Cafe Asia at the Asian Art Museum
In addition to remarkable collections and special exhibitions, the Asian Art Museum offers another important element of Asian culture to savor: diverse and delicious cuisine. Cafe Asia’s menu offers a range of dishes from a variety of traditions, made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and served in a relaxed yet sophisticated setting. It’s the perfect complement to a gallery visit and, popular among locals, a culinary destination in its own right.
Visitors can enjoy a seasonally updated menu of dishes such as bento boxes, rice bowls, noodle soup, dim sum and sushi, including vegan and kid-friendly options, as well as full beverage service, including wine and beer. Sandwiches, snacks and sweets are also available for on-the-go choices. Don't miss the special pork belly, dongpo rou, served in honor of Emperor's Treasures and the revered "meat-shaped stone," on the menu for a limited time this summer. Executive chef Melinda Quirino seasons the pork with soy sauce, sugar, ginger and other ingredients for a blend of sweet and savory, then braises it for more than two hours to achieve its signature succulent texture.
Quirino has a distinguished local career, having designed the Asian menu as a key chef at Hotel Nikko's house restaurant. While she stays true to traditional preparations, she’s known for adding her own distinctive twist, often using the museum's current exhibitions as inspiration.
And, as a nod to the museum's golden anniversary in 2016, Cafe Asia offers Adzuki Almond Cookie, a sweet and savory ice cream evoking a classic pastry bean taste. This ice cream is offered in partnership with legendary San Francisco ice cream maker Humphry Slocombe and is exclusive to the cafe.
Tea service is also a signature specialty at Cafe Asia. The ever-changing selection of rare, artisan loose-leaf teas sourced from around the world includes varieties like Imperial Keemum (with hints of smoke and fruit) and White Peony (with flavors of melon, grapes and herbs). Presented in traditional teapots, the service is elevated to a memorable experience.
With a view of San Francisco's iconic City Hall, the outdoor patio offers diners the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the city. And, the cafe’s table service makes for elegant dining, perfect for a business lunch or a relaxing meal with friends.
Entry to Cafe Asia does not require paid admission. For hours, sample menu and more, please visit Cafe Asia online.