Iris is a sophisticated full-service restaurant featuring contemporary American cuisine with regional and international flavors in a distinctly modern setting. Specializing in seasonal fare using many locally sourced ingredients, the Museum restaurant, led by chef Andy Hicks, features culinary works of art that showcase a complex culture of flavors.

Inside the Iris Restraurant

Open, elegant, and filled with light, the restaurant is lined by floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the entry court and surrounding gardens. The opposite wall showcases a site-specific sculpture by Patrick Dougherty featuring branches and boughs from the surrounding area, further enhancing the dining experience by bringing the outdoors in.

Members are entitled to a 10% discount on meals at Iris in accordance with their membership level. A membership card must be presented at the time the bill is rendered. 


11:30 am–2 pm

Friday evening: Iris after Dark
5:30–8:30 pm

10:30 am–2:30 pm
Brunch served Saturdays and Sundays

Reservations for Iris are encouraged. Call (919) 664-6838.

Iris reservations during Art in Bloom will be available after tickets to Art in Bloom go on sale.

Tips for Making a Reservation at Iris

When making a reservation, please provide all of the following information: your name, your phone number, the number of people in your party, the date, multiple times/time frame you prefer.

We cannot take reservations from parties larger than eight people at this time. If your group is larger than this, we will split the group among multiple tables. We will do our best to locate them near each other, but we cannot guarantee this.

We will start a waiting list each day at the beginning of service. You must be present to add your name to the list. Parties on the waiting list will be served as soon as a table becomes available.

Named in honor of Museum benefactor Iris Cantor and evoking images of the exquisite flowers that bear the same name, the Museum restaurant is yet another expression of art and nature, a hallmark of the NCMA experience. Innovative cuisine served in a setting like no other—a meal at Iris is a feast for all the senses!

NCMA Iris Restaurant Cuisine (seasonal)

Welcome the weekend with Iris after Dark, an evening experience offered by the NCMA’s Iris restaurant every Friday starting at 5:30 pm. Lounge with friends to the spins and tunes of local DJs and musicians. Visit our walk-up bar in the lounge for an extended wine and beer selection as well as simple cocktails and a selection of small plates with twists on Iris favorites. It’s the perfect way to sip, satisfy, and socialize before a Friday night concert, film, or exhibition visit. Iris after Dark offers a more extensive menu and table service inside the restaurant. For reservations inside the restaurant, call (919) 664-6838. Last orders for lounge and restaurant service are at 8:30 pm.


Sip coffee bar is the perfect stop for coffee, espresso-based drinks, tea, and cookies. Sip is adjacent to the Museum Store. Sip hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10 am–4:30 pm

Sip Cafe

18% gratuity is added for parties of 5 or more.

If you will be receiving the NCMA Member's Discount, please inform your server as YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER.

Complete your NCMA experience with a visit to the Museum Store.  Offering a fine selection of pottery, design objects, books and catalogs, jewelry, children’s toys and more, the Museum Store lets you take home a little piece of the NCMA.


Executive Chef: Andy Hicks
Sous Chef: Steve Walawender

Andy & Jennifer Hicks


Executive Chef

Andy Hicks brings a straightforward approach to cooking, seasoned with an appreciation of the art and nature surrounding the four walls of the kitchen. Museum members, local regulars, international travelers, and food lovers from coast to coast have dined on his creations for over two decades. 

Andy has made his most significant mark preparing dynamic menus and delicious meals for the Museum restaurant and events. His creations not only complement but are inspired by the Museum’s collection. His innovative exhibition menus give patrons a taste of regional cuisine as well as a glimpse of history and a connection with the art. Andy and his culinary team strive to give every guest an exceptional dining experience.

Andy isn’t content to create only with other gardeners’ products, so when he’s not in the kitchen, he’s growing his own provisions. His passion for growing heirloom vegetables, culinary herbs, and orchids frequently crosses over into his culinary career.