It’s not surprising Australian cafes, bars and restaurants have a prominent presence on the list of finalists for The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

The London-based international design award is dedicated exclusively to the design of food and drink spaces. Up against entries from more than 70 other countries, Sydney finalists included Rushcutters Bay’s Italian restaurant ACME, designed by Luchetti Krelle, which features a low-lit, downstairs private dining space fitted out with a small, square bar island.

ACME’s Ed Loveday says the team is excited to be a finalist, “It’s a massive honour to be among some very impressive designs. It’s been a pleasant surprise and we’re still a bit blown away – we never had the intention to be a ‘designer’ restaurant.”

Also on the list is the modern interior of Bondi’s Best, designed by TomMarkHenry; Kazbah Souk by 2D Studio; and the eclectic Coogee Pavilion by Akin Creative.

In the bar category the careful design of Archie Rose Distilling Co. by Acme & Co, with its large copper bar surrounded by booths styled as whisky barrels, was recognised.

On the list from Melbourne is Raw Trader by StudioY – with its rustic wooden-wall paneling matched with blue hues and slick concrete surfaces. The Kettle Black’s marble bar, wall hangings and striking green tiles and chairs, put together by Studio You Me, also got a nod.

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Adelaide’s Sean’s Kitchen is in the running, designed by Alexander & Co., having just been shortlisted for Australia’s Interior Design Awards.

The winner will be announced in London on October 1, so for now there is time to sit, eat and relax in our nation’s critically acknowledged, sleek food spaces.