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“Worth a look but skip the food!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gadsby's Tavern

Gadsby's Tavern
138 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314-3278 (Old Town)
703-548-1288
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Ranked #54 of 648 Restaurants in Alexandria
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Old Town
Cross street: Cameron Street
Description: Gadsby's Tavern has been offering fine dining since 1770. Enjoy lunch and dinner in one of the elegant Colonial dining rooms. The one-of-a-kind Gadsby's Tavern experience awaits you.
Fort Lauderdale
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Worth a look but skip the food!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We have visited Alexandria several times and have dined in many wonderful restaurants - this is not one of them. The history and quaint ambience of the tavern are the only things worth the visit. The appetizer recommended by or server was a "puff pastry" filled with a paste of ground ham, crab and salmon supposedly. Just ok. The "jumbo crab cakes" were actually horrible. Dry, 1/2 bread crumbs, no flavor at all and lukewarm. A huge waste for the $26 price. Sides were cold mashed potatoes and steamed veggies both with no seasoning at all. My husband's sauteed spinach had so much salt it had to be remade. The waiter apologized for the "lackluster meal" and provided free dessert which again was just "ok" - a vanilla berry trifle. Visit but don't eat here - save your money for other truly excellent dining choices in Alexandria.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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265 reviews from our community

72% Recommend
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    83
    44
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, VA
Top Contributor
435 reviews 435 reviews
209 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“A Return to the Days of Washington”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

The tavern is an authentic reproduction of the the pub that was a gathering place for the residents of Alexandria before and after the Revolution. It was a favorite of George Washington and become a hub for the northern Virginia colonists who stood firmly for freedom against the English crown. The food is all right, but nothing to brag about. The menu features a good choices of entree including beef, chicken, pork and fish. Colonial specials are scattered throughout the menu (try the peanut soup for a change of pace) to give guests that sense of dining in the late 18th century. A nice variety of desserts will fill out a meal. Decent wine and beer seletions served by a friendly staff clothed in colonial garb. Clearly a tourtis attraction, Gadsby's is not memorable for high quality dining. It is a great place to take visitors to give them a flavor of the prominent historial roots of Alexandria, but not destination for a dinner. Sit back and relax over a good drink or two as you try to connect with the days of the Revolution. After all, the taverns of that period were places to drink and talk rather than to feast on great food.

Visited May 2013
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Historic realness”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Charming dining room with servers dressed in period costumes created a nice atmosphere. Brunch was a good value & tasty. Surprised at untidy back of house & bathrooms.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

Spent a week in Alexandria while visiting DC, and decided to try Gadsby's one night, mainly for the history. We didn't know what to expect as far as food quality, so we were very surprised at how much we enjoyed our meal. The ambience was fantastic. Service was good, not the best, but solid. The food was the star of this visit. Hubby had prime rib and I had the beef bordelaise. They were both excellent! We also tried the Smithfield ham biscuit appetizer and wedge salad with horseradish dressing...both very good. For dessert we split the original "burnt creme" dessert which we loved. Literally everything about this meal was topnotch. Prices were average for Old Town, which is not cheap. We were expecting a tourist trap, but instead had one of the best meals of our vacation. Highly recommend.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Lawn
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Historic atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

This restaurant is next to the Gadsby Tavern Museun. Supposedly George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have dined here. It is small and very charming. Lots of atmosphere and very popular especially on weekends. Wait staff dress in period attire. The steaks were very good.
Make a reservation or you probably won't get in. We had a reservation but were seated at a table about 2feet from another table because that was the only table available at 6:00pm. The manager promptly moved us to a just vacated table about 10 min. later because he said he could see I wasn't comfortable with the table. That's excellent service especially since we didn't complain about the seating - there wasn't another choice when we arrived.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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