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Once upon a time, not so long ago, museum-goers with the zeal and audacity to work up an appetite were condemned to go hungry. Or worse, they were forced to shuffle plastic trays through cafeteria lines and scoop bland food from lamp-heated buffets.

Those were the dark ages, but in recent years, institutional cuisine has experienced a renaissance. Museums around the world have connected with seasoned chefs and notable designers to upgrade their eateries, providing culinary sustenance along with intellectual and cultural nourishment. These settings provide ample inspiration for unique and delicious dishes, which can and do take inspiration from any number of sources, such as regional cuisine and local ingredients or the surrounding art, artifacts, and architecture. The plates are sometimes as beautiful and innovative as the works on display.

From casual cafe fare to elegant fine dining, these restaurants and cafes are not only amenities but attractions all their own. Come for the food, and stay for the art at The 25 Best Museum Restaurants.

RELATED: 100 Museums to Visit Before You Die
RELATED: Top 10 Restaurants in Chicago

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