City Tavern

4.4
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2654 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Chef Staib is well known from his fifteen time Emmy® Award winning program A Taste of History®, where he brings culinary history to your home. It all started over 25 years ago when Staib brought his philosophy to City Tavern with 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.
What 2654 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Went for Restaurant Week which was a great value. Food was delicious. Room we were in was very quiet. Would have liked to explore the different areas of the building.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I could eat the Pepper pot soup everyday and be happy. It’s part of my taste of Philadelphia tour when I entertain. Thanks again

L
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We decided to try somewhere new for restaurant week. We really liked the 18th century feel. The decor and outfits were cool. I don't think I've ever eaten at a table by real candle light. That was neat. I had the scallops, shrimp, and crab over linguini. It was tasty and filling. My friends ordered the chicken topped with crab. They didn't expect the chicken to be fried. That was a bit disappointing. Overall food was good and service was decent. Nothing too special. I do wish our server was a little more enthusiastic. If you work at a place like that I feel like you should be able to give us a little history about the place, act the part maybe. Overall it was a decent experience and i would recommend it to someone else to try. Although I feel like it's a one and done type of place. I've been once and there's nothing really making me want to go back anytime soon.

B
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience4

City Tavern is nice if you'd like to experience period dining from Colonial days.
We had lunch here during restaurant week, so it was a good value. I wouldn't pay full price for the same meal here. The food was very heavy, particularly the brown gravy. We had ham and cabbage soup, which was a little greasy and potato soup, which was flavorful but came at near room temperature. Our main dishes were not served hot either. We had the beef noodles, which was heavy and the veal sausage with sauerkraut, which was flavorful but served cold.
The staff was attentive and a bit overwhelmed since it was restaurant week. They did offer to correct our cold soup but the main dishes that followed were still served near room temperature.

AO
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Such a fun dining experience. We loved the pork chop and the turkey pot pie. The chocolate mousse cake was incredible.

l
Oklahoma City
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A just visit for anyone wanting to strike their historical fancies!

TH
Richmond
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were visiting Philadelphia for the weekend and had heard great things about City Tavern. It lived up to the recommendation and more. Wonderful soups, excellent pork medallions, and an exceptional lobster salad. The flight of colonial beers is not to be missed. We look forward to a return visit.

CL
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner at City Tavern, the waitstaff were friendly, attentive and caring

FN
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The waitress was very personable and attentive to what we needed. The food was delicious. This is an authentic restaurant that you don't see often.

L
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Hi or miss. The veal was tough. The sausages, duck and soup were good.

R
Philadelphia
41 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for Restaurant Week, which is the best way to try new places. Our party of four really enjoyed the corn chowder and crab cake starters, as well as the entrees. The Chicken Mount Vernon was cooked perfectly with a splash of hollendaise sauce and crab on top. The seafood and linguini was a good size portion and very tasty. Veal sausage was delicious with an interesting sauerkraut accompanying the mash potatoes and crispy fried onions. Don't skip desert - creamy creme brulee fired to perfection or chocolate mousse cake are great choices.

N
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I loved the experience of eating in an old tavern and the fact our founding fathers were there so long ago was exciting. Everything I ordered the crab cakes, escalope of veal, and creme brulee were delicious! I will definitely be back!

AA
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A peaceful and beautiful experience. Music was lovely and the large portion of food was delicious

O
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience1

I was not impressed with this restaurant. The ambiance was not to my liking. Seats were not comfortable. The food was good and our restaurant service was very good. However, we started with a drink in the pub area. The bartender (maid) was awful. We were the only ones in the area and sat for at least 5 mins. (directly in her sight) when I finally had to ask if she was the bartender and then she acted like I was bothering her. If you don't have a good bartender (in my opinion) you don't have a good restaurant experience.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Very good food and ambience. Service very polite.

i
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Somewhat pleasant experience at City Tavern during Restaurant Week except for the very l-o-n-g waits for our dishes (not the server's fault). Unless they were having a revolution in the kitchen, there was no excuse for the sleep-inducing intervals between courses. The servings were ample if oversalted. But the tavern itself provides a charming background.

JT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I dined here for the first time during restaurant week. We love history as well as food and enjoyed reading about the tavern as well as the research provided on the menu items. Our food was delicious. An abundant Romaine and Roquefort salad and the Veal and Herb sausage with potatoes and sauerkraut was out of this world. My husband had the Beef Bourguignon which was very tender with an amazing wine sauce. We will return. Thank you for participating in restaurant week which made our meal a terrific value.

RR
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience5

food was just OK
duck was over sauced, drowning in sweet glob
and tenderloin tips over pasta was almost soup like

RK
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here to experience some American food from the 1700’s. We were not disappointed. Sampled a soup, two appetizers and two entrees, all were fantastic. Also we did a beer flight and had a warm rum and whiskey concoction from the bar. A great evening in beautifully decorated room and great service. Will go back!

BS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food; great colonial atmosphere; accessible to Ritz V after movie!

Q
Atlanta
22 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Went to City Tavern for its history, but was pleased with the quality of the food - apparently from centuries-old recipes handed down from our founding fathers. Walking in the door you are greeted by staff in colonial garb, one of whom is playing the harp. There is a trophy cabinet in the entry displaying all of the Emmy awards won by “A Taste of History “ (the chef’s PBS series). The feel is colonial and food is very good - exactly what I came for!

JM
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazung food and atmosphere. Get the Pepper Pot soup! Guaranteed to have a great time.

F
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

City Tavern is our "go-to" restaurant for a special get together with family and friends or even just the two of us. The food is wonderful in the modern old world style. Our service was fantastic, engaging when asked an historical question.

K
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent; appetizers, entrees and desserts were unique and delicious; service was great and the setting very lovely and historic-highly recommend.

f
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Appetizers and entrees were very good. The waitress was friendly and efficient.

WM
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Love the character of this restaurant. Family was up from Florida for the Holidays. Where else can you get a menu containing rabbit, heritage pork, pheasant, AND pepper pot soup. Presentation had everyone smiling at the table.

a
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Nothing Special, it was NYE so it was understandably very crowded and slow, but the food did not stand out as anything special.

D
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The City Tavern is like stepping into the past. You can almost see George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson enjoying a meal here together.

It was a wonderful evening with our children, and the service was impeccable. I highly recommend a reservation, but if you are willing to wait I believe you can just walk up.

DB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

We have been to City Tavern many times, and always consider it a treat. We very much enjoy the harpist, Mark Carroll, and on New Years Eve his lovely daughter Emily was also playing cello. The building is very special. The waitstaff and manager were as accommodating as they could be, but the food was not at all the quality required of this restaurant. The starter of smoked salmon and trout were perfect! The soups were not edible due to extreme salt. The manager took them off of the fixed price bill and also comped our drinks. However, the mains (Seafood pie and prime rib) were just as salty. Whoever made the soups and sauces that day had a very heavy hand with the salt. We just let it go, as by that time, both our waitress and the manager were very overworked by the under staffing. At $82.00 per person for the Holiday Feast, it was not the meal we expected. This feeling was shared by others in the dining room, and voiced as other diners were on their way out. Sad. Chef Walter's kitchen and low staffing let us all down. More oversight is required.

BW
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall experience was great! The waiter and waitresses were all dressed in colonial attire. The ambiance was mostly candle lit and you can still hear yourself when you whispered. The food was good and the portions were huge. Definitely check this place out when you're in town.

j
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Our latest visit was on New Year's Eve. This is never the best time to go out to eat, yet everyone does it. We had a reservation (required for New Year's Eve) and were seated immediately upon arrival. Our waiter was very good although a bit over worked as every table was filled. Service is never rushed at the City Tavern and we had a relaxing dinner which, over all was very good. I ordered the smoked fish platter as an appetizer and that was as excellent as usual. My wife had the barbequed shrimp which she said was good. For the main course I ordered the roast beef which I do not usually have. The potatoes were amazing, the mixed vegetables (mostly squash) were very good, the Roast beef was acceptable but not outstanding in any way. My wife had the lobster bisque soup followed by the seafood pot pie both of which she said were excellent as usual.

KD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food3service2ambience1

I made reservations not knowing it was a preset menu. First my children (9 and 12 so not young children) were put at an upstairs dining room with no one in it. It was insulting that they assumed my well behaved children would be a bother to other dinners. The service was awful. Felt bothered by our waitress who clearly didn’t want to be there nor aware of the amount of money spent dining at the tavern. The food was fine but incredibly overpriced. Very very disappointed in our experience and will not return,

M
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful meal and experience

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

For whatever reason, our party of eight was put in a poorly lit back room on the 2nd floor. Perhaps because we had a late (7:30 PM) reservation. There were no other customers in the area, most were on the 1st floor or in the front room on the 2nd floor, which were nicely lit and more active. The food was average and overpriced. I don't mind paying for a good experience, which this was advertised as, but I was very disappointed. I can only assume I caught them on an off night.

RR
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

we ate here with our disabled daughter and they kindly made scrambled eggs for her!!

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience!!! Our waiter was outstanding!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

It was a great experience. Consistent food for our entire party. Not overwhelmingly good but decent. Portions were good for the men in the group. I thought the shrimp and salmon were slightly overcooked but everyone else was super satisfied with their beef.

RO
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The City Tavern is our favorite place to dine when in the city. Love history -so it is a natural match.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super fun to go back in time with family and friends. Staff and service were wonderful. Would recommend for a meal and ale in Philly.

UB
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding period menus and ale selections custom made to authenticate 18th century style ales by local Philly craft brewer Yards. The fried tofu over linguine and vegetables was a tasty treat. Service is very good. Plan a candle light dinner at the City Tavern soon.

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