Eat at OMSI

Theory Eatery: Science, Meet Food

Theory reinvents the dining experience and invites guests inside the kitchen. Executive Chef Ryan Morgan and his team present honest ingredients, food sources and cooking techniques while each seasonal dish is prepared and served to curious observers of all ages. Through exhibits and events, Theory encourages visitors to explore the science of food.

The open and airy 9,100 square-foot eatery with a prized riverfront view is a destination in its own right – open to all members of the public and featuring an entrance of its very own from the bordering Eastbank Esplanade. Further accessibility comes courtesy of the new Portland Streetcar east side route lending an opportunity for visitors to enjoy Theory’s warm, industrial space and its many unique offerings.

Hours 11:00am - 3:00pm MONDAY- SUNDAY
Menu See Now  

Theater Café

A Quick Stop
For a quick breakfast, lunch, or movie snack, visit the Empirical Theater café Sodas, juices, pastries, sandwiches and an assortment of healthy snacks are available along with a full espresso menu featuring Caffé Vita coffee.

SUN - THURS 8:30am – 7:30pm
FRI - SAT 8:30am – 9:00pm

About Theory

You learn about great food by finding the best there is… then you savor it, analyze it and discuss it with your companions…”
Echoing OMSI's key health and wellness and energy and the environment initiatives, Theory champions sustainable practices and healthful eating.

Bon Appétit Management Company, which operates Theory, has been an industry leader in local sourcing, buying at least 20 percent of its ingredients directly from local farmers, ranchers, fishermen and artisan producers since 1999. In the last 10 years, the company — whose philosophy is “food service for a sustainable future” — has also initiated policies to offer sustainable seafood, rBGH-free dairy, meat and poultry raised without routine antibiotics, cage-free shell eggs, climate-friendlier options, and humanely raised meat.


Theory features a diverse menu of new and rotating items as well as familiar favorites, each selected based on criteria encompassing sustainability, seasonality, flavor and nutrition. Categories include:

Hand-made and hand-tossed pizzas.

Items familiar to Americana such as macaroni and cheese, grilled meat and vegetable entrées and a la carte items like sliders.

Sandwiches and salads made from artisan breads, seasonal produce and craft meats from the Portland area.

A rotating roster of authentic Indian, Latin American, Thai and other global fare.


Ever wondered how water temperature affects the physiology of a fish? How does soil influence the flavor of wine? Does it do the same for wheat? Unlike traditional restaurants, Theory features exhibits, demonstrations, classes and events inviting patrons to seek answers to questions like these, while giving them even more to chew on.

A rotating gallery of images depicting the diets of 10 people from around the world, based on the book What I Eat by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. The displays highlight the varied ways different cultures approach and consume food by detailing what each subject eats during the course of one-day – straight down to serving size and caloric value.

OMSI educators will deliver engaging science demonstrations slated to cover topics on nutrition, eating and the senses, modernist cuisine, soil science and more.

Guests of all ages, backgrounds and interests can further immerse themselves in the science aspect of food by signing up for a family or adult class. Topics will range from composting and exploring food through play, to window gardens, modernist cuisine and cheese making.

Upcoming Theory Events

Calendar of All Events

Launch Calendar

Getting Here

Parking & Services

On-site parking is available for $5.00 and is discounted for OMSI members.

We are dedicated to making OMSI accessible to everyone. For more info please call: 503.797.4000

Hours & Pricing

Find the right OMSI deal for you!

From museum combo packages to group rates and membership options, we have something to fit your visit.