Vintage Thanksgiving Menus from New York’s Legendary Hotels

by Ellie Seymour
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I love reading menus and today I’ve lost myself in the New York Public Library’s mind-boggling collection of vintage Thanksgiving menus, some dating as far back as 1840! They’re a window into the food fashions of the time and what’s remarkable from a quick glance is that all of New York’s legendary hotels were serving up Thanksgiving dishes that seem familiar today – albeit for a much reduced rate! At the Plaza Hotel in 1899, you could get turkey stuffed with chestnuts for $0.75 — or sweetbreads, cooked “Parisienne” style, for a dollar. So, without further ado, if you’d care to join me for a Thanksgiving dinner to remember at one of New York’s legendary hotels…

Gramercy Park Hotel, 1949.
gramercy park 2 1949

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The Plaza Hotel, 1959.

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Broadway Central, 1899.
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National Arts Club New York, 1905.

Hotel Manhattan, 1900.


Waldorf Astoria, 1912.
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waldorf astoria 1912

Hotel New Yorker, 1937.

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Chins, 1944. (OK, so I know this isn’t actually a hotel, but I thought it was too cool-looking not to share.)

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So there you have it. Happy Thanksgiving!


Steve G

Some of the prices are unbelievably high.
They look low by today’s prices, but some of these meals cost more than the average man would earn for a working an entire day.


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