What NYC Restaurant Menus Looked Like 100 Years Ago Vs. Today
Moral of the story: Steak will always be the most expensive.
The archive includes more than 17,000 menus from restaurants in New York and lots of other places, and the oldest ones date all the way back to the 1850s. You can even help index the items on menus any time you feel like productively procrastinating.
One especially neat thing is that a handful of the places that were open in New York back in the early 1900's are still operating today (in some incarnation), so you can see how much their menus have changed in the past century.
Remember: Most of the turn-of-the-century prices are in CENTS, not dollars. A nickel in 1914 was worth slightly more than a dollar is today.
This post has been updated to include post-inflation equivalents for items on the turn-of-the-century menus.