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
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?
City Tavern is an institution in Olde City Philadelphia. Chef Walter Staib is nationally known for recreating colonial cuisine. The atmosphere is great and the food is well prepared. However, this place suffers from a touristy feel that seems to get worse in summer when lots of middle brow middle Americans seem to jam this place in search of a true colonial experience. This feels a little like the Epcot version of colonial dining
Excellent for dinner after a show we saw Phamtom Of the Opera, I love the shrug cocktail with champagne. have it every time I go , I had the New England Clam chowder very good I had the seafood crab claws , scallops and shrimp in a buttery garlic sauce over homemade pasta which was excellent!! I have had this dish 3 times !!! My wife had the Corn Chowder she enjoyed this soup. For her main dish she had a smoked pork chop with mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley she loved this dish. I took a piece of pumpkin cheese cake home we enjoyed it the next day. This is an excellent restaurant. We have meant Chef Walter Staub in the past he is a very nice congenial man. Prices are reasonable this is a true Philadelphia Gem!!!
really good food. The crab cakes were better than what you get in most places in Maryland etc. The Pepper soup was amazing, but you have to like spice. The Rabbit was delicious and different and the duck was cooked perfectly. Great food. The only downside is the food service was slow considering we arrived at 5PM for dinner and there weren't many people in the restaurant. We waited about 30-40 minutes between our appetizers to our dinner.
We had a family get together and knew we would be dining slowly. I wanted a place that would itself be a topic of conversation and also have great food. Food was phenomenal, service was friendly but we did have to ask for water refills one by one, which was probably just and oversight. I would definitely recommend for anyone spending an afternoon at Penn’s Landing, touristy but not a tourist trap.
I recommend this restaurant as I very much appreciated its historic emphasis and their attempt to be authentic. Our waiter- Ed -- was really delightful in sharing facts and recommendations in the local area, and was a pleasant server (THANK you Ed!) I appreciated sitting in one of the most historic ballrooms in the country. I expected a bit more from the kids menu, to help family friendly lunches and perhaps some creative placemats of some kind. I regretted not bringing more to entertain my own children, but I (wrongly) assumed the restaurant might. Aside from that- food was great and it was a terrific warm cozy lunch on a very cold sightseeing day!
I was there for a 6:30pm reservation on Sunday November 5, 2017:
The waiter was very nice but it took 35 minutes after I ordered to get corn chowder but I did not order corn chowder I had ordered pepper pot which I likened to a beef stew ( where was the tripe?) and the restaurant was not busy at all. For dinner I ordered the turkey pot pie, it should be renamed potato pot pie as I could count the pieces of turkey in the dish not too many ( but it was flavorful) .My wife had the chicken special ( Benjamin Franklin style) she was not happy with that I tasted her chicken and I agreed it had a foreign taste not very good, how do you mess up fried chicken cutlet? I am sure Ben Franklin would not have liked it either.
I have had lunch here in the past and it was great but I will not go back here nor recommend it as their are many other great places in downtown Philadelphia.
Service was horrible… We had to ask the waitress to take a drink order- she started to walk away after the food order and then we waited over an hour for food. The food was mediocre at best. The mashed potatoes tasted like they came out of a box and the pot pie was significantly lacking. I’ve had better turkey pot pie at Boston Market fast food and Marie Callender frozen pot pie from Costco. The drinks were very good (spiced warm apple cider with brandy).
The entire experience was awesome. It is an old restaurant from 1773 and the waitstaff dress as though they are from the era. The food is supposed to be a "taste of history" like the Emmy award winning show. The food was really tasty and they let you know what is GF and what is not which was nice and accommodating.
This was one of our favorite restaurants. Now, not so much. Even though we reserved a table two months in advance, we were seated in the basement room. None of the charming decor of the upstairs. The waiter spilled ice all over our table-it was not cleaned up. Service was mediocre at best with long pauses in between courses. Our family of 5 paid $200 (3 kids meals) for what was a 3 star at best experience.
Have not been there in 30 years. Food very good. Service to be desired. We waited 40 minutes from end of eating until check. During that time Waiter offered desert to couple next to us before us even though we had been finished 15 minutes and never asked if we wanted refills on our drinks. Just didn't seem to care about us. Very disappointed by this
Incredible food, drinks, and service! The ambiance makes all the difference, but the layout in the cellar can make things quite loud as sound echoes. Even so, this was a magical dinner. I definitely recommend picking up a bottle of wine, the duck sausage, and any of their entrees.
It was nice to dine in a building that dates back to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the first Continental Congress, even though the building had to be rebuilt because of a fire.
The food selections were from the 1700's and presentation was excellent and taste out of the world. Good parking a short distance from location.
We had a wonderful lunch on a Saturday that was very busy in the City.( I'm glad we had made reservations.) But even with the crowds of waiting people, there was no attempt to rush us through the meal. We ate in the very historic-feeling lower level, where kitchen aromas of baking bread and spiced cider swirled around us. It was clear that the hostesses and our waiter enjoyed their jobs. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the food and about the different drinks. We left feeling very satisfied and totally well-treated!
I have gone to City Tavern several times recently and greatly enjoyed the experience. I had always assumed that it is mostly for tourists (which may be true), but as a local it is also festive and interesting. The food is good (perhaps not great), the wait staff are enthusiastic and helpful (if a bit harried this recent time), the decor is an authentic recreation of an 18th Century tavern (a la Williamsburg, VA). It can get a little noisy at times, depending upon how crowded. I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and unusual lunch or dinner.
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