City Tavern

4.4
2097 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, Comfort Food, Wild Game
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Daily 11:30 am–2:45 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 3:00 pm–9:00 pm
Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(215) 413-1443
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chef Walter Staib
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
2nd & Walnut Streets
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Parking details
Parking: A city operated parking garage is located on 2nd Street between Chestnut & Walnut, look for the movie theatre marquis. Or less than a block away a community valet is available nearby where Dock & Walnuts intersect (in front of Positano Coast).
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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
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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.
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Special events & promotions
Chef Staib would like to invite you to celebrate your next occasion at City Tavern.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2097 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
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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LB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was the first time there for myself and my husband. Zachary was our waiter and he was outstanding, friendly, cooperative and knowledgeable about the menu. The ambiance was great. The only complaint I really had is the hostess that evening, she was not helpful with my needs as I have difficulty with stairs breathing difficulties and she had to wait a few minutes for me to get up the stairs and she appeared to be put out by this. On the other hand when we first arrived we were not told there were tables downstairs and we could have been seated there and to be honest I did not notice them when we first walked in as we were focused on the hostess and not looking around. At first with this initial introduction to the place I was disgusted but then we had Zachary and he really did make up for everything with his energy and attitude.

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MW
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Philly. The food, the service, the history all A+ Whenever I want to show off the city this is a must stop place.

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MB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This restaurant offers elegant dining in a historic building in the heart of colonial Philadelphia. With the harp player and the candle-lit dining rooms, the ambiance was exceptional! The food, a little expensive, was excellent, as was the service.

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s
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated a birthday evening, service was excellent, all meals delicious, piping hot! Nice variety of dinners, Venison, Rabbit and delicious Beef Tenderloin. Seafood options as well. A definite Philadelphia experience!

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P
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really cool setting, so close to Independence Hall. You can easily imagine the walk our founding father's took to arrive to this location. Very historic feeling.

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PS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lived up to our expectations for a colonial Philadelphia experience!

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OT
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server Malena was wonderful! Loved the harp music too!

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W
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique German and early American food experience with historic revolutionary American period décor, costumes, furniture, table settings and music.

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H
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Living in northern NJ, I don't make it down to Philadelphia terribly often, but, when I do, I always try to stop by City Tavern. The West Indies Pepperpot soup is delicious, it manages to seem light and hearty at the same time. The restaurant is historic, and the chef and proprietor does an excellent job creating both a delicious and authentic dining experience. It would be so easy for this place to just serve lame, overpriced tourist food. Instead, this is an elevated and gourmet dining experience.

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CG
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent Colonial Period Food. Enjoyed beer flight, beef bourguignon, pepper pot soup, and sausages. Loved the history of the building and very convenient to the historic district.

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M
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

City Tavern is a real gem. The exceptiobal period food and the historical ambiance made for a fun evening.

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E
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Iconic Philly restaurant with very interesting menu items. Food was quite good and the ambiance of this place is off the charts.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My sons birthday .

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LH
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love stepping back in history and eating like the founding fathers. The food is always very flavorful and fulfilling with generous portions.

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EU
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

There was a tour bus parked outside when we arrived. This told me that the place has deteriorated into a tourist stop and not the fine dining establishment that was promised.
The food was high priced and pre-prepared. Again, no relationship to what is promoted to what is served.

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CM
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Food was mediocre at best. The soup tasted like Campbell's beef stew only with less beef and potatoes. The crust on the pot pie wasn't cooked all the way, and the filling was bad. Even their house beers that came in the flight were dull and uninspiring. It just feels like this place has given up and is coasting on the ambiance. Which, I fully admit, is wonderful.

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DJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the environment and food was excellent

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M
Northern MI
9 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This is a restaurant trying to offer an experience with tradition relating to the American Revolution. It is decidedly tourist oriented with waiters in period clothing and serving dishes with an alleged period flair. The food does not seem that authentic and is more comfort food than high quality cuisine. If you want a great touristy place with an old fashioned American atmosphere look no further. If you are a foodie avoid.

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HH
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a girls day and decided to eat at City Tavern before heading to Elfreth's Alley to tour the homes decorated for Christmas. It was a great start to get in the holiday mood. The restaurant made us feel like we were back in colonial times and our waiter Jay was superb! The food was outstanding, especially the crab cake. My friends said the cole slaw was the best they ever had.

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JS
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was outstanding. I loved the interior/exterior areas. Great tasting food. Will definitely be back.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thought City Tavern was great. Went there 3 times in one long weekend. We dined there for lunch, dinner and drinks and dessert. The food was excellent and the service was great. Recommend to all.

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TB
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

My company had a dinner here and the food was good and the waitress was excellent! Great place for a company dinner.

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J
Dallas
5 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great food, great atmosphere. Crab cakes were awesome!

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

Experience was very neat being in a very old building, my wife had the veal it was very tough, I had the lobster pie filled with lobster but it was overcooked so it was tough just was not a great experience

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GF
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was superb. Also, the location was excellent in relation to the historical section and Penn's Landing.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique experience dining from recipes by and influenced by historical figures of the colonial period. FYI Martha Washington made a delicious chocolate mousse!

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o
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

city tavern is a historic gem in the city of brotherly love. lovely ambience, and the food is generally tasty and traditional, particularly the pot pies. some of the food is a bit overpriced.

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BF
Raleigh
19 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food. Atmosphere was perfect and conversation easy to have

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Do not recommend! - Finally was sat at 7:15 for a 6:45 dinner reservation and didn’t see a waiter until 7:30. My son inadvertently left his jacket in the “waiting area” while we waited 30 min for our table. Somehow the jacket disappeared during our meal and was no where to be found. After asking for help to find his jacket we found disinterested wait staff that wouldn’t even turn around to help look us in the eye when we were talking to them.

Food was boring and lacked flavor

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KG
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

City Tavern has always been an excellent place. My most recent visit was not good due to the server.

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CM
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was a very pleasant evening - the food, ambiance and service was very good - it was a small touch of times passed

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r
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We've been there many times. It's a special treat to run into Chef Stieb. He is a Philadelphia treasure.

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B
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The history and ambiance are fantastic. The staff are dressed in colonial garb, and it is very easy to imagine our founding fathers sitting around drinking an ale & discussing the birth of our nation

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ND
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

my wife and I have been here before and we enjoyed it. Overall this time was enjoyable as well with the exception of one dish. The salmon my wife had was overcooked and pretty tasteless. My meal however was outstanding. I had venison sausage with imported German sourkraut and mashed potatoes and a small bowl of and India (spicey) based beef stew, excellent ! The salad was very generous and we split it. We had a nice selection of breads, although very small in size. I also had a beer sampler with 4 generous pours, all very tastey. Dessert was a chocolate cake with a berry sauce on the plate. Typical Philadelphia prices but not overly costly, and worth it. The staff are dressed in period clothes which adds to the ambiance

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E
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance! Good food. Close to historic sites. In historic site.

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JA
San Antonio
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great dinner experience with my wife! Lovely harp music and such a wonderfully historic setting. The pork chop was delicious and my wife enjoyed her soup and shrimp appetizer. Tasty beers, too. Request a table on the main dining room floor. Very cool treasure and look forward to going back!

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BK
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my wife for her birthday and we loved the food and service the waitress was very good and helpful can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the menu

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JG
Detroit
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Our server was new and I can take that into consideration, but he rarely checked on us to see if additional items were requested. Not that familiar with the wine menu. The lighting was far too bright but we were told that most rooms are very dark. The tables were a little close.

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D
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Full disclosure: We did not eat here. It looked, smelled and felt like a TOURIST TRAP so we left

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous meal and service but don’t order anything extra! My dad had wanted to surprise my husband and i by paying for an ‘experience and a specially made cake’. They completely forgot!

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