Our 10 Best Museum Restaurants

Museum fare has gone upscale, but you can still find tuna sandwiches, like this one at Untitled.
Museum fare has gone upscale, but you can still find tuna sandwiches, like this one at Untitled.
Rebecca Marx

Not long ago, the museum cafeteria was where you lunched on sad ham-and-cheese sandwiches while resting your weary feet after gallivanting through crowded exhibits. No more. New York City boasts not only some of the best museums in the world, but also some of the top museum eateries, offering up everything from classic cookies to haute cuisine to Tibetan rice bowls. This week, we ate our way through city museums to pick Our 10 Best Museum Restaurants. Oh yeah, we saw some art, too. A little.

10. Untitled at the Whitney Museum: While Fork in the Road isn't the biggest fan of Untitled's above-pictured tuna fish sandwiches (they're overly pricey at $12 a pop), we still appreciate the Danny Meyer-run, diner-ish spot for casual bites, particularly its very nice kale salad. At dinnertime, a three-course set menu takes over and the setting is quiet since museumgoers have departed. But if you're at the Whitney during the day, go contemplate a Hopper painting upstairs, then come down and order up a plate of eggs for some life-imitates-art action. 945 Madison Avenue, 212-570-3670 (restaurant and museum closed Mondays; museum also closed Tuesdays)

9. Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design: One of the newcomers to the museum-restaurant scene. The highlight of this restaurant isn't so much the food as the neon-colored pop-art décor. It's got a 1960s futuristic thing going on, and also offers lovely views of Columbus Circle. The American menu can be hit-or-miss, but some of the basics, like tomato and burrata or the beet salad, are perfectly fine. 2 Columbus Circle, 212-299-7730 (museum closed Mondays)

8. Fraunces Tavern at the Fraunces Tavern Museum: You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy this spot, which was built in 1719, making it one of the oldest structures in the city. In 1762, it was purchased by Samuel Fraunces, who turned it into one of the most popular taverns of the day. The building was even the site where George Washington delivered his farewell address to the officers of the Continental Army in 1783. The premises recently underwent refurbishment, and the adjoining restaurant, Fraunces Tavern, offers an accessible menu peppered with classic Anglo favorites like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd's pie along with a very good beer selection. 54 Pearl Street, 212-968-1776 (museum and restaurant open daily)

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