The Five Best Museum and Art Gallery Restaurants

©The source at MONA

MONA

©The source at MONA

Museums are in the business of attracting visitors who appreciate beauty. Some museums and art galleries have managed to appeal to the taste buds of visitors, too, luring them with exquisite food and wine, presented in beautiful settings – with menus inspired by the art that surrounds them.

The Source at MONA, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 

Tasmania’s hottest art spot, the MONA, or Museum of Old and New Art, really is ground-breaking. It is an exhibition space cum art concept created by David Walsh, an Australian gambler and art collector – and it houses some unusual exhibits. You are on much safer ground at the museum restaurant Source: inventive cooking and wines from the on-site Moorilla winery present Tasmanian-grown produce to great effect. 

Rex Whistler Restaurant, Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom 

This may just be the grand-daddy of all museum eateries. Whether you see the 1927 mural by artist Rex Whistler as an expression of imperialist values or a caricature thereof, it has been the defining feature of this restaurant at one of Great Britain’s greatest art galleries. The restaurant itself has championed British food and is known to have a stellar wine list. 

Nerua at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain 

The Guggenheim Musum in Bilbao is as beautiful as it is fantastical. It follows that the restaurant under its roof is equally notable. Nerua is named after Bilbao’s river and showcases a refined and elevated take on Biscay cuisine. Chef Josean Alija describes his own cooking as “pure, essential, without disguises.” His dishes are works of art. 

Odette Restaurant, Singapore 

Housed in Singapore’s National Gallery, Odette is chef-owner Julien Royer’s homage to his grandmother Odette. This means Asian and global ingredients prepared in a contemporary but utterly French style. Diners can watch the chefs in their glass kitchen.  

Roth Bar & Grill, Bruton, Somerset, United Kingdom

Part of the Hauser & Wirth gallery empire, this restaurant is a beacon of contemporary art in the depths of the English countryside. A wonderfully irreverent streak runs through everything, the gardens are full of sculpture and the place has become something of a local community hub. Quirky, restorative and charming.