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

4.5

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

91% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (118)
Special Occasion (105)
Good for a Date (72)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (66)
Quiet Conversation (64)
Neighborhood Gem (63)
Creative Cuisine (61)
Comfort Food (59)
Cozy (55)
Romantic (53)
Good for Birthdays (51)
Good for Groups (51)
Fun (49)
Fit for Foodies (49)
Great for Lunch (49)
Worth the Drive (46)
Great Beer (44)
Casual (41)
Local Ingredients (37)
Kid-friendly (28)
Handcrafted Cocktails (25)
Seasonal (24)
Sunday Lunch (24)
Pre/post Theatre (23)
Business Meals (22)
Scenic View (22)
Notable Wine List (13)
Tasting Menu (13)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
People Watching (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Healthy (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (8)
Live Music (8)
Great for Brunch (6)
Hot Spot (6)
Late-night Find (6)
Afternoon Tea (5)
Organic (5)
Waterfront (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Spicy (2)
Vegan (2)
Happy Hour (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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1547 reviews
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·Dined 4 days ago

I would recommend it... took my wife there for her birthday with another couple. Don’t have to be dressed up, we went on a Monday night and had a reservation but probably wouldn’t have needed it.....the food was good and reasonably priced and the service was great. We’ll go back

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Casual, Fun, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 6 days ago

Great food, great service, unique ambiance because of its history. I thought it would be kitschy because the staff wears period clothing but it wasn't. It was high-quality and authentic.

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Special Occasion, Fun, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 6 days ago

Enjoyed a delicious lunch on Saturday, 12/09/17. The menu was extensive and reasonably priced, with decent sized portions. I ordered the veal and a friend had the beef. Both platters came with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. We were not disappointed! Service was excellent and unhurried. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant. Will definitely be returning in the near future.

Tags: Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Just as the reviews state. The food and service is fantastic!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for Groups, Authentic, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 8, 2017

I was going to attend A Historic Christmas tour and wanted to get in the mood at dinner. City Tavern was perfect. The ambiance was very colonial, the service was excellent and my turkey pot pie was delicious. I usually avoid restaurants where the staff is in costume but City Tavern is an exception I highly recommend.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

Great place especially if you want a historical ambiance

Tags: Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

I love it! Only one comment, the bathrooms while clean had bits of paper all over the floors.
City Tavern deserves to present itself to perfection. Thanks

Tags: Fun, Scenic View, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Seasonal, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Afternoon Tea
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Was excited to to City Tavern after PBS TV specials and much ado. Interesting menu, much looked authentic period 1770's food. Setting in house Thomas Jefferson and friends met, added interest. Tables and chairs not all that comfortable but if they were trying to replicate period I guess that's why. Food was good. Really great Duck, oysters OK not great but Clam Chowder made the meal for me. If you order Turkey pot pie either share it or have nothing else as it is huge. Worth the trip.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great Beer, Fun, Good for Groups, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on December 8, 2017

The setting for City Tavern was very appealing,however, we were seated between a group of 6 and a couple. There was almost no space between these tables which were in a line and the conversations were not loud but extremely close.
My wife had a seafood special which she enjoyed. I ordered the veal which was not the best piece of meat.
Overall, we were satisfied with our experience but disappointed it was not a 5 star one.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic
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food3
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 7, 2017

FOOD WAS GOOD BUT NOT GREAT. SERVICE WAS VERY GOOD AND THE AMBIENCE WAS VERY LAID BACK. THE FOOD WAS FINE FOR WHAT IT WAS BUT WAS ON BLAND SIDE. PRICES ARE NOT CHEAP.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Casual, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Seasonal
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Excellent food and service in a historic atmosphere. Good choice of food from the menu with references to the revolutionary past. Wait staff in period costumes.

Tags: Good for Groups, Business Meals, Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (London)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Had a wonderful lunch after nearby museum visit. Not your typical menu. We had roast duck and beef tenderloin medallions. Both meals were perfection! Period costumes and colonial decor made for a fun experience. Service was outstanding.

Tags: Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Service was extremely slow. It is apparent that our server did his best but he had too many tables and there was simply not enough staff. We had to wait 10 min to get a drink menu after asking for one. Another 10 min to get a drink. Want to try the desserts? Another 10 min for the waiter to bring out the samples, 15 min later we got a creme brule that was ice cold to the core. It was not an enjoyable experience when we had to wait and then wait some more. My guess is the kitchen was also very slow. We had our appointment at 6:15pm and we did not leave the restaurant until 9pm. As for the food, the appetizers where outstanding (pepperpot soup, crab cakes, mushroom toast), but the entrees (turkey potpie and lamb chops) were meh and not worth the extra $$$.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 2, 2017

We were greeted byChef Staib who was engaging the diners in the uniqueness of City Tavern. We had a nice size table for two and when I asked for Washington's Drink he brought me a Porter that was first brewed by Washington. Our server, Jay, was wealth of historic information for many of the diners. My wife ordered prime rib and she thought she was served a roast, it was tender and cooked medium rare. I had the lobster pie a specialty of the chef. It was full of New England lobster and my favorite for any time we come tot he city. A cello was playing in the background and i thought if I closed m eyes I would see, George, Ben and Thomas walking in to discuss their fate if they didn't ensure a nation that would survive. No rush and the evening ended when Chef Staib stopped by our table.

Tags: People Watching, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Great Beer, Waterfront
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Amazing food and big portions!!! We had great dinner!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Kid-friendly, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Went here with my family of 8 after the Christmas concert at the Kimmel. We were an hour early and they took us right away. The staff was very friendly and attentive but not overbearing. The atmosphere just takes you back to colonial times. The colonial based menu is wonderful. The four adults all had something different and it all was delicious. The childrens menu is great. They all found something they really liked. We were there before and will be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

Very good but apparently I was registered as a no show. Don’t know how that happened

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

While we were visiting/touring Philadelphia, we made a point to add the City Tavern to our list of "must visit". We were not disappointed! I love Chef Staib's show A Taste of History and have been wanting to enjoy a meal at his restaurant. The food was fabulous and the added harpist playing music in the background was a treat. I don't know when we will return to Philly, but when we do, City Tavern will be on our list!!!!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Casual, Bar Seating, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Live Music, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Romantic, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Had dinner with relatives from out of town. After a walking tour of old city, this was a perfect spot for a unique Philadelphia dining experience. The dinners were excellent, the service exceptionally good, and the atmosphere was very pleasant. It was quiet enough for easy conversation, plus there was a person playing the harp in the entrance hall. I particularly like the beer offerings of the "Presidential" Yards ales, brewed here in Philadelphia from original recipes of Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin (not a president, but made a good beer). We have eaten here many times and always enjoyed the experience.

Tags: Cozy, Great Beer, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 28, 2017

Always great place to celebrate every event. Great atmosphere, food and service.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 27, 2017

If you want an authentic colonial dining experience, this is your place!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 26, 2017

We love this place. Come every year for our family fun day and the kids enjoy the wait staff who are dressed in colonial costumes. Great food, service and atmosphere.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Great Beer
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

Wish they would have played the revolutionary era music upstairs too. Walked in and it was playing and felt super authentic, but then we were seated upstairs and couldn’t hear it anymore
Doesn’t have to be loud, but would be good at least in background
Minor complaint though, all in all it was a cool experience and the food was excellent

Tags: Authentic, Fun, Kid-friendly, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Our experience was wonderful. We arrived early and were seated immediately. Our server was very pleasant- knew the menu and gave us some fun information about the tavern. The food arrived in a timely manner - large portions- delicious. Our only complaint was the lack of light - it was hard to read the menu.

Tags: Healthy, Great for Lunch, Cozy, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 25, 2017

The food was amazing. Definitely recommend Martha Washington's mousse cake.
The service left something to be desired. We were downstairs and the server was inattentive and out of the room most of the night.

Tags: Fun, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 25, 2017

A picture of the wassail. Correct for the era dimness of lighting might be challenging for some people. Impossible to finish richly flavored entrée

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

In spite of tourist area we are locals who go there often.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

Atmosphere and history work great. The main dishes were just average.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

We visit every time we’re in Philly and love the atmosphere, food and great service. Highly recommend the Lobster Pot Pie.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

After viewing several historical sites with a friend from England, we had lunch at the City Tavern. The food and service were both excellent and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. Our English friend was very impressed and enjoyed His experience at the Tavern.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 22, 2017

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 on November 21, 2017

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 on November 21, 2017

Great!!!! Food was wonderful

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on November 20, 2017

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 on November 19, 2017

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 on November 19, 2017

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 on November 18, 2017

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 on November 18, 2017

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 on November 18, 2017

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 on November 17, 2017

Very nice and my picky eaters all tried something new

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

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