From The Gorgeous To The Offensive, 26 Surprising Vintage Restaurant Menus

Published September 26, 2016
Updated September 28, 2018

Viewed today, these vintage menus are about more than just food — they offer us insight on the times in which they existed.

Vintage Menus Pennland
Menu Cavanaghs
Cafe Zanzibar
Menu Rms Queen Elizabeth
From The Gorgeous To The Offensive, 26 Surprising Vintage Restaurant Menus
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Gazing at a restaurant menu may seem like a rather humdrum affair, but it's one of the first -- and most immediate -- ways to understand an eatery's overall aesthetic and values.

Of course, aesthetics and values change over time and across place. This means that when we look at old menus, we're not just looking at descriptions of food, but taking a peek at how different places, different socioeconomic groups, and so on approached the meal.

The vintage menus above (appear in chronological order from 1931-1961) reveal just that.


After seeing these vintage menus, check out these bizarre (and sexist) vintage ads.

Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly is a freelance writer, artist and video editor that splits her time between the humid Midwest and the dusty corners of her mind.
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