Gift Guide: Buy Framed Vintage Menus From Classic S.F. Spots
All through December, SFoodie is bringing you local gift ideas for the food obsessives in your life.
We've been fans of Cool Culinara, the online shop that sells framed and unframed prints of vintage menus, since it opened earlier in the summer -- along with the menus, the site gives some background into the restaurants featured, making it a fun walk through culinary history as well. Make someone in your life happy by giving them a print of an old-timey San Francisco menu to put up on their kitchen wall. The site currently has a half-dozen different local menus, from the glamorous Copacabana in Fishermen's Wharf visited by the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and John Wayne (who would have dined on steaks, chops, or the "Special Mexican Dinner"), to the 1940s seafood spot The Oyster Loaf, which has a mermaid astride a lobster on the cover.
Menus collected by Cool Culinara are restored to as close as their original form as possible -- the team erases wear and tear, coffee and gravy stains, and in some cases helped out by professional art restorers. Sizes for the menu prints vary; all are accompanied by an 11x17 copy of the interior menu. Along with S.F., the site offers menus from around the U.S., England, France, and the Victorian era, like this beautiful art nouveau menu from 1888 Buenos Aires.