What’s the ideal place where to eat in Philadelphia?
Maybe at the end of an intense day spent exploring the Independence National Historical Park, after have walked ideally together with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin through the places where in all respects the United States were born.
It’s impossible not to mention the Independence Hall, where on July 4th, 1776 the Declaration of Independence of the 13 American colonies from the British Empire was signed, the Liberty Bell Center Where the bell which announced the event is preserved, and the Betsy Ross House, where the first American flag was sewed.
Or some among the most ancient and original historic trails like Elfreth’s Alley and the new involving Museum of American Revolution: among the many precious and worthy relics it keeps the original tent of General and first USA President, George Washington.
At the end of a so rich and exciting itinerary it’s impossible not to stop for dinner (or lunch) at the City Tavern Restaurant: it’s another important historic stage of the Independence National Historic Park where still today it’s possible to taste at candlelight ancient dishes recreated faithfully thanks to original “vintage recipes”. All this in the site of the tavern where over two hundred years ago the Founders Fathers – members of the First Continental Congress and Patriots – reunited to celebrate important historic events.
“John Adams – 2nd president of the United States of America – defined it as the most elegant one in America. George Washington planned there the celebrations for the first 4th July anniversary.
Today as yesterday the City Tavern Restaurant remains faithful to its past, its traditions and its recipes. Anyway, the chocolate cake created by Martha Washington’s personal recipe is amazing!”
(Travel notes City Tavern Restaurant – December 2018)
Where to eat in Philadelphia: the history and the anecdotes of the Old City Tavern
The City Tavern was opened to the public in 1773.
It was built by a group of rich citizens with the aim to “have a big and comfortable tavern worthy of the greatest and prosperous cities of the colonies, Philadelphia”.
The original building developed over five levels and included two kitchens, a bar, two coffee rooms and three dining rooms, the second biggest ballroom in the New World and five accommodations and service rooms.
Among tables, rooms and corridors of this elegant tavern, novels were set, riots were planned, treats were agreed and victories were celebrated. And over time some of the most important characters of the American history followed one another.
Starting from May 1774 – when the patriot Paul Revere arrived to the City Tavern to announce the closure of the Boston Harbor by the English people – to October of the same year when it was used as unofficial meeting point by the delegates – among them George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams – before and after the sessions of the First Continental Congress.
Until arriving to the first celebration of the American Independence on July 4th 1777 and in April 1789 at the banquet in honor to George Washington, first USA President which was going to leave for the Inaugural in New York.
In the middle of the 1800s the building was devastated by a fire and razed.
Only in 1975, after have been recognized as historic site by the Congress, the entire tavern was reconstructed faithfully following the drawings and the descriptions of that time, just in time to celebrate the bicentenary of its foundation.
Today the City Tavern Restaurant continues its tradition as an ancient and famous city tavern serving authentic dishes of the tradition of the 18th century under the expert guide of the owner, the famous Chef Walter Staib, author, presenter of famous American TV shows tied to the origins of the American cuisine – like the very followed Taste of History – and winner of even 6 Emmy Awards.
Where to eat in Philadelphia: the City Tavern Restaurant today
Stop and have lunch or dinner at the City Tavern Restaurant today it means to set out on an exciting journey back in time discovering savors, smells and atmospheres of the America of the Founders Fathers.
As if nothing is changed over 200 years, you’ll be welcomed by kind waiters in vintage costumes, you’ll enjoy one among the most famous historic taverns of America’s welcome, and with a bit of luck you’ll be able to meet live the famous (and very nice) chef Walter Staib: sometimes he goes out from his kitchen and takes a turn round the tables and greet hello customers and visitors.
You’ll taste authentic eighteenth century recipes, some of them created by historic characters of the calibre of Benjamin Franklin and Martha Washington (the first First Lady of the USA), accompanied by harp and harpsichord music on the background and for some moments you’ll feel really transported into one of the most exciting and captivating pages of the United States of America history.
The perfect way to end totally relaxed a day discovering the Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia.
Where to eat in Philadelphia: have dinner (or lunch) at the City Tavern Restaurant. Info, tips and contacts
The City Tavern Restaurant is located at 138 south, Second Street, in the heart of the historic district in Philadelphia, literally a stone’s throw on foot from the Museum of American Revolution and from the Independence Hall.
It is opened 7 days a week – except some Mondays over the year when maintenance works are done – for lunch or dinner from 11.30am to 11pm. In high season it is better to book at least one day in advance.
To book a table or get further info as regards the events organized by the venue during your visit call the USA number 215 413 1443.
No specific outfit for dinner is required.