Shields Tavern

4.4
1146 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Drawing influences from every corner of the former British Empire, the cuisine at James Shield’s Tavern offers an authentic taste of the cosmopolitan nature of the Colonies in the 18th century.
What 1146 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
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LG
New England
15 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Fun dinner by candlelight! Can’t beat the atmosphere and appeal of this tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. We had the fried chicken dinner, pork shank, and beef short rib - all were tasty and good portion sizes. Service was excellent and a roving violinist played for us too!

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were excellent as always. It is like stepping back in time to Colonial days

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LO
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent as was the service. The ambience was just what we were hoping for in Colonial Williamsburg. I highly recommend Shields Tavern.

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L
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambience. Service very attentive. Food was good.

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BM
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

The food was bland, over cooked and a huge disappointment. The waiter was excellent. He was very cordial and entertaining. The table was poorly positioned in the room as three of us faced a wall. It was a disappointment.

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E
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great historical ambiance, very nice service, a huge place with lots of seating, food and cocktails were actually great! We're expecting this place to be just all about the ambience with average food, but not so - the food also shines. Would come back!

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RE
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was good, it was just SO MUCH. The fried chicken was a half a chicken; I really should’ve asked before ordering, as it really could’ve shared it with another family member. Again, it was very good, but having that much food put in front of me was almost frustrating. — A little disappointing was realizing that the three restaurants in CW all serve the same dessert. The desserts we’d had at another CW restaurant the night before were amazing, but they were the only ones on the menu that we would’ve eaten. We were hoping a different restaurant would have a different variety, but were told that this was a recent change.

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BA
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food and great service in a restored 18th Century Tavern.

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CS
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This tavern is a joy for anyone, especially those interested in history. It is set in the 18th century. You eat by candlelight and there are musician who come around and play during your meal. The menu is somewhat limited but any choice is amazing! Go check it out!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Family group of 10 for graduation. Delicious!!

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N
Richmond
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The venue and the ambiance were a great experience to live but the food wasn’t great and very expensive. The desserts were very good though especially the pecan bourbon pie.

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OT
San Antonio
7 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great. Service was fantastic. A lot of atmosphere. We loved it!!!

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GP
Pittsburgh
5 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Have eaten there before over the years, but now basically a mediocre meal in an old building. Not much Colonial atmosphere. Friendly service, but not much else going for it.

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R
Indiana
21 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always make a point of visiting Shields tavern when we are at Colonial Williamsburg. Food and service are excellent. On one of our visits we were especially fortunate to have the basement area nearly to ourselves. Our waiter filled us in with details of the building's history over the course of our dinner making for a unique dining experience, combining a great meal with history. He made our evening especially memorable.

The staff really go out of their way to make sure you have a great time.

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LH
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Didn’t enjoy sitting in dark cellar. Food was not warm enough and provided no entertainment. Probably will not return.

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CS
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

We were seated next to a room of teenagers who were extremely loud. They were apparently finished eating and the noise was unbearable an my wife and I could not carry on a conversation. I asked our server if we could be moved. She was visibly angry at our request. She told us to follow her to the front hostess and she walked by and said to the hostess that "They want to be moved," then she walked off. The next server we had was extremely friendly, kind and very good. The teenagers walked past us about 5 minutes after we were re-seated. With the exception of the rudeness of the first server, our experience was excellent.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was amazing and the food exceptional

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n
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Such an interesting place. food was fine - good taste, hot, great pecan pie too. This is really a special place as they try to show what it was really like 200 years ago.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious dinner special with dessert included. The candlelight was the only light in the room....depending on your room, so very amazing atmosphere

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DB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small menu but all delicious! Yummy chicken served in a frying pan. Very pleasant candle lit atmosphere.

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TT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Plenty of choices, even for children, food was good. Loved the violinist! Loved the atmosphere!

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LK
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Dinner at Shield’s Tavern was a perfect way to end a day at Colonial Williamsburg! We loved the ambiance, the strolling singer, and the menu.

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TJ
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great authentic colonial dinner. Our child really liked the history. Really added to the colonial Williamsburg experience

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TT
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

We have eaten at all of the historic taverns, but Shields is my least favorite. I gave it a second chance, but was again seated in the basement and it’s less than pleasurable. There are too many tables jammed together and there is hardly room to move. The chairs are very low and you are smashed against a brick wall. There was also a smell that dampened my appetite. The server told us that the basement was a storage area in colonial times and I believe it. It doesn’t look like a place where food should be served! I LOVE the other taverns and highly recommend them. Shields would be a great place to eat if you are on a ghost tour and want a creepy, dark place to eat. It definitely has that kind of ambiance. The food was extremely mediocre, but the mint julep was awesome!

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DD
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was Bernice, aka Pooh. Loved her!!! The food was excellent as was the whole experience

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HL
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the food. The salad served in a hollowed tomato was fresh and delicious. The braised pork rib was amazing and my daughter loved the fried chicken dinner. The ambiance was historical and candlelit with period decor. Our server was so friendly and made our time fun. We really loved it.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While staying in Williamsburg we made reservations at Shields to meet up with friends local to the area. The food was fabulous and the history we learned on the tavern was great.

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G
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was very good. I expected the staff to act more "colonial". Service was very good, just not period specific. Also, expected live music since we had an evening meal.

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RR
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I recently went to Shields Tavern at Colonial Williamsburg. The food and service were outstanding. Be sure to make reservations as you will likely be disappointed if you show up without one. I live close to Williamsburg and we visit several times a year. (FYI, you do not need to purchase a pass to visit the taverns or much of the historic area, but you do need a pass to visit many of the historic buildings).

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DB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, the service was spectacular and the experience of eating in a colonial tavern is wonderful. Check the bamboo on the seats before you sit down, a lot of them were falling apart. The menu is very limited so with kids it was difficult to find something they would like. We have eaten at Shields Tavern in the past and will probably eat there again.

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G
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and son had the pork shank. It was tender and tasty. Portion was enough to fill the hungry tummy. I had the fried chicken dinner. Definitely worth the price. Chicken was juicy and prepared perfectly. Came with soup and dessert. Definitely a great choice. Would recommend this tavern dining.

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AG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

We expected a colonial dining experience. What we had was an overpriced meal served in a fake iron skillet.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner and service was great. The staff is exceptionally friendly. Aside from the dinner, I had mistakenly left my sunglasses behind. The next morning I called and left a message before they opened. A short time later I received a call back from the manager, Betty, she had found the glasses. Not being from the area, she gave us great directions to save us driving time.

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BH
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Shield's Tavern is a must do if you are in the Williamsburg area. The staff is pleasant and very efficient. There are only about 6 entrees for dinner. However, they are prepared to perfection. The atmosphere in the 18th century building is wonderful. Will certainly visit again!

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Savannah
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved the atmosphere and my husband loved his meal - pork shank. I’m a bit pickier. The fried chicken was delicious, but I was disappointed with the choice of sides. I don’t like mashed potatoes, or the other possible substitutions. Had I known there were French fries on the kids menu, I would have asked for that, but it was not offered. My favorite vegetable is green beans and I was disappointed that the green beans in the vegetable medley were not cooked well enough - too hard, not tender. Would have given 5 stars had it not been for the above.

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T
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg.

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T
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Waitress was not very friendly. Food was expensive. No relish prior to dinner. There was No entertainment. Would put them 4th on the list. Christiana Campbells, Kings Arms, Chownings are much better. Donna

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BB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I would suggest to friends that they try a tavern in Williamsburg ONCE because of the ambiance. Otherwise, dinners can do better in the area.

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RK
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We eat here every time that we visit Williamsburg, we love the food and the quaint surroundings. Our Server was very efficient, and pleasant. This is an experience that just can't be missed when you visit this wonderful place.

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DM
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

Have dined at all 4 Colonial Williamsburg Taverns. Can highly recommend Kings Arms or Christiana Campbell's for seafood; Chownings' has an extensive menu of lighter fare and doesn't require reservations. Shield's Tavern on the other hand has a limited menu and is overpriced. We were seated in the wine cellar/basement which was crowded, dark and noisy; food was thoroughly mediocre. Visit Williamsburg frequently...will NOT be returning to Shields.

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