Fraunces Tavern

2 ratings (2 Epinions reviews)
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Fraunces' Tavern, GEORGE WASHINGTON was there THEN and NOW

Jul 5, 2003 (Updated Feb 2, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Food and Presentation:
  • Ambiance and Decor:
  • Quality of Service:

Pros:Great Downtown Location. Just steps from so much.

Cons:George Washington isn't there every day

The Bottom Line: Fraunces can get you in and out if you prefer, however, they keep a nice even pace. No rush, just enjoy.

Coming off the boat from visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can have you a bit weary and hungry. If you are willing to walk about three or four short blocks you can get to a wonderful eatery and go back in time too!


Fraunces' Tavern has been around since before the Revolutionary War. It was built in 1719. It is the oldest restaurant in the USA!!

I also learned that it was the site where a second "Tea Party" like that of Boston took place. An Brit had to give an apology for the taxes in the tavern and the "Tea Party" followed with NY patriots dressing as Indians and going to a ship in the harbor to dump tea.

In an exchange with the British a ship from the harbor sent a cannon ball right through Fraunces' roof.

This was also the site where George Washington gave his farewell address to his troops.

The building actually housed government agencies for years before the the Capitol was moved to Philadelphia and then finally to Washington DC.

It has been run as a tavern for most of the years since that time.


Situated right on the bottom of Manhattan this three story building is dwarfed by the high rise sky scrapers around it. Even so it commands its attention as a colonial brick building that invites the public in to dine and even to visit its second and third floor museum.

I have been here twice. The first time was with a friend from England. In front of the tavern was a fellow dressed in the gear of our revolutionary for-fathers. When I introduced my friend as British, this fellow had a bit of fun with him.

On July 3rd when I was there with my wife I say and spoke to George Washington himself! There was a bit of promotion going on for the Fourth of July festivities a day away. Unfortunately George is not there everyday. This guy was good too. I thought I could have taken his picture and put it right on a dollar bill and no one would know the difference.

A fortunate thing that day was a 1776 promotion they had that day. They offered a three course fixed menu for $17.76


Walking in you are greeted and seated in one of the two dining rooms. I liked the dark wood and colonial look of the first room.

There is also a room to the left that has a few tables and a bar. This seemed to be a very casual atmosphere. I could imagine seeing a couple of revolutionary fellas having a beer or two in there.

The staff was friendly and knew the menu well. We had a couple of beers. They offered about ten different beers on draft and a host of bottled. I had a Sam Adams draft just to keep in the mood.


Here is the menu that we had in hand on July 3rd. It is exactly the same as on their web site.
Crab & Shrimp Cake cilantro corn pudding, chipotle tartar 13 -

Grilled Duck Sausage braised cabbage, bin 27 reduction 11 -

1/2 Doz. Bluepoints on the half shell, mignonette, caviar 12 -

Washington's tiger shrimp cocktail (4) 17-

New England Clam Chowder sour dough crostini 8 -

Vegetable - Barley Soup 7 -

Fresh Baby Arugula bosc pear, basalmic vinaigrette, parmesan wafer 9 -

Seafood Cobb lobster, shrimp, crab, bacon, lemon vinaigrette 14-

Fraunces Caesar chopped, anchovies, herb croutons 9 -
(also available with chicken $4 extra)

Tavern House Salad tomatoes, onions, olives, lemon vinaigrette 8 -

Sam's Tavern Burger 13 -
Choices: swiss, cheddar, american, bacon, onion, mushroom & bleu cheese

Maine Lobster Salad foccacia crostini, warm potato salad 17-

Sliced NY Strip open face, mushrooms, sautéed onions, bleu cheese, garlic bread 17-

"Our" Turkey Club brioche, bacon, lettuce, vermont turkey 11-

North Atlantic Salmon vegetable caponata, tavern mash, red wine reduction 16 -

New England Diver Scallops horseradish mash, dijon sauce 21 -

Grilled Swordfish roasted corn relish, rice pilaf 19 -

Classic New York Strip 16oz new dill potatoes, sliced fried onions 32 -

Slow Roasted Prime Rib creamed spinach, jumbo baked potato 24 -

Classic Beef Wellington 8oz 28 -

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb bulgar wheat, mint demi 26-

Pan Seared Pork Chop braised cabbage, roasted new potatoes, rosemary demi 24 -

Grilled Veal Chop roasted garlic mash, fries onions, red peppers, balsamic reduction 28 -

Sautéed Chicken Breast procuitto, pearl onions, mushrooms, sherry wine sauce 18-

Slow Roasted Young Vermont Turkey creamed fingerlings, smoked bacon, madeira gravy 16 -

"Lafayette's" Chicken Pot Pie 16 -

Tender Pot Roast fingerling potatoes, vegetable of the day 17-

Sliced "Hearty" Meatloaf tavern mash, vegetable of the day 16 -


Butterscotch Bread Pudding jack daniel's sauce 8 -

Spiked Fig and Apple Tart a la mode 8 -

Grand Marnier Creme Brulee blood orange coulis 10 -

Strawberry Shortcake sabayon, mint, balsamic syrup 9 -

Blackberry Cobbler phyllo crust a la mode 7 -

Chocolate Decadence toasted hazelnut 10 -

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake ginger graham cracker crust 10 -

Menu items and prices subject to change

Copyright 2002 Fraunces Tavern Restaurant®


We had a seat near the front window and enjoyed George Washington interacting and having pictures taken with many people. Inside the room with many businessman and a mix of tourists was fairly quiet and unrushed.

With all the American fare that was available n the menu we both stayed with a good juicy, charbroiled cheese burger. They are incredibly good. Great meats and perfectly cooked. My wife said it was the best burger she had ever had. That was a surprise to hear in that she rarely raves about food like that. I do have to agree. It was one of my very best. it was served with fries, lettuce and very ripe and tasty slice of tomato. Don't forget the garlic pickle.

I did look at the dishes as they were being served to other people. Though we went for the burger many of the other dishes were beautifully arranged. The chef knows how to present food!

I don't think you could miss with anything they offer on the menu. My buddy and I were very satisfied the first time we came here.

The desserts also looked terrific. We, by then, were a bit to full to entertain anything else.


I asked about their dinner menu. It was the same except it goes for about ten dollars more. They do offer you candle light then. I'm sure the front room looks great in that atmosphere. I liked it even in the day with the colonial look and revolutionary period pictures and paintings.

They have cloth table cloths, but, put a sheet of white paper on the table. I asked and this is how they served dinner too. Non-the-less, I do recommend the place. They did have cloth napkins and heavy silverware.

I am told that it is much quieter at night. I could understand that. This is all a business town and when the workers leave so do many of their customers.

During the day I would take well behaved children into this place. At night I feel it would be better suited for adults only.

Oh yes, I forgot. This place is also open for breakfast.


There is a museum of about six rooms on the second and third floor. There is a charge to see it. The room where George Washington said goodbye to his fellow officers at a farewell dinner celebration is decored in period furniture. There is a large screen TV that gives some history too.

Do know that nearby are more Washington, Revolutionary War, and other historic sites. Trinity Church where Washington went to services is nearby as is Federal Hall. That is the site where George Washington was inaugurated first President of the United States.

For revolutionary business, international business, or for a tourists pleasure, Fraunces' Tavern can't be beat.

Downtown Manhattan reviews by Popsrocks

The Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
Castle Clinton National Memorial
Battery Park Home of the temporary 9/11 memorial.
NY WATERWAY Tour NYC by boat.
Federal Hall National Historic SiteDowntown across from Wall Street, our first Capitol Building was there.
Fraunce's Tavern George Washington ate here. You can too!
Jewish Heritage Museum
St Paul's ChapelA living Memorial to 9/11
Greenwich VillageIt's Hip and Happening
Millenium Hilton., directly across from ground zero. They have reopened!A great location to all that is downtown

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Fraunce's Tavern Lower Manhattan. GW ate here.

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Recommend this product? Yes

Kid Friendliness: No
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations After lunch this place gets a bit quieter.
Best Suited For: Friends

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