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Museums with a side of culinary arts

A t rip to the museum takes some planning -- especially for families with children. To best appreciate the wonders of art and science, everyone must be well fed. True, you could eat at home beforehand, but how much more festive to make lunch (or dinner afterward) part of the day.

Here are five museums with all manner of eating options nearby. Two even have food on site.



MUSEUMRED PLANET CAFEInside Cradle of Aviation

Museum, 516-572-4111, 516-572-4168,

This Mars-themed eatery is somewhere between a school cafeteria and airport grab-and-go. A refrigerator case holds salads, sandwiches, yogurt and beverages. Hot dogs, pizza slices and burgers are kept warm beneath heat lamps. Not quite the food replicator on "Star Trek," but enough to keep you going. $BURGERFI1002 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale, 516-280-3900,

At the largest branch of this national chain, a sustainable mindset prevails. The menu features hormone and antibiotic-free beef burgers and veggie burgers, as well as hot dogs, hand-cut fries and frozen custard. Seating is both indoors and out. $-$$ROOSEVELT FIELD DINING DISTRICTRoosevelt Field, Garden City, 516-742-8000,

The light and greenery-filled dining space of Roosevelt Field's new Dining District offers many compelling choices. Tops among the 16 eateries represented: Maoz Vegetarian, for a kosher vegan repertoire with falafel in the forefront; Melt Shop for all manner of grilled cheese sandwiches, salads and shakes; and The Little Beet, where the gluten-free menu includes tamarind-marinated chicken, charred green beans and roasted sweet potatoes. $-$$MACS & MELTS684 Stewart Ave., Garden City, 855-622-6358,

Two classic comforts -- macaroni-and- cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches -- are what this clever counter-serve spot is all about. Recommendations include the "all American" mac-and-cheese and a five-cheese version. From the roster of melted cheese sandwiches, the simple Cheddar Wisconsin melt is a winner. So, too, is the Adam's rib featuring braised short rib, Cheddar and brown gravy. $-$$PASSIONE DELLA CUCINA231 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-741-4800,

This divided Italian spot, under the same ownership as Emilio's in Commack, has a pizzeria on one side offering fine pies and slices. In the dining room, you can sit down to a panino, entree salad or a big bowl of house-made rigatoni alla mama with tomato sauce, ricotta and meatballs. $-$$ROSLYN


BEN'S KOSHER DELICATESSEN-RESTAURANT140 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale, 516-621-3340,

Like all the Ben's Kosher Delicatessens, this one makes its own knishes and soups, cures its own corned beef and pastrami. Enjoy both those meats on the Deli Double, $16.99, served on twin junior rolls. $$BISTRO CITRON1362 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-403-4400,

This classic and spirited French bistro offers a view of a lovely duck pond, whether from the dining room or on the small patio. With the vista come such bistro classics as salad Niçoise and moules marinières. $$-$$$DIANE'S BAKERY CAFE23 Bryant Ave., Roslyn, 516-621-2522,

At this rustic, attractive counter-serve bakery cafe, talented pastry chef Diane Margaritis is in charge of the superior sweets from the bakery, while her husband, chef John Durkin, oversees the savory cafe items -- among them the flaky-crusted, creamy quiches as well as salads, wraps and sandwiches. Some items are sold by weight, allowing diners to customize their lunch plates. $MP TAVERNA1363 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-686-6486,

Celebrity chef Michael Psilakis' Greek-influenced menu merges the innovative with the traditional. Standouts are many: tender, lemony octopus; lush meatballs in a tomato and olive sauce; an herbal, juicy, lamb burger and supernal dumplings with lamb sausage. Conclude with apple baklava, galaktoboureko parfait or the opulent chocolate brownie made with halvah. $$-$$$WILD FIG1085 Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-918-9700

At this sleek cafeteria-style branch of a Turkish-Mediterranean chain, you can choose from set options, such as pide (a filled Turkish pizza-like pastry) or a falafel-hummus sandwich. Or put together your own sandwich by picking from a panoply of ingredients, like chicken or beef meatballs, chicken or steak kebabs, babaganoush and hummus. Salads are another way to go. Finish with prepackaged baklava. $




MUNDAY'S259 Main St., Huntington, 631-421-3553

Integral to the Main Street scene is this atmospheric luncheonette. In the morning, try the French toast souffle; later, there are juicy, smoky burgers and homespun specials, such as meat loaf and turkey. $-$$PRIMO PIATTO GASTRO BAR & PIZZETTE138 E. Main St., Huntington, 631-935-1391,

Grab a slice of pizza in the front room of this welcoming pizzeria-trattoria. Or, if you have the time, get a booth in the rear dining room and sit down to al dente spaghetti with lush, tender meatballs; bucatini chi sarde, an authentic Sicilian pasta dish with a rich sardine sauce. $$TIM'S SHIPWRECK DINER46 Main St., Northport, 631-754-1797,

This vintage railroad car model, which, in 2014, had a TV makeover, is a nexus for local movers and shakers, who dig into the appealing omelets, oatmeal, blintzes and pancakes at breakfast. At lunch, there are burgers (bison or beef), fish-and-chips and BLTs. No dinner, though. In fine weather, eat in the pretty courtyard out back. $-$$TING92 E. Main St., Huntington, 631-425-7788,

This pretty and gracious Asian-fusion spot offers a well-priced lunch menu that includes soup and salad. Will it be General Tso's chicken? A couple of maki rolls? Perhaps a bento box centered around sashimi? Or mini burgers? $-$$TOAST & CO.62 Stewart Ave., Huntington, 631-812-0056,

Start your day with something sturdy, like biscuits and gravy, oatmeal or "green eggs and ham." At midday, there are burgers, panini, sandwiches and salads. Of interest to many: a vegan menu. $-$$WATER MILL


CAFE CRUST850 Rte. 39, Southampton, 631-259-8880,

A wide array of pizzas from a wood- and gas-burning oven take center stage at this casual spot, where you can also get a main-dish salad, burger, panino and dessert. Dining, with full service, is both indoors and out in fine weather. $$GOLDEN PEAR CAFEIn museum, 279 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631-283-2118,

Within the museum, you'll find a branch of the Hamptons chain The Golden Pear. The place offers counter service only and a menu of prepared items that includes salads, sandwiches, soups, sweets, snacks. Eat inside or on the terrace. The eatery is open for dinner, and wine is offered, so you can sip some while watching the sun set. $$HAMPTON COFFEE COMPANY869 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631-726-2633,

This coffee roaster has full-service dining space where you can get omelets, breakfast burritos, soups, salads, sandwiches and hand-cut fries. A Mexican menu features enchiladas, fish tacos and fajitas, plus from-scratch guacamole and salsa. And, of course, all manner of coffee beverages and house-baked desserts.

SIP 'N SODA40 Hampton Rd., Southampton,

631- 283-9752,

At this old-fashioned luncheonette and soda fountain, ice cream is made on premises. Get there before noon for pancakes, omelets and other breakfast items. Later, there are sandwiches, burgers and salads. Finish with a hot fudge sundae or milkshake. $-$$SUKI ZUKI OF THE HAMPTONS688 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631-726-4600

Converge over maki rolls, sushi, sashimi or skewered grilled meat, poultry or vegetables at this unpretentious little Japanese spot. $$

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