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“Historical and enjoyable”
Review of City Tavern

City Tavern
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Ranked #13 of 4,466 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $40
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, 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 March 16, 2013

I liked everything about this historically accurate restaurant. The building was reconstructed to match everything we can know about the original, down to the layout and the color of the candles. The recipes are based on dishes served in Colonial times, including some linked to Founding Fathers. My personal favorites included the beer flight, the authentic breads, mushroom toast, and the vennison served on herbed barley. A history interpretter also presents a short summary of the building's structure and history during the meal. If you go to Philadelphia and eat at the Hard Rock without eating here, you're missing out.

1  Thank inivium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,813 - 2,817 of 3,461 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

City Tavern is a re-creation of the tavern frequented by our forefathers. Ben Franklin and friends all sat down for a meal or grog at this very location. The building is not original but it is a very close replica. Food and drink are similar to what was eaten in the 1700's & 1800's. Most recently I went with friends for drinks and a snack. The bar area is small, but welcoming with period furnishings and a fireplace. The wait staff all dress in period attire. One favorite beverage choice is the beer sampler. It includes four beers made locally by Yards Brewing Company. One is actually Ben Franklin's original recipe! Another drink is the Champagne Shrub. For snacks I recommend the bread plate and the cheese plate. Great combo! The tavern is an easy walk from Independence Hall. If you are energetic after you nosh, walk two more blocks to Penn's Landing and work off the calories while enjoying a stroll along the water.

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1  Thank Crisred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

Stopped here for lunch and enjoyed a good meal. Loved the time-period atmosphere and service was attentive. Food was good with large portions. Definitely worth the stop.

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Thank JoDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

First visited this place in September 2011 (see my review dtd. Oct. 8, 2011), but had the opportunity to return on a Saturday night in March with a group of 30+. We had our own dinning room downstairs and enjoyed listening to a harp player throughout the dinner. This touch certainly made the night special. Our servers were great, explaining the history of the tavern, the history of the food and keeping us entertained during dinner.

Food was excellent, including:

1. country salad w/rasberry shrub vinaigrette
2. chicken breast madeira w/ mushrooms and mashed potatoes and historic veggies
3. bread pudding for dessert

This is definitely a "Must-Do" if you are in Philly. Colonial America comes alive when you arrive here! Make certain to pick up the brochures in the front that provides a good history of the tavern.

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2  Thank CynthiafromOhio2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Our day of walking the Philly historic district was crowned with lunch at the historic tavern, just a short walk from Independence Hall. We ate in a smaller room on the second floor, with live harp music being played closebyl. All of the wait-staff is in period costume, as is the food presentation and table setting. But the best to come is the food, intended to be based on 18th century menus. Each of our group had something different and we were all pleased and satisfied. The breads were a wonderful additions and the service was just right. Be sure to pick up the two-for-one coupon at the Independence Hall Visitors center, too.

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1  Thank Beavergal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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