Do you like murals, great food and don’t want to choose between the two in order to enjoy a day out? Neither do we. Several restaurants are popping up in the Greater New York area featuring murals from talented artists whose work can be seen outdoors in neighborhoods all over the world. Next time you’re hungry and craving good food with great art to match, make a reservation at one of these places with the best restaurant murals in the Greater New York area.
New York City
Vandal is an upscale 22,000 square-foot restaurant located in the Bowery and brought to you by the TAO Group. It is a great brunch spot by day and doubles as an exciting nightclub in the evening. The TAO Group and British artist Hush are the masterminds behind its highly creative ambience, inspired by this historic neighborhood’s rich artistic history.
UK-Based artist Hush is internationally-known for his elaborate Geisha-inspired artwork that can be found on the streets or inside of an art gallery. Now he can add restaurant murals to his resume with the creation of Seduction, a 35 x 16 foot mural that focuses on subtle sexuality, Japanese culture and decorates the dining hall of Vandal.
Shepard Fairey’s bold and politically charged street art style is written all over Vandal’s Obey mural. Shepard Fairey is also Founder of the grunge clothing line Obey and his artistic propaganda commonly shares this same hypnotic message. Above a big, bulging all-seeing eye, the mural reads “Never trust your own eyes believe what you are told.”
Directly across the dining area is a wheatpaste mural of a masked military woman – another one of Shepard Fairey’s restaurant murals in Vandal.
Tristan Eaton is a Los Angeles-born artist with a love for comic books, graffiti and a big, colorful imagination. His large scale mural Fantastic Fantasy was painted over four custom bookshelves that can be seen in the library section at Vandal.
Eelus is a UK-based artist whose art is morbid, dark and grim, but still naturally beautiful. Drastic contrasts, a dreary winged-female and her flock of black crows mark this moody piece from the artist that is located in the hidden dining room of Vandal.
The Bombay Bread Bar
The Bombay Bread Bar (previously known as Paowalla) serves traditional Indian street food dishes with a modern-day twist in New York City’s SoHo district. Inspired by India’s city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) – Executive Chef/Founder Floyd Cardoz’s homeland, the restaurant is garnished in fun South East Asian décor.
The artwork of Canadian-Pakistani pop artist Maria Qamar is drenched in rich Desi roots. Often loaded with subtle wit and strong South Asian influence, Qamar’s work is also inspired by remnants of her experience growing up in two cultures. This Bollywood, vintage comic-style mural is located in the back of The Bombay Bread Bar’s dining area and features a man and a weeping woman.
New York State
Fortina is a trendy Italian eatery in Yonkers, New York that specializes in wood-fired oven pizza. Founder and Chef Christian Petroni carefully crafted the environment for comfort – this 5,605 square foot space features spacious 35-foot high cathedral ceilings and an outdoor garden.
New York painter Tony Curanaj and Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Mast of IMOK, TGE and GFR came together in the name of good vibes and great pizza to create a custom mural for Fortina – a new modern Italian style-restaurant located in the Boyce Thompson Center of Yonkers, New York. Inspired by the statue of liberty, the mural was centered around the goddess of wheat who stood tall along the loft-style restaurant’s 35-foot high brick walls and cathedral ceiling.
El Bandido in Spring Valley, New York is a Mexican treasure in Rockland County. Longing to achieve the American Dream, Santiago Manuel “Manny” Tello from Puebla, Mexico emigrated to the US and founded El Bandido in 1973. For over 42 years, the restaurant has been serving up authentic Mexican culture and cuisine.
Mexican artist Jose Luis is responsible for the fascinating art decorating the restaurant’s exterior. He utilized every ounce of space of the building to highlight historical events that took place during the Mexican Revolution. Luis began painting the murals in 1993 and while some segments of it specify a concluding date of 2008, the restaurant murals of El Bandido are still standing.
Cellar 335 offers an Asian-American fusion of flavors packed into the exposed brick walls of an industrial-style private basement setting. This dimly-lit downtown Jersey City, New Jersey restaurant is home of signature Luau cocktails and is the second restaurant opening in the state for Saddle River Inn Owner/Executive Chef Jamie Knott.
Muralist and Newark-based street artist Mr. Mustart has completely covered the streets of New Jersey with his signature street art murals and Cellar335 features three corner masterpieces from the local artist. Upon entering, a green-faced character with piercing blue eyes holding a golden sword greets visitors with a mysterious gaze. The other two restaurant murals feature flower-wearing goddesses lounging in their element.
While you’re there, download the CANVS app and see what other murals are in the neighborhood.