Food Of The Week

A museum café isn't just a place to grab a bite. The food on your plate often rivals the art on display, says Andy Lynes
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The Independent Travel

There's something about paintings and historical artefacts that makes me hungry. Fortunately, these days you don't have to wander far from the exhibits to find great food and drink. More art galleries and museums are getting the consultants in to make their restaurants and cafes as big a draw as their exhibits.

If touring the king of rock'n'roll's mansion makes you as hungry as a hound dog, then a stop at the Chrome Grille, Graceland, Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis (001 901 332 3322; is a must. Chow down on Memphis-style barbecue among the auto-themed paraphernalia.

There are wonderful city views from the terrace of The Gallery Restaurant and Bar, National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh (0131-624 6580; The menu brings a bit of the city into the dining room in the form of Crombie's of Edinburgh sausages served with mustard mash and red onion jus.

Although the food at Liebermanns Restaurant at the Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstrasse 9-14, 10969 Berlin (00 49 30 25993 300; is not strictly kosher, it's still a delicious mix of Jewish- and Mediterranean-influenced dishes.

With furniture and tableware created by the greats of contemporary Danish design, The Modern could be the latest exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art, 9 West 53rd Street, New York (001 212 333 1220; In fact, it's one of the city's finest restaurants, serving up dishes such as wild boar chop with sauerkraut that reflect chef Gabriel Kreuther's Alsatian heritage.

Seared tuna and Thai basil spaghetti with chilli and rocket leaves makes for a typically Australian fusion of Asian and Mediterranean influences at MoS Café, Museum of Sydney, Corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney (00 61 2 9241 3636;

You can keep on admiring the art at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, 701 Dorsoduro, Venice (00 39 041 5228 688; even when you stop for lunch, as the Museum Café overlooks the gallery's sculpture garden.

Oliver Peyton is on a mission to transform dining in London's parks, galleries and museums. His latest project is The National Dining Rooms, Sainsbury Wing, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London (020-7747 2525; thenational, where the exclusively British fare includes oxtail soup with bone-marrow dumplings.