New York’s “gastronomic atrocities” of the 1890s

King’s Handbook of New York City, 1892, was kind of like the Zaget’s of its day. One section of this massive guide to the city’s best and worst recommends some top restaurants of the time.

Then there’s this section, “Cheap Restaurants.” It’s just a small snippet but very descriptive. 

The info about street food of the time—oysters, fish, corn—is pretty fascinating. Treat trucks, gyros, falafel, Italian Ices, even hot dogs are years away.

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3 Responses to “New York’s “gastronomic atrocities” of the 1890s”

  1. petey Says:

    i love king’s handbook, have read it through. i like the churches section, many congregations have moved or the buildings have changed from one denomination (or religion even) to another, that way you can trace manhattan’s development.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    What I love is that they have that exhaustive church section! No guide to the city today would include anything like that. They might list St. Patrick’s, Cathedral of St. John, and a few of the other landmark churches. But nothing so extensive.

  3. Paul Says:

    It’s all about perspective. There was a time when White Bread was the province of the well heeled and brown or wheat bread was confined to the lower classes. Now it’s slightly the other way round. Wheat bread and such is considered healthy and when the label of “organic’ or “natural” is applied to it suddenly precipitates an atrocious acceleration in price. The lower classes and the poor are lucky to get half a loaf of any kind of bread.

    Even the Street Vendors have gone high tech in their presentation. With Hot Dogs costing as much as $2 or $3 a pop this is to be expected.

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