Wandering through beautiful botanical gardens filled with blooming flowers, fragrant herbs and spices, leafy trees, and pristinely manicured spaces is hard work, and there is nothing better than relaxing over a great cup of coffee and a mouthwatering pastry or a delicious plate of farm-to-table fare and a glass of wine. From modern, vegetable-focused cuisine at the Yellow Magnolia Café in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to world-class Japanese tea pairings and local Japanese confectioneries at the Portland Japanese Garden, here are some charming cafés set within arboretums and botanical gardens around the country that are worth a visit.
1.Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a 67.5-acre botanical garden at the southern foot of Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama. Situated next to Lane Park, the arboretum is home to more than 30 thematic gardens divided into three sections - Gardens of Collections, Gardens of Nature and Gardens of Culture. The Gardens Cafe by Kathy G serves a healthy, seasonally-sourced menu of delicious fare inspired by local greens and produce, such as fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches, homemade soups, and delicious desserts, along with freshly roasted coffee, loose-leaf teas, fresh fruit juices, casual wines, and craft beers.
2612 Lane Park Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223, Phone: 205-414-3950
2.Tower Hill Botanic Garden
© Farmer and The Fork
Boasting spectacular views of Mount Wachusett and Wachusett Reservoir, Tower Hill Botanic Garden is a year-round botanic garden located in Boylston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1986, The New England garden hosts a variety of interesting plant collections and exhibitions. The Frank L. Harrington Sr. Orchard has a stunning display of ancient apple varieties, while the Secret Garden is a romantic idyll that contains an intricate double pergola, a glassy garden pool, and fountain and elegant sculptures. The Farmer and the Fork restaurant serves a menu of healthy, locally-sourced, and prepared-to-your-order fare in a casual and laid-back setting with signature dishes made from fresh, high-quality ingredients. The food is accompanied by a list of casual wines and craft beers, and the café is open for brunch and lunch, daily.
11 French Dr, Boylston, MA 01505, Phone: 508-869-6111
3.Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Botanical Gardens are home to more than 30 acres of breathtaking botanical gardens, with an array of fascinating collections, exhibits, and the famous treetop Kendeda Canopy Walk. Located adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta, the garden has been around for 35 years and has continuously been updated and reworked to create a fascinating haven of urban bliss. The garden is home to the two-level contemporary Longleaf Restaurant, which offers full-service dining, a grab-and-go café, and flexible private dining spaces with stunning views of the Anne Cox Chambers Southern Seasons Garden. There is also a rooftop terrace where guests can sip cocktails while soaking up the views of the Storza Woods, and the Atlanta skyline beyond.
1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-876-5859
4.Bellevue Botanical Garden
© Bellevue Botanical Garden
Bellevue Botanical Garden is a beautifully manicured 53-acre urban refuge in Wilburton Hill Park that is made up of several smaller gardens consisting of meadows, wetlands, woodlands, flowering plants, shrubs, and herbs. The Copper Kettle Coffee Bar is the perfect spot to take a break while exploring the Garden and relax over a cup of organic free-trade coffee roasted by Sleepy Monk Coffee from Cannon Beach, Oregon, and mouthwatering pastries from Macrina bakery. The menu also offers gourmet sandwiches and fresh salads with herbs picked from the garden, and a charming patio has outdoor seating with gorgeous views over the gardens.
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, Phone: 425-452-2750
5.Brooklyn Botanic Garden
© YURII MASLAK/stock.adobe.com
Designed by the Olmsted brothers in 1910, this relatively small, but beautiful 50-acre garden holds many delights, including an Elizabethan-style ‘knot’ herb garden and one of North America’s largest rose collections. The garden’s magnificent centerpiece is a Japanese hill-and-pond garden, complete with a teahouse and Shinto shrine. In late April and early May, the park promenade is aglow with delicate cherry blossoms and hosts an annual Japanese festival, which highlights the country’s distinctive culture, food, and music. Stop off at the Yellow Magnolia Café or the seasonal outdoor eatery Yellow Magnolia Canteen for a variety of modern, vegetable-focused cuisine and an array of beverages. The Coffee Bar in the Visitor Center is open on the Garden's busiest days and serve freshly baked goods and snacks.
990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225, Phone: 718-623-7260
6.Chicago Botanic Garden
© Chicago Botanic Garden
Spread across nine islands in the Cook County Forest Preserves, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum with 27 display gardens in four natural habitats, namely Lakes and Shores, Dixon Prairie, McDonald Woods, and Skokie River Corridor, displaying millions of plants and flowers in a variety of settings. The Garden View Café serves an innovative menu of farm-to-table fare prepared using local, sustainably produced, and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, ranging from steel-cut oatmeal and gourmet omelets for breakfast and freshly made salads, seasonal soups, weekly specials, and brick-oven flatbreads for lunch. Other dining and drinking options include the Rose Terrace Beer Garden and the outdoor Garden Grille for alfresco dining.
1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022, Phone: 847-835-5440
7.Cleveland Botanical Garden
© Kris Tan/stock.adobe.com
Located in the University Circle neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, the Cleveland Botanical Garden is an ever-changing urban oasis that features nine acres of exquisite outdoor gardens. The arboretum is home to the 17,000square-foot Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, which boasts a butterfly-filled Costa Rican rainforest and a spiny desert of Madagascar and is involved in several urban greening and forestry initiatives. The Garden Café is a casual, centrally-located eatery that serves artisanal foods prepared using regional and seasonal products from local farmers and prepared from scratch. The charming Geis Terrace offers elegant outdoor dining with a menu of refined cuisine and casual wines.
11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, Phone: 216-721-1600
8.Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
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Stretched along the waterfront on Barters Island Road, overlooking Boothbay in Maine, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a popular botanical garden that features a modern visitor’s center, seasonal café, and gift shop. The Gardens are home to a range of exciting and informative gardens, including the Giles Rhododendron Garden, with a breathtaking multi-level waterfall and the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children's Garden, which offers two acres of fun for the whole family inspired by Maine children's literature. The Gardens are home to The Market, which offers grab-and-go lunches from sandwiches, salads and wraps to drinks, and organic and locally produced snacks daily; and the Kitchen Garden Café, which is open seasonally and serves a menu of farm-to-table fare made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, some of which come straight from the garden.
132 Botanical Gardens Dr, Boothbay, ME 04537, Phone: 207-633-8000
9.Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
© Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a 66-acre botanical garden located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake. Established in 1984, the gardens were created by combining the 44-acre DeGolyer Estate and the 22-acre Alex Camp House, which today features 19 named and plant-specific gardens. A family-friendly feature of the gardens is the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, which was designed to connect children with nature and boasts over 150 individual kid-friendly activities, including The Texas Skywalk, The Moody Oasis, and a Walk in the Clouds. The Arboretum offers several dining options from the Children’s Adventure Garden Café, which serves tasty light meals from the historic DeGolyer House for an elegant dining experience with refined haute cuisine. Other options include the casual Café on the Green and the Canopy Café, the Lula Mae Slaughter Dining Terrace, and plenty of picnic spots.
8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218, Phone: 214-515-6615
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10.Denver Botanic Gardens
Nestled in the Cheesman Park neighborhood, the Denver Botanic Gardens is a public botanical garden that boasts a variety of theme gardens, a glass-enclosed conservatory, and a sunken amphitheater that hosts open-air concerts during the summer. The Denver Botanic Gardens are made up of three locations, namely the formal garden on York Street in East Denver, the natural meadows, and riparian areas of the Chatfield gardens and the alpine wildflower gardens of Mt. Goliath. Grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee at Offshoots at the Gardens Café, which is in the main building next to the Water-Smart Garden or at Hive Garden Bistro, which is nestled under the trees adjacent to the Monet Pool. Both cafés offer a selection of farm-to-table fare made with locally sourced ingredients and boast beautiful views over the gardens.
1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206, Phone: 720-865-3500
11.Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
© Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden and conservatory in Columbus that was built in 1895 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tropical garden and historic park offer a beautiful venue for special occasions surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, lush landscapes, and tall, shady trees. The Conservatory’s Garden Café and Food Truck serve a creative, made-from-scratch menu using local, seasonal ingredients when available, including produce and herbs grown in the Conservatory’s gardens. The menu features fresh and seasonal soups, salads and sandwiches, daily specials, delectable homemade pastries and desserts, and a range of beverages from coffee and tea to craft beer and wine.
1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203, Phone: 614-715-8000
12.Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
© Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Situated on the eastern bank of the Des Moines River, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a seven-acre public garden that features progressively designed gardens, dynamic exhibits, and innovative programming. Founded in 1929, the public garden features a variety of beautifully designed gardens ranging from an 80-foot tall geodesic-domed conservatory with indoor plants from around the world, a tranquil water garden, and a hillside garden to the Lauridsen savannah, the Meredith terraces, and the French-inspired Ruan Allée. The Trellis Café is a perfect spot for some lunch after exploring the gardens and serves a locally sourced, plant-based menu of healthy fare such as seasonal soups, fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches, handmade pasta, and decadent desserts, along with craft beers, casual wines, and creative cocktails.
909 Robert D. Ray Dr, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-323-6290
13.Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
© Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Spanning more than 50 acres, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is open to the public year-round and offers an array of spectacular flora, specialty and themed gardens and a classic conservatory. Themed gardens include Asian Valley, Cochrane Rose Garden, Cherry Tree Walk, and a Children’s Garden, where visitors can learn all about the garden’s collections, enjoy the world-class botanical displays and soak up the striking surrounding natural beauty. Savor delicious cuisine, one of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s two restaurants — the Garden Café or the Robins Tea House – both of which boast beautiful settings and fresh, seasonal menus. Take a memento of the gardens home with you from the gift shop, which stocks a range of items, from gardening books and home décor trinkets to seeds and gardening tools.
1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23228, Phone: 804-262-9887
14.Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
© Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
Nestled into hills near the San Gabriel Mountains, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is a 127-acre arboretum, botanical garden, and historical site that is home to beautifully manicured gardens, historic structures, natural landscapes, and educational spaces. Nestled in the garden with a beautiful view of the arboretum, the Peacock Café offers indoor and outdoor seating and serves a variety of freshly-made burgers, gourmet sandwiches, homemade soups, and fresh salads, as well as daily specials and a children’s menu. The café can be hired for special occasions and celebrations such as weddings.
301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, Phone: 626-821-3222
15.Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
© Selby House Café by Michael's On East
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a 15-acre botanical garden in Sarasota, Florida, based on the grounds of the former home of Marie and William Selby. Highlights of the garden include the Epiphyte Garden, the Conservatory, the Bamboo Garden, the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden, the Steinwachs Family Foundation Mangrove Walkway, and the Butterfly Garden. The Selby House Café is based within the historic Selby House and serves a variety of healthy, farm-to-table fare such as gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade soups, delectable pastries and other light snacks, along with coffee and espresso drinks, and a variety of beer and wine.
900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236, Phone: 941-366-5731
16.Memphis Botanic Garden
Memphis Botanic Garden is a 96-acre arboretum that features 28 specialty gardens filled with a variety of plants, flowers, and trees. The botanic garden features a range of beautifully manicured garden spaces and is home to Fratelli's Cafe at the Garden, a popular is a lunchtime destination that serves fresh, creative fare such as homemade soups, fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches, and mouthwatering desserts with an Old World flair. Nestled between the Water Garden and Sculpture Garden, the café offers lovely outdoor terrace seating with gorgeous views.
750 Cherry Road, Memphis, TN 38117, Phone: 901-636-4100
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17.Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
© Rhody's Cafe at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is located on 47 acres in Fort Bragg and features a variety of delicate ecosystems, ranging from coastal bluffs, canyons, a closed pine forest, and wetlands. The Gardens are home to several collections of fauna that are suited to the mild coastal Mediterranean climate, such as conifers, begonias, heaths and heathers, fuchsias, magnolias, dahlias, maples, and succulents. The gardens have intimate and romantic spaces for special celebrations and weddings with ample outdoor areas for ceremonies, cocktail gatherings, and receptions. Rhody's Garden Café is open seasonally and serves a menu of locally sourced organic cuisine.
18220 CA-1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, Phone: 707-964-4352
18.Missouri Botanical Garden
Formerly known as Shaw's Garden after the founder and philanthropist Henry Shaw, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in the country and a National Historic Landmark. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the garden was founded in 1859 and today sees more than 750,000 visitors each year. An oasis in the city, the garden covers 79 acres of land, displaying a wide variety of plants, trees, and shrubs, which includes an incredible collection of rare orchids. The garden also features a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, an English Woodland Garden, a Victorian District, and the original 1850s estate home of Henry Shaw. A Climatron conservatory is home to a thriving tropical rainforest, and the Temperate House is akin to the Mediterranean. Enjoy fine fare at Sassafras or coffee at Café Flora or the Terrace Café, and two quaint gift stores offer vintage and antique trinkets.
4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110, Phone: 314-577-5100
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19.Naples Botanical Garden
© Fogg Cafe
The Naples Botanical Garden is a 170-acre world-class garden paradise and botanical garden that is home to a wide variety of plants from around the world. Established to develop and preserve the productive floral ecosystems and kingdoms between the 26th latitudes, the gardens boast an award-winning horticultural design with an array of different gardens, several beautiful water features, and tranquil ponds, and the Chabraja Visitor Center offers a variety of information about the gardens and the flora that make up the habitats within it. The Fogg Café is in the Eleanor and Nicholas Chajabra Visitor Center and offers an immersive dining experience with seasonally-changing menus of farm-to-fork fare and a variety of beverages.
4820 Bayshore Dr, Naples, FL 34112, Phone: 239-643-7275
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20.New York Botanical Garden
© New York Botanical Garden
Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden is a botanical garden, an iconic living museum, and a major educational institution at Bronx Park, in the Bronx, New York City. The 250-acre garden is one of the most magnificent botanical gardens in the world and home to diverse landscapes and extensive collections and gardens, as well as an array of multidisciplinary exhibitions and programs. The gardens offer a variety of innovative dining options, including the Pine Tree Café for a casual coffee and light fare, the Hudson Garden Grill for a more elegant and refined dining experience.
2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10458
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21.Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
© Oran Tantapakul/stock.adobe.com
World-renowned for being one of the ‘greenest’ buildings in the world, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was founded in 1893 by steel and real-estate baron Henry Phipps and is one of the oldest and largest Victorian ‘glass houses’ in the country. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the award-winning Lord & Burnham Conservatory is made up of 13 silvered, glass-encased domes that cover flourishing garden rooms filled with myriad exotic plants and flowers. The conservatory is surrounded by 2.5 acres of pristine landscape, which features lush, manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and tinkling fountains. Café Phipps serves a farm-to-table menu of delicious healthy fare for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and early dinner, along with house-roasted coffee, loose-leaf tea, and fresh fruit juices.
1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, Phone: 412-622-6914
22.Portland Japanese Garden
© Portland Japanese Garden
Founded in the early 1960s by the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, the Portland Japanese Garden was created to promote and preserve a more intimate relationship between the peoples of Japan and local Portlanders. The garden also aims to educate visitors about the fauna and flora of Japan through beautiful display gardens and features, as all as cultural, environmental, horticultural, and charitable activities. The Umami Café offers a unique dining experience with world-class Japanese tea pairings provided by the Tokyo-based Jugetsudo tea company, delicious edible delights and local Japanese confectioneries, and traditional gracious service.
611 SW Kingston Ave., Portland, Oregon 97205, Phone: 503-223-1321
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23.State Botanical Garden of Georgia
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a 313-acre botanical garden and horticultural conservatory located in Athens, Georgia. The gardens are home to 11 botanical and horticultural collections, five miles of nature trails, and a range of educational programs for adults and children. Dondero's Kitchen serves freshly prepared globally-inspired cuisine such as fresh salads, homemade soups, quiches, gourmet sandwiches, freshly-baked muffins, scones and a range of hot and cold beverages. Dondero’s Kitchen also offers complimentary wireless Internet access.
2450 S Milledge Ave, Athens, GA 30605, Phone: 706-542-1244
24.The North Carolina Arboretum
© The North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum is a beautiful botanic garden in the Southern Appalachian Mountains that is home to several of the botanically-diverse plants in the region. Tucked away in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, just south of Asheville, the 434-acre public garden features lovingly cultivated gardens, exquisitely manicured landscapes and winding walking trails that are intersected by thick woodlands, shady coves, and winding streams. The Arboretum is home to a charming onsite café that offers welcome refreshments and light meals and a small gift shop that sells an eclectic collection of flora-based items, including paintings and sculptures by local and international artists, arts, crafts, glasswork, and jewelry.
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806-9315, Phone: 828-665-2492 or Fax: 828-665-8714
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25.Tucson Botanical Gardens
© Café Botánica at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
The Tucson Botanical Gardens is a 5.5-acre arboretum that features a collection of 16 residentially scaled urban gardens connected by pathways. Established to connect people with fauna and flora through art, culture, history, and science, the botanical gardens offer a tranquil oasis in the heart of Tucson and boasts gardens that include a Barrio Garden, a Zen Garden, a Xeriscape Garden, a Butterfly Garden, a Prehistoric Garden, and a Children’s Garden, among others. Café Botanica serves a creative menu inspired by the rich culinary traditions of the Sonoran desert and Northern New Mexico, using fresh, locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients, some of which are harvested from the gardens and prepared from scratch.
2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, Phone: 520-326-9686
25 Best Botanical Garden Cafés
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Photo: leszekglasner/stock.adobe.com
- Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Photo: Farmer and The Fork
- Atlanta Botanical Garden, Photo: sutichak/stock.adobe.com
- Bellevue Botanical Garden, Photo: Bellevue Botanical Garden
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Photo: YURII MASLAK/stock.adobe.com
- Chicago Botanic Garden, Photo: Chicago Botanic Garden
- Cleveland Botanical Garden, Photo: Kris Tan/stock.adobe.com
- Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Photo: Comeback Images/stock.adobe.com
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Photo: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
- Denver Botanic Gardens, Photo: emmi/stock.adobe.com
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Photo: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
- Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Photo: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Photo: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
- Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Photo: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Photo: Selby House Café by Michael's On East
- Memphis Botanic Garden, Photo: Fratelli's
- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Photo: Rhody's Cafe at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Photo: franz12/stock.adobe.com
- Naples Botanical Garden, Photo: Fogg Cafe
- New York Botanical Garden, Photo: New York Botanical Garden
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Photo: Oran Tantapakul/stock.adobe.com
- Portland Japanese Garden, Photo: Portland Japanese Garden
- State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Photo: efired/stock.adobe.com
- The North Carolina Arboretum, Photo: The North Carolina Arboretum
- Tucson Botanical Gardens, Photo: Café Botánica at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
- Cover Photo: Subbotina Anna/stock.adobe.com