Travel

9 Food Museums We Can't Believe Actually Exist

A Spam museum? So wrong and yet so right.
The Best Food and Drink Museums
Photo: Courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company

Move over, MoMA. Instead of spending another quiet day browsing art we don't quite understand, we've scoured the globe for museums where our beloved foods and drinks take center stage.

These nine museums are all educational, totally delicious and, in some cases, just a little weird. Luckily, many supply a dose of free samples alongside their historical exhibits.

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As it turns out, people will create a museum for just about anything (we're lookin' at you, mustard). Whether you're gearing up for a road trip or the vacation of a lifetime, these food and drink museums have something for everyone.

① SPAM® Museum

This recently revamped 14,000-square-foot space in Austin, Minnesota, celebrates all things SPAM®. Think interactive exhibits explaining how the iconic lunch meat is made, plenty of free "SPAMples," 15 varieties for purchase and even the opportunity to measure your own height in those familiar cylindrical cans. If you weren't exactly a fan before, prepare to be forever changed.

② Museum of Food and Drink

This new NYC favorite opened in Brooklyn in 2015 after a very successful Kickstarter campaign and acts as a nonprofit aimed at educating the community about the food world. The interactive, sensory experience hosts rotating exhibitions, including a section on flavor where you can smell your way through food history, as well as Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant, which explores Chinese American food culture, immigration and the dishes that bring it all together.


③ Frietmuseum

Yes, potato lovers, this museum is all about fries. Located in Bruges, Belgium, this ode to pommes frites showcases an exhibition on potato history, an assortment of vintage fryers, and lots of fries and dipping sauces for on-site snacking. 

④ National Mustard Museum

This yes-we-swear-this-is-a-real-place museum is located in Middleton, Wisconsin and is dedicated to people who really, really love the ubiquitous yellow condiment. It's totally free and is "home to the world's largest collection of mustard and mustard memorabilia," aka 5,624 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. There is also a tasting bar, food quiz games and something called The Mustardpiece Theatre (your guess is as good as ours).

⑤ Ramen Museum

This delicious attraction is located across the world in Yokohama, Japan, but we're pretty sure it's worth the journey. It features an incredible to-scale replica of a bustling Tokyo street filled with real ramen shops where you can sample nine major styles of ramen. These shops, run by authentic Japanese ramen restaurants, serve up hot, delicious bowls to guests all day, meaning you can try the best of the best in a single trip.

 

So much ramen to try ���� #love #japan #ramen #iloveramen #bucketlist #birthdaytrip #adventuresofjandk

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⑥ The Museum of the American Cocktail

Stationed in what's arguably the cocktail capital of the U.S., this New Orleans hot spot is a nonprofit devoted to preserving the history of bartending, drinks and cocktail culture. This boozy tribute actually operates inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which celebrates the culture behind Southern food, and offers delicious and informative lunchtime demonstrations on a weekly basis. 

⑦ Big Mac Museum 

If you can't get enough of those "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun," the "most tasteful museum in the world" is for you. The restaurant/museum can be found outside of Pittsburgh, where the legendary sandwich was originally invented, and is home to the world's largest Big Mac replica. Snap a picture with the 14-foot-tall burger statue and, yes, chow down on some Big Macs. We're lovin' it.

⑧ World of Coca-Cola

Atlanta's soda-centric museum allegedly owns the 125-year-old secret formula for original Coca-Cola. It also features a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process and, of course, a tasting room where visitors can try more than 100 international Coke products. Get ready for a serious sugar high.

⑨ PEZ Visitor Center

Connecticut's classic PEZ Visitor Center is a colorful, candy-coated experience for both the young and young at heart. Guests can see the largest public display of PEZ and PEZ memorabilia in the world, as well as the world's biggest PEZ dispenser. The Center also offers a peek into the production facility that makes it all happen.

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