Many Bay Area restaurant interiors have notable features, from the bagel mural in Wise Sons‘ Hayes Valley location to the stained-glass peacock mirror at Pagan Idol to the naked dude on the wall at Doc’s Clock. But wallpaper is really having a moment. Here are the 20 best, including Leo’s Oyster Bar.
Fiorella has to lead off the list. Comedy troupe The Lonely Island and Oakland artist Matt Ritchie created this one-of-a-kind print for the Richmond pizza-and-pasta spot, which includes visual homages to Angela Davis, E-40, Alice Waters, and KTVU anchor Dennis Richmond. (Well, technically, it’s not one-of-a-kind, since you can buy your own for $200 a roll, but it’s still visually impressive.) It’s not wallpaper, but shout-out to Melinda Turner and Taylor Herr‘s gold-hued mural of San Francisco in the restroom.
Fiorella, 2339 Clement St., fiorella-sf.com
Everything about Mission tapas restaurant Loló‘s decor is high on the ka-pow factor, including the dismantled soccer balls that adorn one restroom in a radial pattern. But this is as loud as your fun grandma’s favorite one-piece swimsuit, raised to the power of the coolest neighbors’ outdoor tablecloth.
Loló, 974 Valencia St., lolosf.com
Bonus points to the new Hotel San Francisco‘s restroom, with its flowering cactus walls and floral-skull floor. Don’t lose a contact lens in there or you’ll never find your way out again.
Hotel San Francisco, 653 Commercial St., hotelsf.com
Treasure Island’s Aracely Cafe is known for its hedged-in fire pits and for being photogenic enough at all angles that people get married there in droves. But inside, you’ll find this artichoke print that exudes agronomic joy.
Aracely Cafe, 401 13th St., Treasure Island, aracelysf.com
Tom Yum Goong, or xiaolongbao made with pork, shrimp, and coconut milk, then wrapped in a beet skin, are what put Dumpling Time on the map. But this dragon wallpaper is another design plus.
And don’t forget about the bold restroom choice, either.
Dumpling Time, 11 Division St., dumplingtimesf.com
Looking at this smattering of herbs and tulips that graces the walls at PLÄJ, you might almost think that Scandinavia were the land of endless springtime. And that everybody lived in little toadstool houses, eating wild strawberries and speaking with a musical lilt.
PLÄJ, 333 Fulton St., plajrestaurant.com
Everything at Kitava is plant-derived, including this dance-of-the-avocados wall. Is it technically wallpaper? We’re not going to quibble, because it’s really cool in a mid-’70s hippie cookbook kind of way.
Kitava, 2011 Mission St., kitava.com
What’s going on down in San Mateo? Good sausages, lots of beer, and this chunk of excitement, which appears to tell an allegorical tale of reindeer who went to church, got married by pigeons, shot the geese, and chilled with the gryphons or whatever you call the mythical creatures with big wings and the body of a leopard. Manticores? Is that what manticores are? Either way, good job holding our attention.
Wursthall, 310 Baldwin Ave, San Mateo, wursthall.com
Ask any editor, and they’ll tell you user-generated content is the best and the worst: You don’t have to pay for it, but you get what you pay for. Wes Burger ‘N’ More did it the right way, papering the corridor to the restrooms in customers’ doodles, probably some of which were made by actual children.
Wes Burger ‘N’ More, 2240 Mission St., wesburgernmore.com
The new, 1960s-themed The Beehive is as fastidiously art-directed as a Matthew Weiner period drama, but the bathroom went in a slightly more literal direction. You might be a queen bee, but hurry up in there! There’s a line.
The Beehive, 842 Valencia St., thebeehivesf.com
Media Noche in the Mission has some dynamic tiling in the dining room, but it’s the metallic bananas in the restroom that tilt further toward Cuba’s tropical vibes.
Media Noche, 3465 19th St., medianoche.sf
That’s a great angle, kid, but will it play in Peoria?!? Finn Town has an arresting map of San Francisco that’s so old, the streets have different names — but it’s this restroom wallpaper of vintage fishwrap that keeps us informed about all the lurid crimes of the Depression-era city.
Finn Town, 2251 Market St., finntownsf.com
Stare at this for 10 seconds and tell me you don’t want a Choco-Taco like, really bad. People get very nostalgic for when college credits were $75 each but I’d rather eat 12-cent Rocket Pops, honestly.
Museum of Ice Cream, 1 Grant Ave., museumoficecream.com
Nite Yun’s ode to mid-20th century Cambodian culture manifests more prominently in this delightful mashup of pop stars from the Southeast Asian nation’s Golden Age along with Oakland’s Tribune Tower and famous port cranes.
Nyum Bai, 3340 E 12th St., Oakland, nyumbai.com
He’s not the biggest household name in this country, but Adriano Celentano was a huge deal in Italy — basically, their Elvis. And you’ll find the image of “Il Molleggiato” (which translates to “Mr. Flexible”) all over the restroom at Che Fico.
But as “fico” means fig tree, the dining room at Che Fico is properly decked out. Only a cross-section of an orange is more appealing than a fig, really.
Che Fico, 838 Divisadero St., chefico.com
Not technically wallpaper, either, but Southside Spirit House knows that the vinyl resurgence has nothing on the cassette revolution.
Southside Spirit House, 575 Howard St., southsidesf.com