As local institutions go, few can beat Philadelphia’s City Tavern. In the 1700s, George Washington would entertain visiting dignitaries at the City Tavern; the first Continental Congress in 1777 celebrated the country’s first anniversary of independence here; John Adams was a regular in the 1770s. Suffice it to say that City Tavern is about as American as it gets.
While the tavern had its original edifice torn down and rebuilt in 1854, it manages to maintain its soul exactly as it always was. The staff at the restaurant dress up in the style of the 18th century, the decor is authentic to the period, and the menu is about as steeped in tradition and history as you could hope for. If you’re in Philadelphia, you simply cannot afford to miss this wonderful piece of Americana.
The Colonial Menu
The first thing that you want to do when you visit City Tavern is to order a pint of George Washington ale brewed exclusively for the tavern, to the exact recipe that George Washington preferred at this very place. Then, you can dig into the sweet potato scones that Thomas Jefferson used to order, and share a Martha Washington chocolate mousse cake slice around the table. A lot of painstaking effort has gone into recreating these recipes. Everything from the texture and presentation to the specific use of spices and savor are perfect for the period that they represent.
The Staff is in a Class of Their Own
While everything that you try on the menu comes with a wonderful and rich history, these are items that have a lot more going for them. The food is authentic classical American, and is something best that you’ll ever taste of this cuisine. While you dine, the waiters are attentive, and do their best to liven up the proceedings with their in depth knowledge of local American history. If you bring your children, they’ll certainly learn a couple things about their school lessons that they didn’t know before.
Come Here for the Full Colonial Experience at An Affordable Price
Every item on the menu at City Tavern is no more expensive than $10 or so. For the money, you get more than just a taste of the 18th century it’s a full multi-sensory experience. The harpist dressed for the part plays tunes of centuries past, the decor is completely authentic, and even the smells of the restaurant are what you would imagine bygone days to smell like. If you’d like to simply see the sights of the restaurant without buying, that’s acceptable, too. Plenty of people simply come to look at the historical artifacts and the pictures on display. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or someone who lives in Philadelphia this restaurant should be on your list of places to visit.
Visit the City Tavern website.
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