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City Tavern
City Tavern

City Tavern Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.citytavern.com
  • Phone: (215) 413-1443
  • Hours of Operation:


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

    Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm


    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 (215) 413-1443
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "I hosted three guests from London. They loved the ambiance, great food and excellent service."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I had the pork chops and it was very good. I would recommend this dinner."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food was good...a little pricy. Really enjoyed the Tavern Spruce beer and the chocolate mousse cake!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "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"
    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."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Food was a bit pricey for what you received, but I guess that's to be expected in a tourist town. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "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!!! "
    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."
    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. "
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "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! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Great historic ambience from the 1700's in old Philadelphia. Great wait staff. Food and craft beers good."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 4/23/2014