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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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
City Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
129 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food3.8
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (57)neighborhood gem (40)fit for foodies (34)good for groups (33)romantic (33)kid-friendly (29)great for lunch (26)great for outdoor dining (16)scenic view (16)great for brunch (5)notable wine list (4)late-night find (4)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    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
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Perfect. The food service and location were wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    This restaurant completes the historical connections when visiting this area of Philadelphia. Dining in the atmosphere of the founding of the country is a delight. The menu is fascinating with its historic recipes. The food is delicious with a wide array of choices in food and beverage.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Team
    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
  • Great Taste of History
    rickyems
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Great historical location. Food based on the recipes of our forefathers. Our server Ed was attentive, friendly and knowledgeable!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • 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.