for over 25 years. Since 1995, the firm has earned a reputation for building innovative designs for intelligent people and practicing thoughtful, contemporary techniques for its clients. The firm specializes in a wide range of services, including commercial and interiors, custom homes, multifamily and urban infills, supportive and assisted living, and restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Project by Ergo Architecture

Ergo Architecture believes that architecture is not about people and costly finishes but about creating authentic experiences and working with customers to provide tailored, accurate designs. Steve Mayman leads the team and oversees each project. During his long career as a licensed architect, he has never stopped learning about construction and connecting to his clients through empathy.

Hauck Architecture

4888 Ronson Court, Suite F, San Diego, CA 92111

Hauck Architecture is a licensed, full-service architecture and interior design firm in San Diego. Founded in 1996, the firm specializes in breweries, bars, restaurants, and custom residential projects in Chula Vista, La Mesa, and Solana Beach. Since its founding, the firm has been dedicated to assisting clients on every aspect of their project, from design and layout to navigating government agencies. Its unmatched experience, expertise, and attention to detail set it apart from other design firms in the area.

Project by Hauck Architecture

Hauck Architecture strives to go beyond its customers’ needs. The firm believes that listening carefully to clients’ goals and objectives leads the firm to create designs with lasting value. T. Dustin Hauck is the owner and managing principal of the firm; he is licensed to practice architecture in Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. For 25 years, he has been the driving force behind the firm’s projects and award-winning designs.


2419 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104

Established 14 years ago, obrARCHITECTURE is an architecture and design firm specializing in civic, commercial, educational, restaurant, and residential architecture. The firm builds elegant structures across San Diego County and is made up of 29 construction professionals passionate about challenging themselves in every aspect of design. The firm’s commitment to excellence has enabled it to develop many award-winning projects. The firm received the American Institute of Architects, San Diego Design Award in 2020. obrARCHITECTURE focuses on completing its work on time, within budget, and always to a superior standard of quality.

Project by obrARCHITECTURE

The firm operates under the direction of Garrick Oliver, Christopher Bittner, and Anney Rosenthal-Hall. The firm’s managing principals are licensed architects and each has an extensive background in architecture. Before establishing the company, they worked for other design firms, where they honed their skills and knowledge.

Lahaina Architects

3268 Governor Drive, #141, San Diego, CA 92122

Lahaina Architects is a premier architectural design company creating forward-thinking solutions that exceed client expectations. The firm was founded in 2007 and employs highly-trained professionals dedicated to providing every customer an outstanding level of service. The firm specializes in entertainment, mixed-use, restaurant, commercial, and tenant improvements, serving much of the Western United States. Lahaina Architects is licensed to perform work in California, Colorado, and Nebraska, with the ability to be licensed in any state in the United States.

Project by Lahaina Architects

Since its inception 15 years ago, Lahaina Architects has put together a diverse clientele list of local restaurant operators, real estate investors, property owners, prominent corporations, and local and national retail tenants. Philip Cudaback owns and leads the company. He is passionate about creating warm and inviting spaces for his clients and providing transformations that consistently deliver exceptional results.

Marengo Morton Architects

7724 Girard Avenue, Floor 2, La Jolla, CA 92037

Marengo Morton Architects has been building beautiful homes and unique structures in San Diego for over two decades. The firm specializes in multifamily, residential, commercial, restaurant, and hospitality developments, serving clients across Chula Vista, Logan Heights, Mission Valley, San Diego, Solana Beach, and beyond. Since 2000, the firm has strived to bring a unique signature statement of customers’ properties while focusing on function, form, style, and creativity. Marengo Morton Architects comprises a team of young, innovative architects passionate about bringing dreams to scale.

Project by Marengo Morton Architects

Michael R. Morton and Claude-Anthony Marengo serve as the firm’s managing principals. The former is a San Diego native who developed his design skills as a designer/architect in several award-winning San Diego architectural firms. He is licensed to practice in California and is a member of the AIA. Meanwhile, Claude-Anthony has 25 years of experience in coastal design and entitlement. He has managed significant developments in the La Jolla and the greater San Diego region.

Baker Architecture

4080 Centre Street, San Diego, CA 92103

Baker Architecture is a commercial and residential architecture firm in San Diego. It specializes in a wide selection of services, including tenant improvements and ground-up construction for restaurants, retail, residential, and commercial uses. The firm opened its doors in 2005 and has been committed to guiding clients through the design experience. Baker Architecture encourages communication among stakeholders. It guarantees its team’s commitment to identifying creative solutions to meet clients’ demands, aspirations, and goals.

Project by Baker Architecture

Katherine Baker is the president and founder of the company. After completing her degree in architecture at Ball State University, she began working for two small architecture firms to gain experience. In 2001, she obtained her architecture license in California and established Baker Architecture four years later.


840 11th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Headquartered in San Diego, BASILE Studio is a full-service design, build, and fabrication studio operating throughout Southern California. The firm is recognized internationally for its progressive designs and for fabricating every project at its studio. The firm specializes in restaurants and hospitality projects and is committed to creating innovative, functional, and relevant structures. Since 1994, it has built an impressive client list of renowned restaurant groups, boutique hotels, entrepreneurs, and industry-leading chefs.

Project by BASILE Studio

BASILE Studio runs under the direction of Paul Basile. He is a fourth-generation builder and a first-generation designer, developer, sculptor, and entrepreneur. He is frequently referred to as San Diego’s “brick and mortar guru” and is known for his critically-acclaimed commercial, hospitality, and retail projects. Under his oversight, the firm has amassed numerous awards, including the 2020 Hospitality Design Award from HD Awards.


  • Blaine Comeione

    Blaine has served as Editor at San Diego Architects for six years, drawing from over ten years of experience in construction and real estate. His comprehensive understanding spans commercial construction, architecture, and home builds, cultivated through diverse roles in the industry. With four years at BuildZoom and a background as a licensed real estate agent, Blaine possesses a unique perspective that enriches his editorial work. His dedication to delivering informative content is underscored by his extensive tenure in the field, ensuring that readers receive valuable insights into the dynamic world of construction and home design. Expertise: Architecture, Commercial Construction, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Over 6 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Editor at San Diego Architects, Previous experience at BuildZoom and Keller Williams Realty Education: Ohio University, Bachelor of Science in Human and Consumer Science - Minor in Business, 120+ Hours of New Jersey Real Estate Education, 120+ Hours of Arizona Real Estate Education

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