Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
American, Comfort Food, Wild Game
Hours of Operation:
January 3 -February 28, Winter Hours
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.
2nd & Walnut Streets
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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: 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.
The Market-Frankford "El" has a stop at 2nd and Market Streets as well as the 21 & 42 bus lines drops at our door
Chef Walter Staib
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $$$.
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.
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!!!!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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