Can You Bring Food Into The Huntington Library?

Visiting the Huntington Library is an enriching cultural experience, but what if you get hungry during your visit? Can you bring your own food and drinks into the library? In this comprehensive guide, we will provide a definitive answer on the library’s policy for outside food and beverages.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Outside food and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed on most areas of the Huntington Library grounds, but not inside the exhibit buildings.

Food Allowed in Designated Outdoor Areas

When visiting the Huntington Library, many visitors wonder if they are allowed to bring their own food. While the library does have its own cafe and restaurants on-site, there are also designated outdoor areas where visitors are permitted to enjoy their own food.

The Great Lawn

The Great Lawn is a popular spot for visitors to relax, have a picnic, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Whether you prefer to bring a packed lunch or grab takeout from a nearby restaurant, you are welcome to bring your food and enjoy it on the Great Lawn.

Just be sure to clean up after yourself and dispose of any trash properly.

Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is a picturesque area filled with vibrant flowers and fragrant scents. It is a tranquil spot where visitors can sit, unwind, and even have a small snack. Feel free to bring some light refreshments to enjoy while taking in the beauty of the gardens.

Desert Garden

The Desert Garden is home to a diverse collection of cacti and succulents. It offers a unique atmosphere and a chance to experience the beauty of arid landscapes. While you may not want to bring a full meal to this area, you can certainly bring a snack or some beverages to enjoy during your visit.

Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden is known for its peaceful ambiance and traditional Japanese design elements. Visitors are allowed to bring their own food to this area and have a picnic under the shade of cherry blossom trees. It’s a delightful way to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the garden.

Chinese Garden

The Chinese Garden is a stunning landscape that features traditional Chinese architecture and lush vegetation. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food to this area and find a quiet spot to enjoy a meal. Just remember to be respectful of the surroundings and clean up after yourself.

Herb Garden

The Herb Garden is a fragrant oasis filled with a variety of herbs and plants. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scents and colors of the garden. If you’re in the mood for a picnic or a snack, feel free to bring your own food and find a cozy spot to indulge in the aromas of the herbs.

It’s important to note that while food is allowed in these designated outdoor areas, it is not permitted inside the library buildings.

So, next time you plan a visit to the Huntington Library, don’t hesitate to bring your own food and make the most of the beautiful outdoor spaces available!

Types of Food You Can Bring


Visiting the Huntington Library can be a delightful and enriching experience, and it’s only natural to want to bring some snacks along to keep your energy levels up. The good news is that you are allowed to bring your own snacks into the Huntington Library.

Whether it’s a bag of chips, a granola bar, or some fruit, feel free to pack your favorite snacks to enjoy during your visit. Just remember to dispose of any wrappers or leftover food properly to help maintain the cleanliness of the premises.

Cold Foods

For those who prefer cold foods, you’ll be pleased to know that you can bring them into the Huntington Library as well. Whether it’s a sandwich, a salad, or a chilled pasta dish, you can enjoy your favorite cold meals while exploring the beautiful gardens or browsing through the impressive collection of rare books.

It’s always a good idea to pack your cold foods in a cooler or an insulated bag to keep them fresh until you’re ready to indulge.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Staying hydrated is crucial during your visit to the Huntington Library, and you can bring your own non-alcoholic drinks to quench your thirst. Bottled water, sports drinks, and fruit juices are all welcome. However, it’s important to note that alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the premises.

So, if you’re planning on enjoying a refreshing beverage during your visit, make sure it’s non-alcoholic.

If you’re looking to enjoy a hot beverage like coffee or tea, you’ll be pleased to know that the Huntington Library has several cafes and dining areas where you can purchase these drinks. So, whether you prefer to bring your own snacks or explore the culinary options available on-site, you have plenty of choices to satisfy your hunger and thirst during your visit to the Huntington Library.

Areas Where Outside Food is Prohibited

While the Huntington Library is a beautiful and expansive place to explore, it’s important to note that there are certain areas where outside food is prohibited. This policy is in place to help maintain the cleanliness and preservation of the library’s collections and ensure the comfort of all visitors.

Here are some of the areas where you cannot bring outside food:

The Library Buildings

The main library buildings, including the research libraries and exhibition spaces, have strict policies against bringing in outside food. This is to protect the valuable books, manuscripts, and artwork housed within these areas.

Food and drinks can pose a risk of spills or damage to these irreplaceable items. It is advised to finish your meal or snack before entering these buildings.

The Gardens

The Huntington Library is renowned for its stunning gardens, and while they are a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll, bringing in outside food is not allowed. This policy helps to maintain the cleanliness of the gardens and prevents any potential damage to the plant life.

There are designated picnic areas outside the gardens where you can enjoy your snacks or meals.

The Tea Room

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a meal or a cup of tea, the Tea Room at the Huntington Library is a great option. However, outside food is not permitted in the Tea Room. The Tea Room offers a variety of delicious meals, snacks, and beverages for visitors to enjoy while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Important Note: It’s always a good idea to check the Huntington Library’s official website or call ahead to inquire about any specific restrictions or policies regarding food before your visit.

For more information about the policies and guidelines at the Huntington Library, you can visit their official website here.

Nearby Dining Options If You Don’t Want to Pack Food

If you prefer not to bring your own food to the Huntington Library, there are several nearby dining options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings in the vicinity.

1. The Rose Garden Tea Room

The Rose Garden Tea Room, located within the Huntington Library grounds, offers an elegant dining experience with a beautiful view of the surrounding gardens. Indulge in a variety of tea options, sandwiches, salads, and pastries in this charming setting.

Reservations are recommended, especially during peak hours.


2. The Kitchen at Descanso Gardens

If you’re visiting the Huntington Library and want to explore other nearby gardens, head to Descanso Gardens and visit The Kitchen. This on-site café offers a range of delicious options, including sandwiches, salads, and soups made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Don’t forget to try their specialty coffees and pastries.


3. Old Pasadena

If you’re willing to venture a bit further, Old Pasadena is a vibrant neighborhood with an array of dining options to suit every taste. From casual eateries to upscale restaurants, you’ll find a variety of cuisines, including American, Italian, Mexican, and more.

Take a stroll through the charming streets of Old Pasadena and discover your new favorite dining spot.


Remember to check the operating hours and availability of these dining options before your visit. Enjoy your time exploring the Huntington Library and satisfy your hunger with a delicious meal nearby!


We hope this guide has provided clear information on the Huntington Library’s policy for bringing your own food. While outside food is allowed in most outdoor areas, keep in mind major exhibit buildings prohibit food.

If packing a picnic doesn’t appeal to you, the library offers charming dining options as well. Have an enriching and satisfying visit to this Southern California cultural gem!

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