Eat Houston: Cafe Leonelli at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The interior of Cafe Leonelli at MFAH | Photo: Justin Jerkins/365 Houston

Take a break from browsing fine art with the fast casual, Italian-inspired eats at Cafe Leonelli in the Kinder Building at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

With the opening of the Nancy and Rich Kinder building, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has expanded its campus to better display its deep contemporary and modern art collection, but also to pack in two new food offerings—the upscale dining of Le Jardinier and the counter-service, fast casual Cafe Leonelli.

Serving up breakfast and lunch under the illuminating lights of Spencer Finch’s Moon Dust (Apollo 17), Cafe Leonelli brings Italian-inspired eats from the Michelin-starred chef, Jonathan Benno, who operates a bakery as well as a restaurant and bar under the Leonelli name in New York.

Swing through from 8am to 11am for Italian breakfast pastries, sweet tastes, and healthy granola bowls; or enjoy their daytime eats that include large format focaccia with toppings like eggplant parmigiana or meatball and ricotta, plus a selection of soups, salads, and hot dishes like chicken cacciatore, spinach lasagna, and roasted salmon.

Top off your meals with sweet Italian desserts or scoops of delicious ice cream from the also-Michelin-starred pastry chef, Salvatore Martone.

Cafe Leonelli at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Patio seating at Cafe Leonelli at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston | Photo: Justin Jerkins/365 Houston

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins keeps an eye out for all sorts of happenings in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and much more while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston.