Top 10 Fonts for Restaurant Menus

.A smart restaurateur knows that every little detail in a restaurant matters.  Selecting a typeface for your menu might seem like the tiniest of those details, but nonetheless, it is a surprisingly important decision.Your patron’s most important interaction with your restaurant happens through the menu – it’s where they are first introduced to your food

A restaurant is a place where people come to feel special and welcome. A menu font should not in any way make a patron feel uncomfortable. Since every restaurant is unique at the end of the day, one cannot choose a universal best font to work for every one of them. On top of that, fonts are flexible and should be tested and verified over time.

To some extent your clientele will determine the font you choose. If you tend to serve primarily older patrons who may have some vision impairment, you will want a large, clear font. A hip casual restaurant geared toward  the thirty-something crowd can use a completely different typeface. Keep in mind you will lose the patronage of those with deteriorating eyesight, a common age related issue, if the font is not easy to read. It is up to you to determine the importance of catering to these types of guests in your specific restaurant.

Below are my favorite fonts you can use to transform your menu.
  • Helvetica

    • Every top ten list for fonts has to have Helvetica. This font, with its timeless simplicity and astounding ability to neutrally denote information, without grabbing too much attention. If you want to play it safe, Helvetica is the way to go.

  • Din

    • Another one from the Sans Serif family, you might recognise Din from the German railway system. This clean and efficient typeface will mirror an ultramodern and a well organized space.

  • Raleway

    • Sans Serif fonts have a different elegance to them and coupled with a Bauhaus inspired simplicity of straight lines, you get Raleway. Perfect on a Handmade paper for your classy afternoon meal menu.

  • Didot

    • Didot is a family of typefaces named after the famous printing and type producing family. Over two hundred years old, this serif typeface defines the lines of some of the most famous fashion magazines in the world. Didot will provide the same chic charm to your menu.

  • Baskerville

    • Another time tested font, Baskerville has been around for about 250 years. invented by English design legend John Baskerville, this typeface is perfect for a fine dining place with an antique setting. You will want to ensure your guests can easily read this font; it may not be as easy as some of the others for those with vision issues.

  • Requiem

    • With its alluring curves and bold serif, the Requiem font gives you a feeling that reading your menu card is not just any mundane job, but an occasion. Definite suggestion for a classy menu card. Would definitely suit an Italian restaurant. Lots of swirls may make this a better font for headings than the entire menu.

  • Lavanderia

    • The loopy Lavanderia looks great on a pastel background. It gives your menu card a personal and at the same time a stylish feel. Must try for smaller restaurants with a more personal appeal. Very busy, so probably not ideal for an older clientele. As with some of the others, perhaps use for headings only.

  • Snell Roundhand

    • Another script font along with Lavanderia to make our list. Though it is as stylish as its predecessor on the list, it has a more sophisticated feel. One important thing to remember while using script fonts is that sometimes they end up being hard to read, especially in a tasteful, dim light. A good suggestion is to use them as headers for your menus and complement them with a simpler font like Helvetica or Raleway that does not attract too much attention to itself.

  • Sabon

    • Sabon is another typeface which carries a legacy with its name. Afterall, American fashion magazines like Vogue and Esquire use slightly modified versions of it for their headlines. The key with using sabon is that the larger font size you select for it, the more auspicious it looks. Though care must be taken so that it does not intimidate the customer.

  • Cicle

    • Sometimes, heavy, serif fonts end up intimidating rather than endearing a reader. if you want an easygoing, personal touch to your restaurant, Cicle is your answer. Simple, easy to read and accessible, it is a friendly feeling font.

Keep a digital file of your menu which can be perused by the patrons using an ipad. Take an informal survey by asking your guests which font they like best. Make sure you ask people of different ages and genders. With a digitized menu, you have the ability to change the look and feel of your menu card whenever you wish, without incurring any additional costs.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Fonts for Restaurant Menus”

  1. Hello, what minimum font size should be used in restaurant menus for general accessibility? Can less than 14pt be acceptable in any circumstances? Thank you! I’m working with Menugo to put together a line of accessibility menus and would welcome your input.

    1. We recommend a 14 pt font for ease of reading for most…however we understand print space is sometimes limited. That being said, perhaps the menu items can be in a 14 pt font with descriptions in 12. Hope that helps!

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