New York has long been a restaurant town. In 1900, the variety of eateries was enormous, from substantial offerings of Chinese restaurants (consumed almost exclusively by Chinese immigrants) to the variety of hot and cold foods available from 25,000 pushcarts (see "Retail/Pushcarts") to middle class German fare, to the high end banquets of the Delmonico's and Sherry's. (see "Fine Dining") Menus courtesy of the General Research Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
With Oyster prices on the rise, many of the cheapest oyster houses, famous for both their oysters and their low-income clientele were a thing of the past, though oysters were still big business. Pushcarts served as markets and inexpensive fast-food for most classes, serving everything from oysters to roasted potatoes and corn to the first hotdogs. Click icon for Cooper Menu

"Penny restaurants" flourished in Brooklyn serving a meal for five cents. Other more upscale restaurants served a bit more for fifteen cents. Seaside resorts in Coney Island and all along the ocean front and the Western part of the sound featured homestyle ethnic fare, beer gardens and indoor/ outdoor dining. Click icon for Angermeier's Menu (Menu courtesy of Peter Pancucci)

Click for Haan's Menu
In 1898, Child's restaurant chain, catering to office workers in downtown New York, introduced the first cafeteria at their 130 Broadway branch restaurant (one of nine). High press coverage of health concerns and Child's self-promotion as a hygienic restaurant contributed to its success.
Click icon for Child's Menu
14th St. and Irving Place was the home of Lüchow's, a moderately priced German restaurant (featuring a forty-five cent lunch). It was a favorite hangout of the entertainment industry. Regulars included Victor Herbert, who allegedly founded ASCAP in the restaurant, William Steinway of Steinway Pianos, Paderewsky, Caruso, and songwriter Gus Kahn. (See "Lüchow's" on LINKS page for 1930s photograph, menu courtesy of Peter Pancucci) Click icon for Lüchow's Menu
Hotels in New York served nearly an estimated 1,000,000 meals a day. Willis Avenue in the Bronx boasted four Irish pubs at every corner, and McSorley's Ale House was a counter to the rowdier beer halls on the Bowery of Manhattan (see "McSorley's Ale House" on LINKS page for photograph).    
In 1903, the first New York Horn and Hardart Automat opened at Broadway and 13th St. (see Horn & Hardart on LINKS page for photograph).
At 11th St. and Broadway in the St. Denis Hotel, the New York Vegetarian Society held its second annual dinner.