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“Good with Groups; Go for the Traditional Dishes” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gadsby's Tavern

Gadsby's Tavern
138 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314-3278
703-548-1288
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Ranked #60 of 651 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
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.
Dayton, Ohio
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Good with Groups; Go for the Traditional Dishes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

I joined a large group of coworkers at this landmark Old Town Alexandria eatery that could easily be termed a museum of colonial dining. Several dishes on the menu purportedly mirror their 1780's origins so closely, you could readily imagine you're dining with old George W (the FIRST, not the 43d) himself.

While my path was a culinary dead end (I went for the prime rib, which, in my opinion, was flavorful but a bit chewy), several of my cohort found paradise with one of the quaint originals, the Gentleman's Pye. This particular dish, a very tempting bowl of lamb and beef stewed in wine with a puff pastry top crust, received rave reviews, as did the lamb chops, the pork chops, and the filets of beef ordered around the table. The assorted side dishes ordered were also well appreciated, but I noted several plates were cleared still holding large clumps of the "daily vegetables" served with most of the entrees. For my part, I particularly enjoyed the wedge salad, a crisp and refreshing quarter head of iceberg served with crumbled bleu cheese, bacon bits, thinly sliced red onion, a quartered tomato, and a tangy horseradish dressing on the side.

Gadsby's (being a tavern, doh!) has a long and varied wine list along with a good mix of traditional-style ales to quench your colonial thirst; sadly, they are not local beers, coming instead bottled from Philadelphia's Yards brewery. I would imagine Gadsby's of old served more local fare.

Overall, the ambiance is hard to beat; rustic hand-hewn floors, antique glass in the windows, and the matching antique tables. I give them high marks for service -- the restaurant handled our rather large group very well, but I have to say, at those prices, I don't expect to get a chewy prime rib. I'd still go back -- and order the Gentleman's Pye or the filet.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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298 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Wish they tried harder”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

Being a history buff, I was excited to have dinner in this historic building. The dinner was fine, nothing spectacular, and somewhat pricey (though the bread was really good). The waitress was pleasant in a lackluster, spacey way. What I found most disappointing was that there was no emphasis on the building's history. Some materials on the table to tell you about the building, the various rooms, etc. would have been so terrific. If I hadn't read about the place before going, I would have known nothing about its historical significance.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall, Canada
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Service was very good - food not so much”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

This is definitely a tourist attraction more than it is a fine restaurant. The service was good. The food however, was served warm and flavourless.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Sanatoga
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Colonial charm in Old Alexandria”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014 via mobile

My daughter attends GWU in Washington DC, so we almost always stay in Alexandria VA when my wife and I come to visit. Gadsby's Tavern had always been a required meal whenever we are here. When we were here over the Christmas holiday, we toured the building by day, and dined here in the evening. We were delighted not just by the food, but also by a costumed colonial man who engaged us in conversation about the ongoing War of 1812! He was quite funny and amusing....looking forward to seeing him again!

Visited December 2013
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Mesa, Arizona
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Great old Tavern where founding fathers gathered”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We had a great experience from the service to the food to the atmosphere. We had no problem making reservations for dinner and we were seated promptly in the main dining area by the bar. My wife ask if there was a favorite place that George Washington used to request. They re-seated us in the back dining room in front of the fireplace. That made a huge difference and I would suggest requesting to be seated there. They were fairly busy, but the service was right on time and very freindly. The food was fantastic. I had the prime rib that wasn't the best I have ever had, but was good. We ordered a side of the Corn Pudding and it was amazing, not just creamed corn. I would highly recommend going to this historic tavern.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.

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