Restaurant websites don’t require a lot but they do have specific needs like menus, maps, and contact forms. Often times restaurant owners look for the simplest solution and this usually means WordPress.
In a recent post I covered the best WP restaurant plugins in great detail.
For this post I’d like to look more into restaurant themes for WordPress, specifically mobile responsive themes that support all devices. This way you can design a restaurant site that’s fully accessible and inclusive regardless of device or web browser.
Note these are just my picks for the best themes and certainly aren’t the only choices. But they offer the most variation in style so these are excellent for any & all restaurants.
But the theme goes so much further with strong CTAs and a clean design for menu items.
Everything in the theme uses Page Builder so you can make the layout using drag & drop features with ease. Very simple design and real easy to setup.
I recommend this mostly because it works for all types of restaurant owners:
- Non-tech savvy restaurateurs
- Technically knowledgeable owners
- Web designers creating a client’s website
Now if you are just starting a new site you’ll probably want the free version. Yet those who want more features should look into the pro version which offers a few extra customizable features. The biggest extra feature is WooCommerce support for online ordering or mail order items.
Honestly though, the free version has so much it’s a great place to get started fast.
Check out the live demo to see how this looks in action.
2. VW Restaurant Lite
Here’s another free theme that I think should work for any website. It also uses the same hero header and has a similar “long” page layout where you can fit everything from menu items to operating hours.
VW Restaurant Lite comes from the VW Themes collection offering both a free and premium version. Once again I think the free version is more than enough for the average restaurant unless they really wanna spend the extra dough.
Check out the live demo on their website to see it in action.
By default it’s setup with real flashy animations and some custom page sections too. You can define page widgets for menus, contact forms, maps, reviews, pretty much everything a restaurant needs.
And for the stuff it doesn’t have you can just get a plugin. Easy!
I do think the codebase for this theme is a little more complex so the theme can feel clunky or kinda slow to load. But overall it’s still a better choice than a default boring WP theme, no to mention it’s fully responsive too.
I’m always really impressed with Tesla Themes since they pour so much quality into their work.
One that I specifically recommend for local restaurants is the Downtown WP theme. It is one of the highest rated themes on the Tesla Themes site and it’s absolutely perfect for any modern restaurant interface.
Take a peek at the demo page to see how this looks. You’ll notice it comes with a ton of incredible features that every restaurant site needs:
- Embedded maps
- Custom restaurant items
- Lists for daily specials
- Coupons & deals
My favorite part is the top menu that’s clean and easy to use. This works great on mobile devices too so the interface is extremely versatile.
If you want a premium theme worth paying for then check out Downtown. It really is one of the best responsive restaurant themes and it can work for every type from bakeries to 5-star steakhouses.
4. Salt and Pepper
One other design I wanna add is the Salt and Pepper theme also created by Tesla Themes.
This one’s a little more complex and relies heavily on images to sell the design. This means it’s crucial that you have photos of your restaurant or the food you serve to liven up the design.
But the header area is fantastic and it leaves you plenty of space for a large logo design. This includes a pretty detailed navigation menu with optional serving links for different dishes in your main menu(appetizers, drinks, desserts, etc).
Other features include a live gallery, photo slideshows, full localization features, social integration and a whole lot more.
I know that some restaurants just want a theme that works well. Not everyone is looking for an overly complex design like this one.
But if you do want a ton of features in your restaurant page then this is a superb choice. It’ll offer pretty much everything you want and those bells & whistles are pretty easy to configure too.
Plus the folks at Tesla Themes offer packages where you can have them customize & setup your theme for you. This works well for restaurant owners who don’t want to hire a web designer for all the effort.
Everyone loves the StudioPress theme collection because it goes beyond just simple theming. Each StudioPress design works on a framework of custom features and design assets.
This is one of the reasons many bloggers use StudioPress because you can copy/paste features between themes and mimic similar setups. And it’s one reason I like the Café theme because it offers so much customizable stuff.
It’s actually a child combination theme from two other restaurant themes in their collection. One reason that Cafe works so well is because of this combo where many different features are merged together.
If you are a complete beginner to WordPress then any StudioPress theme is a great way to go.
The customization options are super easy to use and it has a massive visual editor. This gives you free reign to control your site and create a very usable interface without writing a single line of code.
Not all WP themes are like this, and the ones that do have visual editors don’t always stack up to the StudioPress editor.
Granted this comes with a higher price tag and the Café theme isn’t gonna work on every website. Weigh the pros & cons to see if this could work for you or if another option is best.
Delicio comes with a gorgeous sliding navbar and a custom checkout style with complete support for WooCommerce.
It’s perhaps one of the best e-commerce/restaurant combo themes you’ll find that can work right out of the box. It comes with a custom visual composer which lets anyone change the fonts, colors, and spacing on any page.
Plus it’s designed with a full settings panel where you can change page options and reformat the design with ease.
But my favorite feature is the live customizer where you can see updates in real time as you make them. Check out their brief video below for an example:
Many WordPress themes have this same functionality but it’s expanded and much more detailed in the Delicio theme.
However this theme is also fairly new and still has a lot of room for potential improvements. I would totally recommend it but you should be willing to make updates and know a little about WordPress setup, otherwise maintaining this may do more harm than good.
Here’s one other WordPress theme from the same collection of WPZoom themes.
I also like Seasons for many of the same reasons as the Delicio theme. They both support many of the WPZoom editorial features and live customization options.
The biggest difference here is the menu style and the page design. It’s also a little outdated with the latest update about a year ago(not that this matters a whole lot).
By default this still comes with all the main features you’d need for a restaurant site:
- Live visual editor
- Menu items from dashboard
- Custom slideshows
- Built in Gravity Forms builder
The best feature here is the menu setting with its own tab in the WordPress dashboard.
You can upload thumbnails for each dish and create a gallery of dishes from scratch. It’s the perfect way to add some flair into your site without editing any raw code.
However this does assume you know your way around WordPress or can learn the interface. Thankfully it’s fairly simple with the right guides.
Note this one is also a tad pricey but if you like the design it’s worth using.
Bakeries can have slightly different needs than restaurants because they may not have direct sit-down locations. The Molino bakery WordPress theme is an excellent example of a design catering to bakeries and cafes.
This also has many of the same general design features as restaurant sites: large hero header, CTA button, image galleries, custom page sections, editable widgets etc.
But it comes with a lot of icons and images that relate mostly to bakeries. From desserts to bread and everything else like coffee houses, this theme feels like a gift from the WordPress gods.
It does include a lot of the main features you’d need like a Google Maps integration feature and a contact form. Plus you can include recipes or menu items with descriptions and photos. There’s even an events calendar if you have anything like that you need to setup!
But generally speaking Molino is really geared towards a bakery place or coffee house. Anything else will feel a tad out of place without heavy customization.
This restaurant theme can work well for cafe’s but also fits the mold for pretty much everything. It’s great for local sushi places, breakfast joints, and local sandwich shops(plus everything in between).
Again this comes with all of the main ThemeFuse features which include:
- Default content/photos
- Full visual builder
- Fonts, icons, and custom slideshows
- Multilanguage support
- Easy website backups
You can get by using this without any tech knowledge but it’s even better if you know your way around WordPress.
I think a restaurant owner could start with this and learn the ropes in the beginning, then slowly move their way deeper into WordPress. This would be a no brainer and would prove incredibly valuable to understand some basics of website maintenance.
Simple, clean, minimalist. These three words best describe the Belise theme by ThemeIsle. It’s the cleanest starting point for a restaurant website that aims to be sleek and fast loading.
Just looking over the demo you’ll see this is not like the other themes. It is meant to be incredibly simple and bare-bones leaving the overall design style up to you.
Is this for everyone?
Of course not.
But it’s an excellent place to start if you want a responsive theme that can be molded towards anything.
It features a gorgeous header area with plenty of space for a large logo and navigation links. There’s also a bright hero header image for your food or restaurant interior or anything.
Every ThemeIsle theme also has a visual editor which means anyone can mess around in this theme and get it looking pretty. Just depends if you like the simple nature and clean design of the interface, or if you want something a little more detailed.
There’s so much stuff on ThemeForest that it can take hours to find the perfect fit. But one of the most consistently recommended themes in their marketplace is the LaCuisine theme.
From cafe’s to bars to local eateries and international chains, this theme can work for every situation. It’s fully responsive and comes with 3 different demos you can look over.
Each one has similar features but the pages are designed with different logos, photos, and color schemes. You can change all of these in your WP settings because the theme gives you full control over the look of the page.
One thing I like about this theme is that it doesn’t look template-y.
It’ll be kinda generic once you install it for the first time with no content. But after that it’ll be so much easier to use and it’s by far one of the best themes for a “general” restaurant site.
Unfortunately it is one of the pricier items on ThemeForest so I can’t say this would be perfect for every situation. But keep it in mind if you want a premium theme with a bunch of settings that just work.
Tavern is another gorgeous WordPress theme that deserves much more attention than it gets.
For a multi-purpose design this thing fits into any type of restaurant.
It does have a custom visual composer which lets even non-techies redesign any page from scratch. It works like a complete page builder so you can structure the images, typography, colors, page spacing, widget placements, everything from one dashboard.
By default you can pick between four different styles:
They each follow a very similar design style but have varying interface elements like colors and graphics. Plus the widgets are organized to fit the subject so you could start with one of these defaults and build from there.
But when it comes to options this theme seems limitless. Check out the main page to learn more because I couldn’t possibly list it all here(video backgrounds, parallax scrolling, custom forms, demo data, custom icons, WooCommerce support…)
Out of this list it’s tough to say which is absolutely the best. Each theme benefits a different type of restaurant owner from non-tech savvy people to those who want incredibly complex layouts.
But take another look over this list and see what you think. You’re bound to find something here that works for your needs and many of these themes have free alternatives too.