About City Tavern

Chef Staib is well known from ten time Emmy® Award winning program A Taste of History®, where he brings culinary history to your home for the past seven years. Well it all started over 22 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:
January 3 -February 28, Winter Hours
Tuesdays-Friday
Serving from 3:00 pm
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays
Lunch from 11:30 am, Dinner begins at 3:00 pm
(Closed Mondays in January & February)

Regular Schedule from March 1, 2017
Lunch from 11:30 am & dinner from 3:00 pm
7 days a week


Holidays: Chef Staib invites you to celebrate your favorite holiday with him at City Tavern. See our "Holiday Celebration" page under our menu tab to see what he is preparing for your visit.

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: City Tavern does not have parking; however there is a parking garage located on Second Street between Chestnut & Walnut just before you reach the restaurant.

Concepts By Staib, Ltd. is authorized to serve the public by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

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 Dining, 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

4.6

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (120)
Special Occasion (110)
Good for a Date (79)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (70)
Neighborhood Gem (69)
Creative Cuisine (68)
Comfort Food (60)
Quiet Conversation (58)
Worth the Drive (55)
Good for Birthdays (54)
Romantic (54)
Cozy (52)
Fun (51)
Fit for Foodies (51)
Good for Groups (50)
Great for Lunch (49)
Casual (46)
Great Beer (44)
Local Ingredients (35)
Kid-friendly (31)
Sunday Lunch (31)
Handcrafted Cocktails (25)
Business Meals (23)
Seasonal (23)
Pre/post Theatre (22)
Scenic View (21)
Tasting Menu (13)
Notable Wine List (12)
Great for Outdoor Dining (11)
People Watching (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
Gluten Free Options (10)
Healthy (9)
Live Music (8)
Late-night Find (7)
Great for Brunch (6)
Hot Spot (6)
Afternoon Tea (4)
Organic (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Waterfront (3)
Bar Seating (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Spicy (2)
Vegan (2)
Happy Hour (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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1517 reviews
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vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined 2 days ago

Food was very good. The staff training and ambiance need a refresh.

The physical restaurant just seemed a bit tired...staff were smoking on the back porch and the smellcame into the physical restaurant...host staff were hunched over on cell phones and the downstairs bathroom was in need of some real attention.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined 2 days ago

The meal was mediocre. The service was friendly but the waiter yelled across the room to all tables to see if they needed anything instead of walking over. The ambiance was plain and could have been warmer such as a fire in the fireplace. It was a cold night and the tavern claims to be authentic after all. The taste of the food was just average, nothing special at all. It is overpriced.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined 2 days ago

Great!!!! Food was wonderful

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Savannah)·Dined 3 days ago

After a day of immersing ourselves in American history, the dinner at City Tavern tied it together. The staff, dressed in colonial period costumes, explained the menu, the history of the location. The meal was very good - excellent soup, beef medallions. The ambiance was wonderful. I would recommend it as an authentic taste of historic Philadelphia.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined 4 days ago

A perfect compliment to our visit to the Museum of the American Revolution. Service was excellent! Loved the food and could have ordered several other items on the menu.

Tags: Authentic, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 5 days ago

Our waiter Marquis was excellent! He was timely, Attentive and very classy, keeping with the theme. Our food Was amazing we had two vegans with us and they loved their fried tofu. We will definitely be back when we are in Philadelphia again. We are looking forward to sitting near a fire drinking mulled cider!

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, People Watching, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

The service was outstanding and the history of the restaurant goes back to the American Revolution. The food is authentic early American. Very good. There is also a sampling of early American beers that are really excellent. The atmosphere is that of an early American tavern. It is really a fun place to enjoy a wonderful meal.

Tags: Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 5 days ago

On the positive side the food was good with very generous portions and the atmosphere was great. On the negative side, the wait staff is lacking personality and borderline rude. We initially wrote it off as it being part of the "schtick" or part of the restaurant ambiance (maybe this is how waitstaff acted in colonial times?). The hostess was rather put out showing us to our table (we had reservations, Sunday afternoon lunch @2pm) and our waiter was very abrupt and stoic. But then another waiter passed by, stopped at our table, was very pleasant and asked how everything was, so then we knew it was not part of the "restaurant experience or vibe". Food comes out extremely fast, too fast, there is no time in between for a breather or break (we were in and out in less than 1 hour, we each had soup, entrée, cocktail (were not asked if we would like another cocktail) and dessert and we were not offered coffee. We will go back and try it out for dinner but won't give it a third try if the staff and speediness of the food repeats itself.

Tags: Romantic, Sunday Lunch, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 5 days ago

The food here is always interesting and delicious, Chef Staib is a treasure of our city. The libations are wonderful and are the perfect thing to round out a history tour of any kind (as in the Revolutionary War Museum, right around the corner.) The decor is gorgeous - it looks like they never have had to rebuild a thing, and although that isn't true it's still the same site where our founding fathers brainstormed, and that's good enough for me. The waitstaff, however, while wearing period clothes, are not really in keeping with the rest of the quality of the restaurant. It's not that they are ever actually rude, just short, brief, and generally too informal, to the point of being unwelcoming. The bare minimum is done with an impersonal air. I wonder if it is tough to work there, that there is no banter, no smiles?

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience3
service2
value4

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Very nice and my picky eaters all tried something new

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 13, 2017

We had a wonderful dinner. Everything was goos and our server was very professional, nice and attentive.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Cozy, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Live Music, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Onderful place for a date and comfortable dining. Great food and service

Tags: Romantic, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Both the meal in the service, were well above average.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Everything about City Tavern is Spectacular! Authentic 18th century cuisine, knowledgeable wait staff, wonderful surroundings. We totally enjoyed the entire experience. Thank you to Chef Staib for this great restraunt!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 11, 2017

City Tavern is an institution in Olde City Philadelphia. Chef Walter Staib is nationally known for recreating colonial cuisine. The atmosphere is great and the food is well prepared. However, this place suffers from a touristy feel that seems to get worse in summer when lots of middle brow middle Americans seem to jam this place in search of a true colonial experience. This feels a little like the Epcot version of colonial dining

Tags: Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Excellent for dinner after a show we saw Phamtom Of the Opera, I love the shrug cocktail with champagne. have it every time I go , I had the New England Clam chowder very good I had the seafood crab claws , scallops and shrimp in a buttery garlic sauce over homemade pasta which was excellent!! I have had this dish 3 times !!! My wife had the Corn Chowder she enjoyed this soup. For her main dish she had a smoked pork chop with mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley she loved this dish. I took a piece of pumpkin cheese cake home we enjoyed it the next day. This is an excellent restaurant. We have meant Chef Walter Staub in the past he is a very nice congenial man. Prices are reasonable this is a true Philadelphia Gem!!!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great food, service, and site

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

really good food. The crab cakes were better than what you get in most places in Maryland etc. The Pepper soup was amazing, but you have to like spice. The Rabbit was delicious and different and the duck was cooked perfectly. Great food. The only downside is the food service was slow considering we arrived at 5PM for dinner and there weren't many people in the restaurant. We waited about 30-40 minutes between our appetizers to our dinner.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We had a party of 3 couples out for a late lunch and we enjoyed a great meal with great service. Would highly recommend! Plus my husband got to meet the chef/owner which was a highlight for him.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

We had a family get together and knew we would be dining slowly. I wanted a place that would itself be a topic of conversation and also have great food. Food was phenomenal, service was friendly but we did have to ask for water refills one by one, which was probably just and oversight. I would definitely recommend for anyone spending an afternoon at Penn’s Landing, touristy but not a tourist trap.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Gluten Free Options, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2017

I recommend this restaurant as I very much appreciated its historic emphasis and their attempt to be authentic. Our waiter- Ed -- was really delightful in sharing facts and recommendations in the local area, and was a pleasant server (THANK you Ed!) I appreciated sitting in one of the most historic ballrooms in the country. I expected a bit more from the kids menu, to help family friendly lunches and perhaps some creative placemats of some kind. I regretted not bringing more to entertain my own children, but I (wrongly) assumed the restaurant might. Aside from that- food was great and it was a terrific warm cozy lunch on a very cold sightseeing day!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

The lunch exceeded our expectations! Our server was AWESOME, and he gave me and my friend all the time we needed to enjoy the atmosphere of the tavern and the delicious food. I am DEFINITELY coming back!

Tags: Good for Groups, Scenic View, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 10, 2017

A very fine and hearty meal! Even my two kids enjoyed the spins on the main dishes that were included on the kids menus.

We even skipped dessert the meal was so filling!

Tags: Comfort Food, Great Beer, Quiet Conversation, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 10, 2017

The place is very interesting and the history around the building makes it special. The food was mediocre at best.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

We loved everything we tried, and the atmosphere is fantastic. You can enjoy a delectable lunch or dinner and learn about revolutionary history at the same time!

Tags: Healthy, Afternoon Coffee, Casual, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Gluten Free Options, Tasting Menu, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Fun, Disabled Access, Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Kid-friendly, Good for a Date, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Thought we would have a more authentic experience of Old Philly. But food was really not good. So many better places in Philly!

Tags: Cozy
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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

Food quality, portions and service were excellent. We were told of City Tavern by friends and we have told many others about our enjoyable evening.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 7, 2017

The best turkey pie ever -- the sherry cream sauce made it all. The historic atmosphere and history of the tavern makes it a Philly Find!! And the chef - amazing!!!! Highly recommend -

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Great atmosphere, service, and food! Historical sight which added to the dining experience.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Good for Anniversaries, Great Beer, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

I was there for a 6:30pm reservation on Sunday November 5, 2017:
The waiter was very nice but it took 35 minutes after I ordered to get corn chowder but I did not order corn chowder I had ordered pepper pot which I likened to a beef stew ( where was the tripe?) and the restaurant was not busy at all. For dinner I ordered the turkey pot pie, it should be renamed potato pot pie as I could count the pieces of turkey in the dish not too many ( but it was flavorful) .My wife had the chicken special ( Benjamin Franklin style) she was not happy with that I tasted her chicken and I agreed it had a foreign taste not very good, how do you mess up fried chicken cutlet? I am sure Ben Franklin would not have liked it either.

I have had lunch here in the past and it was great but I will not go back here nor recommend it as their are many other great places in downtown Philadelphia.

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food1
ambience5
service3
value2

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Average food, never refilled my coffee. For an $80 bill for 2 I would expect that I could get a 2nd cup of coffee, esp as they weren't busy.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Great food. Enjoyed going back in time. Family had a wonderful time

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 5, 2017

A perfect follow up to our visit to the Museum of the American Revolution.

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Very neat to eat in such a historic location

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 5, 2017

This was such a fun part of my trip! The City Tavern is a huge part of our nation's history. It was so fun to experience authentic food and drink from the revolutionary area. The food was fantastic and service was excellent. I cannot wait to come back!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Hot Spot, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

Service was horrible… We had to ask the waitress to take a drink order- she started to walk away after the food order and then we waited over an hour for food. The food was mediocre at best. The mashed potatoes tasted like they came out of a box and the pot pie was significantly lacking. I’ve had better turkey pot pie at Boston Market fast food and Marie Callender frozen pot pie from Costco. The drinks were very good (spiced warm apple cider with brandy).

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food3
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2017

The entire experience was awesome. It is an old restaurant from 1773 and the waitstaff dress as though they are from the era. The food is supposed to be a "taste of history" like the Emmy award winning show. The food was really tasty and they let you know what is GF and what is not which was nice and accommodating.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 5, 2017

This was one of our favorite restaurants. Now, not so much. Even though we reserved a table two months in advance, we were seated in the basement room. None of the charming decor of the upstairs. The waiter spilled ice all over our table-it was not cleaned up. Service was mediocre at best with long pauses in between courses. Our family of 5 paid $200 (3 kids meals) for what was a 3 star at best experience.

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food3
ambience1
service3
value1

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Have not been there in 30 years. Food very good. Service to be desired. We waited 40 minutes from end of eating until check. During that time Waiter offered desert to couple next to us before us even though we had been finished 15 minutes and never asked if we wanted refills on our drinks. Just didn't seem to care about us. Very disappointed by this

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Incredible food, drinks, and service! The ambiance makes all the difference, but the layout in the cellar can make things quite loud as sound echoes. Even so, this was a magical dinner. I definitely recommend picking up a bottle of wine, the duck sausage, and any of their entrees.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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