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City Tavern
Today 11:30AM–9PM
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138 S 2nd St Philadelphia, PA 19106
138 South 2nd StreetUSPennsylvaniaPhiladelphia19106
$$Bar, American Restaurant
American Restaurant
Traditional American Restaurant
Today 11:30AM–9PM
Monday 11:30AM–9PMTuesday 11:30AM–9PMWednesday 11:30AM–9PMThursday 11:30AM–9PMFriday 11:30AM–9PMSaturday 11:30AM–9PMSunday 11:30AM–9PM
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Review Summary
161 reviews
5 star
63 reviews
4 star
56 reviews
3 star
14 reviews
2 star
16 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."
"There was NO heavy cream used....just some brothy concoction!"
Featured by Zagat
Philadelphia's Best Historic Restaurants
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Stephen Wagner
2 months 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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Lorie Anzalone
7 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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Frederick Wright
2 months 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
5 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.
Lynne Goodale
a month ago
The atmosphere is always a plus. I do like the menu and always like to try something new. This time however we stopped in for a lite fare. A drink, bread and soup. My soup was not hot, and service was poor. When I finished my drink I was never offered another. The waitress was inattentive. Very disappointed this time.
Response from the owner - a month ago
in providing the highest quality dinning experience to all of our guests. We have just read your comments & are at a loss for words. Please know Chef Staib takes great pride in providing the highest quality dinning experience. It is clear this was not the case during your visit. We would like to investigate your meal & take action to make sure it is not repeated. If you have a moment please contact us at with the date of your visit & where you were seated.
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Anya Trenk
2 months ago
Wonderful place! The location is marvelous, the food is yummy and comes in nicely sized portions and the staff is on point. Our server, Sierra, was absolutely fantastic. She gave us wonderful recommendations on the food, told us about the history of the place, and created a memorable dining experience for us. 5 stars!
Glenn Yarbrough
5 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
4 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 - 4 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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