We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Cool Historic Location”
Review of City Tavern

City Tavern
Reserve with OpenTable
City Tavern is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #14 of 4,519 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: City Center East
Cross street: 2 nd & Walnut Streets
Transit: The Market-Frankford "El" has a stop at 2nd and Market Streets as well as the 21 & 42 bus lines drops at our door
Description: Once called "the most genteel tavern in America" by John Adams and the first unofficial "White House," Chef Walter Staib's City Tavern has boasted the finest celebrations since 1773. With over 230 years of hospitality, City Tavern has been the centerpiece of affairs now immortalized in history. An evening at City Tavern is certain to be remembered. Just imagine sampling specialties, such as pepperpot soup, colonial turkey pot pie, roast duckling, Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits paired with ales the ales of the revolution made from George Washington & Benjamin Franklin's recipes -- all served by costumed wait staff. Watch an episode of A Taste of History on PBS, our Chef Proprietor Walter Staib will give you glimpse of what we do here at City Tavern.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

I loved how historic the location is. I'm traveling alone on business and thought it might be awkward to dine alone at a candle-lit historical restaurant with costumed staff but it was quite the contrary. The food was delicious and huge portioned. If you're a light eater I might recommend trying to see if you can get a lunch portion at dinner. The historical brews are also quite fun to try.

Thank Julia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (3,556)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

2,957 - 2,961 of 3,556 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2012

We're from Philly and go back often. We have had many great times at City Tavern over the years. This time we made a reservation and were seated after a short wait - the front room by the door can get very drafty so we asked for a different location but were told they had a private party and that was all that was available. Waiting for the waiter to arrive took almost 15 minutes. The enthusiasm we loved about the staff was a thing of the past. The crab cakes were good; the shrimp had huge amounts of barbecue sauce covering them and were barely edible. The salmon was ok; the lobster potpie was soupy and full of shrimp with only a few pieces of lobster and my veal Wiener schnitzel was like leather and tasteless. I would have complained more but the waiter was quite busy and never really asked how the food was. When he asked if we wanted desert, I said yes but in a different restaurant. After almost 30 years of eating there and recommending the Tavern, that was our last visit - and one of our favorite parts of the meal- the different colonial breads - was ruined when we were served stale biscuits - lastly they refilled our water frequently but there was no ice in the pitcher so the water was tepid and of course the cold air coming into the room whenever the outside door opened was the final touch - there was a fireplace in the room but no fire.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank emgarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I decide on last minute that my daughter and I that we will be spending the day in Philliy. I have gone many of time's to the City Tavern great food great experience but on, December 1st of 2012. Will be last day I would ever go back into that place. First waiter took a long time to bring food and drinks to the table. Very rude never came back to ask us if we were O.K. the bread was cold. The Steak had 90% fat couldn't eat it, my dog didn't want it when I came home with doggie bag.There were two other people complaining about steak he couldn't care less it was just horrible experience it's mostly first time tourist place.I will go were the locals go for great dinner or lunch. Never ever again eighty dollars and we bought dinner at the station on the way home the food was awful. And never took price off for not having shrimp with the steak combo charge the same price which he told us he will work on taking price off for the shrimp.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank asouskas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChefStaib, Public Relations Manager at City Tavern, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We take customer satisfaction very seriously. I am embarrassed to hear that your server did not address your concerns at the time of dining and your bill was not corrected. Please contact our director of operations at 215-413-1443 so we can remedy the situation. We strive for every guest to have a wonderful experience and we missed the mark this time. I hope you will contact us so we can discuss this and improve our inconsistencies.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

For a throwback to the times when Philadelphia was the denter of the colonies and political action, this was where the founding fathers dined and drank. It maintains that atmosphere successfully. Have a Tavern Ale and enjoy the history!

Thank Bonnie Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

Ok...so Im Scottish and grown up visiting heritage sites in the UK and Europe, so when I walked into the City Tavern I thought urgh...tacky. Mistake. It was superb. The costumes are a bit too much in my personal opinion BUT the food is absolutely superb as is the service. I would have loved to have gone back but was there on a day trip....a MUST do in Philadelphia! Go!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank N4YHW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed City Tavern also viewed

Philadelphia, PA

Been to City Tavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing