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: 1,334,926 dishes transcribed from 17,547 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

“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

“Menu writing is an art form seldom appreciated. In our restaurants, we put an incredible amount of time and thought into crafting menus. It’s remarkable to see menus being preserved and documented, for them to become a resource for future chefs, sociologists, historians and everyone who loves food. It’s not just What’s on the Menu, it reveals so much more.”
—Mario Batali, Chef, Author, Entrepreneur