22 Museums with Gourmet Restaurants

Vincent Krieger

Museums are hubs for art lovers, culture seekers, and history buffs, but did you ever think to visit the Louvre for a great meal? Or to book a table at SFMOMA for the best gastronomy experience of your life? Museums are now a destination for food and art lovers alike with a steady rise of fine-dining restaurants attached to some of the world’s finest museums. From the Guggenheim in Bilbao to the Getty Museum in Malibu, some of the best museums in the world are catering to both food and art lovers alike.—Michelle Tchea

Courtesy of Monsieur Bleu

Monsieur Bleu

Palais de Tokyo

WHERE: Paris, France

Snobby French food critics rate the restaurant Monsieur Bleu quite highly in a city with many great restaurants. Not only do you get a great view of the Eiffel Tower but you can find anything on the menu including American comfort foods—burgers, lobster rolls, and fried chicken sandwiches done right—and French classics like steak tartare and frog legs.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Tim Schenck

Untitled

The Whitney Museum

WHERE: New York City, New York

Everyone knows about Untitled at The Whitney Museum, which makes snagging a table at this farm-to-table restaurant very hard, but not impossible. The restaurant features Chef Anthony’s quintessential style of American cooking, while Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic re-interprets classic American desserts in nostalgic yet unexpected ways.

Insider Tip: In the summer, the terrace is transformed into a picturesque cocktail spot and a fun place to hang out.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New York City Guide

José Luis López de Zubiria

Nerua

The Guggenheim

WHERE: Bilbao, Spain

Dining at the Guggenheim Bilbao would, of course, come with high expectations, given its location at the heart of the Basque country, known throughout the world as a center of culinary innovation. Chef Josean Alija brings together food, architecture, and art with tapas-inspired plates. Each dish has three or fewer ingredients but with outstanding flavors and presentation. Modern Spanish and Mediterranean flavors come to life in standout dishes like baby squid with sweet onion and foie gras.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bilbao Guide

Gillespaire | Dreamstime.com

Le Frank

Foundation Louis Vuitton

WHERE: Paris, France

A contemporary French restaurant located in the Foundation Louis Vuitton Arts Centre in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne Park has Michelin-starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos changing the way people think about food in public spaces. Lunch here consists of French bistro favorites like steak tartare gracing the menu. As expected, dinner is much more upscale and sophisticated, with favorites like scallop carpaccio and imperial caviar enticing museum goers.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Mariagroth | Dreamstime.com

Fotografiska

Fotografiska Museum

WHERE: Stockholm, Sweden

Fotografiska is one of the more interesting museums you can visit during your trip to Stockholm. Multiple levels of art and photography by some of the best Scandinavian artists are on display, with exhibitions changing constantly to keep things fresh. The restaurant is yet another example of the delicious food Sweden has to offer. Chef Paul Svensson is in charge of the seasonal menu with great salads, delicious home-baked bread, and of course, seafood from the west.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Stockholm Guide

Patina Restaurant Group

Rays and Stark Bar

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

WHERE: Los Angeles, California

Mediterranean farm-to-table dishes by chef Krist Morningstar are simply prepared yet a nice change to the regular museum cafe. On-site herb and fruit and vegetable gardens take dishes like ricotta gnudi and goat cheese with cherry tomatoes to a whole new level. Bigger dishes like the venison chorizo are great and pair well with the recommendation from in-house water sommelier. Only in LA, right?

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Los Angeles Guide

Courtesy of Beau Marly

Georges

Centre Pompidou

WHERE: Paris, France

Le Georges Restaurant, located on the sixth floor of the Centre Pompidou, offers an excellent 180-degree view of Paris. The food reflects the contemporary and modern French artists in the Pompidou Museum. The honey roasted figs are a delicious starter and the cod Alan Yao is one of the best items for a main course. For dessert, go crazy and get anything–you are in Paris, after all.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Courtesy of Beau Marly
 

Café Marly

The Louvre

WHERE: Paris, France

Situated under the arcades of the famous Louvre, Café Marly is a Parisian brasserie and literary café great for an elaborate breakfast before you dive into the Louvre and get lost in all its wonders. If you feel a little peckish between exhibits, head back to the café for delicious French favorites like foie gras toast, smoked salmon terrine, and elaborate desserts like their famous salted caramel almond tart—and of course, macarons.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Jan kees Steenman

Rijks

Rijksmuseum

WHERE: Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you only have one night in Amsterdam, don’t feel ashamed if you do find yourself having dinner at Rijksmuseum. The restaurant, Rijks, is known to locals as one of the greats in the city for its innovative menus. With three chefs in the kitchen, still come out with great precision. The menu is heavily focused on Dutch flavors and local ingredients. Favorites include the pork knuckle and salt-encrusted pigeon, which can feed more than two hungry art lovers.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Amsterdam Guide

Aholm | Dreamstime.com

Garden Terrace Café and Restaurant

Getty Museum

WHERE: Los Angeles, California

Voted as the best museum café for a few years in a row, the Garden Terrace Café in the Getty Museum is a favorite with both locals and tourists. Although the restaurant is cafeteria-style, the dishes are not the normal tray dinners you would expect. Dungeness crab cakes, French bouillabaisse, and even chardonnay in a corked bottle, sipped through a plastic cup all add to the fun of this museum eatery.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Los Angeles Guide

Sierra Prescott

Otium

Broad Museum

WHERE: Los Angeles, California

Touted as one of the most ambitious restaurants in America, Restaurant Otium at the Broad is a fun addition to L.A.’s restaurant scene. At Otium, chef Timothy Hollingsworth reinvents the American restaurant with a fusion of flavors in an intimate and hip setting. For brunch, offerings include Mexican pozole and even Korean bibimbap, as well as a Hangtown Fry from San Francisco. Outside of brunch, the menu gets even more exciting, with roasted cod, stewed oxtail, and Malaysian curried prawns.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Los Angeles Guide

Slawekkozaks | Dreamstime.com

Rex Whistler Restaurant

Tate Britain

WHERE: London, U.K.

Possibly the best thing about The Rex Whistler Restaurant is its award-winning wine list. With more 50 pages of wine to browse, having just a simple cheese platter and making your way through a list of historical wine is part of the fun at this restaurant. The menu is just as elaborate; anything from Australian sweet wine to Austrian pinot is here to be sampled.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s London Guide

Cage and Aquarium Photography

Terzo Piano

The Art Institute of Chicago

WHERE: Chicago, Illinois

This restaurant offers a great view of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan with fantastic food by Chicago’s most famous Italian chef, Tony Mantuano. Pretty much everything in this unassuming restaurant is made from scratch; the smoky clam and bacon flatbread pizza is a favorite, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the seemingly simple yet well-made dishes on this Mediterranean menu.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Chicago Guide

Benessee House by Leon Brocard [CC BY 2.0]

 

Issen

Benesse House

WHERE: Naoshima, Japan

With five delicious options at Japan’s Benesse Art Site Naoshima, the Benesse House Terrace Restaurant shines above other museum restaurants in Japan. Known by locals as Umi no Hoshi Etoile de La Mer, this French restaurant offers the freshest ingredients, reflecting the natural bounty of the Inland Sea. The degustation prepared by chef Akira Tsuchida starts around $130 but is well worth the price tag.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Naoshima Guide

Per-Anders Jörgensen

Spiritmuseum

Museum of Spirits

WHERE: Stockholm, Sweden

You don’t have to be a drinker to visit the Spritmuseum. With a great restaurant in the museum itself, it is definitely worth stopping in for a quick bite during your visit to Sweden’s famous city garden, Djurgarden. Lunch is available every day with favorites like grilled oysters and local cheeses from chef Petter Nilsson. Dinner is available only on Tuesdays, but the beer garden is a great place to unwind.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Stockholm Guide

Le Mole Passedat

MuCEM

WHERE: Marseille, France

MuCEM in Marseille, France, is where history buffs go for European and Mediterranean history. Stopping at the Mediterranean-style restaurant helmed by chef Gerald Passedat should not be missed either. There’s even a café and culinary school tied to the museum for those who want to recreate chef Passedat’s dishes at home.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Marseille Guide

Eric Wolfinger

In Situ

SFMoma

WHERE: San Francisco, California

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s new restaurant, In Situ, takes the idea of art collecting and translates it to the table. Michelin-starred chef Corey Lee has created an eclectic menu with interpretations of signature dishes by such acclaimed culinary innovators as Wylie Dufresne, René Redzepi, and Dominique Ansel. The menu lists each item as if it were a work of art (giving the date and provenance of each), effectively creating a gallery of modern culinary art.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s San Francisco Guide

Agathe Richard

Les Ombres

Musee du Quai Branly

WHERE: Paris, France

Les Ombres is a trendy yet elegant restaurant located on top of the Musée du Quai Branly, with sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and other monuments of Paris. Chef Frederic Claudel creates classic cuisine to match the restaurant’s ambiance and picturesque views of the city.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Hulya Kolabas for Neue Galerie New York

Café Sabarsky

Neue Galerie

WHERE: New York City, New York

Café Sabarsky is New York’s slice of Austria. Housed in the Neue Galerie, a compact museum with a stellar collection of German and Austrian art, the ground-floor restaurant has an equally impressive selection of European-inspired desserts. In the morning, Café Sabarsky sees busy New Yorkers drop in for lattes and a slice of cake before heading to work. Expect old-world Austrian dishes like beef goulash, crispy schnitzel, and, of course, lots of sausages. To finish, strudel, Viennese tier cakes, and chocolate mousse tortes will please anyone with a sweet tooth.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New York City Guide

Courtesy of L'Opera restaurant

L’Opera

Palais Garnier Opera House

WHERE: Paris, France

Located in one of the most beautiful monuments in Paris, Opera Garnier, L’Opera Restaurant is modern, trendy, and just a perfect Parisian experience with great food. Chef Stephane Bidi brings all the French classics here with a few modern twists. The restaurant is open for breakfast, but to really taste the menu, go for the pea gazpacho with crab and peach salad when in season.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Minacarson | Dreamstime.com

Loulou

Musee des Arts Decoratifs

WHERE: Paris, France

Although technically part of the Louvre, Le Arts Decoratifs is one of the newest and hottest restaurants in Paris. The museum is known for decorative arts and designs by some of France’s most renowned artists and collectors. Restaurant Loulou celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the museum with restaurant Gilles Malafosse and architect Joseph Dirand pairing up again after their successful launch of Monsieur Bleu in Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. The menu at the two-level eatery includes baked rose veal carpaccio, fresh clams, and signature cocktails to enjoy along with sweeping views overlooking the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Pyramid, and Eiffel Tower.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide

Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group

Palettes

Denver Art Museum

WHERE: Denver, Colorado

Palettes Restaurant by Chef Kevin Taylor in the Denver Art Museum is seen as a pioneer in the upscale museum restaurant concept. The decor is simple, but the tasting menus for dinner are anything but. Menus are created exclusively to match special exhibitions, such as the Yves Saint Laurent show, which brought a French retro twist to the menu. Lunch is a little more casual but equally delicious.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Denver Guide

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