We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Colonial Dining at its best ....”
Review of City Tavern

City Tavern
Reserve with OpenTable
City Tavern is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #16 of 4,369 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Groups, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: City Center East
Cross street: 2 nd & Walnut Streets
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
Description: Once called "the most genteel tavern in America" by John Adams and the first unofficial "White House," Chef Walter Staib's City Tavern has boasted the finest celebrations since 1773. With over 230 years of hospitality, City Tavern has been the centerpiece of affairs now immortalized in history. An evening at City Tavern is certain to be remembered. Just imagine sampling specialties, such as pepperpot soup, colonial turkey pot pie, roast duckling, Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits paired with ales the ales of the revolution made from George Washington & Benjamin Franklin's recipes -- all served by costumed wait staff. Watch an episode of A Taste of History on PBS, our Chef Proprietor Walter Staib will give you glimpse of what we do here at City Tavern.
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
329 reviews
159 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Colonial Dining at its best ....”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Before going off to a play on S. Broad Street, we stopped over for an early Sunday dinner. Our reservations were placed around 2 pm that afternoon and we were expected which is a plus. We were seated on the 2nd floor (please note that they have three floors for dining) and we were promptly seated, greeted and provided with the specials for the evening. Food was very good and the hot apple cider and Wassail were very well done. Atmosphere was just perfect as all employees were in period dress as is the environment (tables, chairs, cutlery). Definitely worth stopping by again when next in Philadelphia.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank eminker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

3,148 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mays Landing, New Jersey
Level Contributor
82 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Great Food, High Prices”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

My wife and I tried City Tavern after exploring the colonial sites in Philadelphia. It certainly looks and feels the part of a colonial-themed restaurant with the building, the decor, and even the waitstaff uniforms. I think that experience along with its history and proximity to a high tourist area are reflected in prices that should be lower than where they are when you only consider the food.

The service was good. Our waiter was on-point and friendly. It was a little awkward waiting for our table as were sort of just shuffled out of the way until they had a chance to seat us (it was off-hours and not crowded).

The food was really good. I had their signature lobster pie for an entree and their pepper pot soup as an appetizer. The soup was spicy and flavorful and the entree was delicious and filling.

All in all, it was a good experience. It is expensive but it is good and unique and I believe worth a visit.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TheNJBen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merrimack, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
96 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great place!”
Reviewed 26 November 2013 via mobile

Although this was on the expensive side we had a coupon to help. But the place is amazing if you love history. We were seated in the room where the first July 4th celebration took place & where George Washington actually ate! The food was very good too! The servers were dressed in clothing from that period & had history stories to tell you. They also have the beer recipes of several of the Presidents. Great place to revisit!

Thank Crocmate11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yakima, Washington
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“On point.”
Reviewed 25 November 2013

City Tavern was incredible. Once you got past the overall history of the place (if that's possible) the food demands awe. I couldn't help but feel more American as I ate Thomas Jefferson's favorite biscuits and drank Adams' favorite hard cider. Our server, Sara, was great not just in serving but also in telling us some fun stories about what happened in the building, even down to the room we were in. The only bummer about the place was the lack of a gift shop. There is a curio shop, but it is very small and very expensive. Despite that, I would recommend this place to anyone.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Marilee13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Business Dinner for International Clients ”
Reviewed 25 November 2013 via mobile

A wonderful restaurant. Excellent food and fabulous service.

Tahera and her team provided a service of such value that all the client from the UK claimed this was the highlight of the trip.

Leading up to the dinner Tahera and he team were in constant contact with me to ensure everything was how I wanted it to be.

I would certainly recommend the City Tavern to anyone wishing to entertain clients.

Thank HGill02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed City Tavern also viewed


Been to City Tavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing