City Tavern

4.5
2255 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
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.

Specials

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

Today we are offering a pre fixe Easter brunch menu- 3 delicious courses at $44.95 per guest for adults, $26.95 per guest for children 12 and under.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What 2255 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

We were seated in the upstairs side room which was very dark. It was cute, but really needed lanterns or something more than the one candlestick on the table. . The other rooms were not this dark. The food was very good and the prices were reasonable. The waiter service however was horrible. My husband is in the hospitality industry and we are very patient and kind to servers - and pride ourselves at being understanding.. That being said, our reservation was for 6:45 and the restaurant was not busy yet. Our server was literally running around. He didn’t take a drink order and inky frilled water which was fine but he didn’t have enough water in his pitcher to fill my daughters glass. He kept forgetting to fill it up. We had to ask to have our order taken and he was frazzled making comments like “I’d like to get the drinks in, then the food as it’s going to get packed”. He was very rushed which makes the guest uncomfortable. He never brought the app out. Brought the second beverage, ketchup and park cheese so Kate the dinner was over halfway eaten. We watched him in his haste splash a little girl in the face w her drink. So in summary, fantastic food, cute restaurant, very poor waitstaff service.

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RC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The atmosphere and the history of the city tavern was nice. I felt the food and drink selections were over priced and the quality was average at best. You could get a similar steak and accompanments at any restaurant. I would recommend for the experience but not the food . The servers were awesome and dressing in period attire was a nice touch along with the gentleman who was playing the Harp.

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c
Indiana
56 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We liked our meal at city tavern. We think people would like the throwback feel and good food!

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JJ
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely harp playing during dinner. Very friendly.

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P
Cleveland
28 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I brought visitors from out of town who had never been to Philly before. We had the most wonderful evening. Our waiter Douglas was wonderful, answering lots of questions about which menu items might best represent colonial times, and our meal was delightful. The mushroom toast appetizer was indescribably delicious, we enjoyed the beer flights from old recipes, and the pace of service was perfect. Thank you for impressing my out of town guests!

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M
Philadelphia
55 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Fun place to eat to feel like you are back in colonial times. Food is very good as well.

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JP
Orange County
26 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great gem. Inspirational setting dining where the American Founders of our nation dined and debated our independence. Delicious food reflecting the time period. The beers with original recipes from Jefferson and Franklin was phenominal.

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CH
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the atmosphere with the decorations and harp player.

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OT
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

68th Birthday

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K
St. Louis
10 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

From out of town. Enjoyed the period feel of restaurant and historic accuracy in menu.

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DS
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vacation trip

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RV
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Expensive, mediocre food, poor service. Would not recommend.

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SK
Oklahoma City
16 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

I have been to City Tavern before and you go for the experience of the colonial atmosphere, not the food. Service is very slow, but then you are there to enjoy the surroundings, not a business lunch. Food is good, but not great. Would I go back the next time I am in Philly? Yes- for the experience.

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CN
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 1

Food was perfect as always. I was a little taken back that we were seated in the waiting room being that the restaurant had plenty of seating space. I mentioned on the reservation it was a birthday occasion but didn’t even get a happy birthday.

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LB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We wanted to do the tourist thing-visit the historic areas, museums, dinner at the City Tavern... It was terrific! I highly recommend this resturant, and definitely book ahead of time even though they say walk ins is ok. We were seated in the "basement" and that's my only complaint. We were in a smaller room, no view except for the little window where you saw everyone's legs walking by outside. Our waiter, Greg, was wonderful and very attentive. He recommended options, brought our table extra bread, kept the water glasses filled, was very friendly but not annoying. He even let us split the salads because they would have been too much food along with an entree. My husband had the venison, my sons had the salmon and duck, and I had the beef tips sans mushrooms. The meals came out fast, hot and delicious, no complaints. The desserts were also fantastic- hot apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream (or a cinnamon ice cream choice), and Martha Washington's chocolate mousse cake. We were stuffed, very satisfied and the cost was what you would expect. There was even a person playing the harp, which help to lend to the lack of atmosphere because we were in the basement. Highly recommend this place!

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AG
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very good service, great setting, seated quickly with no problems.

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SS
Omaha
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Attended a conference in Philadelphia and ate at City Tavern with colleagues. It was a great atmosphere, the food was delicious and the staff was very courteous.

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SB
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, friendly wait staff, unique environment. Awesome experience.

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HS
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service, the ambiance and the food were great take aways. The receptionist infected us with warm smiles and the harpist was a neat touch.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Romantically lit rooms with fine wine and harp music in the background made for an incomparable dinning experience that I will never forget.

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t
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was sooo pleasantly surprised! It was beyond delicious! The oysters were perfect, and the corn soup creamy and silky and so yummy. Try the turkey pot pie - outrageousness! We will definitely be back!

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MA
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice historic environment, good food. Would definitely recommend.

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KE
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

City Tavern provided great food to round out our colonial adventure with recipes from the era. Favorites included Thomas Jefferson's favorite biscuit and tavern ale and Martha Washington's Chocolate Mousse Cake. Our server Jay was attentive and knowledgeable making it overall a fantastic experience.

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SW
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been a fan of “Taste of History” and Chef Staib and have wanted to visit “City Tavern” for a long time. I finally got the chance when I was attending a Conference in Philadelphia earlier this week. The experience was excellent!!! The attention to detail in every aspect from the building and atmosphere, to the excellent service and amazing food. A truly authentic “Colonial Era” experience!!!

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M
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Service was a little rushed but the waiter was friendly and on point.

Everyone enjoyed their meal. Pork chop was fantastic. Beef tips wonderful as well.

Very diverse menu. We will be back!

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OT
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Martha Washington chocolate mousse cake is nice to order in advance for birthday celebrations

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SF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and atmosphere were wonderful. We had a relaxing meal and never felt rushed. Delicious meal and enjoyed the colonial brews. Would definitely eat here again.

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SJ
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Fun atmosphere, beautiful historic building and historic replica costumes worn by the staff. Food was good but not outstanding, and prices were very high.

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KT
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The perfect colonial tavern experience for those looking for that in combination with fine dining. Fabulous and unique dishes, great ambiance and service. It is very dimly lit, and it is definitely pricier, but worth the experience for sure.

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JH
Austin
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambiance of the place! The food was fabulous and worth every penny! The beer was delicious too😊

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MA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing atmosphere and out of this world food. The service was beyond good and makes me feel so proud to be a Philadelphian!!

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j
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent in 18th century style. You got to try the Mushroom Toast and the Pepperpot Soup. That soup is spicey. If you like hot go for it

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O
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Heard so much about authentic food, but was disappointed. The beef special had lots of fat on the meat. Too heavy sauce. Overpriced.

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MF
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely exceeded all expectations! Our waiter, Zachary, was knowledgeable and attentive. Our food was fantastic! Thoroughly loved the live harp music also!

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B
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We only get to dine at City Tavern when we come to Philadelphia for a concert or museum. We wish it were in Chester County so we could take advantage of the expertly prepared historic cuisine more often.
Although a reproduction of the original building, the atmosphere is authentic.
I chose two appetizers: My favorite cornmeal fried oysters and the Seafood Melange salad. Both came with the House Remoulade and were expertly prepared.
My husband, a meat and potatoes man, had the Medallions of Beef Tenderloin- another winner.
I truly wanted to forgo dessert, until our server presented the dessert tray....and there it was, a huge Creme Brulee.
Thank you Chef Staib -Again it was "Spectacular!"

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LR
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

It was a bit overpriced, but pepper pot soup was delicious.My daughter enjoyed the see colonial decor and costumes. She liked the fish and chips from the kid's menu.

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H
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 5

I love City Tavern because of its history and outdated Colonial ambiance. But the food is mediocre, the service this past time was awful, and prices are way too high. Am disappointed because more generally it has been a reliable option in Old City, with some interesting and unexpected menu choices based on 18th Century cooking. I will definitely go again, but perhaps just for a drink in their charming bar?

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Daughters Birthday. Very pleasant dining experience

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JC
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After two days of 1770 - 1800 Philadelphia, it was a high bar to bridge that with the 21st century. Right at the door we were met with traditional harp music (a musician) and all staff in traditional attire. Customers encouraged to dress for comfort ( "casual") enhanced the atmosphere. Our waitress, Alyssa, was knowledgeable, cheerful and attentive. Crab cakes wonderful, just enough bread to hold and a roumalade (!!!). I had tenderloin tips with mushrooms (fresh vegetables and sauce over noodles); large portion, lots of flavor (a lot of flavor!). My wife had the salmon special; originally wanted to try something different because salmon is afavorite, but it was a chef special that sounded great: salmon with spinach and hours in cheese (grilled asparagus!). We were stuffed, BUT managed to fit the creme brule in for desert. Not to be missed!
The place is gorgeous; hard to believe the building was not original, especially after being in about a dozen others from those dates.
For us, who are frequenters of pub type fare, it was a step up to finer dining with hosts who maintain cheer and comfort.
Sorry for the spelling; sorry for the grammar.

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CG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious, authentic food, with historical information in the menu and around the restaurant. On the night we went there was a harp player, it was magical.

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