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
107 reviews since March 25 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (48)neighborhood gem (40)kid-friendly (31)fit for foodies (29)romantic (28)good for groups (26)great for lunch (23)great for outdoor dining (14)scenic view (13)great for brunch (9)notable wine list (6)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    I hosted three guests from London. They loved the ambiance, great food and excellent service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fitting End to a Day of History
    BuntzVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Six of us dined following an afternoon of historic district touring and City Tavern provided an appropriate finishing touch to our day. All the dining choices were great, our server and the kitchen easily accommodated one member of the party with a specific food allergy, and we all left full and happy, surrounded by history. Hard to imagine a better way to finish our day.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad food
    Nica
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    All plates are the same, meshed potato, zucchini and kind of meat. and all meats were bad - Chicken bad, Shrimp bad and steak bad. Not recommended at all. And we were the last to leave, forgot a small kid purse and no one found it! ALL BAD.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ben would not be proud...
    Ringo
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Very disappointing. The food was bland and somewhat tasteless. The best thing was the beer-made from allegedly old recepies. The building was a reproduction as the original burnt down years ago. Don't waste your time or money!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • History
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    A pleasant visit to an historic location, but I found the food for me was not very good. The waiter, Ben, was excellent, however.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Independence Day + 1
    FoodofileFrankVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We were looking for a taste of history around July fourth this year, so we headed down to old city in Philly for a revolutionary dinner in the historical replica of the tavern inhabited by the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. The atmosphere was enhanced by servers in colonial costume. Mil started with the corn chowder, I with the romaine and Roquefort salad. Both were good, with the corn chowder being just a wee bit salty for my taste. The mains were tenderloin tips for Mil and the turkey pot pie for myself. I was happy to have a couple of glasses of the William Hill Chardonnay to accompany the lusciousness of the pie. After dinner coffees completed the meal before the Army Band and fireworks at Penn's Landing.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • You should go!
    Phillylover
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We have been there twice for lunch and had a great experience each time. Excellent food. Amazing staff in period dress. Staff very nice; very friendly. Will go back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bill
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    I had the pork chops and it was very good. I would recommend this dinner.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lobster Pot Pie Anyone?
    4MemorableMeals
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Came to Philly for a concert at the Mann, and not at all disappointed.Having stayed an extra few days to enjoy the history, we decided to have dinner our last night in a restaurant that expressed all that great history.Within walking distance from our hotel we could not have been more delighted. If we could describe the meal that we had in one word, it would have to be 'Memorable' !!The sweet potato biscuits were an unexpected treat. The pepperpot soup-a wonderfully spicy contrast. The crab cakes rivaled anything we ever experienced in Eastern Maryland, and the Lobster Pie, well..that was the single most delicious entree we could have ordered. Our compliments and thanks to the Chef!!!The next time in Philadelphia, of course we will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historical aspect was interesting..
    RNik
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The food was good...a little pricy. Really enjoyed the Tavern Spruce beer and the chocolate mousse cake!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No power no dinner
    Redveeder
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    The night we came for dinner the restaurant had a power outage so we were left to find another. Cuba Libre two blocks away was fantastic so the evening worked out just fine
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The City Tavern Never Disappoints
    Laura
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    We have been spending special occasions at the tavern for years and years. It never disappoints. Recently our out-of-town grandchildren were in the historic district and we met them at the tavern for lunch. The perfect spot to end the afternoon! The duck is the absolute best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best "historic" dining ever!
    CountyCork08
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    I had seen this restaurant online. We were visiting downtown Philadelphia, and I made a last-minute reservation for 4 on a Friday night. City Tavern had sounded like an interesting restaurant, blending American history with food--it did not disappoint! Though not the original building, it looks like it has been here since George Washington was president. The food served is based on recipes from that period, and it is WONDERFUL: well cooked, well seasoned; 2 of us got fish, 2 of us got chicken, all of it excellent. The service was even better! Pam was our "saucy" serving maid, she was very attentive, not overly-so; and was able to take the time and talk to us about the history that was all around us. Thank you! We definitely will be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    LoveMyV
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    City Tavern was on our Must-Visit list after seeing a show on the History Channel. The setting was special to see given the history, but the food was disappointing. We were expecting it to be more authentic based on what we had seen on the show. To start, we had the Mushroom Toast, which was the best thing we ate mostly because the bread was so good. For dinner, I had the Turkey Pot-Pie, which was based on Martha Washington's recipe. However, it didn't seem colonial and it wasn't especially good. My husband had the beef tips over noodles. It came topped with a vegetable medley, which didn't seem consistent with the period. My daughter, however, said the grilled cheese was the best she'd ever had. We decided to skip dessert and go elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special treat
    PSUcolleen
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    The Lobster Pot Pie was delicious. The Weiner schnitzel was very good,but would have been better with a German type side, spaetzle rather than French fries.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved Historic City Tavern
    MSquared
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Visiting City Tavern was like taking a step back into time. The 18th century London inspired restaurant was a pleasant experience with authentic tasty food. I would highly recommend trying the Raspberry Shrub and Martha Washington's chocolate mousse cake. We also dined on fried oysters, sweet potato and pecan muffins, chicken and artichoke salad, roasted duckling, and corn chowder; all of which we thoroughly enjoyed. The staff was well educated and extremely friendly. They were even dressed in traditional colonial attire. The candle lights and pewter water glasses added to the dinning experience. The next visit back I would like to attend one of the tours that highlights the history of the building and the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tourist trap
    newyorkvisitorVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Went on Father's Day, not crowded but very slow and poor service. Historic atmosphere was only good part. Food was ordinary and took a long time, not worth the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Menu is Nothing Special
    musclegirl
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We like the history of City Tavern and the added touch of the wait staff dressed in Colonial period clothing but, we were not impressed with the food. Mostly everything on the menu is as close to traditional colonial fare as possible which means salty food and smoked meats. We had the artichoke & smoked chicken salad and Salmagundi which is basically a chef salad. Other items on the menu are rabbit, duck, pork and fish. I suppose we would have liked a pork or chicken entree but it was lunchtime and we were not in the mood for dinner. Incidentally, the lunch and dinner menu are the same so unfortunately no burgers or sandwiches. Although there might be some good things on the menu we won't be rushing back.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Only go if
    FancyVIP
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    You are entertaining out-of-town guests who are history buffs. The food is overpriced and not well prepared. The service was mediocre. I will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dining bonanza
    Sheldon
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    My wife, daughter, granddaughter and I ate dinner at City Tavern during our recent visit to Philadelphia. The cjoice was motivated by the appeal of restaurant staff dressed as in colonial days. Initially we were "put off" by the large spartan dining area, although there were smaller and more intimate rooms. We found the menu nicely varied and no one had difficulty finding a dinner choice. The meals were all uniformly ample servings that our appetizer order was unnecessary. Even the child menu and servings were more than adequate for a teenager. While the menu prices were higher and reflected the large serving sizes, we used the 2-for-1 entree coupons found in local ads, which lowered our bill significantly.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • For the History Buff
    DanK
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    A good meal in a historic building; with ambiance, food, and service matched to the colonial time period. City Tavern delivers in all facets of the dining experience; but particularly if you are into history and the building/neighborhood. I.e If you desire a vibrant and trendy hot-spot; this isn't for you. So...five stars for my family, four stars if history is not your thing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • DebbyLee
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Food was a bit pricey for what you received, but I guess that's to be expected in a tourist town.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and history too.
    RailroadBill
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    A historic restaurant in Philadelphia's historic district. The service was wonderful and the food was very good hearty American fare. The chef is Walter Staub, who has series on PBS about colonial food. The portions are very large "colonial sized." There are a number of gluten free foods on the menu and the peperpot soup is gluten free and was outstanding. There are often families with children so the restaurant can be noisy depending on the ages. It was a relaxed way to end our visit to Philadelphia.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Great Meal at City Tavern
    dawnsal
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Excellent food and great service. There are so many things on the menu I wanted to try that I can't wait until we go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than excpected
    handyjim
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We reserved at City Tavern, a definitely tourist-oriented place. But we could get easy reservations, and after a day of history-hopping in Independence Square area, it was a good choice. The staff was costumed in era-appropriate garb. I don't do cute, but after a day of history, it seemed appropriate. Many good choices on the menu. Service was prompt and efficient, without seeming rushed. And, big surprise, the food was good. We shared crab cakes as an appetizer; lots of crab, very little filler. Wife's trout was very well prepared. My sausage (house made, I believe) was also quite good. The restaurant is broken up into many rooms, so didn't seem crowded.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Notable Site; Very good food
    PierreLeGuide
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Had a wonderful experience with 10 friends at City Tavern. Food was quite good, wine list very reasonably priced, and service very attentive. Would certainly return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    Don't change a thing with your Lobster Pot Pie. It was filled with much more lobster than I had expected. Usually restaurants fill their pot pies with fillers or you could have filled it with more shrimp and less lobster but it had giant shrimp (not salad shrimp which I had expected) but it had more lobster than shrimp which was what I had hoped it would have (but not expected to be true). We have eaten there before and their food is always terrific but now it makes it even harder to decide what to not have when coming back. It is all fantastic!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Special Place
    Crystalfree
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    Our first time at City Tavern and most memorable. The staff was gracious in finding us a lovely table on the first level, even though we were 45 min. early for our reservation. There is no elevator so be sure to request a ground level table if your party has limitations. Our waiter was very busy for lunch but showed his sense of humor, making our experience most enjoyable. The Maryland crab cakes were incredible, black-eyed pea soup a treat and chicken with mashed potatoes a delight. We tried the beer sampler, with four beers named after our founding fathers, and they did not disappoint. This restaurant was a great addition to our sightseeing adventure in Philly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old school food that's innovative
    AriaGuyVIP
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    Excellent pepper soup by George Washingtln. Lunch upstairs was eerily quiet. There was no music when we went. I believe for dinner there's a better ambiance. Great space though.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really?
    appreciategoodrestaurants
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Booked here based on TripAdvisor and thought historical could be fun. Prices were fairly reasonable, but I would not return. Historical aspect only adds so much to a step above cafeteria food. Special Sally Lynn chicken had dense crust, heavy sauce, but somehow the chicken itself was still moist. Turkey pot pie was good. Venison lacked flavor. Salads were out of a bag. Sweet potato rolls were good, corn/molasses bread so-so. Enjoy the costumed folks at Independence Hall and enjoy food elsewhere - the combination doesn't work here. And all the brochures of the wonderful chef and all the souvenirs you can buy doesn't turn this into a good place to eat.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Historical
    Twnsmom
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    A great spot for going back in time! The City Tavern gives you a historical feeling while eating your dinner in candle light. I would not recommend young children to allow you to really enjoy the atmosphere. The food is good and plentiful. There is also a complete wine selection for everyone's palate. The perfect spot to celebrate special occasions!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the Walk
    pjw330VIP
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    To reach this jewel we had to walk quite a distance over cobblestone and asphalt. But, it was truly worth it. It was highly recommended by a local for the best place to go in Philly. I will concur! What a special treat it was!!! It lets you step back in time in the beautifully recreated tavern where the founding fathers met for ale. Its authenticity has been researched down to the food that was served during that period in our history. Barley was served as a side for my yummy trout. So good! So different. The servers were all dressed in period costumes and we were serenaded by a soothing harp. Such a pleasant and rewarding evening. It is a must when you visit Philadelphia.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still wonderful
    azfreeseVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Have been to City Tavern a few times over many years and it is still a wonderful place to have dinner and feels so authentic.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A taste of history
    gregm
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Reminiscent of lunch at a Williamsburg, VA tavern. Authentic menu, good food, great service. The outside dining area appeared pleasant and there were several rooms that appeared to be good for groups of up to 30.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, beautiful surroundings
    Sue124
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    We recently dined at City Tavern during our stay in Philadelphia. It is in the Old City, and is a reconstruction of the famous tavern that was on that sight. Servers are in period dress of the time when it was visited by many of our Founding Father's. Many of the recipes from that time are also used. We expected our experience to be more theatrical in nature due to the historic theme. Although it was that, the food is absolutly world class. Our meal was excellant, and more than matched the romantic, and historic surroundings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    When we visit Philly, we usually have a lunch at City Tavern. The historic setting, excellent service, delicious food selections some with historic significance bring us back. Locally crafted beers named for famous historic statesmen are also offered. Once again, we were pleased with the turkey pie and beef pie and beer sampler. We also enjoyed the white bean soup with which we opened our meal. Dewan provided top notch and friendly service.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Travel Back in Time
    AnonymousReviewerVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Dine is a Tavern set in the 1700's. All the wait staff wear traditional costumes from the period, and a harp plays music in the background. Traditional fare is served. My husband's venison was great, my rabbit was good, but hard to eat because it was on the bone and buried in sauce and veggies, over home made egg noodles. The appetizers we had, fried oysters and duck sausage were really good, so was the home made breads. Service was friendly.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience
    Awesome
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The history involved in our dinner was priceless. The waitress told us the history of each room and the history of the foods we chose to eat. Everything was of the highest quality. Great time.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic
    DrBeth
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Great historic ambience from the 1700's in old Philadelphia. Great wait staff. Food and craft beers good.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic experience
    Sweetjustice
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Eating where our founding fathers ate and drank was a special experience. Our waitress, Hannah, shared fascinating stories about what was happening there at the birth of our nation. She really made our experience at the Tavern special. Thanks for sharing history with us.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.