Thanksgiving dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, 1956

It’s Thanksgiving during the Eisenhower years. You’re rich, you live in New York City, you don’t really want to schlep around and then prepare your own turkey dinner.


Good thing the Waldorf Astoria hotel, between Lexington and Park Avenues and 49th to 50th Streets, is open for the holiday.

Everything on this vintage menu still sounds wonderful (note the Waldorf salad, invented by hotel chefs in 1893), and very regional American: old fashioned cream of pumpkin Carolina, roast Vermont turkey, Iowa succotash. Who knew New Jersey specialized in cider?


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.

Browse them in the New York Public Library’s Buttolph menu collection, which can be viewed in their Digital Gallery—an exceptional resource.

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7 Responses to “Thanksgiving dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, 1956”

  1. Magpie Mind Says:

    New Jerseyans of a certain age know about the cider.

  2. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    The most painful thing to look at was “$7.50” at the bottom!

  3. Says:

    WONDERFUL and the year I was born. Somehow now I feel better about eating out this year again. Won’t be $7.50. Great post!

  4. George Lonsdorf Says:

    New Jersey and cider is no secret.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Fascinating, thank you! I think this calls for some Jersey cider tomorrow at dinner.

  6. This mosaic in the Waldorf Astoria will be missed | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] in 1931, the Waldorf Astoria was the most incredible hotel New York had ever seen: 2,200 rooms, several restaurants and ballrooms, even a private railway […]

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