Custom Search

Horn & Hardart Automat Recipes

Once upon a time in Philadelphia, in 1902, Joe Horn and Frank Hardart opened the first Automat in America with hardware they bought in Germany. Their very first automat was the one in Philadelphia, but the one that set the trend was the H & H that opened on Times Square in New York City in 1912. By 1939 there were 40 automats in operation. They were sort of like a cross between a vending machine and a cafeteria. You found the dish you wanted behind its glass door, put in coins, opened the little glass door, and took out the dish. But this was FRESH food, not the stuff one gets from food vending machines these days. People from all walks of life mixed and mingled at the H & H. If you were alone in the City at Thanksgiving, you could always have a great Thanksgiving dinner at H & H for a low price.

Automats were sort of forerunners to fast food, but their quality was often excellent. The recipes were well thought-out and well prepared. After World War II, as fast food hamburgers began to gain in popularity, the automats began to fade, and the last one closed its doors in 1991 (NYC).

There is an excellent New York Times article about Horn & Hardart here: The Automat May Be Long Gone, But Its Recipes Are in Demand By Glenn Collins

At about the time the last Horn & Hardart automat closed its doors, the company published a recipe pamphlet containing many of its most popular recipes. That pamphlet seems to be rather rare now. If anyone reading this has a copy, the world would be grateful if you shared its contents with us.

There is a book out about Horn & Hardart, with some recipes. See The Automat

In five years of searching, these are the only Horn & Hardart recipes that I have been able to find:

These are H & H recipes that people have requested, but that I have had no success locating:

  • Apple Brown Betty
  • Apple Pie
  • Applesauce Cake Or Bread
  • Beef Pot Pie
  • Beef Stew
  • Butter Cookies
  • Buttered Carrots
  • Cheesecake Pie
  • Chipped Beef
  • Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes
  • Chocolate Chip Cake "tastes-like"
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Coconut Custard pie
  • Coffee that tastes like H & H coffee
  • Creole Noodles
  • Cup Custard
  • Fish Cakes
  • French Dressing
  • Frizzled Beef
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • H & H Birthday Cake
  • Health Salad
  • Honey Buns
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hot Cross Buns
  • Macaroon Cupcakes
  • Mashed Squash
  • Orange Cakes
  • Pie crust
  • Salisbury Steak
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Spaghetti
  • Sticky Buns
  • Stewed Corn
  • Tea Ring
  • Turkey Gingerbread Cookies
  • Wheatsworth Wheat Cereal


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Phaedrus