A Thanksgiving dinner menu from 1899

Welcome to Thanksgiving Dinner at Sturtevant House, a popular hotel on Broadway and 29th Street that opened in 1871.

Most of the usual holiday staples are there: roast turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie. All that’s missing is the cranberry sauce.

And amazingly, this entire feast only runs 75 cents. Seems like a good deal even in the final year of the 19th century.

This menu marks one of the final Thanksgivings at Sturtevant House; the hotel closed around 1903.

Check out what was going on uptown at the Plaza for Thanksgiving—their 1899 holiday menu is even more exotic and festive.

Both menus belong to the New York Public Library’s incredible menu collection.

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12 Responses to “A Thanksgiving dinner menu from 1899”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Man, at those prices -75 cents- I’m ready to have doubles.

  2. tacony palmyra Says:

    That would be $19.09 in 2009 dollars. Still a decent deal, but not unheard of.

    I think $20 a person is basically what you would pay today in most places outside Manhattan for this kind of mass produced feast.

    • Simon Says:

      You couldn’t get this kind of menu for $20 anywhere today. Not with all the premium ingredients listed here, and difficult time consuming preparations. Most cooks today can’t even make consommé.

  3. Goggla Says:

    Wow, I’ll take twelve orders to go, please!

  4. Jill Says:

    I wonder what celery salad is.

  5. $.75 Thanksgiving « Laurel Smyth Says:

    […] a lot of options for dining out in the city this Thanksgiving, but none of them cost just 75 cents. Ephemeral NY looks back at the Thanksgiving menu from 1899 at the Sturtevant House, a popular hotel on Broadway […]

  6. Weekly Round-Up of our Favorite Links | Now and Then: an American Social History Project blog Says:

    […] then I leave you with this as a final thought: a Thanksgiving menu from 1899. Friday links will be on holiday next week, but will return in a couple weeks. Have a happy […]

  7. Lisa Says:

    Huh, so the NYPL has a menu collection eh? While I have no particular need for this, it’s comforting to know that it exists!

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

    […] 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 […]

  9. A Taste of Thanksgiving Past | Steampunk.com Says:

    […] New York has posted a Thanksgiving menu from 1899. This one features an astonishing array of things that could be considered main courses long before […]

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