Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Restaurant Merch That’s Actually Cool

New, 1 comment

From dad hats to T-shirts.

Racked has affiliate partnerships, which do not influence editorial content, though we may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. We also occasionally accept products for research and reviewing purposes. See our ethics policy here.

a girl wears a pink T-shirt from Franklin BBQ Photo: Franklin Barbecue

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

I’ve had an XXL tie-dye T-shirt from Joe’s Crab Shack for about two decades. It wasn’t cute to begin with and it’s basically a rag now, so it rarely sees the light of day. Until recently, that shirt was the single piece of “restaurant merch” I owned, unless you count a small collection of pint glasses a friend with sticky fingers swiped from a local pub when we were in our early 20s.

Restaurant merch isn’t anything new (just take a look in the T-shirt section of any thrift store ever), but now more than ever, big chains and independent restaurants are getting their apparel right. I’ve seen everything from dad hats to jackets that are honestly as cool-looking or cooler than the stuff being put out by actual fashion brands, and the normcore logo T-shirts are heads above the corny graphic tees you could pick up somewhere like Urban Outfitters.

I’ve started to make it a point to pick up the dope gear I see while I’m dining out, especially if I’m traveling far from home (inevitably, some of the coolest logos belong to some of the most low key brands, and can’t be bought online).

I feel like a dork asking my waitress for a T-shirt every time, but it’s been worth it for the budding collection of memorabilia I’ve amassed, and for the chance to wear my favorite restaurants (who definitely have my heart) on my sleeve.

Check out some of of the best stuff that is available online below, from spots I love across the country. If you don’t see your favorites on the list, please share them in the comments!