Called “the most genteel tavern in America” by no less than John Adams, the City Tavern is a Philadelphia treasure.
No, it’s not the original – that burned in 1834. The building now standing at 2nd and Walnut streets is a re-creation, based on National Park Service research. It was completed in 1975.
Whether for a bite or a nip, a visit to the City Tavern is a historically appropriate way to get into the spirit of the Constitution. Here are a few other area taverns with a taste for the city’s colonial history.
* Standard Tap (2nd and Poplar streets, Northern Liberties) built on the site of the 18th-century Bull’s Head Inn. Author Peter Thompson writes that the Bull ‘s Head was known for freak entertainment, including one show in which the owner invited drinkers to view a “wonderful” female child with “two heads, four arms, four legs, etc.”
* The General Lafayette Inn (646 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill), opened in 1732 and was visited by Hessian soldiers while it was known as the Three Tuns during the Revolutionary War. It’s now a brewpub serving ceramic mugs of fresh ale.
* Blue Bell Inn (601 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell), opened in Blue Bell in 1743. Washington’s troops drank from its well on their way to the Battle of Germantown.
* Man Full of Trouble (127 Spruce St.). The only original colonial tavern still standing in the city, it’s now closed to the public – so BYOB.