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: 1,334,934 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

“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

“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