City Tavern
City Tavern

City Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.citytavern.com/
  • Phone: 2154131443
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch:

    Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm

    Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm


    Dinner:

    Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

    Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food, Wild Game
  • Executive Chef: Chef Walter Staib
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: City Tavern's ten elegantly appointed dining rooms create the perfect atmosphere for every type of affair, from elegant cocktail receptions to smaller, intimate sit-down dinners. Our in-house Special Events Coordinator will assist you with every detail, from menu planning to period music and horse-drawn carriage rides. Contact us at info@citytavern.com for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Tahera Hasan 2154131443
  • Entertainment: City Tavern's service staff is dressed in period costume. It is not unusual to see colonial re enactors visiting as well.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 2nd & Walnut Streets
  • Public Transit: The Market-Frankford "El" has a stop at 2nd and Market Streets as well as the 21 & 42 bus lines drops at our door
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: A parking garage is located on 2nd Street between Chestnut & Walnut just before reaching City Tavern. There is also a community valet available at 2nd & Dock Streets after 5:000 PM
A word from City Tavern
Once called "the most genteel tavern in America" by John Adams and the first unofficial "White House," Chef Walter Staib's City Tavern has boasted the finest celebrations since 1773. With over 230 years of hospitality, City Tavern has been the centerpiece of affairs now immortalized in history. An evening at City Tavern is certain to be remembered. Just imagine sampling specialties, such as pepperpot soup, colonial turkey pot pie, roast duckling, Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits paired with ales the ales of the revolution made from George Washington & Benjamin Franklin's recipes -- all served by costumed wait staff.

Watch an episode of A Taste of History on PBS, our Chef Proprietor Walter Staib will give you glimpse of what we do here at City Tavern.
Continued
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City Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
128 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food3.9
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (65)neighborhood gem (46)good for groups (36)romantic (35)fit for foodies (34)great for lunch (25)kid-friendly (24)great for outdoor dining (12)scenic view (12)great for brunch (6)notable wine list (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Fiiting atmosphere, food ok
    LEFant
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    I think this is a nice casual place for tourists with an atmosphere befitting the location. But the food is just ok. There were four of us and no one had any complaints but the offerings were not particularly creative and did not have much in the way of seasoning. My venison was just a plain piece of roasted meat with some unseasoned sauteed squash. The desserts were presented on a tray and I doubt they were prepared on site. Service was pleasant but a little too friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • City Tavern old reliable hit
    Nick
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We've been to the City Tavern on a number of different occasions and we always get very good food and excellent service. My seafood special with pasta was excellent and spiced just right. The best time to go is at lunch when the prices are a lot lower. You should also take advantage of their BOGO coupons which are widely available including via the Historical Gazette at the Visitors Center. Just note the restrictions: not valid on Saturday or any part of a holiday weekend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Atmosphere, Good Food
    TravelingFather
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We ate lunch at City Tavern with our kids on a recent trip to Philadelphia. The experience was great. Terrific atmosphere that even the kids enjoyed. The food is good, not great. The service was terrific.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food & service, Egomaniac Chef
    christy323
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Food is very good -- crab cakes & lamb were particularly tasty. Only complaint re food is that all dishes had sauteed zucchini. Seems no thought given to matching flavors or type of veggie to the main course, & for the price zucchini is a cheap cop out. "Celebrity chef" does his best to ruin Colonial atmosphere by substituting his own cookbooks for decor. Books are displayed on every mantle in every room. No less than 4 pieces of advertising on table, including order form. Lobby is full of more advertising, reviews, awards, pictures etc. etc. about the chef, & nothing about the history of this beautiful place. That said, service was excellent & our server was knowledgeable about the restaurant & the menu and made good recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice historic recreation
    red4lima
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The building and staff are period correct. The food was tasty overall. City Tavern offers fare that isn't seen in many restaurants; however frozen french fries clashed with the $25/entree price. Overall it's a nice place for an occasional dinner.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WOW!
    RoseHVIP
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    This place was amazing...from the period decor and dress to the menu and beers that were inspired by recipes from our forefathers. This is so much more than a restaurant, its a historical timepiece!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A big disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Our server was good.... We actually felt sorry for him having to try to make up for the kitchens mistakes. We were a party of 10 (locals with out of town guests). Two out of ten meals were passable...the seafood pasta special. The jumbo fried oysters were pebble sized and overcooked. The Roquefort salad dressing was a vinaigrette. The kitchen forgot to make an appetizer. The medium rare lamb chops were medium well. The venison was like shoe leather. I am a fan of Chef Staibs PBS show and honestly expected more. With all the great restaurants in the city my recommendation would be to get a taste of history somewhere else.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Historic Gem
    historicgem
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    This is a great place to dine. Relax in the sitting room before dinner (weekend music) with a drink. Menu is very interesting and the food is wonderful. The architecture, decor, and table setting can't be beat. Very friendly. When we come to Philadelphia… City Tavern is a must for a meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    SnakeyVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    A must when in Phillie's historic area, presentation of food is great but taste just ho-hum.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Colonial setting with superb food
    JohnWVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We ate brunch at the restaurant located in downtown Philly near Independence Hall in an old building. The setting was period, but very nice and the menu was excellent. In fact, we had a hard time making entrée selections from the dozen or so items listed. My wife had the daily special of a seafood pasta loaded with crab claws, scallops and shrimp. I had the salmon. We also had a duck sausage with red cabbage appetizer which I washed down with an excellent George Washington porter. All items were very tasty and well presented. In fact, they were so good that we may return another time before we leave Philadelphia. The service was also excellent; attentive without being obtrusive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Service
    mikeVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Tom was our server and he was one of the best servers I have ever had! He is friendly, energetic and entertaining. Really made our experience outstanding!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Historic
    JonTenorVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    City Tavern is a unique experience. The historical ambiance and authenticity is wonderful. The food is quite good, but enormous portions. We would have been totally satisfied with just the appetizers.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A step back in time
    Dave
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We visit here about once every 5 years and have the same feeling every time. The staff is dressed in period attire, the menu is crafted with items of the period, the decor is like you'd expect in a period city tavern. But, the food is always worth it, as there is nothing ordinary about the taste and quality of most anything on the menu. The staff is very friendly and attentive and provides interesting information about the items served. The meal is well paced. This is a great place to have a relaxing lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A perfect welcome to Philadelphia
    GregVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The smoked pork chop is amazing. The best I've ever enjoyed! The raspberry Linzer torte with fresh cinnamon ice cream was delicious and memorable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • City Tavern fun
    Wouldbury
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Enjoyable evening. Waitstaff in period dress. A harpist played nearby. Kids enjoyed corn chowder thoroughly. Sausage Wellington, trout for the parents. Interesting and tasty punches. Arrived 1/2 hour early, but they were still able to seat us right away.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than expected
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Feared this would be your classic touristy restaurant. But food and service exceeded expectations. Food was creative And well prepared. Ambiance was just great
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I think that was one of the best meals that I have ever had. From drinks to first course, main course, and dessert, I was thoroughly pleased. I look forward to coming back soon. That pepper pot soup alone makes me want to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food at the historic district
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Every dish on the menu is amazing. Try duckling - one to die for.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overcharge
    Andybernie
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    This is the only restaurant that I have been to in many years that charges for an ice tea refill. This detracts from anything positive I could say. We came with friends visiting from Oregon and they were also appalled by this charge.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Historic
    HistoricDining
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    You left out a category in "How I would recommend this restaurant:" Historic. There is something unique when you drink a beer that President Washington drank; eat a dessert that was the favorite of Martha Washington, and have biscuits with your meal that were the favorite of President Jefferson. All while sitting in a room that you know the members of the Continental Congress knew intimately!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food good time
    kmfsv
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Had guest from out of town, took them to City Tavern, had a great time and good food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A HISTORIC EXPERIENCE
    WORLDTRAVELER
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    I always enjoy stopping in at the CITY TAVERN when passion through Philadelphia. It lives up to the Landmark Building that it is. Chef and Owner Walter Staib RESPECTS the HISTORIC VALUE of the building and lives vicariously through his delicious meals and historic recipes. A must for all those who pass through the most historic square mile in the United States. Have a wonderful meal where our founding fathers wrotes notes for our most historic documents and get a dining experience you will always remember.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic
    CWrightVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    This is really the perfect place to have lunch during the day when you are doing all of the historic sites. The food is exactly what you would expect to eat in a tavern that the founding fathers once ate. If your looking for trending fair, don't come here, but if you want authentic and hearty period food, this is the place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The combination of the excellent food and historical atmosphere makes this restaurant a must-do in Philadelphia. Try the beer based on the Founders' original recipes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Labor Day..
    PauleeGVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    I was excited to try out the City Tavern and the venue certainly is interesting. The service was attentive and the food was fine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A true Taste of History
    macginnisVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    My wife and I had dinner at the City Tavern and the experience was fantastic. Chef Walter Staib, whom we have known from his Emmy award winning PBS culinary TV series - A Taste of History, has provided a wonderful atmosphere for his guests. The City Tavern building is faithfully recreated to provide a sense of going back in time to the nation's founding fathers and provides an opportunity to sample some historic dishes. We found the restauarant staff to be friendly, welcoming, and informative. We both enjoyed the Colonial Turkey Pot Pie which had a wonderfully flaky crust and rich filling. I would also recommend the West Indies Pepperpot soup. The highlight of the meal was getting to meet the chef who was a very gracious host.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • History and....
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Interesting restaurant that brought the local historical aaspects of Philly to the table. Servers had fun facts to share!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lobster pie
    Magpie
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Very disappointed, crust soggy, lobster tough. Very expensive item. Had this before and wit was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OVERPRICED & UNDERWHELMING
    AmandaBVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I was aware that the City Tavern is a tourist trap, and so we waited to eat there until we had out of town visitors. The whole meal was a disappointment. The interior design and costumes reflect the Colonial Era, but both seemed a bit tired and worn around the edges. The server may have been in Colonial garb but his "so what are you having?" came directly from a 21st Century fast food restaurant. There was no vibe to the room and no music, although there was a harpist in the hallway downstairs by the toilets! The food could have been good, but it took an excessively long time to reach the table and my entire dish was stone cold and my sister was served the wrong entree. At these prices we were expecting more. We will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lee1125VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Good experience. True to the colonial heritage of the restaurant. Good wines; interesting beers. Pou out of town guests were very pleased. City Tavern was also child friendly. We will return.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food; attentive staff
    Patricia
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    It was a nice restaurant to visit since we've never been there. Food was good. The shrimp appetizer (bacon and BBQ sauce) was AWESOME. Staff was attentive, the restaurant is charming and we had a good meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place!
    Mleal
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I had the NY Strip with shrimps and it was perfect! The home brewed beer was also excellent! The restaurant is very well decorated and even the waiters/waitresses are dressed like in old times!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Night Out
    TheChelster
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    My wife and I went to City Tavern for the 1st time after living in the area for 18+ years. The occasion was to meet a friend I hadn't seen in 20 years. We had a great time so we could have eaten gruel and enjoyed it. However, the roquefort salad had too much roquefort, which I never thought possible, the seafood pasta special was nothing special, and one of the shrimp was undercooked. My wife had the turkey pot pie and the turkey was tough and she was underwhelmed. THe Jefferson ale was a great beer, and the ambience was perfect for what turned out to be 3 hours of conversation over dinner. Good that we had lots to catch up on, because the service was very slow. It was "ok", but I'd try someplace else the next time.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • City Tavern
    Emthefoodjunkie
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I wanted to like the City Tavern a lot more than I really did. Our waitress was wearing period attire and was extremely nice. My favorite part of the evening was when she spoke of the history of the restaurant. However, the food quality didn't match up to the prices. My pot pie seemed to be room temperature and none of my party was impressed by there meal. If the prices were more reasonable this place would be great!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not great for a couple
    Moonmaiden
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We were seated on the second floor at a table for two which was very cramped. My husband ordered thr ale sampler and there was no place to put it without taking items of the table. The other diners in that room were all large families with lots of kids. The food was good but not special and the prices were rather expensive for what you got. It is a nice historical building but not great for couples.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just OK, The building very historic
    John
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The food was just ok. There were 6 of us and no-one thought it was outstanding. There wasn’t really anything wrong but it was certainly not worthy of the 13th best restaurant in the city of Philadelphia, as rated on Trip adviser!! There was only one main complaint my daughter got a piece of the chocolate cake and it had a large thumb or finger print on the top that she didn’t notice right, she was half finished we she noticed, dark lighting, so she didn’t send it back but it certainly wasn’t a pleasant thing for her 30th birthday. It might be good for for a quick visit to check out the building and fun for kids because of the staff dressing up in costume, but if your looking for really good food you might want to go elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This historic site deserves better.
    mikemVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    An emphasis on ambiance, service and quality ingredients would go a long way here. The building is beautiful. We were seated in a large room very close to the diners next to us at a steel legged folding table-didn't have those back then. Far from full but everyone crammed right next to each other. The servers in costume, but hardly happy to be there. Glass of apple cider had something black floating in it, server tried to figure out what it was rather than just take it away. Lobster pot pie at market price frozen mushy lobster and rubbery shrimp, smoked pork chop like chewing on a salt lick. Authentic breads were delicious, though. Great ideas, bad execution. This historic place deserves much more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Old Isn't Necessarily Good!
    travelinKaren
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    While City Tavern has a unique ambiance, the service was horrible and the food mediocre. We had 7:30 reservations, but weren't seated until 8:30, despite going back to the host several times. Our service was extremely slow. Our wait staff was uninformed and didn't check on us either while we were waiting for the food or while we were dining. I would not recommend this restaurant!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Met our every expectation
    MurfMomNC
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Enjoyed the meal, service, and atmosphere! A must for anyone visiting Philly!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No other National Park like it
    DataRiskMgrVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Once closed due to sequester, being officially a National Park, is the only resemblance to a National Park you'll see. Profitably run and historically accurate portrayal of foods and beverages (beer) of our nation's founding fathers. Great way to end your historic adventures throughout Philadelphia with a chief prepared dinner experience and a beer whose recipe is from Thomas Jefferson, (or George or Martha Washington, or Alexandra Hamilton). Weather permitting, choose to sit outdoors in the rear courtyard. No diesel fumes to breath as other city sidewalk dinners incur.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet