Coat protein complex I (COPI) and COPII are required for bidirectional membrane trafficking between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi. While these core coat machineries and other transport factors are highly conserved across species, high-resolution imaging studies indicate that the organization of the ER-Golgi interface is varied in eukaryotic cells. Regulation of COPII assembly, in some cases to manage distinct cellular cargo, is emerging as one important component in determining this structure. Comparison of the ER-Golgi interface across different systems, particularly mammalian and plant cells, reveals fundamental elements and distinct organization of this interface. A better understanding of how these interfaces are regulated to meet varying cellular secretory demands should provide key insights into the mechanisms that control efficient trafficking of proteins and lipids through the secretory pathway.