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City Tavern
Today 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
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138 S 2nd St Philadelphia, PA 19106
138 South 2nd StreetUSPennsylvaniaPhiladelphia19106
$$Bar, American Restaurant
American Restaurant
Traditional American Restaurant
Today 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PMSaturday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PMSunday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PMMonday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PMTuesday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PMWednesday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PMThursday 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
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Review Summary
184 reviews
5 star
65 reviews
4 star
70 reviews
3 star
19 reviews
2 star
17 reviews
1 star
12 reviews
A reconstructed Colonial tavern where servers in period dress deliver old-fashioned American fare.- Google
"The turkey pot pie was good, but it was a lot of cream and little substance."
"It clearly stated that the recipe called for heavy cream."
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Stephen Wagner
2 weeks ago
It's the sort of place you'd expect to be a touristy gimmick, except the food is actually quite good and the atmosphere is fun. They pride themselves on rustic colonial fare, and from what I've tasted their approach is rather successful. I particularly enjoyed an entree of braised rabbit and vegetables on one visit. On another, we were served a large Thanksgiving meal family-style, with turkey, fish, heaps of trimmings, and desert. Everything was tasty. The City Tavern is worth a visit at least once. It might not be trendy, fashionable, or gourmet, but it's chasing a certain niche—and doing what it does well.
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Frederick Wright
a week ago
Definitely a tourist trap but also definitely worth a visit. Olde-timey tavern, one of the oldest in the city, where servers dressed in Colonial garb serve up some truly interesting beers. Food tends to be merely okay except during their 'special' scheduled and ticketed dinners which are pretty spectacular.
Tony Kearse
3 months ago
Food was good,Puddings excellent. Could have done with some vegetables with turkey pot pie (3 ordered) but have found on past experience in US you must order as a side why? In England they come as part of a meal. Lucky to have the house musician playing(harp) at time of visit. Would recommend as a place to eat.
Kate Smith
3 months ago
Came to Philly years ago and had to come here because of the history buff I am. I loved eating an old colonial lunch in an old colonial setting. The soup was delicious as well as the dessert. The interior of the house was beautiful and I loved eating with the colonial style silverware and drinking of a colonial chalice cup. I also had a great server who enjoyed my party of one and had a wonderful conversation about the town.
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Lorie Anzalone
4 months ago
Cool historic place to visit as you are walking around and touring the Independence historic sites of Philly. Nice historic building, and interesting building. I thought there would be a bigger bar area, as the inside is mostly for sit-down eaters. They do have a nice large deck and outside patio as well. They offer 4 "historic" beers brewed especially from local brewing company Yards Brewing. I tried the historic Jefferson 1774 tavern ale as I needed to wet my whistle on a hot day, and this was a good one to try. They offer a sampler flight of all 4 historic beers as well, but I didn't have time on this trip.
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Glenn Yarbrough
3 months ago
The food was great and the atmosphere was perfect. Wait staff did a great job also. Great Philadelphia stop especially for the historical bus. Can understand the negative ratings. Some people just like to complain
Joy Rosano
2 months ago
I have been to the City Tavern and had the turkey pie. I loved it and loved everything about the place. It has been haunting me to come back. Today, I just made the long trek with my sister from Massachusetts for her to experience it. She loved her seafood casserole, which I was pleased about. I ordered the Tavern lobster pie. It was AWFUL! The menu clearly stated that it was in a sherry cream sauce/ pastry puff. No, it wasn't! It was under a crust topping and when I lifted off the top, there was no sherry cream sauce. It was in a brothy, tastless liquid with just a hint of sherry. The lobster meat, especially the tail, was done way too much, hard, tough and chewy and the brothy liquid didn't really help matters. I have been eating AND cooking lobster all my life, and I know how it should taste. This lobster meat was done so much that it was inedible to me and I could only eat about half of the meal. I know what a sherry cream sauce should taste like, this wasn't it. I am sure that the chef would say that's how they used to cook it in Martha Washington's day. But, I looked up the recipe in their cookbook that they had available for sale. It clearly stated that the recipe called for heavy cream. There was NO heavy cream used....just some brothy concoction! I feel sad that I was so excited to try this place again, but was so upset over my meal. Again, I was really happy that my sister liked her meal. When I expressed my discontent to the waitress, she was very nice and asked if I wanted to send it back. I said no because I didn't want to ruin the supper with my sister. I really wanted to say "Send the chef out here, I want to talk to him! In what universe is this a cream sherry sauce?" Change the wording on the menu to "brothy liquid", so people won't expect a delicious sherry cream sauce. I never would have ordered it if it had said "broth". I don't appreciate spending $44.50 on a meal that I could bearly swallow! Too bad....waste of a long day of travel to eat at your restaurant .....very upset!
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Response from the owner - 2 months ago
We have just read your review and clearly we owe you an apology. Please know Chef Staib has set the highest standards for the City Tavern dining experience. It is clear for your review we fell short on the night of your visit. Yes, the lobster pie should be prepared with our rich sherry cream sauce; obviously something went wrong on your last meal. We take customer feedback very serious & we hope you would allow us to redeem your opinion of the restaurant. If you would please contact us at with the date of your visit as well as your mailing address you may be assured we will investigate & Chef Staib will be in contact personally as well. Again, please accept our sincere apology and know this is not typical of City Tavern.
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Kevin Adams
4 months ago
Overpriced food, mediocre service. Our group was 5 people. We arrived on time for our reservation but were told we'd have to wait maybe 15 minutes. No problem, we'll have a drink at the bar. The cramped bar area had only unclean tables. After a couple of awkward minutes, a waitress cleaned an area for us and we were able to sit down. Not 10 seconds after sitting, we were told our table was ready. Good news, but disorganized. We waited about 5 minutes for water and to place drink orders, then another 5 minutes for drinks to arrive. We placed appetizer and entree orders. The appetizers took about 30 minutes to arrive. I had the crab cakes. Two cakes ($12) came, looking quite burnt. The crust was fried and too thin, providing no crunch and little texture. The filling was quite good, with adequate crab meat, but little contrasting flavor. It was a bit of a shaped mushy thing. I ordered the venison. I was asked how I'd like it cooked, and I replied as rare as possible. My colleague who ordered the same said well done. After waiting for 30 minutes for the appetizers, the mains came out relatively quickly. But they were a disappointment. First, both venisons came at the same time, but without regard to who ordered their meat, obviously no regard to temperature preferences. Both were obviously overcooked, even for well done and I had wanted rare. The serving sizes were small, with 3 or 4 small bits of venison ($34), some zucchini, mushrooms, and cooked barley. While the accompaniments were tasty, they plus overcooked tasteless venison wasn't worth $10, much less 3.5 times as much. Really the only thing I very much enjoyed was the beer. Stay away from the food!!
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Response from the owner - 4 months ago
We are shocked and embarrassed your dinner was not wonderful and the service was not up to our exacting standards. The crab cakes in particular, are an award winning dish, and we have never received complaints about them. Again, there is no excuse for a dinner you were not pleased with, and we apologize and hope you brought your concerns to a manager who could remedy the situation while you were in the building.


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