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November 22, 2023

30 Amazing Thanksgiving Menus of US Hotels From the Late 19th Century

These days, the typical American Thanksgiving menu is pretty standardized: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie. Back in the late 19th century, when the holiday’s status as a national observance was still relatively new, those dishes were already being consumed but holiday menus of the time could show a little variety. For example, on Nov. 30, 1899, at the Plaza Hotel, you could get turkey stuffed with chestnuts for $0.75—or sweetbreads, cooked “Parisienne” style, for a dollar.

That Plaza menu is just one of many historical bills of fare that have been digitized by the New York Public Library’s “What’s on the Menu?” project. The Library has 45,000 menus dating as far back as the 1840s. Below is a selection of 30 amazing vintage Thanksgiving menus from the late 19th century (click on each image to view it larger):

Hotel Duquesne, 1889

Hotel Normandie, 1889

Murray Hill Hotel, 1891

Occidental Hotel, 1891

The Portland, 1891

Hotel Roanoke, 1895

Hotel Vendome, 1895

The Jackson, 1895

Butterfield, 1896

Windsor, 1896

Hotel Algazar, 1897

Hotel Windermere, 1897

Burnet House, 1898

City Hotel, 1898

Duncan Hotel, 1898

Grand Hotel, 1898

Great Southern Fireproof Hotel, 1898

Southern Hotel, 1898

St. George Hotel, 1898

Wyoming Valley Hotel, 1898

Ashton Hotel, 1899

Briggs House, 1899

Broadway Central Hotel, 1899

C. & N. W. Passenger Station, 1899

Hotel Roanoke, 1899

Hotel St. James, 1899

Majestic Hotel, 1899

Plaza Hotel, 1899

Quincy House, 1899

Sturtevant House, 1899


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