About City Tavern

Chef Staib is well known from twelve time Emmy® Award winning program A Taste of History®, where he brings culinary history to your home. Well it all started over 24 years ago, Staib brought his philosophy to City Taverns well prepared recipes based on tried and true traditions, not trends, made fresh daily from scratch. City Tavern has boasted the finest celebrations since 1773, the location of the first Independence Day celebration called "the most genteel tavern in America", by John Adams and the first unofficial "White House.” Over 230 years of hospitality, City Tavern has been the centerpiece of affairs immortalized in history. An evening at City Tavern will be remembered. Imagine sampling pepperpot soup, colonial turkey pot pie, roast duckling, Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits paired with ales which are the ales of the revolution made from Washington & Franklin's recipes -- all served by costumed wait staff.

138 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
American, Comfort Food, Wild Game

Hours of Operation:
Lunch
Daily 11:30 am–2:45 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 3:00 pm–9:00 pm
Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

Cross Street:
2nd & Walnut Streets

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(215) 413-1443

Website:
http://www.citytavern.com/

Entertainment:
City Tavern's service staff is dressed in 18th century fashions. Enjoy period music played by our resident musician Mark Carroll every Tuesday- Sunday night from 5:30pm.

Parking Details:
Parking: A city operated parking garage is located on 2nd Street between Chestnut & Walnut, look for the movie theatre marquis. Or less than a block away a community valet is available nearby where Dock & Walnuts intersect (in front of Positano Coast).

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

Executive Chef:
Chef Walter Staib

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Chef Staib would like to invite you to celebrate your next occasion at City Tavern.

City Tavern Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.5

value

4.1

Noise

Quiet

86% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (106)
Special Occasion (89)
Comfort Food (58)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (57)
Creative Cuisine (55)
Good for a Date (53)
Quiet Conversation (53)
Neighborhood Gem (52)
Romantic (48)
Cozy (45)
Good for Birthdays (43)
Great for Lunch (43)
Good for Groups (40)
Fun (40)
Worth the Drive (40)
Fit for Foodies (36)
Great Beer (33)
Casual (31)
Seasonal (26)
Local Ingredients (25)
Kid-friendly (24)
Handcrafted Cocktails (23)
Pre/post Theatre (22)
Sunday Lunch (22)
Business Meals (19)
Scenic View (18)
Notable Wine List (14)
Tasting Menu (11)
Healthy (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (9)
People Watching (8)
Gluten Free Options (7)
Live Music (6)
Afternoon Tea (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Great for Brunch (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Waterfront (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Organic (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Spicy (2)
Bar Seating (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Vegan (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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1591 reviews
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 (Richmond)·Dined a day ago

Truly enjoyed the restaurant week menu and flight of colonial beers.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined 2 days ago

Very enjoyable, food was delicious, portion was generous, service was excellent

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined 2 days ago

We arrived at City Tavern a little before our scheduled reservation at 6:15. We were ignored upon our arrival at the reception We were shown to our table, given water and menus, but our order was not taken until 30 minutes later. We were a party of four, and I told the waiter that we had concert tickets for 8:00 pm at a performance several blocks away. We ordered from a 3-course prix-fixe menu. We did not leave until about 5 minutes to 8 pm -- having ordered dessert to take out because we would have missed the concert completely. Of course we were late and harried when we arrived.

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food2
ambience5
service2
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 2 days ago

Service was horrible. Took 45 minutes after being seated until our order was taken. A quick lunch for two turned into two hours. The food was just ok. Best part about the place is just the history and the building itself.

Tags: Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service1
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Service was slow on a not too busy night. Long time between appetizer and main dish. Second glass of wine arrived towards the end of the meal.
Good atmosphere for a colonial sentiment so fun, but food quality did not match price level which was on the high side for rather ordinary dishes.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
·Dined 3 days ago

After an incredible couple hours enjoying the Museum Of The American Revolution, a very short walk away, we extended our journey back in time with lunch at the City Tavern. WOW!! What an experience !! The food and drink choices were amazing and the food we ordered delicious. The food staff were incredibly professional, friendly, historical authentic and very knowledgeable on the history of the food they were servicing. We were graciously invited to tour the other floors and rooms of the Tavern on our own which was wonderful. What can I say, our experience at the City Tavern was a 5 star experience. We left the tavern with smiles on our faces and we are looking forward to our next visit.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Overall ok, but not too happy that they couldn't find our reservation as it was a special occasion for the family.

The two breads served and gingerbread dessert was very dry. The sweet potato biscuits were very good.

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined 4 days ago

Excellent on all accounts

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 6 days ago

We visited the restaurant on a Wednesday evening in January. We were seated in one of the upstairs dining rooms and had the entire room to our self. It was amazing. The waiter was attentive and efficient but not over bearing and intrusive. The food was delicious. I had the pork chop which was the moistest and most flavorful of any that I have ever had. My date had one of the seafood dishes which was equally delicious. Most of the entrees are menus that date back to the time of the founding of our nation. The wait staff is also wearing costumes of the revolutionary times which enhances the experience of the evening. I highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options, Fun, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Cozy, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 6, 2018

It was a treat for the kids to dine in a colonial tavern even if it was rebuilt. Harp playing at the entrance was a nice touch. Having period items on the menu was appealing.

Tags: Kid-friendly
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Four of us visited for my sons birthday. It was the first time for three of us , we enjoyed the hot apple cider. Chris added liquor to his two drinks. Two had the turkey pot pie, Chris had lobster pot pie , and Marie had beef medallions. All were excellent and portions were large for lunches. We will return again!

Tags: Comfort Food, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 3, 2018

my reservation was for the 8:30 pm but the kitchen closed the 9:00 pm
So shouldn't make reservations too late!! ate fast🤔

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We chose City Tavern for its proximity to the Blue Cross RiverRink. Knowing it is a touristy locale I wasn't expecting fabulous food but it was mediocre to poor. The complimentary bread tasted stale. The appetizer and entree portions we good but they did not have a lot of flavor. Service was friendly but not stellar. The atmosphere is what you'd expect for a historic tavern but it was terribly cold even considering the outdoor temperature being in the teens. We are unlikely to return and would not recommend unless you want to stop for a drink to say you have been there!

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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 30, 2017

The restaurant definitely had potential, but the food was not my taste (or my budget). Good for some, I'm sure...just not for me.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Super good

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 30, 2017

My husband and I brought our sons to the restaurant after touring theMuseum of the American Revolution. We thought it would be a nice experience to keep the theme going. The food was expensive but we figured we are paying for the theme. We ordered and the waiter came back with our food. The waiter got my husbands order wrong. Took the plate and came back it 5 min with the correct order but it was ice cold (note:this just show the food is not cooked to order - mass production of the meals). Too expensive for a lousy meal

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Three diners for lunch on 12/29/2017. All pleased with meals but service seemed unnecessarily slow. Learned that a prominent Republican US Senator from Florida was in the house which may have effected the service.
Lunch specials - tenderloin meat loaf w/demi glace was tender and deliciously flavorful. Another special - seafood (shrimp, scallops and crab legs ) linguine was executed well and flavorful. Third party ordered kielbasa from menu.

Tags: Casual, Local Ingredients, Comfort Food, Authentic
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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
·Dined on December 29, 2017

We had lunch at the City Tavern before visiting the Museum of the American Revolution. The authentic atmosphere of the restaurant fit well with our trip. The food was excellent and fairly priced. Our server, Phil, provided interesting facts about the history of the restaurant.

Tags: Authentic, Business Meals, Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Turkey pot pie (flaky crust, light creamy sauce, plenty of turkey breast) and pork chop (huge and juicy) were excellent. Tomato-onion salad was disappointing - hot-house tomatoes that were tasteless and mealy. House-made bread was very good. Four-beer taster was excellent - 5 oz. each so not overwhelming. Exclusive Porter was the best! Our server was very busy, but was helpful and personable.

Tags: Cozy, Authentic, Great Beer, Comfort Food, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 28, 2017

This was our 3rd time eating at City Tavern. The food is consistently good. The atmosphere and servers make it feel like you went back into the colonial days. It's pricey, but if you have not experienced the Tavern it's worth a try.

Tags: Fun, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on December 28, 2017

Despite our reservation, they did not have a table for us and made us wait for close to an hour before getting seated. Service was terrible. Appreciate the concept but delivery at this restaurant leaves much to be desired.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Ok, first night in Philly and so I wanted to take my family somewhere special so I made a reservation at City Tavern. What a cool place!

When we arrived the restaurant was overwhelmed so it took awhile to get our table but we didn’t mind. Once seated, it was a great family meal experience. We loved the whole colonial theme and the building is very interesting. I had the Ben Franklin chicken dish which was great. My wife had the tofu which is the best tofu preparation we have ever tasted. My 13 yr old son tried the duck (first time eating duck) and loved it. Great selection of beers too. For dessert we had Martha Washington’s chocolate cake (her recipe).

What made the night is that during the meal we mentioned we were from Cali and then a while later Chef Staib came out and visited with us for about 10 minutes and we talked about history, Cali, ingredients, his PBS show, and the room we were sitting in. A great visit and very genuine.

My family had a great time at City Tavern and in addition to excellent colonial style cuisine we enjoyed a great memory was made.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 27, 2017

The place was clearly overbooked during winter holidays week. Irresective dinner reservation placed a month in advance, spent 50 mins waiting with young kids in packed waiting room. Food and drinks were OK yet not worth an attempt to return during less busy times.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Except for putting us in the basement because I put 2 kids down on the reservation. (They are 8 and 12) it was a wonderful dinner. Everything was cooked to perfection!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Very nice 18th century ambiance, a step below Colonial Williamsburg, never-the-less, very nice. Our Roquefort salad was wonderful, with no slouching on the blue cheese. The cider based cocktail was OK, but a little pricey. Our main course of steak and jumbo shrimp was delicious and cooked to our requested rare.

We’ve dined here several times and will continue to do so. We’ve always had a very pleasant and tasty meal. I would certainly recommend The City Tavern to friends and strangers alike.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 27, 2017

The 2-3 times I've had a meal at City Tavern in the past 2 years, it was excellent. When we went 2 days after Christmas 2017, not so much. The restaurant was filled at lunch time and there wasn't enough staff to take care of everyone in a timely manner. The staff was pleasant as they always have been but our food and hot beverages were cold and our dessert took way too long to get to our table. It makes me sad to write this because I would love to return and know it will be a delicious experience; I would also like to be able to recommend the City Tavern to friends and family and be sure it was, in fact, a good recommendation.

Tags: Comfort Food
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food2
ambience5
service4
value3

 
·Dined on December 27, 2017

DO NOT GO! If you value your time and money simple pick any other place. Food is poor, ambient is poor and service is bad. Put the price on top of these and you have one of the worse dining experiences you can have. Besides, there was king of a fight/ very loud argument in the kitchen everyone in the restaurant could hear.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 26, 2017

One of the best meals we have ever had! We love the mix of great food and history.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 26, 2017

The service and meal was wonderful. Our waiter, Harris, was the absolute best! Chef Walter Staib was gracious as well. Highly recommend the City Tavern!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great Beer, Comfort Food, Authentic, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 26, 2017

First visit. Have been trying for years to get there. Had a great time. Easy reservations. Staff friendly. Server was awesome. Food was delicious. They pay attention to the little details. We’ll definitely go back.

Tags: Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

Always enjoyable and interesting giving the history but the food is excellent also. All of our appetizers and entrees were great except for the duck which was a bit dry and not seasoned enough. What set our experience apart was the excellent service we received and the fantastic Martha Washington chocolate mousse dessert.

Tags: Seasonal, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 23, 2017

We had a wonderful time at City Tavern. The food was absolutely amazing! At first, our waiter was very attentive, but then halfway through our dinner he disappeared. We wanted to hear the dessert menu but that never happened and it took forever to get our check. Overall, we had a good experience and I would go back again.

Tags: Cozy, Authentic, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Our server Jay was fantastic! Chef Staib visited our table and made our meal unforgettable! All of us enjoyed our meals - Colonial Turkey Pot Pie, Medallions of Beef Tenderloin & Black Forest Kielbasa! The restaurant has a new wheelchair lift out front which is very convenient.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Authentic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Overall an enjoyable evening. However, was a little disappointed in the restaurant décor for the Christmas holidays. Was expecting some colonial holiday greenery. A few poinsettias on the windowsills did not show much effort for the season. Would not visit again for Christmas.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on December 20, 2017

Food was great, atmosphere, love the history of this great city. Service was great as well

Tags: Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Cozy, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 18, 2017

Great time, great service, enjoyed by all

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 17, 2017

My parents and I choose to come to City Tavern for an early Christmas dinner after the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. Our server (Jenelle) was very attentive and even told us the history of the restoration of the building and some of the other buildings in the area. The food was so delicious. My parents had the specials (Prime Rib and Seafood Pasta) and I had the Pennsylvania Brook Trout. The portions are big but worth every bite and penny. We did orders drinks, I felt the shrub with champagne could of used something else. It tasted similar to a shirley temple but it was good. My dad had the warm apple cider with applejack brandy which was very good. We also had the raspberry linzer torte with cinnamon ice cream (so yummy, highly recommend it). We had a lovely time at the tavern and will be back again!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Cozy, Authentic, Romantic, Live Music, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 16, 2017

We have had lunch here once before and the service and food was fairly good. But this dinner was awful. The service was inattentive, indifferent and abrupt. The food was not good. My partner's Franklin chicken was extremely salty. My veal was almost inedible--in addition to being over salted, one of the two pieces of veal was just gristle. Since the server never came back to check with us and I couldn't get his attention, I had eaten some of the potatoes and vegetables before I could tell him about the meat. He offered to replace it but I was wary of the quality of the food and my partner was almost done. He made a big deal of asking the manager if he could take off the charge for the veal; they did but the manager should have come over to apologize. Don't recommend it.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 16, 2017

The building and rooms are beautiful. Very authentic. The food was more than incredible.

Tags: Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Love the food and the early American atmosphere, reminds me of Williamsburg VA.

Tags: Seasonal, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Great Beer, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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