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Forget second rate museum cafeterias and overpriced canteen fare, these days museum restaurants are making as much noise as the exhibitions themselves. By attracting top chefs and offering a unique dining location the museum restaurant is embracing a culinary renaissance.
We've listed seven of the top culinary museum restaurant destinations to check out, from London to Tokyo, where we wouldn’t blame you if you’re tempted to head straight for dinner and skip the art altogether.
Take a look and see which restaurant will entice you across the threshold of your nearest museum soon.
1) Nerua, Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
Chef Josean Alija is at the pass of this acclaimed Basque kitchen in the famous Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim museum of art. The unusual entrance to the restaurant is via the kitchen, which seems fitting given Alija’s creative approach to cooking which chef Paul Bocuse identified as "one of the best cuisines in his life."
Photo: Courtesy of Nerua
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa. Av. Abandoibarra (in the bottom of the bridge La Salve, riverfront). 48009 Bilbao, Spain
2) Untitled, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Chef Michael Anthony is at the helm of this Danny Meyer’s fine dining restaurant found inside the Whitney Museum. Garnering critical praise for his quintessential American cooking chef Anthony brings his experience with him from the beloved New York institution, Gramercy Tavern.
Photo: Courtesy of Untitled
99 Gansevoort Street New York, NY 10014, USA
3) The Modern at The Museum for Modern Art, New York City
This Michelin-starred contemporary American restaurant also hails from Danny Meyer's group housed inside the Museum for Modern Art. Helmed by Executive Chef Abram Bissell, the restaurant features refined yet playful dishes based on seasonal ingredients.
9 W 53rd St. New York, NY 10019, USA
4) Le Frank, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Michelin starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos and owner of 'Les Tablettes' creates sophisticated French cuisine served at this newly opened French art museum. Guests are seated in the spacious light filled dining room seated beneath Frank Gehry fish suspended from the ceiling.
Photo: Courtesy of Le Frank/ Facebook
8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris, France
5) RIJKS, Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam,The Netherlands
Executive chef Joris Bijdendijk reflects the philosophy of the RIJKS® museum by letting his food tell the story of the Netherlands on a plate with foreign influences both near and far.
Photo: Courtesy of Rijks
Museumstraat 2 1077 XX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
6) Café d’Art, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
This contemporary art museum promotes new talent in the contemporary art world as well as in their pastry kitchen. Not only is the museum's Café d’Art worth a visit for its views over the Hara’s sculpture garden, it also comes with a quirky menu that changes along with the museum exhibits. The pastry chefs create an every evolving “image cake” which is inspired by the exhibiting artist's work.
Photo: Courtesy of Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
4-7-2-5 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo 140-0001, Japan
7) The Rex Whistler Restaurant, Tate Britain, London
Originally opened in 1927, diners at the Rex Whistler Restaurant will enjoy what is known as ‘The Most Amusing Room in Europe’, owing to the specially commissioned mural on the walls of the dining room. A robust menu features British fare which changes monthly. Wine connoisseurs will be twice as eager to visit in the knowledge that the restaurant is also known for having one of the finest wine cellars in the capital.
These photos of Rex Whistler Restaurant @ Tate Britain are courtesy of TripAdvisor
The Rex Whistler
Tate Britain Millbank London SW1P 4RG United Kingdom