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A display of biscuits on a counter. From left to right, a round biscuit with a heart made of jam at the centre, a square chocolate biscuit with a walrus on it and a gingerbread man biscuit with smartie buttons

Food and drink

Find out everything you need to know about food and drink at the Horniman, from where to have your picnic to what time the Café closes.

The Horniman Café

Our Café is a light and airy space extending to a beautiful outdoor terrace. 

We serve a delicious range of hot and cold meals, sandwiches, pastries, fair trade teas and coffees, and cold drinks, including beers and wine.

We have menus for adults and children, vegan and vegetarian options, as well as gluten-free foods. Ask the Café staff for more information about what’s on offer.

Try one of the stunning cakes, tarts or brownies made each week, or treat yourself to a walrus biscuit.

We only use the best quality produce from suppliers we are proud to work with including Volcano Coffee WorksBirchall TeaPaul Rhodes BakeryWilliam Rose Butchers and Marshfield Farm Ice Cream.

You can beat the queues in the Café by visiting the kiosk on the Café terrace, which is open every weekend, and during school holidays. During hot weather there is also an ice cream stand open to the side of the kiosk

The Kiosk by the Dutch Barn is open every weekend, and during school holidays and events. Pick up cold food, tea, coffee and other drinks to enjoy in the Gardens.

Our menus are available to eat in or takeaway, and high chairs are available.

If you visit the Horniman Café regularly, don’t forget to pick up a loyalTEA card – any hot drink you buy will earn you a stamp. Buy nine hot drinks and get the tenth on the house.

The Horniman Kiosk is currently open from 11am – 5.30pm serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and ice-cream (no hot food).

The Café gets very busy between 11.30am and 2.30pm, and especially so during weekends and school holidays. 

Being Green in our Café

The meat we serve is locally sourced, as well as our beer, breads and homemade cakes, and the fish is from sustainable sources.

The Café has replaced single-use takeaway plastics with Vegware products made from plants, including disposable coffee cups and straws. They also provide free water refills in the Café, and have introduced CanO water for those who want to take away, as aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable.

Waste produced by the Café is composted using an on-site Ridan composter for use in the Gardens, and Café staff sort waste left on tables for recycling.


If you want to bring your own food and drink to the Horniman for a picnic, you can find great spots all over the Gardens. 

In inclement weather, you can use the Dutch Barn opposite the Bandstand to shelter in while you eat. This space is open from Wednesday – Sunday, and is available on a first come first served basis. Please be aware it can be very popular between 11am-2pm.

Please refrain from eating and drinking in the Museum, as this can attract pests which damage the collections.

If you are unsure of the best picnic spots, please ask one of our Visitor Hosts.

Unfortunately, even very careful eaters can leave crumbs which attract pests. These pests can damage our collections. 

In sunny weather, the Gardens have lots of great picnic spots. During cold or wet weather you are welcome to use our Dutch Barn picnicking space.

The Dutch Barn is opposite the Bandstand on a raised terrace, next to the Pavilion. Find a map of the Gardens or watch this film showing the route from the entrance to the Bandstand terrace:

You can find more information on the schools plan your visit pages which will tell you about where to go and how to book your spaces.