From world class cuisine accompanied by world class art, to innovative concept restaurants, the days of earl grey tea and carrot cake are slowly slipping away from the art world’s consciousness. Today, art buffs expect more when they’re out to see the latest exhibition.
Today, there are some incredible restaurant art galleries scattered across the globe. Whether you’re taking in the latest Damien Hirst in London, or checking out the bars in Zurich, with this guide, you’ll never be too far from the best art and the best food. Here is our pick of the five best restaurant art galleries in the world…
1. Tramshed, HIX Restaurants, London
32 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3LX
Set in a former tram shed building in London’s hipster hub, Shoreditch, the Tramshed is home to Damien Hirst’s Cock ’n’ Bull installation. Here, the food reflects the art. Sharing plates of artistically presented Swainson House chicken and Peter Hannan beef are the main dishes on the menu. No doubt, the food here is unique, but it’s probably not the best place for vegetarians and vegans!
Back to the art, there are three exhibition spaces within the restaurant — Mark’s Kitchen Library, HIX Art, and the Mezzanine. The first, Mark’s Kitchen Library, is home to an extensive cookbook collection. HIX Art is an industrial space that sits below the restaurant. Here you’ll find contemporary art exhibitions from some of the most creative global artists. The Mezzanine is the centerpiece though, offering the best views of the restaurant, set against a backdrop of Damien Hirst’s Beef and Chicken cartoon.
2. Pharmacy 2, London
Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London, SE11 6AJ
The Newport Street Gallery has put on some of London’s best exhibitions since Damien Hirst opened it in 2015. Though all of the work comes from Damien Hirst’s private art collection, there’s very little in the way of repetition — pretty incredible when you consider that we’ve already been through three years of solo and group exhibitions. London art lovers (ARTPIQ included) are already huge fans.
With incredible art in the gallery, the restaurant — Pharmacy 2 — rightfully needs a dining experience to match. In the restaurant, you’ll sit amongst a fun, creative aesthetic. Think pill-shaped bar stools and prescription medicine wallpaper — the name isn’t a pretentious PR stunt — it really feels like a pharmacy. Thankfully, the food won’t leave you needing pills the morning after. A Mark Hix menu of twists on British classics will please even the harshest critic.
3. Kronenhalle, Zurich
Ramistrasse 4, 8001 Zurich
The Kronenhalle in Zurich is one of the most famous art bar and restaurants in the world. First opened in 1924, it has been a meeting point for some of the city’s most notable artists, poets and designers. Today, you can experience masterly menus, surrounded by world-class art. At Kronenhalle, there are three dining spaces.
In the Chagall Saal — the first restaurant of the Kronenhalle, you’ll find works by Pierre Bonnard and Mark Chagall. The atmosphere is serene and intimate. The Schweizer Galerie, on the other hand, is devoted entirely to Swiss art, with works by Giovanni Segantini, Ferdinand Hodler, and Alberto Giacometti. Finally, the Brasserie is the place for true culinary delights — with a portrait by Varlin of Madame Zumsteg taking centre stage. The Kronenhalle in Zurich is a must-visit for anyone who loves great food as much as they love great art.
4. Bibo, Hong Kong
163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Bibo in Hong Kong is a restaurant that believes that art should be present in every aspect of your dining experience. From the contemporary art on the walls, to the cocktails, to the food on your plate, here, art is everything. For those passionate about art in all forms, Bibo is an art restaurant that shouldn’t be missed.
At Bibo, you’ll enjoy some of the best French cuisine in Hong Kong, surrounded by some truly world-class contemporary art. From Bansky to Damien Hirst, Daniel Arsham to Jeff Koons, the art in Bibo is comparable to the best major contemporary art galleries. The fact you can relax, drink a cocktail, and eat incredible food at the same time, makes Bibo a true masterpiece concept restaurant.
5. La Colombe d’Or Hotel and Restaurant, Saint Paul-de-Vence
Place du General de Gaulle, 06570 Saint Paul-de-Vence, France
The French Riviera is one of the most sought after summer holiday destinations. For art lovers, the La Colombe d’Or Hotel and Restaurant should be your first port of call, whether you choose to stay or dine. Out of all the restaurants on this list, La Colombe d’Or has the richest history. The restaurant was first opened in 1920 by local farmer, Paul Roux. During WWII the period’s artists sought refuge from the war — with Matisse, Picasso and Braque all staying. As these artists couldn’t afford to pay in money, they paid in paintings instead. The art gifted back then remains today, and is hung with such casualness it’s almost hard to fathom.
Stay at La Colombe d’Or and the chances are, you’ll have a masterpiece hung in your bedroom. When it comes TO dining, Matisse and Picasso fight for your attention as you tuck into classic provencal dishes — from Burgundy snails, to gateau au chocolat. Though the food isn’t quite Michelin star, its hearty rustic charm reflects the surrounding Riviera hills. Surprisingly, especially considering the gallery-quality art collection, it won’t drain your wallet either. For those who love French art, history and cuisine, La Colombe d’Or is not just one of the best hotels in the Riviera, it’s one of the best anywhere in the world.