City Tavern $$$
138 S. 2nd St., 215/413-1443
HOURS: Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.,
Fri.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
COST: Most entrées more than $20
The previous regulars at this historic tavern and restaurant include some guys you may have heard of, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.
The original City Tavern, completed in 1773, was much the same as the current restored replica completed in 1976. In its early incarnation, the tavern was more than just a bar and eatery as we know it today. Without modern office buildings, this was where people met to discuss important business.
The colonial-garbed waiters and period furnishings are true to the era, as is the menu inspired by foods popular in colonial times. Chef Staib turns out West Indies Pepper Pot Soup, Martha Washington–Style Colonial Turkey Pot Pie, Braised Rabbit, and Pan-Seared Brook Trout.
A place like this is in real danger of being kitschy, but with the food and atmosphere as good as they are, no one seems to mind. Don’t miss the sweet-potato-and-pecan biscuits, supposedly a favorite of Thomas Jefferson.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition