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“Great Place to Visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Josiah Chowning's Tavern

Josiah Chowning's Tavern
Duke of Gloucester Street, Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA 23185
757 229 2141
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Ranked #83 of 333 restaurants in Williamsburg
Price range: $0 - $22
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Davenport, Iowa
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great Place to Visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We visiter Chowning's Tavern during our Christmas visit to Williamsburg Va. It was the second tavern, and the reviews were not as kind on Trip Advisor. I knew what to expect going in from the reviews, but we did not see any of the problems that others had mentioned.

When we arrived in Williamsburg we made our reservations at the Visitors Center** when we arrived for after the Tavern Ghost. We had prepurchased tickets for the Tavern Ghost walk and decided to do the dinner after the walk, since we would be there to enjoy the music in the tavern. We got there 1/2 before our reservation and we were able to be seated.

The seats are small and scratchy due to the twine, but that is part of the old time Colonial Williamsburg theme- so wear jeans and be prepared to not have your thighs supported. We got use to it and forgot about it as the dinner went on. I was surprised that they had regular lights and not candlelight like the other tavern.

The food was great. I had the Pork which included ribs and smoked roast. I don't usually care for smoked food that much, but the roast was awesome. My son and my sister-in law split a Chicken, and they were very glad to let them do that. My husband also had Chicken, and he gave some to my son who is a growing teenager. The portions are huge ( I took half of the food home) and the meal is a bit pricey, but it is a fun place to go. The waitress was nice always in character and we had fun with her. The staff was kind, and we had a very nice time. It was a great way to end our trip to Williamsburg.

(**note to travelers - If it is your first visit to Williamsburg -stop at the visitors center to get tickets we ran into people that my husband works with and they did not get tickets to enter any of the buildings and missed the Christmas Eve cannons and Christmas Tree lighting and missed out on some great events. I think if I went back I would not get a Season Pass, and just walk around for one day )

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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446 reviews from our community

67% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 111 cities Reviews in 111 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
“Gamble's Bar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

After 9:00 PM Chowning's Tavern becomes Gamble's Bar which was a great experience...light late night food is served...good adult drinks...there are musical entertainers...games to play at the table...and you are seated colonial style with other people you don't know so there is an opportunity for great conversation...so we highly recommend you try Gamble's Bar for a late night experience.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Nice place - limited kids selection”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We stopped by on the spur of the moment after getting into town and wanting lunch. We were seated after about a 15 min wait. The staff was very friendly. My husband and I both found the menu to be very satisfactory but our 10 yr old daughter didn't have much to choose from. Yes, she's a bit picky but there wasn't a lot of kids choices, really. The food was excellent, but a bit pricey as expected considering the location. There was some live entertainment while we dined and the atmosphere was great.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Williamsburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Had To Leave Due To A Loud Diner”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

We had been talking about visiting a Colonial Williamsburg Tavern since moving to Williamsburg this past August. On a chilly day we decided to give Chownings a try looking for some comfort food for lunch. We were seated quickly to a table in the small upstairs dining room with about six tables. We were greeted by a very friendly waitress who supplied us with water and explained the rather short menu to us. One thing that we couldn't help but notice was a table of four adults next to us with one of the men talking in a very loud and obnoxious voice as he was lecturing the other diners on ancient Asian culture and military operations. We did the normal looking over frequently and trying to make eye contact but it was useless as he just kept lecturing even while eating and with his mouth full. To the waitress's credit she had served him his entree while he was still eating his soup but the tactic failed and he just kept talking. As we looked around the dining room we noticed that no one else was talking and were hurriedly eating as we assume to leave. Another thing that we noticed was the obvious displeasure of the wait staff as well. I think that our waitress did us a favor by waiting a bit to take our order as it was so bad that we had to get up and leave. As we were leaving we mentioned that the noise level was too high and she nodded her head indicating that she clearly understood. My hope is that those that are prone to loud talking will read this and make some adjustments while eating out.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowling Green, Ohio
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Historic Tavern Dining”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

During a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, we decided to play the tourist roll to the hilt and took one of our evening meals at one of the historic taverns located in the village. We found the experience to be unique and enjoyable. The furnishings are typical of what was there in the 18th century (e.g. - the chairs have you sitting somewhat lower than 21st century chairs), the staff dressed in period costume, and many of the menu items were ones that would have been featured in the mid-to-late 1700's. The food was very good with most of the entrees being in the low to upper $20 range. There was dinner entertainment that featured a singer and a musician who performed songs and music from that era.

Visited December 2012
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