Thanksgiving dinner at the Plaza Hotel, 1899

From the two types of turtle soup to the to the turkey stuffed with chestnuts to the 18 varieties of game offered, the Plaza’s Thanksgiving menu was clearly a feast for the well-to-do New Yorkers who could afford to dine there.

Note the little crow mocking the turkey in the menu cartoon—who knew the Plaza at the time had such a sarcastic edge?


 This menu comes from the New York Public Library’s incredible collection of 40,000-plus menus.

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16 Responses to “Thanksgiving dinner at the Plaza Hotel, 1899”

  1. Sheila McCann Says:

    Wow, that’s really cool!

  2. Nabe News: November 16 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] what was on the Thanksgiving menu at the Plaza Hotel in 1899 [Ephemeral […]

  3. Morning Links | The Agitator Says:

    […] What an 1899 Thanksgiving dinner at New York’s Plaza Hotel looked like. Turtles! Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark […]

  4. rob sama Says:

    I’m sorry, are those prices on the menu? In cents???

    • Frank, Charles Town, WV Says:

      Yes, that’s in cents. This is back in the day when a dollar meant something and gold and silver were legal tender, not those fake pieces of paper with dead presidents (and one non-president) on them.

  5. Celebrate Thanksgiving 1899-Style | Bitchin' in the Kitchen Says:

    […] a look at the menu from the 1899 Thanksgiving dinner at the Plaza for a little Turkey Day inspiration for your dinner table.  Quail, grouse, duck – it’s […]

  6. LivingPre911Still Says:

    WHAT… No Manatee???? Must have been out of season! Green Turtles… yeah… I’ve always wanted to cook and try some… God forbid you bring one of them in… until after dark that is 😉 As a Sportsman the only real surprise is the Red Head Duck going for $2.50 and the Canvas Back for $1.50… they are equal fare… very high on the culinary scale both then and now.

  7. Sean L. Says:

    And to think they were on the cusp of entering the 20th century. It must have been quite a party.

  8. Jessica R Says:

    Anyone know how many of these courses an individual would actually eat? What exactly is a “releve”?

    And then there are the salads between the main courses and the vegetables. Would the salad be served with the whole meal? After the entree?

    This menu opens so many interesting questions.

  9. wildnewyork Says:

    I found one reference that explained it was a meat course that traditionally followed the first courses yet came before the entree. People had big appetites back then I guess.

  10. Kaz Says:

    I might be wrong, but I think servings were also smaller, and a meal like this would have been a very leisurely undertaking.

  11. Charles Says:

    where’s something about my beloved library lions Patience and Fortitude?
    Please submit a few pics and provide a little nostalgia on these wonderful bastians of books…(ok a little corny I know…but I love ’em!)

  12. Thanksgiving dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, 1956 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] This relatively contemporary menu has been pared down from the massive bills of fare handed out by the city’s luxurious hotel restaurants during Gilded Age Thanksgivings. […]

  13. Happy Thanksgiving! | Engage Blog Says:

    […] to the  Ephemeral New York blog for this 1899 menu from the Plaza Hotel. And thanks to you for reading the EngAGE […]

  14. What became of the first, short-lived Plaza Hotel | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] a lot like the Plaza Hotel that’s been an icon of New York City for more than a century, […]

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