Old Seattle Restaurant Menus

I’ve just been having a wonderful time looking at the University of Washington Libraries’ online Digital Collections. A person could spend hours and hours looking at the stuff they have there.

Like their collection of old menus from restaurants in Seattle and other parts of Washington State. There are menus from a lot of restaurants that I’ve eaten in, including beloved landmarks that are now closed, like the Cluod Room.

The Cloud Room was never overpriced, but what bargains they used to have in the 50s!

When I was a teenager and first exploring the city on my own, I used to love to sit with the old ladies at the lunch counters in department stores. There was a sort of smug luxuriousness about spending so much time shopping that you needed to take a rest and have a cup of coffee before continuing. Here’s a 1950 menu from the Crystal Tea Room at the Bon Marché.

This menu from the Dog House is from the mid-1950s, but they used the same graphics just before the place closed in the 1990s. Of course the prices had changed – into the 1990s version of dirt cheap.

Some restaurants that are tourist attractions in themselves had menus that were also little tourist brochures, like this guide to viewpoints from the top of the Space Needle, circa 1962.

Or the jokey orientation to pacific seafood on this 1950 menu at Ivar’s.


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