These Food Museums Deserve A Place In Your Itinerary | CoolJapan

Not everyone puts museums in their itinerary when travelling. After all, there are many ways to experience a country's culture than just eyeing exhibits and artefacts. Truth be told, it's not everyone's cup of tea. But what if instead of traditional menageries, you focus on a different type of museum experience? Would that change your perspective on museum-hopping?

We're talking about food museums. With food enjoyed as a shared experience all over the world, many food museums have popped up in almost every region. The best part? In some of them, you can have your fill of palate-pleasers while getting some edutainment. 

So whether you're a certified foodie or just someone who wants to hit the best eats in town served with some culture trip on the side, here are some food museums all over the world that deserve a place in your itinerary. 

The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Yokohama, Japan

Every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen. But unless you plan to scour every city in the country to have a taste of their unique take on this national dish, we say Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is your best stop. Aside from housing nine renowned ramen shops with different regional specialities on their menus (including non-pork and vegetarian options), the 1958 replication streetscape aesthetic of the museum's basement floor — which commemorates when the world's first instant ramen was made — also transports you to Japan's Showa era like never before, making it a memorable eating and culture-tripping experience in one. The retro vibes of the place make for great 'Gram backdrops, too!

The Frietmuseum in Bruges, Belgium

How much do you love fries? Well, it seems like someone loved it enough to build a shrine dedicated to it in Belgium. Founded in 2008, The Frietmuseum is the first and only museum (at present) focused on all things potato fries. From answering typical fry FAQs like 'Is it really from France?' or 'How did fries come to be?', this multi-level museum housed in the historic Saaihaile building takes your potato history to a whole new level, with exhibits talking about its origins from 10,000 years ago. It also has exhibits on the condiments it typically gets served with from all over the world and has a sampling deck in one of its cellars. 

The Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama, Japan

If you happen to be travelling to Osaka soon, a trip to the world-renowned Cup Noodles Museum is the perfect fit for your itinerary — and your instant ramen yearning. Not only will you be greeted with a cup noodles tunnel filled with every imaginable variant from all over the world (have fun spotting one from your country!), you'll also learn about how instant ramen was made, be in awe of instant ramen-inspired art installations, and gather up some wisdom from the exhibit dedicated to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles and founder of Nissin Food Products Co. Plus, you can also sign up for a 'customise your own cup noodles' session where you get to take home a bespoke cup, complete with ingredients of your own choosing, that makes for a great souvenir. 

The Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco, USA

When we think of classic desserts, ice cream immediately comes to mind. And no matter what flavour you're into, this stop in San Francisco will surely suit your fancy. Originally stationed in New York as a small exhibit in 2016, the Museum of Ice Cream has then moved to several cities, bringing its whimsical and delectable vibe all over the U.S. Its latest and now permanent home in S.F. allows guests to live out their child-like ice cream fantasies — from swimming in a pool of sprinkles to riding cookie carousels and more. Plus, the experience wouldn't be complete without some actual ice cream eating in their Cafe 1905C.

The Coffee Museum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hey, coffee lovers! Of course, we couldn't miss talking about halls erected in the name of food and drinks without having something for a good ol' cup of joe. The Coffee Museum in Dubai is said to be one of the city's current heritage hubs, housing regional and global exhibits related to all things coffee. Many visitors claim that aside from learning about the vast history of coffee in its halls, its sample tasting offers and in-house café also serves some of the best cups that would pass — and even exceed — every coffeeholic's standards.

(Cover photo from: @nissan_uy; @museumoficecream)

Next, load up on the fun with these theme parks that are neither Disneyland nor Universal Studios that are worth your visit.