The Food at These Museums is Just as Amazing as the Exhibits

San Francisco is full of fascinating museums where inspiration and creativity extend beyond the galleries to the dining experiences. This city and its museum restaurants will pull you in with unique offerings and sustainable dining experiences sure to delight the palate and the eye.

Sunday at the Museum at Asian Art Museum
Civic Center’s Asian Art Museum overflows with cultural treasures and its new restaurant, Sunday at the Museum, aims to complement the collection. Overseen by Chef Deuki Hong, with contributions from local tea all-stars Andrew Chau and Bin Chen of Boba Guys, Sunday offers snacks, sandwiches and salads. More substantial sharing plates and kid-friendly bento boxes are also available. Vegan and gluten-free options will always be on the menu. Stay tuned for more announcements, including a series of after-hours happy hour events.

Boudin Sourdough Museum at Boudin at the Wharf 
Boudin’s Museum and Bakery Tour allows visitors to witness history “in the baking” as they stroll through a collection of historic and interactive exhibits and observe the bakery in action from the museum’s floor-to-ceiling window walls and glass-walled catwalk. Boudin at the Wharf is the flagship location of 14 neighborhood bakery-cafés in California, each offering Boudin classics like their signature clam chowder in a bread bowl. Boudin also sells an assortment of fresh baked breads crafted in the Boudin tradition: the iconic San Francisco sourdough French bread, European hearth breads, harvest breads, and sweet (non-sourdough) breads.

The Academy Café and The Terrace at the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences has two dining areas within the museum. The Academy Café is a celebration of the different food cultures found across California and within San Francisco. The café serves international/ethnic cuisine such as tuna poke, Vietnamese shrimp rolls, falafel and chicken tacos. Located in the Academy’s West Garden, The Terrace is perfect for a light lunch or afternoon meal. Choose from an innovative menu and enjoy sculptures by Maya Lin. Executive chef Dani Volpi makes sure to include local, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients in his dishes at both dining areas. Reservations are not needed.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen at Contemporary Jewish Museum
From its original location on 24th Street, Wise Sons has expanded into the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the menu keeps downtown locals coming back. You’ll find everything from house-made bagels to double-baked rye, and the smoked pastrami is piled high to keep your belly full while you wander the galleries at CJM. Don’t miss the babka or rugelach; when served with coffee or tea, they will keep you smiling and yearning for more Jewish comfort food. Wise Sons Jewish Deli is open for lunch and doesn’t require museum admission.

de Young Café at the de Young Museum
Fresh is the rule at de Young Café inside the de Young Museum, where the ingredients are sourced locally and the farming connections are sustainable. Chef Lucas Schoemaker from McCalls Catering directs the establishment and provides a rotating, seasonal menu that will appeal to many tastes. After you wander in from Golden Gate Park, you’ll appreciate how the relaxed dining area pairs perfectly with the lush, natural scenery. From morning nibbles to mid-day noshes, de Young Café serves up creative elegance with exceptional taste.

SEAGLASS Restaurant at the Exploratorium
Located along Pier 15, the Exploratorium’s SEAGLASS Restaurant combines fresh, local produce with one fine waterfront view. Your experience at SEAGLASS will always be unique due to the ever-changing menu, and each of your visits will further solidify your appreciation for Chef Loretta Keller’s approach. Touted as family-friendly yet inventive, SEAGLASS will encourage minds of all ages to appreciate nature’s bounty and expand the horizons of all that creative comfort food can become.

Legion of Honor Cafe at The Legion of Honor
Situated near Lands End in Lincoln Park, one of the most beautiful settings in the city, Legion of Honor Cafe at the Legion of Honor has delightful dishes that pair well with the exceptional surroundings. Chef Lucas Schoemaker, also famed for his menu at de Young Cafe, provides rich, nourishing dishes that honor American and European cuisines. Many dishes are named after notable designers. Order up a James Galanos sandwich or a Diana Vreeland salad — you won’t be disappointed.

Bryant Terry, Chef-in-Residence at Museum of African Diaspora
Chef Bryant Terry doesn’t have a dining area at the Museum of African Diaspora, but his ingenious approach to food has made him well-known and respected nonetheless. Terry hosts pop-up events in the museum, as well as throughout the community. He often focuses on food activism and farming, while encouraging people to blend flavors and styles. As you may expect, art and culture is an important part of his teaching style, and it blends in beautifully with the museum’s photography galleries, sculptures and craft work. To plan your museum visit to coincide with one of Terry’s outstanding dining events, check the website for upcoming presentations.

In Situ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
In Situ has a revolving menu that, over the course of a year, will feature 90 dishes. Some items call for ingredients that are only available for a few weeks each year. Chef Corey Lee has previously received three Michelin Stars, meaning that In Situ can’t be matched for quality.

Arguello in the Presidio Officers’ Club
Arguello is located in the historic Presidio Officers’ Club. It features Chef Traci Des Jardins’s authentic Mexican cuisine that captures the cultural heritage of the Presidio while offering modern touches and a contemporary bar with craft cocktails. A heated patio provides a comfortable way to enjoy outdoor dining and features an outdoor comal (griddle) for tortilla making.

The Museum Café at The Walt Disney Family Museum
As the museum’s culinary partner, Taste Catering & Event Planning operates the Museum Café, offering light seasonal fare inspired by the local market, growers, and purveyors. The Café is open to museum visitors and the public during museum hours. Guests can enjoy seating indoors or outdoors, overlooking the lawn on the Presidio’s main parade grounds.

Cindy’s Waterfront and More at the Monterey Bay Aquarium 
Travel down to Monterey and you can relax and dine with spectacular ocean views at the city’s top attraction. Cindy’s Waterfront is the perfect spot to sip a glass of wine and savor Cindy Pawlcyn’s inspired seasonal dishes with selections such as Monterey Bay Calamari and Cindy’s Curried Chicken Salad. Head over to the Café and enjoy food that’s perfect for the whole family, including brick-oven pizzas, made-to-order burgers, fresh-tossed salads, and mouthwatering desserts. All ingredients feature the freshest, local ingredients sourced from Monterey Bay and the Central Valley. The Coffee Bar also offers an assortment of refreshing beverages, organic coffee drinks, pastries and

Museum restaurants are where creativity and nourishment collide. Whether you’re searching for soul food that adds meaning or menu ingenuity that captivates, you’ll have much to admire at San Francisco’s museums.