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If you ask us, two of the best experiences in life are a wonderful meal and a visit to a stunning art museum. Which made us wonder: is it possible to combine the two? Where can you go to find both fine food and fine art? Our correspondent Jillian Tangen has rounded up a list of the best restaurants in art museums around the world. Because why choose, when you can have both?

fine food and fine art

Are fine art and fine dining the new power couple?  Like luxury retailers, the important art museums of Manhattan seem to realize that having an exclusive, buzzed-about restaurant is mission-critical to their success.  How else to explain that some of the most exciting restaurants in New York City right now happen to be housed in museums?

fine food and fine art

And how else to account for the announcement earlier this year from the Metropolitan Museum of Art that Michelin-starred chef John Fraser is contributing to the menu at The Dining Room on the museum’s fourth floor? Fraser is creating five new dishes at a time, exclusively for the Met. They’ll be vegetable-forward, and rotate seasonally.

Art and food can separately serve as comfort and inspiration.  Especially when you’re traveling or on vacation. So we figured that the two together should be a little slice of heaven.  A meal at one of these establishments might even be the perfect gift for the foodie in your life.  Or for you!

But which ones are the best restaurants in art museums around the world?

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been reporting about our dining experiences at some of Manhattan’s best museum-based restaurants.  So far, we have dined at The Modern at MoMA, Untitled at the Whitney and Flora Bar at the Met Breuer, all with delicious results.

Those meals got us thinking, though. Where else in the world can we go for a taste of fine art and fine dining?

fine art fine food

A Hall of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

the best restaurants in art museums around the world

Fortunately you don’t need to limit yourself to New York City to enjoy this latest coupling.  We’ve found twelve restaurants located in leading museums throughout the world where the menus are as delectable as the exhibitions on display.

From award-winning wine lists paired with the best of British art to tapas mixed with daring architecture in the Basque country, here’s where you can head for an enriching cultural and culinary experience on your next excursion.

1. In Situ at SFMoma in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s restaurant, In Situ, takes the idea of art collecting and translates it to the table. Its eclectic menu is filled with interpretations of signature dishes from culinary innovators like Wylie Dufresne, René Redzepi and Dominique Ansel. The concept is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Corey Lee. He treats each dish as if it were a work of art. The menu lists the date and provenance of all the dishes, effectively creating a gallery of modern culinary art.

fine food and fine art

In Situ restaurant at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Courtesy Photo.


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2. Otium at the Broad in Los Angeles.

Next to LA’s The Broad museum is Otium, a sleek restaurant from French Laundry alum chef Timothy Hollingsworth. Set in a modern space filled with natural materials and 100-year-old olive trees, Otium features an expansive menu of international dishes. They include hamachi crudo and dry-aged beef tartare. Diners even get a chance to try the dish that helped Hollingsworth win the first season of Netflix’s The Final Table. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s black cod with burnt allium sauce, potato and sea beans.

best restaurants art museums

Otium Restaurant at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles

3. Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, New York City.

Longtime staple of the Lower East Side, Russ & Daughters opened their first Upper East Side outpost at the Jewish Museum in 2016. The menu at this minimalist cafe-meets-appetizing counter boasts a mix of classic and new dishes. They include the shop’s signature smoked fish boards and noodle kugel. Alongside, you’ll find newcomers like shakshuka and vegetarian chopped “liver.” We should also note that this outpost marks the first time in 102 years that Russ & Daughters has gone fully kosher.

Russ & Daughters Restaurant at The Jewish Museum. Courtesy Photo.

4. Mitsitam at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

With a name that means “let’s eat” in the Piscataway and Delaware languages, the Mitsitam Native Foods Café is like an edible exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Not only can guests view live cooking demonstrations around the fire pit in the kitchen. They can also indulge in an indigenous menu based on Native culinary traditions of the Americas. All of the items on the menu are created with ingredients sourced from the tribes themselves.

This includes five geographic regions covering the entire Western Hemisphere. They include the Northern Woodlands; South America; the Northwest Coast; Meso America; and the Great Plains. The most popular dishes include maple-brined turkey with cranberry relish from the Northern Woodlands. And cedar-planked fire-roasted juniper salmon from the Northwest Coast. Are we the only ones getting really hungry right now?

Mitsitam Restaurant at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Courtesy Photo.


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5. Rex Whistler Restaurant at the Tate Britain, London.

Originally opened in 1927, the Rex Whistler Restaurant has been described as “The Most Amusing Room in Europe.” That’s all thanks to its specially-commissioned mural, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats.

As a result, the restaurant has been the site of many a political and social intrigue. In addition, the restaurant has earned a reputation for having one of the finest wine cellars in England. With more than 50 pages of wine to browse, you can try everything from Australian sweet wine to Austrian Pinot. So ordering a cheese platter and doing a wine tasting is a great way to dine here.

Whistler Restaurant at the Tate Britain in London. Courtesy Photo.

6. The Café Jacquemart-André at the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris.

Located in a 19th century mansion, Musée Jacquemart-André houses a significant private collection of works by Flemish painters and Italian Renaissance sculptors. It’s also a happy convergence of fine food and fine art. Inside, you will also find The Café Jacquemart-André, located in the mansion’s former dining room.  The restaurant and tea room menu varies based on what’s being exhibited in the museum. Happily, there are always pastries from Pâtisserie Stohrer and Michel Fenet’s Petite Marquise available to enjoy. Making it the perfect spot for an afternoon pick-me-up after a lovely tour of the museum.

The Café Jacquemart-André in Paris. Courtesy Photo.

7. Le Frank at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris.

In addition to works from modern and contemporary masters like Gerhard Richter and Ellsworth Kelly, inside the Fondation Louis Vuitton you will find the restaurant Le Frank. Its named after architect Frank Gehry, who not only designed the building, but also conceptualized the dining room itself.

best restaurants in art museums around the world

Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris

Le Frank is overseen by the Michelin-starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos.  Here you will find contemporary French cuisine, with lunch favorites like steak tartare gracing the menu. Dinner is much more upscale and sophisticated, with favorites like scallop carpaccio and imperial caviar enticing museum-goers to linger just a little while longer.

fine food and fine art

Le Frank Restaurant at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Courtesy Photo.


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8. Rijks at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Located in the Philips Wing of Amsterdam’s beautiful art- and history-focused Rijksmuseum is the 140-seat, open-kitchen Rijks restaurant. The menu is heavily focused on Dutch flavors and local ingredients. Offerings include Dutch Messeklever cheese and North Sea gurnard. Even though it’s located in a museum, Rijks is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, thanks to its innovative menus. Fan favorites include the pork knuckle and salt-encrusted pigeon, a dish capable of feeding more than two hungry art lovers.

best restaurants in art museums

Rijks at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Courtesy Photo.

9. Nerua at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain.

Located in the heart of Basque country, Neura at the Guggenheim Bilbao brings together food, architecture and art with tapas-inspired plates.

best restaurants in art museums

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Spain

Named for the Nervión River that runs through Bilbao, the restaurant offers a seasonal menu.  Awarded the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the dining room decor is extremely austere. The focus remains on the food. Standout dishes include the baby squid with sweet onion and foie gras.

best restaurants in art museums

Nerua at the Guggenheim Bilbao Spain. Courtesy Photo.

10. Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada, Milan.

One of our favorite finds for fine food and fine art is in Milan. Inspired by the atmosphere of Milan cafés in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Bar Luce at Milan’s Fondazione Prada was designed by filmmaker Wes Anderson. The result is one of the most cheerful and dreamy museum eateries out there. Alongside the whimsical decor of Formica chairs, old pinball machines and jukeboxes, diners are offered a casual menu of Italian-style sandwiches and panini. For dessert, there are fresh-baked pastries, ice cream and tiramisu.

fine food and fine art

Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada in Milan. Courtesy Photo.


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11. Benesse Terrace Restaurant at Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan.

Japan’s Benesse Art Site is home to not one but five delicious dining options. However, the Benesse House Terrace Restaurant stands out above the rest. Known by locals as Umi no Hoshi Etoile de La Mer, this French restaurant offers both breakfast and dinner. All of the menu items are made from fresh local ingredients, reflecting the natural bounty of the Inland Sea. The dinner degustation changes monthly and starts around $120, but reviewers say it is well worth the price.

fine food and fine art

Benesse House Terrace Restaurant. Courtesy Photos.

12. Odette at the National Gallery Singapore, Singapore.

The National Gallery in Singapore is home to one of the loveliest restaurants on our list, Odette. Named for chef Julien Royer’s grandmother, a farmer who taught him to value the beauty of seasonal produce, the eatery has two Michelin stars.

best restaurants in art museums around the world

The National Gallery in Singapore

The menu consists of modern French cuisine offering four-, six- and eight-course menu options that change regularly. Diners can expect colorful dishes made from top-notch ingredients. Among the stand-outs are the French guinea fowl served with celeriac risotto and foie gras croquettes.

Restaurant Odette in the National Gallery, Singapore. Courtesy Photo.

That’s it – our list of the best restaurants in art museums around the world.

Have you been to any of these dining destinations? Or do any of them have you ready to rearrange your summer travel plans to give them a try? Did we me miss anything? Let us know. When it comes to fine food and fine art, we’re always open to suggestions.

In the meantime we’ll be dreaming up all the excuses we can think of to head to Milan to stop by Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada.  Wish us luck!

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Join our community! For access to inside ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier. Formerly, she was a Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in NYC and is married with three young children. She loves cross country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

Jillian Tangen

Jillian is a lifestyle editor at Dandelion Chandelier covering topics like fashion, travel, entertainment and on occasion, even finance. She thinks there’s no such thing as having too many sweaters.