Shipping Container Restaurants – Costs, Inspiration, and more…

You’ve seen them before. That tiny shipping container, sitting on the side of the road with a line of people waiting to eat inside.

The idea of a shipping container restaurant is so popular that there are over 900 restaurants around the world in this type of setting. But how much does it cost? You might be surprised!

We’ll show you 18 examples of some of the most popular container restaurants and break down some different costs involved with building one for your business. 

This blog post will explore how much it would cost to open up a shipping container restaurant and what some potential costs are involved in running this unique business idea successfully!

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18 Best Converted Shipping Container Restaurants in 2022

Box-E – Bristol, London, UK

box-e
Source: Box-E

The Food

The tasty food dishes at Box-E change regularly based on the availability of ingredients but are always stacked full of fresh English fare served beautifully dressed.

If you like this post, make sure to check out our posts on shipping container coffee shops,

The Location

Built from a pair of renewable shipping containers, the small footprint of this eatery in London offers a cozy, intimate dining experience. Box-E occasionally provides an even more intimate dining experience at its Kitchen Table, a four-seat high-top table overlooking the kitchen. The owners, Tess and Elliott, admit that they blew the restaurant’s entire budget on the single stove.

Bin 702 – Las Vegas, Nevada

bin702
Source: Bin 702

The Food

Made of two shipping containers totaling 640 sq. ft., Bin 702 shipping container restaurant offers a delicious selection of wines, cheeses, and meats to meet your culinary desires. Served on a plate or a sandwich, you can enjoy everything from appetizers to dessert here.

The Location

Bin 702 is just one member of the city’s Downtown Container Park. The entire site is made up of 43 recycled shipping containers and 41 manufactured Xtreme cubes.

The Container @ Ska Brewing – Durango, Colorado

ska brewing
Source: Ska Brewing Company

The Food

The Container’s tasty food menu includes locally sourced American fare and, of course, delicious craft beer. Appetizers, salads, burgers, and pizza are sure to satisfy any appetite.

The Location

Built from repurposed shipping containers, the restaurant at Ska Brewing’s world headquarters has a striking exterior façade with bold, bright colors. Inside, enjoy your dinner and drinks at the main level or overlooking the bar from the loft above.

Pop Brixton – Brixton, London, UK

pop brixton
Source: Pop Brixton

The Food

Built from reused shipping containers, there’s something at Pop Brixton for everybody, whether you’re in the mood for local or international fare, full meals or appetizers, or just a delicious, handcrafted beverage. Most of its 55 independent businesses are local start-ups looking to grow their presence.

The Location

Pop Brixton is a collective dining, shopping, and cultural destination that houses various eateries and activities. The mall of independent shops, services, and restaurants can provide a whole day of entertainment.

Mozza & Co. – Paris

The Food

Mozza & Co. focuses its food items on one key ingredient – mozzarella. These fresh, delicious cheeses are served with bread, meats, and vegetables to create colorful appetizers and meals.

The Location

Seated on the Banks of the Seine in Paris, this unique location with plenty of foot traffic would leave an impression regardless of the architecture. Their restaurant built from repurposed shipping containers is just one of their concepts, including food trucks, carts, and a brick-and-mortar location.

Mersea – San Francisco, California

mersea
Source: Mersea

The Food

Mersea’s menu includes burgers (and Beyond burgers), seafood, tacos, and pizza. Everything on the menu has a seasonal, local twist that keeps the selection exciting from one visit to the next.

The Location

Boasting the best views in San Francisco, this island oasis on Treasure Island is surrounded by water and skyline. Mersea aims to be a cultural and economic center of the area. 

Wahaca – London

wahaca
Source: Wahaca

The Food

Wahaca’s founders boast the ageless and classless nature of Mexican street food – how you can see people from all walks of life enjoying tacos. The menu brings the flavors of Mexico to life with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

The Location

The original Wahaca location features two overhanging levels with massive windows that let in tons of delicious natural light. Wahaca was the first UK restaurant group to be certified as Carbon Neutral, making their architecture as sustainable as their food.

Smoky Park Supper Club – Asheville, North Carolina

Smoky Park Supper Club
Source: Smoky Park Supper Club

The Food

Smoky Park Supper Club features upscale American food and a wide variety of cocktails to choose from. Indulge in the view of the river while enjoying a delicious burger and a drink.

The Location

Known as the biggest shipping container restaurant in the United States, the Smoky Park Supper Club is immediately memorable. It sits on a nearly two-acre site on the French Broad River and is accessible by foot, car, boat, or bicycle. 

The Churchill – Phoenix, Arizona

The Churchill
Source: The Churchill

The Food

The Churchill is a collective business location that features bars, burgers, pizza, smoothies, and shops. There’s accessible fare for every appetite to enjoy along with the unique architecture.

The Location

The Churchill’s key attraction is its massive open courtyard for dining and community events. As fascinating as the architecture is, the most significant intrigue of The Churchill is its business model. It promotes “collaboration over competition” among its residents, requiring every business to cross-promote with at least one other resident, as well as mandatory service to the community.

Aprisa Mexican Cuisine – Portland, Oregon

Aprisa
Source: Aprisa

The Food

Aprisa Mexican Cuisine’s menu boasts healthy, authentic Mexican food, including tacos, burritos, bowls, and tortas. Made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and served walk-up or drive-thru only, Aprisa offers a unique dining experience that is unique as it is delicious.

The Location

Aprisa’s shipping container build is part of its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. The building is so highly insulated that the kitchen appliances can effectively heat the small building, saving energy costs and resources. 

Till the Cows Come Home – Berlin

The Food

Till The Cows Come Home offers vegetarian and vegan slow food and detox food, with a seasonally fluctuating menu. The food and drinks are as beautiful as they are healthy and always flavorful and delicious.

The Location

This redesigned shipping container restaurant features outdoor seating and a five-meter window peeking into the kitchen. The pastoral setting incorporates the mural of grazing cows, reinforcing the slow food lifecycle. 

Del Popolo – San Francisco, California

The Food

The sole mission of Del Popolo’s Jon Darsky was to make Neapolitan-style pizza to the masses. Del Popolo’s mobile shipping container brings authentic Italian pizza to neighborhood after neighborhood. Their Twitter account is the only way to know where they’ll be next.

The Location

Del Popolo’s authentic Neapolitan flavor comes from a 5,000-pound brick oven inside a shipping container on the back of a Freightliner truck. This one-of-a-kind food truck makes for an unforgettable dining experience.

Pllek – Amsterdam

Pllek
Source: Pllek

The Food

Pllek’s menu features locally sourced vegetables and, to a lesser extent, fish and meat. Their mission to contribute to a better life guides their menu choices, right down to the choice of supplier. 

The Location

Pllek’s container build creates a massive indoor space that transitions seamlessly to the outdoor dining hall thanks to its enormous glass walls. The repurposed and strategically placed shipping containers are a tribute to Pllek’s commitment to sustainability. The site also doubles as a community center with yoga groups and other local events.

Avanti Food & Beverage – Denver, Colorado

The Food

Avanti Food & Beverage is one of several shipping container restaurants in Colorado, a regional hub of culinary artistry. The collective eatery arrangement at Avanti takes advantage of the local talent by rotating chefs out after an agreed-upon commitment, keeping the menu fresh and unique no matter how many times you visit.

The Location

Avanti Food & Beverage is constructed from modified shipping containers housing several restaurants that operate collectively. The location was built with the concept of fixed food trucks in mind, and the five micro-kitchens are perfect for incubating new local restaurants.

El Rey – Washington, D.C.

El Rey
Source: El Rey

The Food

El Rey features delicious Mexican street tacos, tequila, and margaritas. On weekends, you can enjoy a unique Mexican-style lunch with breakfast burritos served alongside flavored mimosas.

The Location

El Rey’s most spectacular feature is its retractable glass-like roof, which can be extended or drawn back to accommodate the weather. If it rains, they can close the roof and open it again as soon as the skies are clear.

Doca Steak Burger – Minas Gerais, Brazil

Doca Steak Burger
Source: Doca Steak Burger 

The Food

Doca Steak Burger is a family-friendly restaurant with a dedicated area for kids to burn off some steam. The burgers are made from high-quality meat and served on hand-made bread for a deliciously handcrafted meal.

The Location

Doca is one of the most well-known shipping container restaurants in the world, and for good reason. The two overlapping shipping containers provide indoor, covered outdoor, and open outdoor dining opportunities. The indoor space is intentionally cozy, in direct contrast to the industrial architecture.

Detroit Shipping Company – Detroit, Michigan

The Food

Detroit Shipping Company is a crowd-pleasing location with a variety of food and beverage options. International and domestic dining opportunities abound, including Thai, Caribbean, and Nepalese, and more local options like burgers, poutine, and New York street food.

The Location

Detroit Shipping Company is made of 21 refurbished shipping containers arranged in two levels totaling 10,000 square feet. Half of each floor is made up of outdoor space for a truly unique dining experience, plus several commercial shops to explore.

SteelCraft Bellflower – Bellflower, California

SteelCraft
Source: SteelCraft

The Food

Here you’ll find a cafe, a brewery, a wine bar, a modern Filipino eatery, tacos, pizza, chicken, and ice cream. Whether you can’t make up your mind or have a group to please, you can’t go wrong at SteelCraft.

The Location

SteelCraft is a multi-vendor eatery laid out like an outdoor food court, with cafeteria-style dining between the various restaurants. The open roof keeps you safe from the elements while still feeling like you’re outside.

Beitang Container Restautant – Tianjin, China

Built from seven reused shipping containers, Beitang container restaurant

How Much Do Shipping Container Restaurants Cost?

Despite working with recycled materials for the main framework, shipping container restaurant design costs roughly the same as more traditional building methods. The shipping container restaurant cost includes adding insulation, plumbing, electricity, and many other expenses that you would encounter with a conventional new build. 

Conclusion

Shipping container restaurants are a relatively novel trend in the food industry. Their allure can draw a crowd with both their unique appearance and their sustainable design. Despite the recycled framework, building a shipping container restaurant costs roughly the same as building any other new restaurant.

However, an aspiring restaurateur may find shipping container restaurants for sale to incubate their unique vision.

Ryan Stetson

Ryan Stetson

Currently own two 20' and 40' containers converted into an office/workshop. Having worked in the shipping industry for 6 years, my goal is to share my personal experiences as well as connect potential container buyers with suppliers around the US.

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