The Best Restaurant Seating, According to Our Restaurant Editor

So long, banquettes—we won’t be missing you.

Chair from De La Nonna
Photo: Julia Stotz

After the menu, the seating is the most important part of any dine-in restaurant experience. In my capacity as restaurant editor, I've spent hundreds of hours each year sitting down in nearly every type of seating arrangement possible: long velvet banquettes, austere wooden benches, tall barstools (often without footrests­—why?!), and those metal slat-backed stacking chairs that not a single human being finds comfortable but that (alas) seem to be ubiquitous. More than once, I've ended a meal early because the seating was so uncomfortable.

So it was with great pleasure that I came across the chairs at De La Nonna, a bright and upbeat pizza spot in Los Angeles, which were so comfortable I didn't ever want to leave. It turns out, they're based on the Cesca side chair, designed in 1928 by Hungarian-born designer Marcel Breuer. They look great, and their supportive, accessible design makes it easy for diners of all shapes and sizes to linger over a meal in comfort. Why should you have to choose between form and function?

Get the Look

The rights for this famous design have been owned by the Knoll Group since the 1960s. At $1,065 per chair for the classic armless model with cane seat and back, the luxury price tag reflects the iconic and timeless nature of the chair, a veritable work of art.

A Chair for Every Body

The woven back gives great support, and the cushion provides comfort when sitting. There are no armrests, which makes the chair easy to slip in and out of and means that there's nothing poking into your thigh if you have a curvier build.

Classic Design

De La Nonna's chair is a style inspired by Marcel Breuer's iconic Cesca chair, first designed in 1928. One of his original chairs is part of a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The widely copied D-shaped design with metal tubing and a woven cane back comes in a variety of materials.

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