1.- The Hermitage Restaurant, St. Petersburg, Russia.
St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, founded almost 250 years ago by Catherine the Great, is home to a grand restaurant (located in the General Staff building) serving authentic Imperial-era Russian recipes in rooms fit for, well, a czar. The menu offers Russian specialties like chocolate babka, as well as international favorites like soups, salads, and deep-dish-style pizzas. Choose to dine in one of 10 rooms, including one with a spectacular view overlooking Palace Square.
2.- Nerua at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
At Nerua, modern Michelin-starred Spanish cuisine makes a smart match for Frank Gehry’s undulating glass-and-titanium architecture at this Bilbao outpost of the Guggenheim Museum. Situated next to a massive Richard Serra installation, and overlooking the river it was named for, Nerua’s interior dining space is minimalist and serene, while the kitchen, helmed by El Bulli alum Josean Martínez Alija, turns out creative dishes that stand up to the museum’s collections.
3.- The Ludwig Museum Café, Cologne, Germany
Perched above the Rhine with an open glass facade facing the city skyline, the restaurant at this contemporary art (Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein) museum has been described as a “Rhineland paradise for epicures” with a menu renowned for its focus on locally sourced ingredients. Even the Ludwig Café’s famous sausages come directly from its own slaughterhouse.
4.- Musée d’Orsay Restaurant, Paris
While the 112-year-old Musee D’orsay Restaurant—once the glittering jewel of the famed Hotel D’Orsay—still delights with its sparkling chandeliers and richly muraled ceilings, fans of the modern can dine in the museum’s companion Café Campana, pictured, opened during the D’Orsay’s recent renovation. The menu at both eateries is classic French cuisine, the perfect pairing for the vast Impressionist (Renoir, Manet, Degas, Cézanne) collection housed in the museum’s galleries.
5.- Café Sabarsky, Neue Galerie, New York
Authentic Viennese is on the menu at the Neue Galerie, a museum dedicated to modern Austrian and German art and design, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Done up in period furnishings (Josef Hoffmann lights, Adolf Loos furniture), this café evokes turn-of-the-20th-century Austria, and tastes like it, too, with classic dishes like Wiener Schnitzel devised by chef Kurt Gutenbrunner.