Museums are filled with culture, but oftentimes, they’re lacking one important part of American culture that a substantial portion of the population partakes in: drinking culture. No matter how many famous paintings, sculptures, or historical artifacts, the human story simply can’t be told without talking about alcohol. Enter the museum bar.
Museum bars, when you find one, are often the most reliably entertaining locations in the whole building. To help you in your search, here are the top five museum bars in the United States of America.
The Met Roof Garden Cafe & Martini Bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Everyone loves a roof bar when the weather’s nice. The Met’s roof bar comes complete with a view of nearby Central Park on one side and the Upper East Side on the other. It’s expensive and often crowded, but so is everything in New York. Soak up the art in the world-renowned building, then soak up some drinks and city views in the sunshine.
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Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Balanced works of art call for balanced cocktails, and that’s just what Stark Bar provides (as well as craft beer and wine, of course). The outdoor bar and lounge alongside Ray’s restaurant at the museum has a 1960s feel. The bar has homemade gin and an eclectic cocktail menu with seasonal ingredients that would make any self-proclaimed mixologist envious.
Play in the Museum of Sex in New York
The bar in the Museum of Sex can be both the first and the last thing you visit before walking through the titillating exhibits. The theme changes and the menu never gets too large, but the prices are so reasonable and strong that you’ll forget you’re in New York.
Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch in the Chicago Sports Museum
Harry Caray’s is a sports bar fit for a sports museum — literally. Next door to the Chicago Sports Museum, the 7th Inning Stretch has carefully arranged flat-screen TVs playing the game, a 60-seat bar, local craft beer (including one beer brewed exclusively for Harry Caray’s), and American food. Looking for something stronger? There’s also a full bar and wine list as well. Sports!
The American Sector at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans
Go back in time at The American Sector, where a full bar with handcrafted cocktails, old-world beer, and wine awaits visitors of the National WWII Museum. You can pull up a chair and order something off the Victory Garden-to-Table menu, or take your drink out into the Louisiana sunshine and sip it on the patio. This is one museum bar that’s easy to become a regular at, too, considering you don’t even need to purchase admission to the museum.