From historical to contemporary, there are dining options to please every palate
Downtown Philadelphia abounds with places to feed your group. Here are just a few to explore.
City Tavern Restaurant
Opened on the present site in December 1773, City Tavern hosted many of our Founding Fathers, including, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, John Adams, Richard Henry Lee and Peyton Randolph. In 1834 a fire heavily damaged the building, and in 1854 the remaining structure was raised, In 1948 Congress authorized Independence National Historical Park and in 1976 the newly rebuilt and historically accurate City Tavern opened.
In 1994 Walter Staib won congressional approval as operator of City Tavern. Chef Staib features 18th century-style gourmet cuisine. The wait staff is well versed in the tavern’s history happy to share stories. The Medallions of Beef Tenderloin are on the group menu and fabulous.
The Olde Bar
Located in the Old Original Bookbinder’s, which closed in 2009, The Olde Bar opened in 2015. Much of the historical woodwork and decor was restored. I remember going to Bookbinder’s as a child and having a vivid memory of the lobster tanks. Today, The Olde Bar positions itself as, “A Contemporary Oyster Saloon That Pays Homage to the Original Tradition.” That history can be traced back to 1893 when the restaurant opened as an oyster saloon.
If East Coast or West Coast oysters are your favorite, a quick glance at the Raw Bar Tower assures you this is the right place. Seldom will you find such a variety of offerings on the half shell. There are plenty of dining areas for groups, and a group menu is available upon request. The crab cake is outstanding, and save room for baked Alaska.
Dutch Eating Place
Any time of the day is a good time to visit Reading Terminal Market, but breakfast is always special at the Dutch Eating Place. There’s fresh squeezed orange juice with eggs done exactly how you like them. Blueberry pancakes and apple cinnamon French toast are favorites. Each entree is accompanied by your choice of meat, including my favorite, scrapple, a mixture of pork scraps and cornmeal.
Keating’s Rope & Anchor Bar
Located inside the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, Keating’s provides a riverside view and menus utilizing local ingredients and sustainable seafood with offerings that maintain the heritage of the Delaware River waterfront. Expect generous portions at breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, and consider the breakfast buffet. For a truly luxurious dining experience, the Admiral’s Quarters is available for groups of 15 or more.
Urban Farmer Steakhouse
Situated on Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Logan Square, Urban Farmer is a must when visiting the area’s museums and attractions. The narrative of the restaurant focuses on the “Country Farmer who marries the cosmopolitan art collector.” The area’s traditions of art and culture blend seamlessly with locally sourced ingredients and authentic preparation. Urban Farmer chefs have built relationships with local farms, ranches and fisheries affirming the land and sea-to-kitchen connection.
I had the pleasure of ordering off the lunch menu. There’s a nice selection of beef, chicken and fish items, plus sandwiches and salads. For those who cannot wait until dinner, luncheon entrees include the restaurant’s steak specialties. My choice for lunch was the Farm Burger with farm fries and pickled vegetables.