Restaurants and Food - Field Museum

The Field Museum has two restaurants, and a good space for eating food you bring in. And, when there's good weather in the summer, you can grab food at a small restaurant outside. For all three options, I encourage you to get lunch early: be there by 11:30 at the latest, although that's particularly the case if you're buying food at the Field Museum.

Buying Food There

The Field Museum has two restaurants: the Field Bistro on the main level, and the Explorer Cafe on the lower level. I prefer the Field Bistro, mostly because some tables have nice views of Stanley Field Hall. The Field Bistro has a little nicer adult-oriented food but still good options for kids. The Explorer Cafe is a little kid-oriented, in a bit of a fast food style, though it still has good choices for adults.

The Field Bistro is a little like a food court, with trays and separate stations to pick up food. You'll then pay all together and then walk to the tables. Although a line usually forms at the first station, you only need to wait there if you're ordering food that needs to be prepared at that station. Often there are grilled cheese sandwiches (highly recommended for kids) and other food sitting out and ready to be grabbed. The next station has soup and salads, which are pretty good. Along the way, there are sides like whole fruit and fruit cups, as well as bottles of beer and one-person bottles of wine(!). Keep an eye out on cookie prices, I've grabbed a treat that cost more than $10 (fortunately the cashier double checked that I knew the price so I could swap it out for a cheaper treat). Take your tray to a table, ideally to the left of the pay stations, putting you out into the beautiful Stanley Field Hall, but if those are full there is additional seating behind the cashiers.

The Explorer Cafe is a little easier and kid-oriented, although with many fewer healthy adult options. It feels much more like a fast food restaurant, where you go to a cashier to order, and then grab a table until your buzzer goes off. It's not as nice, but a little cheaper, and the logistics are easier, particularly if you just have one adult: you can get kids seated before you need to go back up and carry your tray of food when it's ready. Because it is next to the 3-D movie theater, it will quickly get swamped after a movie gets out.

Menus for both restaurants are in the More Information section.

Bringing Food

The Field Museum has a large indoor "picnic" area on the lower level, called the Siragusa Center. There are vending machines around the outside of the room if you want to get drinks or chips there. There is ample seating, although it gets busy once field trip groups get to the room. If you want a smaller space, there are just a few tables on either side of the store down the hall, surrounded by sea mammals exhibits. Those often fill up quickly, and will have people walking through the area to see the exhibits, but they are generally calmer and I think a little more relaxing than the Siragusa Center.

Restaurants Outside of Shedd

There Are also a variety of seasonal restaurant outside from permanent buildings to temporary carts and everything in between, which are only open during the summer. These often sell basic food (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc) although there is some variety. Go out the east entrance from the lower level and look for the small building between Shedd and the Field Museum. There’s no real seating there, so just find a spot on the grass or sit along the wall by the Field Museum. Don’t wait in line when you want to go back into Field, just go back in the east entrance and show your tickets to the guard. Food isn’t much cheaper than the food court, but it’s a nice way to enjoy the sun and avoid the packed cafes.


Field Bistro Menu

Explorer Cafe Menu