Love food and art? Eateries located within art institutions are creating artful dishes to please weary museum goers’ grumbling stomachs, while some restaurants and cafes are also showcasing masterpieces on their walls and plates. From simple lunchtime fare to modern culinary creations, we take a look at some of the Windy City’s best museum and art-inspired restaurants.
Lunch, Mon – Sun 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dinner, Thurs 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Located in the modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, the stylish Terzo Piano offers an unbeatable view and great culinary fare. It’s the perfect spot to take a leisurely break after hours of taking in art, but it’s a great lunchtime destination on its own. The service is attentive and the diverse menu is chock-full of appealing, eclectic options. For starters, we recommend the antipasto (prosciutto, coppa, spicy sopressata, salami, aged cow’s milk cheese, pickled vegetables), and from the entrees, we especially liked the roasted perch, mussels, clams and bay scallops in tomato broth.
Mon-Thu 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
For an art-loving foodie, Tru is truly is a culinary temple. For years, this award-winning restaurant has been serving up “progressive” French cuisine to rave reviews from Windy City diners. But the carefully crafted menu—filled with crowd-pleasing dishes such as sturgeon caviar, whole-roasted foie gras, glazed veal and Maine lobster—shares the spotlight with the art work by world-renowned artists Andy Warhol, Yves Klein, Gerard Richter, Peter Halley and Maya Lin.
(Restaurant) Tues – Sat, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sunday Brunch, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
(Express Counter) Tue, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Wed – Sunday Brunch, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Restaurant and Express Counter closed Monday
Puck’s at the MCA is now as much an institution on the Magnificent Mile as the Museum of Contemporary Art (check out our Museum Go-To Guide). Wolfgang Puck’s eatery serves up a menu inspired by Asian and Mediterranean cuisine and features a full-service restaurant for weary art-lovers and an express counter for those on the go. Our favorites from the menu include the pizzas (we liked the simple flavors of the Margherita) and Wolfgang’s Chinese chicken salad – they’re great options if you want a light (but satisfying) lunch.
Art Gallery Kafe
This coffee shop is not only a haven for arty and musician types, but for coffee fiends, as well. In addition to the art on the walls (perfect conversation starters), they also host open mics and other events. If you’re feeling particularly creative, order some of their specialty coffee drinks – named after famous artists. The “Van Gogh” is a raspberry coffee drink, the “Miro” features chocolate mint and chocolate chips, the “Seurat” has caramel and pineapple, while our favorite, the “Basquiat” has hazelnut and chocolate.
Mon, Wed – Thu, Sun 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
This funky Logan Square hot-spot features work by local and national artists on their walls (we especially love the button art installation by Anders Nilsen), but the food (made from locally sourced and seasonal organic produce and ingredients) is the star here. The dinner menu is unbeatable, but get there early for brunch to beat the crowd and snag the coveted outdoor patio seating, and try the lovely vanilla cream cheese stuffed brioche French toast, or the decadent pork belly and white cheddar on a roll, served with slaw and chips.