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City Tavern

Fodorite Reviews

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City Tavern Review

You can time-travel to the 18th century at this authentic re-creation of historic City Tavern, where the atmosphere suggests that Founding Fathers such as John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the gang might have dined here (they didn't; the restaurant was built under the supervision of the National Park Service in 1994, to the specifications of the original 1773 tavern). The food is heavy and rich—West Indies pepper-pot soup, Martha Washington's turkey potpie, and braised rabbit are prepared from enhanced period recipes and served on handsome Colonial-patterned china or pewter. Happily all is not authentic—the restaurant makes good use of refrigeration and electricity. Reservations are recommended.

    Restaurant Details

  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 05-19-2011

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    An historic evening

    While visiting Philly, we decided to eat as our ancestors did and tried City Tavern. The old world entrees were declious and the Sweet Potato Biscuits are to die for! The atmosphere was just right;I recomend taking a step back in time for an enjoyable evening.

    by Kingo, 10/19/08
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    A Philadelphia Story

    I met some colleagues here for dinner a week or so ago. I work in Philadelphia, but had never been to the restaurant before. I had heard about it from friends and coworkers. I've also seen the chef on TV from time to time. I thought it was time to give the place a shot and made dinner reservations for my friends and I. While I was a bit apprehensive after walking in the door and seeing servers in period costumes, eventually there was no denying that we were all eager to eat and drink like a true patriot. We started off in the small tavern area with a few beers - a few strong beers brewed from the original recipes of our founders. Later during dinner we were treated to some history and delicious food like the duck and pot pie. I would recommend that everyone try this place at least once. It may not be an ideal dining location for all, but it will definitely be a historical experience.

    by Matthew1982, 2/5/08
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    Perfect for Colonial Times

    The atmosphere, the wait staff, the menu, even the spirits were a perfect throwback to Colonial times. The pot pies were supurb (my wife had turkey, I had a lobster and shrimp special). Looking forward to our return to the City of brotherly love.

    by bkraeuter, 2/25/07
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    Philadelphia Visit

    I visited Philadelphia and the City Tavern recently. My family and I had reservations for around 6:30PM. We arrived a bit early as we walked from our hotel that was right up the street. I had heard about this restaurant from a friend of mine that visited the city early last year. He said we should try to take the kids there for at least a walk through, but the food was definitely worth the trip all by itself. The kids menu was a perfect fit for my picky family. They loved the colonial pot pie and chicken fingers. While they were overjoyed with their choices my wife and I were in awe of the 'grown-ups' dinner menu. We loved our roasted duckling and the rack of lamb. Our server was quite friendly and helpful. He knew about the history of the restaurant and he was helpful in pointing us in the right direction when it came time to decide what other landmarks to visit in Philadelphia. I would recommend this restaurant to families and those without children as well. It would make a great place for a family dinner or a business luncheon.

    by EddieTraveler, 2/19/07
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    Colonial Cuisine?

    A few friends and myself opted for City Tavern after wandering around Old City on a Saturday afternoon. There are plenty of dining options in this area of the city, but this restaurant was truly unique in every way. Although it is a reproduction of the original City Tavern which was destroyed by fire, this historically accurate restaurant/museum provides an unmatched dining experience. The food is worthy of more words than can be used in this forum. This place could get away with serving half-hearted dishes and ushering tourists in the front door and out the back, but it DOES NOT. The food is researched and inspired by authentic colonial recipes, and you can actually taste history. Whether it be a beer brewed from Thomas Jefferson's original recipe or a heavenly slice of Chocolate Mousse Cake (which is also derived from an original colonia recipe), City Tavern is really in a dining class all by itself.

    by lewisb, 2/7/07

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