The California Academy of Sciences will soon open The Terrace, its latest sustainability-driven dining option and the first major structural addition since the museum’s reopening in 2008. Located in the Academy’s West Garden, this newly constructed café will feature a carefully crafted menu and will continue to uphold the museum’s reputation of providing visitors with high-quality dining experiences inside the greenest museum on the planet.
The Terrace will feature a menu of small, shareable plates that highlight California’s diverse culinary influences, affordably priced between $6-$18. The service will be fast-casual and guests will have food delivered to their tables after placing their order at a walk-up counter. All menu items will use locally sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients to reflect the Academy’s commitment to sustainability. Featured menu items include an open-faced goat cheese sandwich and Northwest grain salad with buttermilk poached chicken breast and roasted beets, assorted charcuterie and cheese boards, soups, salads, as well as a selection of kid-friendly fare, pastries and sweets, coffee, and beverages. The Academy will continue to partner with the Seafood Watch program to promote environmentally responsible seafood choices.
The Academy is also proud to announce a new food service partnership with Sodexo, a premier, sustainability-focused food service provider with a dedicated Leisure team that partners with many top-tier cultural destinations around the world, including the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Museum of Science and Industry and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Chicago Botanic Garden, and Detroit Institute of Art.
After several years as executive chef of the Academy Café and Moss Room, renowned chef and restaurateur Charles Phan will focus on his successful group of fine dining restaurants throughout San Francisco and will no longer oversee the museum’s restaurant operations.
In addition to The Terrace, Sodexo will also manage the Academy Café, offering a new menu of savory regional cuisine with a San Francisco twist, including ramen-style noodle soup, cold and pressed sandwiches, fresh salads, and hearty burgers designed with busy families in mind. The Moss Room, the Academy’s acclaimed fine dining restaurant, has closed for renovation and will reopen as a dedicated special event space in the spring, offering a lush, subterranean setting for private events and receptions.
Beyond its enticing menu and friendly service, The Terrace will also uphold the Academy’s Double LEED-Platinum rating by utilizing energy-efficient appliances within a space maximized for sustainability. Construction on The Terrace was led by Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects, with guidance from the world-renowned Renzo Piano Building Workshop, who designed the Academy’s groundbreaking facility. The new 1,450-square-foot structure features recycled concrete and fencing from a bird aviary that formerly occupied the space. Other materials from the aviary enclosure were donated to CuriOdyssey at Coyote Point.
Mirroring the Academy’s energy-efficient performance standards, The Terrace includes radiant in-floor heating to keep guests comfortable during chilly winter months while reducing energy needs by 5–10%. On warmer days, the space’s windows, designed by NanaWall Systems, can be fully retracted to offer guests an airy, al fresco dining experience. With attention to the ecosystems that surround its Golden Gate Park location, The Terrace’s exterior frosted glass walls are equipped with ORNILUX Bird Protection Glass to help prevent bird strikes, in compliance with the City of San Francisco’s Bird Safe Standards.
Adjacent to The Terrace, the Academy’s landscape design team has planted a native California plant garden, echoing the green design of the museum’s iconic 2.5-acre Living Roof.
The Terrace will be open during regular museum hours, as well as during the Academy’s popular 21+ NightLife events on Thursday nights from 6–10 pm.