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“Best Meal and Experience for the True Historical Evening!”

Josiah Chowning's Tavern
Ranked #32 of 392 Restaurants in Williamsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $22
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Meal and Experience for the True Historical Evening!”
Reviewed October 22, 2011

Just last week I had the opportunity to travel to Colonial Williamsburg to see the Leaf Change for the Fall. If you have never experienced Colonial Williamsburg it is a must. There you are transported back some 250 years to the time of the Revolutionary War. At Chownings, one of the 4 local taverns in historical area, one can dine in the time period. First, the meal, anything on the menu is wonderful. We had the opportunity to enjoy lunch twice, trying everything on the menu - wonderful. I would suggest the Cheese Crock with fresh fruit. It is the perfect lunch - leaving room for dessert. Also, with the colder weather setting in the hot cider is a must. For the evening, following the Ghost Tour, drop by Chownings for Gambols - the evening fare and entertainment that was enjoyed during the 18th Century. The food again is perfect, and the entertainment is enjoyable as well as a learning experience for the historian in all of us.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Martha O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
“Average”
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Is one of the restored taverns in Colonial Williamsburg that we enjoy. Menu this time was quite limited and the prices up noticeably. Food was nothing out of ordinary. They are now serving dinner and while we did not eat dinner there the menu looked better than lunch.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank MBNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A total ripoff!”
Reviewed October 10, 2011

I visited Williamsburg - a beautiful, well-maintained city - for the first time recently. A friend had said any of the places in the historic district - meaning the taverns - were good. I walked downtown from my hotel the first night but thought all of them seemed a tad overpriced. I think the entrees at Chowning's were in the $25-$30+ range; the other taverns were even more. But my last day in town I thought I'd try one of the taverns for lunch since eating at one of the taverns seemed like the thing to do. I put my name on the list at Chowning's for a 15-minute wait but was also told by the hostess that I could get faster service around the back at the Garden Cafe.

Since I was waiting anyway, I went around the back, checked the menu, and decided to eat at the outdoor cafe since it was such a nice day. Well, for $9.50 I got a pre-made deli ham sandwich with one slice of tasteless "Cheddar" cheese on very cold pre-sliced sourdough bread in a plastic container, along with a bag of crushed potato chips. I really should have brought it back. If you eat inside, you get potato salad or a handful of chips, plus lettuce, tomato and pickle, for another $2. That's $11.50 for a deli ham sandwich! There are plenty of other dining options not far from Colonial Williamsburg - some in the Merchants Square area within walking distance - that would be a much better bet than Chowning's.

By the way, the shops in the historic district are also overpriced. One shop sells bottles of Williamsburg Winery wine for $12.95 that you can guy at the local Harris Teeter off either 199 or Quarterpath Road for $6.99 or at the winery for $8 (although it was on sale for $7 during my visit).

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank southportravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, il
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“overpriced”
Reviewed September 14, 2011

Had a late dinner with family. The food was average, service ok, the check was big.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Benson4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, U.K.
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Not cheap but excellent food”
Reviewed August 26, 2011

We had dinner at Chownings and both the food and the drinks were excellent. I can certainly recommend the 'Red Hen' beer and my wife enjoyed the local rose wine she had. My beef was 'melt in the mouth' tender and very tasy and my wife assures me that her salmon which was the dish of the day was equally good. Portion size was fine and we could manage to share what turned out the be biggest single portion of raspberry sorbet I have ever seen served in a restaurant.
The service was friendly and efficient and being serenaded by an great violinist added to the event. The meal was not cheap but was good value in that we received good service and entertainment. Recommended.

    • Value
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jazzjerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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