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More 1910s

Nostalgia Cafe
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1910s Dining Out


soda fountains
The drugstore soda fountain had stools, marble counters, cozy tables, stained glass cabinetry, fine woodwork and a gleaming mirror across the back.

what's on the menu?
phosphates: flavored syrup, soda water and citric acid
milkshakes: milk, chocolate syrup and malted powder
ice cream sodas: ice cream, soda water and flavoring
soft drinks: Coca-Cola, Moxie, Dr. Pepper, sarsaparilla, tonic water, orangeade, lemonade
cool creations: root beer floats, sundaes, college ices
New York egg creams: chocolate, seltzer, milk or cream


In 1915, Nathan Handwerker began working at Feltman's, the Coney Island birthplace of the modern hot dog. He saved his money and learned his craft, and in 1916 he opened his own hot dog place at Coney Island....Nathan's Famous.

In the city, street vendors sold ice cream, fresh roasted peanuts, hamburgers and hot buttered popcorn from horse-drawn wagons and push-carts.

snack stands
street vendors
Nathan's Famous (1916)
Triple XXX Root Beer
A&W Root Beer (1919)

lunch wagons
lunch rooms

In the 1870s, the first horse-drawn lunch wagons were mobile structures containing counters and stools. They were usually located in the city, where they served hot food to factory workers and others who needed a quick, inexpensive meal.

Although they still resembled the wagons of the past, by the 1910s most of these eateries were fixed in a single location. These tiny lunch rooms were evolving into the modern diner.

Small cafes served hot meals, sandwiches, coffee and pie to hungry patrons.

casual restaurants
Harvey House
Waldorf Lunch

Train depot lunch counter

*Childs was a popular chain of cafeterias based in Manhattan. In 1889, they pioneered the self-service cafeteria concept.

*In 1902, Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart opened their first Automat in Philadelphia. In 1912, they brought the concept to New York City and opened a location near Times Square. At the Automat, diners put nickels in the slots and opened glass doors to get their food. A second New York location opened in 1914.

*Ethnic restaurants were becoming popular in the city, as Chinese and Italian immigrants carved a niche for themselves in the restaurant industry. These eateries provided people with their first exposure to dishes like chop suey, pasta and pizza.

*In New York, Lombardi's opened in 1905. It was the first pizzeria in America.

*Railroad depots had cafes where passengers could get a quick meal during stops on long train trips.

*Luchow's was a popular German restaurant in New York.

Dinner at the Hotel Woodstock......50c
cream of tomato soup
celery & pickles
chicken or roast beef
peas & mashed potatoes
combination salad
ice cream or cake
coffee, tea or milk

fine dining

In the 1910s, the fancy restaurants that were popular during the Gilded Age experienced their last hurrah. In the 1920s, prohibition and America's changing eating habits would force restaurants like Rector's and Delmonico's out of business.

South Grill Room
Marshall Fields department store, 1913

New York City
Hotel Algonquin:
-------Rose Room
Cafe Martin
-------Palm Garden
-------Empire Room
Pierre Restaurant
The Colony

Marshall Fields:
-------South Grill Room
-------Men's Grill Room
-------Narcissus Room (1914)
The Berghoff

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