The Top 10 Places To Eat In The Cultural Institutions Of New York City

Photo of Jinny Kim
10 December 2016

Restaurants in cultural institutions are no longer merely convenient places to recharge with a coffee or get a quick bite. Some of the civic buildings in New York City now offer great locally inspired menus. The following are 10 of the best places to find really good food.

Caffe Storico – New-York Historical Society | © LWYang/Flickr

Caffè Storico at The New-York Historical Society

Located in the iconic New-York Historical Society, Caffè Storico offers a variety of antipasti, artisanal pastas, paninis, and hearty entrées. There are over 20 different wine-by-the-glass selections to fit every type of wine connoisseur. Caffè Storico offers more than just simple lunch and dinner options; it also boasts excellent brunch and late lunch menus.

Hudson Garden Grill at The New York Botanical Garden

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
Museum of Modern Arts, New York City, 2009
Museum of Modern Arts, New York City, 2009 | © Thomas Claveirole/Flickr
As the first full-service dining destination on the grounds of The New York Botanical Garden, Hudson Garden Grill presents the innovative flavors of New American cuisine as inspired by locally sourced, ethically produced ingredients from Hudson Valley farms and other regional producers.

The Modern at MoMA

Bar, Restaurant, American, French, $$$
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The Modern offers a stunning space overlooking MoMA’s Sculpture Garden. The restaurant also provides an award-winning wine program, as well as a carefully curated list of cocktails, beer, and spirits. The Modern doesn’t allow its patrons to eat boring food. Rather, it boasts a diverse tasting menu, which includes items like halibut, caviar, foie gras, beef, and chocolate. They also serve delicious entrées such as lobster marinated with Vadouvan spices, fluke cured in herbs, and black truffle-stuffed tomatoes.

The Claire Tow Theater Bar and Terrace at Lincoln Center

Bar, American
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art | © Phil Roeder/Flickr
Available to ticket holders, The Claire Tow Theater Bar and Terrace opens one hour before show time. If you are in the mood for a quick bite and drinks before the film, try this place. They also have Parmesan-herb popcorn, artisanal cheeses, and portobello mushroom sandwiches. For those who like to try unique drinks, try the cucumber press with cucumber vodka, muddled cucumber, elderflower liqueur, lemon, and pear.

Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

At Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar, the view of the Manhattan skyline will take your breath away. Try cocktails like Smoke and Fire, with ancho-chile limeade and montelobos mezcal, or Anubis, with jasmine tea, mint, lemongrass, and gin. If you’re hungry, try an American Hero, New England-style lobster roll, or the Three Sisters Salad.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art | © Phil Roeder/Flickr

Members Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Members Dining Room is a contemporary American restaurant in a sophisticated, elegant setting with beautiful views of Central Park. The dining room is reserved exclusively for Museum Members. Start with grilled Mediterranean octopus, Montauk fluke sashimi, or the Tuscan kale and sunflower tahini salad.

Brooklyn Museum of Art | © Kent Wang/Flickr

Saul at the Brooklyn Museum

After 14 successful years in the neighborhood, Boerum Hill’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Saul, moved to a new and larger space at the Brooklyn Museum. The dining room echoes the geometric shapes of the Paul Kelpe murals on the walls. There’s a delicious tasting menu that will allow you to try all of the restaurant’s offerings. Also open for brunch, the Saul offers a wild mushroom frittata and smoked salmon scramble.

Café Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie

Cafe, Restaurant, Austrian, $$$
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Viennese cuisine is a specialty at Café Sabarsky. Café Sabarsky is open during all museum hours and does not require an admissions ticket for a visit. Try the crabmeat salad with avocado, tomatoes, and lemon-vinaigrette, or the Matjes herring salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, and sour cream. Top it off with a glass of wine from the list of 10 different wine-by-the-glass options.

Café Serai at the Rubin Museum

Cafe, Restaurant, Indian, $$$
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Café Serai offers unique treats from the Himalayas, including momo dumplings and a green pea stew. The spiral staircase at Café Serai is a unique feature that enchants all diners as they head in to try delights such as the Indian wrap, tandoori chicken frankie or chana masala frankie. There are a number of small plates available too, including lotus chicken liver, pulled pork bao-bun, and farro salad.

Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
Robert excels at the art of pasta-making. Enjoy tagliatelle black summer truffles in a black truffle butter sauce or black spaghetti squid ink pasta with tiger shrimp in a cream sauce. The restaurant is beautiful in both its décor and culinary delights, and worth heading to the museum for alone.

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