Six of the best museum restaurants around the world
Dine while you admire MOMA's culture garden or devour cake inspired by art in these gourmet eateries combining good food and culture
Monsieur Bleu, Palais de Toyko, Paris
As well as avant-garde exhibitions, the Palais de Tokyo also caters for the appetites of the art world's movers and shakers with three eateries including the delectable cuisine at Monsieur Bleu. See French performance artist Abraham Poincheval attempting to hatch a chicken egg in his unorthodox exhibition at the museum before heading to Monsieur Bleu's terrace overlooking the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. Inside the restaurant, a grand Art Deco ceiling umbrellas the elegant restaurant where you can dine on such French delicacies as caramelised black cod, fillet of beef or vanilla and bourbon millefeuille, while supping on fine wine.
The National Cafe, The National Gallery London
Whether you're feeling peckish after admiring Michelangelo and Sebastiano's The Raising of Lazarus – part of the Credit Suisse exhibition at The National Gallery – or wandering Trafalgar Square looking for a bite to eat, newly opened The National Cafe offers a refined dining experience. Choose from a selection of delectable dishes from the British European menu designed by Oliver Peyton and executive chef Richard Oxley, including Cornish squid with puntarella and organic Sicilian lemon and Goosnargh duck and pistachio terrine with blood orange salsa. With an interior by Belgian designer Remy Fischer in a muted palette of blush pink and grey, the restaurant features intimate booths, a private dining area and a self-service grab-and-go area.
Terzo Piano, The Art Institute Chicago
Located in the modern wing of Chicago's Art Institute, Terzo Piano serves authentic Italian dishes with a Mediterranean flair under the direction of award-winning chef Tony Mantuano. Order the smoked salmon tartine, chicken croccante or braised octopus paired with one of the restaurant's high-quality American wines. Open for lunch everyday and dinner on a Thursday evening, the dining hotspot harnesses local, organic and sustainable ingredients and is the perfect place to work up an appetite to marvel at such famous works as Grant Wood's much-parodied American Gothic or Charles Demuth's …And The Home Of The Brave.
Spring at Somerset House, London
It was under chef Skye Gyngell that Petersham Nurseries flourished into a must-visit foodie destination, and since setting up Spring at Somerset House she has garnered just as much critical acclaim. Gyngell is known for her focus on seasonal produce – so much so that the restaurant features a daily changing menu to make the most of ingredients at their prime. The inventive and fresh cuisine on offer is the perfect fit for Spring's light and airy interior, situated in an elegantly restored 19th-century drawing room that had previously been closed to the public for 150 years.
Cafe d'Art at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
The presentation of today's cuisine often draws heavily from the world of contemporary art, but this cafe's interpretation is more literal than most. The destination offers everything from a leisurely brunch to intimate candlelit dinners, but the focus is really all on the dessert. To accompany each of the museum's exhibitions, it creates a special "image cake" inspired by the works on display. Previous examples include a head-shaped black sesame mousse modelled on Jonathan Borofsky's Chattering Man and an intricately formed coconut concoction depicting a self-portrait of Yasumasa Morimura disguised as Frida Kahlo.
The Modern at MOMA, New York
Danny Meyer, one of the Big Apple's leading figures in fine dining, is behind the two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Modern, which serves up some of the best contemporary American fare in the city. It offers three distinct dining experiences depending on how much time you have to spare after taking in the MOMA's extensive collections. Opt for the prix fixe menu in the dining room for a table overlooking the museum's sculpture garden, go a la carte in the more casual Bar Room or take a front-row seat at the Kitchen Table. With the latter, not only will you witness the culinary workings of head chef Abram Bissell and his team up close, but they can also create a bespoke menu tailored to your tastes.