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Photos: These vintage menus give us a taste of Vancouver restaurant history

Old school food time!

Vancouver's food scene has seen thousands of restaurants pop up and close over the decades.

Recently, the City of Vancouver Archives has been sharing a number of menus from long-gone eateries that entertained and fed locals for years. The oldest are from over 100 years ago (the Blue Oyster and Modern Cafe) and show how much food trends have changed over the years, and how inflation has bumped prices up.

The earliest menus don't list items in dollars, but cents. Like fried oysters for 30 cents and oyster loaf for $0.75. That said, the oyster loaf would be about $19 today.

While some things are still often on menus today, or at least, aren't unusual to see, other meals are a little surprising. For example, the Alpine Club's 20th-anniversary celebration in 1925 featured roasted ptarmigan (a game bird in the grouse family) and the Empress of Japan offered compote of pigeon a la Merveilleuse.

Olives seem to pop up a lot in the middle of the 20th century, like at the Grey Cup, where celery and olives were a snack, or at the Arctic Club, where minced ham and olive sandwiches were a thing.

Even the most recent menu, from the Quarry House at Queen Elizabeth Park, offers a fancy dinner out but has a few things that might sound unusual compared to today's dining trends, like chopped chicken livers sauteed in butter with Spanish onions, and avocado pear with shrimp (or, as they say, shrimps) and "a mild dressing" and "your choice of juices" for $0.40.

You can learn more about the Vancouver Archives and search for old photos, documents and videos online.