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“Eat outside for a quick meal, easy for families” 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
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Trophy Club, Texas
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Eat outside for a quick meal, easy for families”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2010

There was a 20 min wait for lunch, but no wait for outside. We chose outside. The difference is the food outside is not freshly prepared. It is cold sandwiches wrapped in plastic or hot sandwiches wrapped in foil. But, the taste was good and it's the best value for all of the Williamsburg taverns, especially if you're feeding a family. We'd eat here again.

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

67% Recommend
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    75
    44
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, SC
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“nothing special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

Got there at 12:15 for lunch and the wait was already an hour and 15 minutes. Inside is crowded, not much room at the table or between tables. Got the turkey and cheese sandwich on sourdough bread and was not impressed, but the potato salad was good. Too pricey for average food.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Garden Dining Disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2009

My husband and I have been vacationing to Williamsburg for almost 25 years. One of our traditions is to have (use to be a tankard) now a glass of beer in the garden dining behind the Kings Arms Tavern.

The day we decided to visit the Kings Arms, the tavern was closed, so we thought we'd try the garden dining behind Chownings. We've eaten at the tavern and visit Gambols often over the years and always enjoyed our time there. However.....

Having in mind our experience with dining under the trellis at the Kings Arms, we were sadly disappointed with Chownings. Instead of being seated by a server, you que up to the register and order prepackaged sandwiches, bags of chips, and bottled beer or pop. The register people were gossiping and loudly talking about what they would do after work.

The "seat yourself" arrangement and que line just didn't have the genteel atmosphere the Kings Arms has. I guess it's fine for families who want a quick lunch, but that was another disappointment...what family could afford an $8.00 ham and cheese sandwich that Chowning was charging?

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“wonderful place for the evening!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2009

We went here for dinner our first night in Williamsburg and had such a nice time that we went back again. Reading through these reviews I was shocked to find how many people really don't like the place! We found it to have a great atmosphere, friendly service, fun entertainment, good beer, and okay food that was reasonably priced (especially for the historic area). Nice variety of beers. Loved the big baskets of peanuts on the tables for shelling and munching while you wait. Enjoyed sitting and chatting with two other couples the first night but did get a table for two on our second visit. Both nights entertainment was a magician and musical duo (different pair with different instruments the two nites). The musicians chatted, answered questions, and were educating as well as entertaining. We had corn chowder and welsh rarebit the first night and tried the sampler for two when we returned. Not great cuisine--but good and plentiful. Rarebit had a bit of a bite to it. Riblets and cheese crock were our favorites. Cake was just okay. Ice cream portions were huge. I can't imagine not going back when we visit again. More worthwhile than our lunch at Kings Arms and cheaper.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Central Illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Once is enough.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2009

Ok, so I have never eaten in one of the CW taverns, and after visiting the area since 1996, I thought it would be a good time to try one. We're on a budget, so this is the place we chose. Atmosphere was great. Very cozy rooms and felt like you were really back in time. Then our waiter came up. Uumm, he wasn't very "colonial" like, I must say. And didn't seem happy to be there. Anyway, I ordered the Welsh Rarebit, and ugh, I had no idea what it would taste like, OR smell like. It was a cheesy-beer sauce over "snippets", (dried slices of bread) you can get it with ham, but I didn't. Anyway, I didn't like this dish one bit, but I've always wanted to try it, so lesson learned. It had a very yeasty smell, and I had to ask the waiter to please take it away. Later he came to our table and said that I wouldn't be charged for it, which I was very surprised and pleased. They didn't have to do that and I didn't expect them to. My friend had the pork sandwich, potato salad, and cole slaw. It came with 2 sandwiches and she gave me one. It was tasty. We were there at night for the "gambols". Well, there was not much going on in our room. Actually, nothing at all. As we were leaving, my friend wanted to take some pictures, so she wandered around while I sat in a chair by the door. There were two interpreters sitting there with musical instruments, strumming a little and talking to each other about who knows what. I was pretty disappointed in this place, but had to try a tavern at least once, and I'm glad I did. Now I know I'm not missing much. But, to each his own, I guess.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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