Vintage Recipes Inspired by Department Store Lunch Menus

Travel back in time to department store lunch counters and restaurants with our most delicious vintage recipes.

1 / 45
NEW YORK CITY - DEC 2: Sign at entrance of Macy's department store in Herald Square, NYC on Dec 2, 2011. This building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a landmark in 1978
Shutterstock / littleny

Feel like you’re lunching with the ladies with recipes inspired by restaurants in Marshall Fields, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and more. Dine on wedge salads, chicken salad and chocolate cake from retro department store menus. No reservations necessary!

2 / 45

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

A wedge salad gets the creamy treatment when topped with blue cheese dressing. Keep the dressing as a topper, or make it a dip for Buffalo wings. —Jenn Smith, East Providence, Rhode Island
3 / 45

Contest-Winning Roasted Tomato Soup

Just before the first frost of the season, we gather up all of the tomatoes from my mom’s garden to create this flavor-packed soup. Although it sounds like a lot of garlic, when it’s roasted, the garlic becomes mellow and almost sweet. We serve this soup with toasted bread spread with pesto.—Kaitlyn Lerdahl, Madison, Wisconsin
4 / 45

Mushroom Asparagus Quiche

Loads of asparagus pieces add color and flavor to this hearty, creamy quiche. And its easy crescent roll crust means you'll have dinner ready in a snap! —Sharon A. Fujita, Fontana, California
5 / 45

Classic Cobb Salad

Making this ham cobb salad is a lot like putting in a garden. I plant everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
6 / 45

Classic Chicken Potpie

Our neighbors and a friend from back home are always after me to make "those yummy potpies". That's all the encouragement I need, since we really like 'em, too! —Ada May Smith, Citrus Springs, Florida.
7 / 45

Curried Egg Salad

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio
8 / 45

Hash Brown Pancakes with Smoked Salmon & Dill Cream

On weekends when I was growing up, pancakees, salmon and bagels were our brunch staples. Now, I combine the concepts and use whipped cream instead of cream cheese. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
9 / 45

Chicken Croissant Sandwiches

These sandwiches are easy to pull together when you need something fun and taste-worthy in a flash. I make them often for occasions like brunches, church youth meetings and impromptu family gatherings. —Cheryl Sigler, Louisville, Ohio
10 / 45

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad

Layered desserts always grab my family’s attention, but salads? Not so much. I wondered if I could get everyone on board by presenting a healthy salad in an eye-catching way. I’m happy to say that it worked. —Christine Hadden, Whitman, Massachusetts
11 / 45

Aunt Betty's Blueberry Muffins

My Aunt Betty is quite a baker, but I look forward to these mouthwatering blueberry muffin recipe the most. She gives me enough so that I can freeze and enjoy them for weeks. —Sheila Raleigh, Kechi, Kansas
12 / 45

Grilled Ham Burgers

My family loves my ham loaf, so I decided to make the ham loaf mixture into patties and grill them—it was an instant hit. Adding the arugula gives these burgers a peppery bite and honey mustard dressing adds just the right sweet and sour flavor. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
13 / 45

Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana
14 / 45

Spring Green Risotto

Once a week I create a new recipe for my blog, An Officer and a Vegan. I first made this risotto when I needed something cheerful and comforting. It would be fantastic with asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, but use whatever veggies are in season. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
15 / 45

BLT with Peppered Balsamic Mayo

Here’s my twist on the classic BLT. Creamy avocado, balsamic mayo and crisp salad greens make this version legendary in my book. For a lighter take, I often use turkey bacon. —Ami Boyer, San Francisco, California
16 / 45

Salmon with Spinach & White Beans

My husband, Oscar, is a Southerner at heart. This salmon with garlicky beans and spinach won him over at first bite. —Mary Ellen Hofstetter, Brentwood, Tennessee
17 / 45

Cucumber Sandwiches

I was introduced to a similar cucumber sandwich by a friend many years ago. I sometimes add thinly sliced onions for a change of pace. Along with fruit salad, it makes a light summer lunch. —Karen Schriefer, Stevensville, Maryland
18 / 45

Quick Crab Melts

Two types of cheese on top of a savory crab mixture make these open-faced sandwiches ooey-gooey good! I usually serve them for dinner, but they also make a great app when cut in half. —Donna Bennett, Bramalea, Ontario
19 / 45

20 / 45

Seafood Bisque

We live on the Gulf Coast, where fresh seafood is plentiful. I adapted several recipes to come up with this rich bisque. It's great as a first course or an entree, and it can be made with just shrimp or crabmeat. —Pat Edwards, Dauphin Island, Alabama
21 / 45

Juicy Watermelon Salad

This fruit salad has such a surprising yet fabulous mix of flavors that friends often ask for the recipe. Combine seedless watermelon varieties in yellow, red and pink for a colorful twist. —Heidi Haight, Macomb, Michigan
22 / 45

Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
23 / 45

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken with Mixed Greens

The secret to crunchy success for this pretzel-crusted chicken recipe is grinding up the sourdough pretzel nuggets until they're finely crushed. You can change up the pretzel flavor by using hot buffalo wing or buttermilk ranch nuggets. —Kerri Balliet, Mequon, Wisconsin
24 / 45

Turkey Focaccia Club

My family thinks this sandwich is pure heaven thanks to the cranberry-pecan mayo. It's so good that they ask me to make it all year long. —Judy Wilson, Sun City West, Arizona
25 / 45

Easy Crab Cakes

Ready-to-go crabmeat makes these delicate patties easier than other crab cake recipes. You can also form the crab mixture into four thick patties instead of eight crab cakes. —Charlene Spelock, Apollo, Pennsylvania
26 / 45

27 / 45

Frittata Florentine

My family is all about brunchy meals like this gorgeous Italian omelet. Lucky for us, it’s loaded with ingredients we tend to have at the ready. —Jenny Flake, Newport Beach, California
28 / 45

Veggie Nicoise Salad

More and more people in my workplace are becoming vegetarians. When we cook or eat together, the focus is on fresh produce. This salad combines some of our favorite ingredients in one dish—and with the hard-boiled eggs and kidney beans, it delivers enough protein to satisfy those who are skeptical of vegetarian fare. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois
29 / 45

Sage & Browned Butter Ravioli

After enjoying a similar dish in Italy, we came home and planted sage in our garden to be sure we could recreate the brown butter sage sauce. This quick and easy dinner always brings back fond memories of our trip. —Rhonda Hamilton, Portsmouth, Ohio
30 / 45

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
31 / 45

Shrimp Salad with Cilantro Dressing

This pretty salad has such authentic flavor, you'll think you're sitting at a beachside cantina in Acapulco. —Heidi Hall, North St. Paul, Minnesota
32 / 45

33 / 45

34 / 45

Passover Popovers

Popovers have an important role at the Passover table as a substitute for bread. When puffed and golden brown, they’re ready to share. —Gloria Mezikofsky, Wakefield, Massachusetts
35 / 45

36 / 45

Elegant Seafood Bisque

Creamy bisque is elegant enough for sit-down dinners yet hearty enough for casual gatherings.—Mike Payne, Hixson, Tennessee
37 / 45

German Chocolate Cake

This German chocolate cake is my husband’s favorite! Each bite has crunch from the pecans, and sweetness from coconut and chocolate. —Joyce Platfoot, Wapakoneta, Ohio
38 / 45

Tomato-Poached Halibut

My halibut with a burst of lemon comes together in one pan and stays super moist. Try it with polenta, angel hair pasta or crusty bread. —Danna Rogers, Westport, Connecticut
39 / 45

Blackened Pork Caesar Salad

When I cook, the goal is to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. This Caesar with pork has fantastic flavor even when the meat is chilled. —Penny Hedges, Dewdney, British Columbia
40 / 45

Spicy Crab Salad

My creamy crab salad gets a boost of heat from Sriracha and a tangy touch from lime. It’s ready fast, leaving me more time with guests. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
41 / 45

Ham & Mandarin Salad

I created this salad at the request of all the men in our house. They asked for something tangy, sweet, spicy and manly. This fit the bill. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
42 / 45

Turkey Dijon Melts

I make this when I crave comfort food but don’t have the time or energy for a big meal. It works well with deli or leftover turkey. —Sarah Marshall, Creedmoor, North Carolina
43 / 45

Tuna Ciabatta Melts

Use any good crusty bread when compiling this tuna spread sandwich. Top with slices of crunchy cucumber or luscious tomato for extra freshness. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
44 / 45

Grilled Beef & Blue Cheese Sandwiches

Roast beef, red onion and blue cheese really amp up this deluxe grilled sandwich. If you like a little heat, mix some horseradish into the spread. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
45 / 45

Cilantro-Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Lime juice and cilantro in tuna salad – who knew? This recipe for avocado tuna salad came to me as a way to have a protein-packed meal with lots of pizzazz. —Heather Waldorf, Black Mountain, North Carolina

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.