Best Restaurant Décor (Editors' Pick)
When the Spanish-based chain 100 Montaditos gutted the former Green Papaya space on Elm Street in downtown Bethesda last year, it painted the walls a deep salmon and hung nearly 600 photographs. Framed in antique gold or wood, the black-and-white pictures depict street scenes, buildings and people from modern and yesteryear Cadiz, a port city in southwestern Spain. Founded in 2000, the chain took its inspiration from 19th-century Spanish taverns such as those in Cadiz. The jam-packed, wall-to-wall photos are the signature décor for the international sandwich shop, which has more than 300 locations in Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Colombia, Mexico, Italy, Florida and now Maryland (and at press time, it was considering expanding to other U.S. locales). Though the photos aren’t individually that eye-catching, the total effect is mesmerizing. Not unlike the humongous menu, which lists 100 different varieties of the small sandwiches known as montaditos.
4922 Elm St., Bethesda, 240-396-6897, www.us.100montaditos.com/home