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 kiosk closes.

The Horniman Café

The Café is open from 9am – 5.30pm daily (5 pm last order for drinks and 4 pm last order from the kitchen), except on Wednesdays when the Museum and Café are closed.

We serve a delicious range of hot and cold meals, sandwiches, biscuits, fair-trade teas and coffees, and cold drinks.

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.

We only use the best quality produce from suppliers we are proud to work with including Volcano Coffee WorksBirchall Tea, Blackbird Bakery, William Rose Butchers and Marshfield Farm Ice Cream.

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

Please note: Everyone over the age of 16 is required to complete NHS Test and Trace at the Café. This now needs to be done by each person over 16, and not one person from the group. There are two ways to do this:

  • Use the QR code on your mobile device which is on display at the Café
  • Or with a paper form at the Café if you do not have the app

Cafe Terrace Kiosk

The Café Terrace Kiosk is open weekends only from 11am – 4pm serving crepes.

Bandstand Kiosk

The Café Kiosk in the Gardens by the Bandstand is open serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and ice-cream (no hot food). Open daily from 9am – 4pm, except Wednesdays when the Museum and Café are closed.

Visiting Safely

  • Please follow social distancing advice, and we ask that you continue to wear a mask when you aren’t eating or drinking when ordering your take away.
  • There are toilets available to Cafe visitors to the right of the counter. The lockers and cloakroom remain closed.
  • We won’t be able to provide free water refills (health and safety we cannot refill bottles or take away cups that people bring in) but tap water will be available.
  • We encourage the use of contactless payment methods at the Cafe and kiosks.

Being Green

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. The Café has 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.

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. Please note that in line with Government guideline the Dutch Barn is currently closed ( from 4 November).

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.