Amazing bar fare and a great jukebox make this a South Philly favorite
Holding court in a former South Philly Italian restaurant, the Royal Tavern is a jukebox- and food-fueled establishment that’s grown to become a neighborhood favorite. It was a trailblazer that helped initiate the renowned gastro-pub renaissance of Philadelphia.
When you dine at Royal Tavern, expect menu options straight from Mom’s kitchen, but recreated with imaginative touches.
The burger here is widely regarded as one of the best in the city, but Royal Tavern’s meatloaf sandwich and vegan sloppy joe are dishes worth seeking out.
If you’re sitting bar-side, try their buffalo chicken wings — crisped and sauced to a perfect equilibrium and available in three flavors — or the standard French fries, which are given a face-lift with an accompaniment of malt vinegar mayonnaise.
And in true Philadelphia fashion, the bar specializes in local brews like Victory, Yards and Dogfish Head.
From the outside, Royal Tavern sits quietly on Passayunk Avenue and is represented by just one window and a small sign.
But inside, a long, mahogany bar, intimate dining space and Christmas tree lights illuminating the space give the Tavern the comfortable feel of a sentimental favorite.
Meanwhile, the jukebox at Royal Tavern is famous for its eclectic variety of indie rock, classic soul and death metal. Within the span of a meal or a few drinks, you’re likely to hear Bright Eyes, Ozzy Osbourne and Otis Redding croon — or croak — their classic melodies.
And with such a diverse ensemble coming from the jukebox, it’s little wonder that everybody feels at home here.
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