A New York Public Library website

Help The New York Public Library improve a unique collection!

We’re transcribing our historical restaurant menus, dish by dish, so that they can be searched by what people were eating back in the day. It’s a big job so we need your help! Learn more.

Connect: menus@nypl.org | Twitter | Facebook

We need you!

It’s easy! No registration required!

So far: 1,335,274 dishes transcribed from 17,550 menus


Map our Menus!

Need a break from transcribing? Help us locate menus with our new Geotagger tool.

American Historical Association
2011 New Media Award

What’s on the Menu is a tremendous educational resource that breathes life into our city’s most beloved restaurants and dishes. It has been an indispensable and hugely inspirational tool in the ongoing development of my restaurant.”
—Rich Torrisi, Chef

“This archive has become tremendously important as there is nothing nearly as large, nor anything that has so much from the mid‐nineteenth century when restaurants were first established in the U.S. How people socialized, what they ate, how things change over time and the actual experience of people living in the United States in the past 170 years can be made vividly alive with these materials.”
—Paul Freedman, Yale University, author of Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination, editor of Food: The History of Taste