A 1950s menu from New York favorite Schrafft’s

Until the 1970s, the city was dotted with Schrafft’s restaurants, a popular mini-chain in the tradition of Child’s and Chock Full o’Nuts that offered sandwiches and ice cream—mostly to female diners.

“Despite efforts to attract more men as customers with the addition of cocktail bars at many “stores” as they were known, Schrafft’s remained known primarily as a woman’s emporium,” states the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, published in 2007.

“Hot fudge sundaes, lobster Newberg, and creamed chicken on toast could be had in an atmosphere of middle-class gentility.”

This 1959 menu comes from the wonderful menu collection that’s part of the New York Public Library Digital Collection.

Check out the offerings here—such as eggs scrambled in butter and crushed strawberry sundae.

Top photo: a Schrafft’s on Fifth Avenue and 13th Street, no longer there

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20 Responses to “A 1950s menu from New York favorite Schrafft’s”

  1. Joe Ruiz Says:

    That Schrafft’s in the photo became in the 80’s the Lone Star Cafe, with the famous 10 foot long iguana on the roof. http://www.forgotten-ny.com/SLICES/lonestar/lonestar2.html

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I remember that! Wish it had been a Schrafft’s into the 80s and early 90s though.

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    In the 1950s I walked by as a kid, and the place was too rich hoity-toity for my parents to go on. But by the 70s I did go and see a few country shows there. I remember Kinky Friedman, the good old Texas Jewboy, as he called himself at the time, sang at the Lone Star Cafe. Was too stoned to remember other shows.

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    I saw Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys at that honky tonk place on Third Avenue in the 20s…can’t remember the name but Kinky was very entertaining!

  5. Kaz Says:

    Our beautiful city is destined to become one huge NYU dorm. Meh.

  6. betty clarke Says:

    I worked as a waitress in Schraffts in the late 1950,s had some good times and some not so good times I left to return to England and I went back to find it but it was not there.

  7. William Case Says:

    Once, in the 1950’s for fun, three of us guys went to Schrafft’s for lunch It was a land full of noisy females. We enjoyed the food but felt like invaders of an undiscovered land. None of the ladies paid any attention to us. but we quickly finished our lunch and got back in the world we knew.

  8. The last Tad’s Steaks is in the Theater District | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] That broiled steak dinner now runs $9.09. But the cafeteria-style meal is still a bargain if you’re looking for an old-school New York experience or miss the city’s once ubiquitous mini-franchises, like Chock Full O’ Nuts or Schrafft’s. […]

  9. We’re enjoying the Interactive Street View Map Showing NYC in 1940 – GothamToGo Says:

    […] Manhattan, as well as Yonkers, Boston, Syracuse and Philadelphia. The image above is of the Schrafft’s on Fifth Avenue and 13th […]

  10. Rich Bogardus Says:

    I had an uncle that worked for Schrafft’s and had 5 large boxes of their original recipes in his house. I now have these recipes.

  11. A peek inside a 1946 Yankees program—and the New York brands that advertised inside | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] glad to see Schrafft’s make an appearance in the program; the restaurant chain famous for its ice cream was highly popular at the time. […]

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