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“Great ambiance, pricey”
Review of City Tavern

City Tavern
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Ranked #13 of 4,428 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $40
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, 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 August 26, 2013

We went here to eat mainly for the atmosphere, but came at lunch time to save $$$. My husband enjoyed the beer sampler. The kids liked drinking from heavy goblets and the costumed waiters. Helped us get into the historic Philly mood. Also enjoyed Martha Washington's chocolate mousse cake.

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Thank HelenRacine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,572 - 2,576 of 3,360 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

I almost took this off of our places to dine, thinking it might be a bit cheesy and overly commercialized. Probably overpriced, too. None of the above.

There were six of us, two of which had been there a few years ago. We are from Los Angeles and since it was a road trip and we one of the other couples really wanted to go, we went.

Five different dishes (two ordered the same thing) but for seniors, that usually means changes to the way the chef wants you to eat it. No problem. Our waitress, Sara, was the best. Great personality, excellent recommendations, knowledgeable about the local history, of which, of course, in Philly is a lot, and very entertaining. Food all came out together and everyone of us was pleased with the meal, the presentation and of course, the service. Not rushed, and not delayed. Food cooked the way it's requested.

Would we go back if we are in Philadelphia again? You bet! Especially if we could get Sarah, but she had other goals. She is also working for a degree in sociology, interning at a non-profit for underprivileged children, and doing a few other things in her spare time. Spare time? We wish Sarah all the best, but her service (and the good food) assured our return and our recommendation.

By the way, I had the duckling. Mmm!

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Thank Barbara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

This place was so awesome that we went twice during our short four day trip. The first time we had appetizers and the kid's pot pie. We sat in the tavern for a casual sort of feel and the wait staff doted on the kids and told them all sorts of great historical tales. The kids begged to go back so we went for dinner on our last night here. The braised rabbit is fantastic and cooked perfectly. The kids (who are picky, by the way) loved the shrimp appetizer (BBQ sauce on the side), and pot pie. I honestly would go to this place again. It doesn't seem so much like a tourist spot to me, as a cozy little slice of history where you can casually hang out in a variety of rooms from tavern, to sitting room, to dining rooms.

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Thank Stacey409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

If you are visiting Philadelphia it is a treat to dine where the founding fathers did. The food was very good. I had the lobster pie and my wife had the roast duck. We were both pleased with our choices. The environment was original and service was very good. I enjoyed the Thomas Jefferson ale. Thomas Jefferson's favorite biscuits made with sweet potatoes and walnuts were excellent. I could have made a meal with the biscuits and the ale. This is a must stop in Philadelphia.

1  Thank TheRodg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

The food is exquisite! We had Tavern Lobster pie and the Veal & Herb Sausage “Münchner Style” entrees. Everything was perfectly paired, cooked and served. Great eye appeal, too. The sauerkraut was better than my Grandmothers. That's a first. the Ale sampler. My faves the Tavern Spruce and the Tavern Porter. All ales crafted by Yards. Our server schooled us on the the revolutionary food. We were happy to know we happened on the City Tavern. We have been catching food shows on PBS in Milwaukee by owner Walter Staib. Great find. And love the 18th century atmosphere. Love the candlelight. five out of 5 stars for us...and we are very critical when it comes to restaurants. Out server, Rich was also very helpful with Q's about getting around the city and a site or two we had Q's about. Thanks, Rich!!!! We had an awesome time at City Tavern. I'm sure we will come back for more when we're back in Philly!
PS We saw a brochure or ad with a picture of a family, casually dressed, I remembered seeing the father with shorts on. It looked a little like a family at Disney for a lunch at Cinderella's castle. I was so relieved it wasn't like that! This is perfectly Philly 18th century. I hope the ad pic is changed for their benefit.

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Thank 348reb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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