City Tavern

4.4
1873 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Authentic
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
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 1873 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 · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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5.0Dined a day ago

Everything was fantastic, without a doubt.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Loved the ambience and the location was easy to get to. Food was excellent!

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3.0Dined 3 days ago

This was a good place for my mother’s milestone birthday dinner. They seated us promptly and we were waited on very soon. The drinks were a little lacking, but the food was very good. It was a little loud and our server could have been more attentive; but overall, a good experience in Old City.

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Saw Chef Walter Staib on PBS and fell in love with his vision for City Tavern. My. Sweetheart and I decided to make a day of old city Philadelphia and end with dinner at CT. The ambiance, the history and great food were the icing on the cake of a grand day.

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

We started off with the corn chowder. It was very creamy and tasted nice and savory. Our entrées were the seafood pasta special and the Ben Franklin chicken. Both were very good although the seafood special was a bit pricey. You must try the Martha Washington chocolate cake!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Best in class in Philly!
More authentic, impossible. More history in a restaurant, impossible! Just go for it.
Do not miss it!

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

It was a great experience for a large crowd of history teachers in town for a history conference.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

The authenticity of Chef Staib's menu historically and the unparalleled location in terms of national history weave together into a beautiful experience. The live harpist added to the evening, the low lights and candles contributed, and even the walk to and from the restaurant is special as you can almost hear the whispers of the patriots in the breeze. Just a first class experience with excellent service from George F. topped the night. A definite "must go" in Philly!

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

I was last at City Tavern a few months ago, not for the first time, and decided to go back a few days ago. Our waiter did not seem as knowledgeable as those from the past. Food was ok but my tenderloin tips seemed overcooked (I wanted them more than medium). My date's duck was ok. Atmosphere was, as always, perfect. Price was definitely too high for what we got. Would I go back? Maybe.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Lovely place to dine in historic Philadelphia. We were there with 2 tired children, but that's no one's fault. Food choices for adults and children are fine. I look forward to coming here again in the future.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

A get together with cousins meeting for the very first time. Food was excellent. Service top notch. Server was there when needed but gave us space to just relax and get to know each other. Am a repeat customer and will return again

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2018

Heather our server was great!!! There was history behind everything on the menu. We especially loved hearing about the history behind the drinks.

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3.0Dined on July 9, 2018

We went to experience the historic nature of the place. We were able to do that, but the air conditioning was poor and the food was mediocre. The prices were astronomical for what we got AND no refill soft drinks was just silly.

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5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

It was an awesome step back into time! The beer sample was great! Jefferson’s recipe is the best. The pork chop was outstanding, and the veal sausage was great as well. Finished it off with blueberry cobbler, which was a perfect conclusion.

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5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

My boyfriend took me for my birthday and it was such a cute place! I loved my dinner meal and how the restaurant (along with its food options, music, decor and wait staff) were all as if they were taken out of the past! Such a neat place to go to if you’re looking for a different atmosphere!

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2.0Dined on July 7, 2018

First off, the ambiance and service was great. The problem was the food. It was mediocre and seemed 'mass produced'. My partner and I ordered different things. I had the escalloped veal. Came as a huge pile of mashed potatoes with asparagus on top, 2 fried veal (overcooked or just waiting too long) veal patties and gravy / sauce. My partner had the rabbit. It was a pile of mashed potatoes, veg on top and an overcooked (tough, rabbit should never be that color it was so overdone) with a sauce on top. The mushroom toast app was good. It was pricey. Felt like a tourist trap by the time we were done, and not in a fun way.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

What an amazing Old City Philadelphia treasure. The historical influences and desire for accuracy is charming. The food however was the most surprising of all. The 1 negative is all refills of iced tea and soda are an additional fee. YIKES. But the streak, crab cakes, shrimp just to name a fresh of the items enjoyed at the table were worthy of 5 stars.

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4.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Enjoyed the food and ambience. Quite a history lesson provided by our server. Fun afternoon lunch in the city.

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4.0Dined on July 7, 2018

The service was excellent and my kids loved it. The food was mostly very good, but a tasty sauce could not hide the fact that my chicken was tough and dry. I also felt that dessert was very overpriced (but big portions if that is important to you). For the same amount of money, there are a lot of excellent options in Philadelphia, but the experience is really the selling point at this restaurant and the food comes with some history which is a great experience for kids.

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4.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Nice place for a historical meal

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Absolutely fantastic!

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2018

I was with my daughter celebrating Independence Day in Philadelphia so we topped off our few days of sightseeing with a wonderful meal at City Tavern. Highly recommended if you’re in town.

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Good food in a historic atmosphere is a perfect way to round out a visit to Independence Hall.

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4.0Dined on July 4, 2018

The food was delicious. However, It took more than an hour to get our food.

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5.0Dined on July 4, 2018

Best place in town to celebrate Independence Day! Great food, great service, & perfect ambiance! Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

My wife and I celebrated our Silver Anniversary with dinner at City Tavern. The food was excellent and interesting, the portions were large, and the ambience of period colonial staff was pleasant. The waiter was attentive and knowledgeable. The attention to the history of the location was gratifying.
Our one note for possible improvement is that the room was very warm. The high ceilings helped, I am sure, but when the outside temperatures hit a certain point there is no substitute for air- conditioning.

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Food was excellent. Really good atmosphere and decor

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3.0Dined on July 3, 2018

It took over a hour to get our meal, we had 4 very tired children with us and the restaurant wasn’t even that busy. After eating 2 plates of bread our meal finally came, it was ok, nothing special for the prices...we were told to order desert “ it was on them” and we were still charged.

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

City Tavern is great place to soak up some history along with good food and drink. If you like beer make sure you try their selection beers based on brew recipes from the revolution that are brewed by Yards, a local brewery.

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3.0Dined on July 2, 2018

I have been to this restaurant many times. The last couple of times the quality of the food seemed to be lack. Last night he duck was dry, not sure how that’s even possible. My friend’s steak was tough. Ambience was excellent as always.

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4.0Dined on July 2, 2018

Great food and ambiance. The lobster pot pie is great but a bit salty

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Delicious food and fun history! Great service. Highly recommended.

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2018

If you like history and want to taste food the founding fathers served in their homes, you will love this restaurant. Everything is delightful and the history of the building is so unique.

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2018

It was our first time to City Tavern and it won't be our last. The food was awesome and our waitress was very nice. I liked that the staff was dressed in period clothes as well. Would have preferred not to have the toddler in the room with us but he calmed down after his mom let him out of his highchair. He was not ill-behaved - just loud.

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2018

EXCELLENT FOOD,EXCELLENT SERVICE. Friendly and Courteous staff.
Made reservations two times but needed to come earlier than reservation both times. We were easily accommodated on each occasion.

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2.0Dined on June 30, 2018

The food was fine, exactly as I expected it to be. However, the staff looked and acted like the hater their jobs and wish the weren't there. Starting with the hostess greeting us like we were an incredible burden and seemingly put off to have to seat us. There was no "period" ambiance or interaction. All in all a pretty big disappointment.

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Food was good to great. Rabbit was okay, a bit dry compared to rabbit I have had elsewhere. Two in group of for ordered the turkey pot pie - and it was to die for. Friend's lamb - said it was amazing. Great corn chowder. fantastic menu selection. Wine list was fairly limited and just OK. Limited bar selection for after dinner drinks.

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2.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Fried oyster appetizer was flavorless. Venison and beef tips were really under-seasoned. Of the two the beef tips were definitely better but I wouldn’t order either again. I don’t add much salt to anything but all of the food was desperate for it. Most people there looked like tourists over 50. For what we got charged it was a pretty tragic food experience. It is worth noting the service was solid.

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

This place is a must-visit, whether you're from the area or a tourist. The food is spectacular and the atmosphere is a fun nod to Philadelphia's history. The themed beers are also delicious! Don't miss the mushroom toast appetizer. It's so good!

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

I have lived in Philadelphia area for my entire life and always wanted to go here. At the age of 55 I finally talked my husband into going. His excuse was always “it’s for tourist”, which I know it isn’t watching the show for many years!

Everything was even better than I expected! We went for lunch because we wanted to see the Museum of the American Revolution (easy walk).

I had the Corn Chowder and the Romaine & Roquefort salad, it was perfection! My Husband has many dietary issues and our server listened to his needs and questions, went to the kitchen to check on everything and came back with real answers, something we rarely get at restaurants. My husband ended up ordering the crabmeat and shrimp salad, here is where our server went above and beyond... because he listened and cared about what my husband had asked about... he asked the kitchen to add extra crabmeat (we didn’t ask for it, he did) because he knew my husband wouldn’t be able to eat much of the lettuce. That simply blew me away. Attentiveness like that is rare anymore and shows how important the customer is to this restaurant.

The ambiance was wonderful, true to the period of when the original tavern was there. We are history buffs and I love period architecture, this was spot on. If you visit Philadelphia, you must make this a go to! And watch his show before you go!

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