Print and Hang! Menus from the New York Public Library

published Mar 19, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The New York Public Library has a breathtakingly vast digital archive. You can browse botanicals, photographs, historic apartment floorplans, and (our favorite) old menus. It’s addictive! And here’s the best part: You can order prints, framed or unframed, or print them out yourself for free. We can so see a row of these whimsical menus in a kitchen.

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Most of the menus are from hotels and cruise lines and date back to the early-to-mid 1900s. Some have delicate illustrations and embellishments along the top; others are from special occasions, like a fraternity dinner or Valentine’s Day.

We love looking at the food. There were a lot of consommes going on back then. One menu offers stewed terrapin (!); many list apple pie and prime rib.

If you choose to order a print from the NYPL, they start at $30 for a 10-inch print. You can get several sizes and can also order them framed.

• Visit the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. Search “menu” or look for the Buttolph collection of menus.


• 1. Restaurant Longchamps in New York (You can also buy the inside view.)


• 10. Neil House Cafe in Columbus, Ohio– for Faith and Emma, who live there!

Related: Kitchen Beauty: Spring and Summer Market Posters