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: 1,294,368 dishes transcribed from 17,320 menus

Geotagger

Map our Menus!

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

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American Historical Association
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2011 New Media Award

“For anyone who studies the way people cook and eat, restaurant menus offer an extraordinary range of rich material that few other sources can match. But for obvious logistical reasons, it's never been possible to explore that huge trove of information in the depth it deserves. This project will open up the menus and all they can tell us about ingredients, dishes and meal structure, about the economics and sociology of eating out, about the very language of food.”
—Laura Shapiro, culinary historian and author of Perfection Salad

“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