Whether you’re a local or a tourist, visiting a museum is oftentimes the best way to learn more about a specific place. Minneapolis is home to a variety of museums with local, national, or even international scope. The city is host to some of the nation’s top contemporary art galleries, as well as comprehensive cultural centers, and the museums and galleries are a unique Minneapolis experience in and of themselves.
As we know at The Daily Meal, a key part of any traveling experience is the food. Although food service at a museum might not be the establishment’s first priority, many do cater to their guests’ appetites, and they do it well.
1) Gather, Walker Art Center
Supporting "the visual, performing, and media arts of our time" with a "global, multidisciplinary, and diverse approach," the Walker Art Center ranks among the five most-visited modern/contemporary art museums in the United States. The museum serves "locally sourced and globally inspired American cuisine" at Gather, its restaurant. They recruit monthly guest chefs from around the country and are primarily open (except on Mondays) for lunch. They’re open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays for happy hour and a small-plate menu; we’re eyeing the Parma cotto ham, house-made jam, grilled miche, and salted butter offering…
2) FIKA, American Swedish Institute
Minnesota is home to more Swedish Americans than any other state. Housed in the French château-style Turnblad Mansion and the new Nelson Cultural Center, the American Swedish Institute was founded in 1929 to serve "as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden." FIKA (Swedish for "daily break") is the institute’s Nordic-inspired café that serves a "seasonally inspired menu dedicated to regional ingredients and Nordic traditions." The smoked sturgeon with pickled beets, egg yolk, watercress, and speck is a delicious choice.
3) Café Minnesota, Minnesota History Center
Home to the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections, the Minnesota History Center features a museum, library, classrooms, conference rooms, and an auditorium. In addition to displaying and sharing Minnesota’s past, the center also includes the Café Minnesota, an on-site dining option that "highlights sustainable, local ingredients." Open for lunch every day but Monday, the café offers "self-service dining with a grill, and stations with entrées, deli items, and desserts."