City Tavern

4.5
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2716 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 2716 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LG
LindaG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service in an historically authentic setting. Highly recommend!

I
Ishtvan
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We samples a variety of dishes and drinks from the menu and everything was wonderful, we look forwards to our next visit and a chance to try even more. The Rabbit, Duck sausage, Salmon, seafood pasta and mushroom toast were wonderful the later being a big fan of the three of us who did not have an issue with egg/cream sauces. No question well worth repeated visits.

C
Chris
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and wonderful staff. Great ambience

l
luvgoodfood
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Old City Tavern is a great place to visit. The food is wonderful and the historic ambiance makes it a very special dining experience.

KK
KitKat
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience! Turkey pot pie was amazing!!!

JC
vipJCKP
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Delicious meats but vegetables were like mush.

JF
vipJuliaF
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Met a friend here for lunch. We both had soup. Light fare was not very Colonial...so most offerings were on the harty side.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a really good experience the server recommended Ben Franklin chicken and very satisfied. Definitely great experience

JH
JayH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One could feel the history of the place. The building obviously was from the 1700s plus the knowledge that Independence Hall was right around the corner. The entire staff was dressed in period outfits and everyone was extremely friendly. We enjoyed the musician playing the Irish harp. The food was delicious and plentiful (so much that we made two extra meals out of the leftovers).

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Recommend this historic gem

c
vipcolumpal
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We were looking forward to what we heard was a unique dining experience. They seated us in the basement at a corner table facing blank white walls. 2 other loud groups in the room and we could not have an easy conversation. We asked to move to an upper level and were declined. No bread was offered until we asked. Food came out cold and had to be reheated. Everything tasted ordinary at best. After our dinner when we explored the other floors we found they were served drinks in pewter goblets (whereas ours were plain glasaes, one of which we had to ask to replace because it was murky.) The upstairs rooms were much nicer ambience. We felt we did not get the same service and quality as upstairs and truly felt like second class citizens down in the basement. We asked to speak to the manager afterwards and were told "he may not be available." But a young man came to talk to us and based on his lack of compassion and authority to provide any means of recompense (a discount or really anything at all to display regret) we were skeptical he was actually manager. There was much advertising in the restaurant about the chef's award winning food show but his restaurant did not live up to the brand. We will not be returning and do not recommend.

J
Jennie
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, food was excellent and the live music was a delight

CL
CharLatte
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience5

I was disappointed. I was very excited for a good experience with excellent food, especially given all the awards and publicity the restaurant has gotten. The ambiance and historical vibe were excellent. However, the food was not what I would expect for what I paid. The portions were far too big and everything was slathered in Bearnaise sauce (perhaps historically so but...). We've had better meals for less. I thought this would be more than a tourist destination, more along the lines of food at the the upper tier restaurants in Colonial Williamsburg. I was wrong.

MR
MRJ2
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The service was awful and food was barely warm with pieces stuck together sitting there under a heat lamp. The dessert was beyond awful and bordered on day old pastry. You do not get close to what you pay for. Taste: mediocre. We actually regretted the whole meal. Alcohol beyond overpriced as well. Beware!!

m
martyg
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great atmosphere. Try the pepper pot!

KS
KateS
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was amazing and it was even a candle lite dinner! The only complaint I have was we were seated in a room with a huge group and they were so loud that we couldn't even hear ourselves think. If they weren't there I think I would have had a much better time.

JG
JeffG
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

it was a great way to cap off our visits to the Museum of the American Revolution!

HG
vipHometownGirl
Atlantic City
32 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience5

Visiting philly and wanted a dinner from an old tine favorite restaurant.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Miami
51 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Visiting philly for a few days. Oldest restaurant in town. Inside an old house. Food is good. Not a tourist trap. Service is pushy for no reason.
We had soups. Smoke fish platter n seared salmon.

Tks.

RD
RaczelDazzle
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to City Tavern for my birthday dinner. It was perfect! We loved the atmosphere! The harp music was great. The food was fantastic. I had the venison and my husband had the duck. We liked everything about it. It was a nice addition to our historical trip! I would definitely eat here again.

D
vipDiner13
New York Area
66 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

The food and atmosphere are always excellent. We dine here whenever we get to Philly. The service this time was a little inattentive, but we were a party of ten and the table next to us was a table of 8

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary/birthday

MN
MelanieN
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very unique experience for our family. To be able to dine where George Washington and other founding fathers dined was just exquisite. I didn’t expect 18th century cuisine to be as fabulously delicious as it was!

T
Tina
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I had a dinner with my boyfriend over there on Friday night. The food was delicious, and the way they designed the dishes were pretty good. I had trout and my boyfriend had salmon, both of them were good-quality fish. The only thing was that there wasn't a lot of taste in it. Everything else was all great, a cool medieval and colonial-style restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We had a good experience at the City Tavern. Service on the night we were there was fairly slow, but nothing to make a big deal about. The atmosphere is very cool. The biggest negative, to us, was the quality of food comparative to its price.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time!!! Very family friendly, server was attentive and kind. There was a live musician playing period music of colonial times on a harp. My kids are learning about the American Revolution and the writing of the constitution, so having dinner here during our stay just make it even more memorable!

AA
AshleyA
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We brought our young girls (2 and 5) during a short stay in Philly. It was perfect- the staff was extremely friendly and accomodating, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was charming without being kitschy. SO glad we picked this spot, highly recommend!

HH
HistoryHW
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The historical atmosphere was a wonderful addition to a good meal. Although it was difficult to read the menu because of limited lighting. The food was good. The portions are on the larger size. However, it is overpriced. I had a better experience during lunch time.

SW
ShaneW
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

My wife ordered the beef tenderloin tips which she said were really good. I ordered the turkey pot pie. This was very tasty but there was not a lot of turkey in it which was a bit disappointing. My kids ordered chicken tenders. One kid ate but the other wouldn’t because there was no ranch for her tenders. No Ranch dressing at a restaurant???

M
Mannomom
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful evening in a historic building. Our waiter was perfect- helpful, and friendly. Our meals were delicious- I had the salmon and it was cooked perfectly. Everyone was happy with their selection.

D
Dave
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A return visit for us. Our group of three loved every appetizer, entree, dessert, and drink selection. All seemed to have their roots in early America to add to the experience. The staff in period costumes and room decor and furnishings add to the ambiance. Wish other restaurants would make New England clam chowder like the version they make here...loads of clams in every spoonful, no potatoes, and rich taste. Only consideration is it is a bit expensive.

JB
JanB
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Love this place, especially when out of town folks are visiting! Every time we go back, we hope that Walter Staib will be wandering around so we can say hi!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Third time dining there, always walk away delighted.

JB
JackB
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had great character. Food was very good. Will go back and bring friends with me

JW
JoyW
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day after getting married. I didn’t want to go on the actual holiday, so we went the day after.
Just as I requested, we had a seat off to the side in a nice cozy section.
Our waiter, Harris was so personable and very accommodating.
As a manager to over 70 employees, I always take notice of great or poor customer service while away from working.
Not only was Harris a delight to us, I noticed him with all of his other guests and he was the same.
You seafood pot pie was delicious and STUFFED with SO much seafood, it’s worth the price.
Harris was stunned that I finished it all and we had a great laugh as he came to the table with a to go container.
I HAD to eat the whole thing because I could see a way to carry it out, since the breading crust spills over the bowl.
The beer sampler is an excellent price and generous size glasses.
Comfort food needed for a snowless winter, great service and drinks.
We will always return.

TM
vipThomasM
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Sat in the basement by the entrance to the kitchen.
Room was extremely cold and one of our chairs was broken.
Slow drink and food service.
Food was average.
First time at this restaurant and we had higher expectations.

w
wsthorp
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love the City Tavern. I had the Lobster pie and my wife had the Venison. We had the Basil Shrimp and Mushroom Toast apps. The mushroom toast was amazing with mushrooms in a Bearnaise type sauce over a garlicky toast. Lobster pie full of big pieces of lobster and some shrimp. Love the homemade bread bowl. The one bread is from Jefferson's recipe and is made with Sweet potatoes. I had one of the colonial Yards beers too. Check it out.

D
danielD
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was excellent. Dinner (seafood over pasta, the special of the night) and New England clam chowder was outstanding. Ambiance was nice except for the loud mouth sitting behind me however City Tavern is not to blame. No need for dessert as the soup and entree filled me.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This restaurant was recommended for our family trip to Phili. We really enjoyed it. My picky eater had a bit of trouble finding something to eat but we worked through it. A great destination restaurant as part of the historical tour of Phili.

CB
vipChantelleB
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience2

Who are these people leaving positive reviews on this place? It’s really nothing but a tourist trap. The food was supremely under-whelming. Just plain blah. I got the artichoke and roasted chicken salad and clam chowder. The roasted chicken was deli meat and the clam chowder was likely something that canned Progressive Soups made. My husband got the turkey pot pie, which looked like turkey pot soup. My son (Children’s menu), got the fish and chips. The adult food was so bad, we ended up sharing his fish and chips just to feel satiated. :(

Our bill was nearly $70. Definitely not worth that. Trust me - avoid this place.

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City Tavern is rated 4.5 stars by 2716 OpenTable diners.

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