Restaurant Names Made Easy: 100+ Creative Ideas

With today’s restaurant customer spoiled for choice in a saturated market, your restaurant’s name helps your establishment stand out from the crowd. But how do you strike the right balance between catchy, descriptive, and unique?

Do you name your cheese-focused restaurant The Dairy Godmother? How about your steakhouse The Notorious P.I.G.? Or do these inspire images of ice cream parlors and butcher chops that don’t capture the customer experience your restaurant provides?

Naming your restaurant is made even more difficult by how early in the planning stages it needs to get done. You’ll need to provide your restaurant name to apply for loans, create signage, and start advertising.

We’ve put together this restaurant naming guide to help you choose a restaurant name both you and your customers will love. We break down what makes a good restaurant name, what makes one not so great, and suggest more than 100 restaurant naming ideas that’ll have you saying, “That’s the one!” before you know it.

Why restaurant names matter.

Your food is the thing that brings people back to your restaurant time and again—but your name is what gets them in the door.

Choosing a name for your restaurant can be tricky, but it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make when opening your restaurant. Not only is the name of your restaurant likely the legal name for your restaurant operations, but it’s also how your current and future customers will refer to you. The right name will help you build a brand for your restaurant, attract the right customers and employees, and grow your business. 

With major cities like New York City being home to over 35,000 restaurants, standing out from the crowd is pretty important. Coming up with a name that packs a punch will go a long way in setting your restaurant up for success. 

What makes a good restaurant name?

There are millions of restaurant name combinations to choose from. We all come across dozens of restaurants every day on social media or as we walk down the street. But which ones stand out to you?

Here’s a hint: they probably meet the criteria on this list. Consider this your checklist of all things that make for a good restaurant name. A good restaurant name is:

    • Easy to remember. You want your name to come up when people are deciding where they want to eat. If your name easily comes to mind, customers are more likely to visit your restaurant. 
    • Clear in what the restaurant offers. Customers should know what to expect from your restaurant before they even step foot in the door. Imagine the disappointment of walking into a restaurant named The Sub Shop only to discover they don’t sell subs!
    • Unique. Every restaurant has something different to offer. It’s best to choose a name that’s as distinct as possible to prevent confusion, especially with other local establishments. This will help you stand out locally and on search engines. What’s more, when your name is unique, your restaurant’s unique customer experience will be tied to the right name!
    • Simple to brand. Your restaurant name isn’t just a name. It’ll need to seamlessly translate into a logo that can go on marketing materials, signage, and menus. Simple names often make branding easier. A designer can always give you tips on what names work best with the design you have in mind.
    • A name you love. As a small business owner, your restaurant is an extension of you. It’s important that you love the name of your restaurant as much as your customers do. When you love your restaurant’s name, you’ll boast it proudly—that helps with marketing, too!

Restaurant name vs. brand: what’s the difference?

Your brand and restaurant names are closely tied, but they aren’t the same.

Your name is what people will call your restaurant. Your brand is the identity of your restaurant and how your restaurant is perceived. So to attract the right customers, you’ll want a name that reflects your brand.

For example: Let’s say you own a bakery that primarily sells wedding cakes and refined French-style pastries. To attract the audience that’s the right fit for your menu, your brand is likely upscale and sophisticated. 

This means a restaurant name like Le Petit Patisserie could be a good fit for your brand. While names like Caketastic or F***ing Sweet Slices are fun, they probably aren’t the right fit for your particular bakery.

In short, your name is part of your brand, but your brand is more than your name.

What makes a restaurant name ineffective?

Now that you know a bit about how to attract customers to your restaurant with your name, it’s good to bear in mind things to avoid when naming your restaurant. Here are some things a good restaurant name isn’t:

  • Full of typos. Check your spelling and grammar, then check it again. Spelling your restaurant name incorrectly could have costly branding, merchandise, and documentation consequences.
  • Off-brand. Before coming up with a name for your eatery, think about your restaurant’s values and vision. If your name doesn’t match your brand, it’ll be more difficult to attract the right customers.
  • Hard to spell. Keep your target customer in mind: will they find your restaurant name difficult to spell? This can matter to your marketing—you want patrons to easily be able to search for (and recommend!) your restaurant! Keeping your restaurant name simple might be a good move if your goal is to attract a broad array of customers.
  • Offensive. There’s a fine line between funny and offensive. Walking that line might fit with your brand, but as a general rule, it’s best to err on the side of caution. You probably don’t want to start your grand opening with some less-than-ideal press, like this restaurant in Vancouver.

Future-proof your restaurant’s name with good planning.

When it comes to the name of your restaurant, you can always change your mind later—but it might cost you.

Changing your restaurant’s name means spending valuable time and resources changing your signage, website, and other marketing materials. You’ll also have to contend with customer confusion during that period of transition. Depending on your business structure, changing your restaurant’s name might have legal implications as well.

Ideally, you should choose a name that sticks with your business as it grows. Some future-forward aspects to think about when it comes to your restaurant name include:

  • Your long-term restaurant goals, such as your products, locations, and expansion plans
  • Legal considerations, like the potential to trademark
  • Trends—will your restaurant’s name feel outdated in a couple of years?

Name your restaurant: 7 tips to get started

If you’re overwhelmed by the name-selection process, we get it. While choosing your restaurant’s name feels simple in theory, there’s a lot to think about.

Here are some of our top tips for navigating the process of choosing a restaurant moniker:

  1. Build a vision for your brand before you start naming. Round up details about your restaurant, your target customers, and pricing to inform the type of name you’re looking for. Creating a business plan is a great start toward building a vision!
  2. Brainstorm words and phrases that fit your restaurant. Think about the type of cuisine you offer, your menu, and even your location and aesthetics. 
  3. Use idea generation tools like Chat GPT or our list below for inspiration.
  4. Write down a large list of names, rank them, and start to cross off the ones that don’t fit the bill.
  5. Check to see if any of your name options have been taken. Use Google, local restaurant guides, and your local business registries to check for existing businesses with the same name. 
  6. Check the availability of website domains and social media handles. Naming your restaurant GoodFish might not be a great idea of there’s already a website with the same name.
  7. Sleep on it and ask trusted advisors. Choosing a restaurant name is a big decision and doesn’t have to happen overnight. It’s often helpful to give yourself some time to mull it over before you finalize your choice—and to get feedback from others.

35 restaurant name ideas by vibe.

Your marketing plan for your food and beverage business might rely mainly on how it looks—and feels—to eat in your restaurant. If you’re trying to convey the right vibe with your restaurant name, we’ve got you covered. Check out a few of our vibe categories below and see if we’ve hit the right chord.

Fancy restaurant names.

Fancy, full-service restaurants often choose elegant and simple names that reflect the quality of the meals and experience.

  1. Armonía
  2. The Lakehouse
  3. Parlor
  4. Kaiser 
  5. Le Bistro
  6. Marcello’s

Cute restaurant names.

A cute name gives your restaurant a fun and friendly vibe. These names are often playful and quirky and have a positive connotation. They might even be fun to say!

  1. Sundae Dreams
  2. Flowerpot Coffee
  3. Toasty Teapot Cafe
  4. Little Garden Grill
  5. Bunny Bistro
  6. Honeycomb Cottage

Romantic restaurant names.

From first dates to anniversaries, some spots are perfect for celebrating romantic moments. If that’s your restaurant, try sticking to themes or nostalgic references that’ll make guests fall in love all over again.

  1. Cafe Amour
  2. Garden of Eve
  3. Marjorie’s
  4. Lover’s Bistro
  5. Bisou, Bisou
  6. Romeo/Juliet

Funny restaurant names.

Naming your restaurant is serious business, but that doesn’t mean the name has to be! Sometimes a little humor is just what you need to get the right customers through the door. 

  1. No Salads
  2. Fork My Life
  3. Pho-king Soups
  4. A Cluckin’ Good Time
  5. French Fry Me A River
  6. A Waffle Lot

Clever restaurant names.

Use puning, wordplay, and even pop culture references can keep your grub hub fun—and maybe even a little cheesy.

  1. Ready to Wok
  2. The Codfather
  3. Eggtastic Breakfasts
  4. Taco Bout It
  5. Burger Meister
  6. The Fresh and the Furious

Catchy restaurant names.

Making your restaurant name extra catchy might help you catch some more guests. Names with rhymes and alliterations roll right off the tongue. A name that’s fun to say is hopefully a name that will be said more often!

  1. Frankie’s French Fries
  2. Rolls and Bowls
  3. Delilah’s Diner
  4. Barbara’s Rhubarb Bar
  5. A Fork of Pork
  6. Hungry Hippo Hamburgers

Cool restaurant names.

We know that “cool” can be pretty subjective, but names with a bit of edge and mystery may help get your restaurant in with the “in” crowd. (Are the cool kids still saying that?)

  1. The Urban
  2. Juniper Eatery
  3. Social Supperclub
  4. It’s Called Surf
  5. Bill’s Daughter

65 restaurant name ideas by cuisine.

Sometimes customers are just looking for a meal that captures their cravings. Whether they’re looking for Indian, Italian, or just some good eggs, the name ideas on this list might just help your restaurant make it to the top of your customers’ lists. 

Breakfast restaurant names.

Nothing’s better than kicking off the day with a restaurant breakfast. If you’re dishing out the bacon, don’t be afraid to lean into the breakfast theme.

  1. Basket of Bacon
  2. Toaster Junction
  3. The Egg of it All
  4. Little Croissant Cafe
  5. Sunrise Stacks

Brunch restaurant names.

Brunch and breakfast are peas in a pod. But try one of these options for your restaurant to give off that classic ‘‘line-up down the street for 1 p.m. brunch” vibes.

  1. Later Bird Cafe
  2. Crepes & Coffee
  3. Sunny Side Up
  4. The Brunch Company
  5. Too Late For Breakfast

Fast food restaurant names.

When it comes to fast food, customers want to get in and out as quickly as they can. Whether you own a food truck business or a drive-through eatery, pick a name that balances convenience with deliciousness. 

  1. Speedy Spuds
  2. Burgs and Stuff
  3. Pita Pit Stop
  4. Hannah’s Hoagie Hut
  5. The Works

BBQ restaurant names.

We all know that BBQ is a special experience. Here are a few ideas that lean into the heartiness—and smokiness—of BBQ dining.

  1. Creekside BBQ
  2. Fresh Off The Grill
  3. Mike’s Craft BBQ
  4. Racks
  5. The Smoke Shack

Mexican restaurant names.

If your Mexican restaurant is bright, vibrant, and flavorful, make sure your name reflects that! Here are some inviting ideas:

  1. La Cantina
  2. The Burrito Bar
  3. Cocina Mexicana
  4. La Mesa Mexicana
  5. Fiesta 

Italian restaurant names.

An Italian moniker for your Italian restaurant can help communicate authenticity while setting you apart from other restaurants in the area. 

  1. Pisa Pizza
  2. Enoteca Riviera
  3. Antonio’s Pizzeria
  4. Osteria Sociale
  5. Nonna’s Kitchen & Bar

Chinese restaurant names.

China is a large country with diverse culinary traditions. When choosing your name, select one that highlights the regional flavors of your restaurant and ties in traditional Chinese symbols or landmarks.

  1. Golden Dynasty
  2. New Age Kitchen
  3. Xing’s Shanghai Classics
  4. Great Wall Bistro
  5. Wong’s Noodle House

Indian restaurant names.

Showcase the authentic Indian dining experience that highlights the spices and flavors of Indian cuisine. Don’t be afraid to reference well-known dishes and regions so diners know what to expect. 

  1. Curry on Cobb Street
  2. Better Biryani
  3. Spice of Life
  4. Plates of Punjab
  5. Delhi Delights

Seafood restaurant names.

When it comes to a seafood restaurant, you can’t go wrong with a nautical theme. Choose a name that feels as fresh as your seafood while paying tribute to the seven seas. 

  1. The Seafood Spot
  2. Salt and Surf
  3. The Atlantic 
  4. Wave
  5. Fresh Catch Kitchen

Greek restaurant names.

Dive into the rich culture of Greek food with a restaurant name that ties into well-known Greek dishes or mythology.

  1. Great Gyro’s
  2. Colossus Cafe
  3. Niko’s Taverna
  4. My Three Dads
  5. House of Zeus

Burger restaurant names.

Finding a really excellent burger joint is like finding a $20 bill on the ground: rare, but possible. Here are some options that’ll help your burger joint stay top of mind. 

  1. Between the Buns
  2. Burt’s Burger Bar
  3. Smash Burg
  4. That Burger Joint
  5. Henry’s Charbroiled

Bakery names.

Whether your customers are looking for an afternoon pick-me-up or a treat for a special occasion, these names might just turn you into the local go-to for sweet treats. 

  1. Little Bakery on the Corner
  2. Sam’s Bakeshop
  3. Croissant Culture
  4. Broad Street Bakery
  5. The Pastry Pantry

Sushi restaurant names.

Get new customers rolling in the door with a restaurant name that ties into Japanese tradition and cuisine, while highlighting the star of the show: sushi.

  1. Rice and Soy
  2. Roll’d
  3. Maki Mayhem
  4. The Sushi Spot
  5. Hoshi (Star) Sushi

Ready, set—name. 

The good news about good restaurant names is that there are millions of word combinations to choose from. The world is your oyster! (Oyster World—another good name.)

Don’t be afraid to get creative with the name of your restaurant, but remember to keep it snappy, memorable, and descriptive. With our 100 name suggestions to chew on, we hope your restaurant’s name is now within reach!

Ready to take your restaurant beyond just a name?

Ready your crew with the all-in-one employee management software made for restaurants: Homebase. While we can’t name your restaurant for you (though we’d love to try), we can help you manage your hourly team, schedule shifts, manage payroll, and more. Get started today for free.

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