I came across a very cool database that store NYC restaurant menus from 1840 to 2010 and thought it will be interesting to analyze this data to get to new insights.
Here is the result. Just find a dish you are interesting in exploring and find its distribution in the city sorted by years.
some interesting examples taken out of the system:
Sushi (you can see pretty clearly the sushi trend starting in 2000):
Wine (you can see the rush for alcohol after the cancellation of prohibition laws):
Knish (you can see the rise of knish dishes after the most noticeable jewish immigration wave):
You are invited to explore the system yourself, let me know if you come across an interesting insight!