Time Tested
Historic inns and taverns provide character-rich settings for dining and bending an elbow.
by Bill Donahue

McGillin’s Old Ale House in Philadelphia is often recognized as the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia, as well as one of the oldest taverns in the country. Historic inns, taverns, and restaurants dot the landscape of Philadelphia and its suburbs, including these five that are well worth a visit … or two. 
General Warren
The roots of this Malvern-based spot stretch back to 1745, but the restaurant hardly looks its age. Some of the popular menu items include Old World classics such as beef Wellington and snapper soup, but the GW offers plenty of excellent dishes plucked from the modern world, too. generalwarren.com 
McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn
This Quakertown restaurant is rich with history—and, some say, a few ghosts. Known as McCoole’s Tavern during the Revolutionary War, McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn has come a long way since then. The gorgeous interior has a menu to match, as well as a festive outdoor patio popular in kinder weather. mccoolesredlioninn.com
Rising Sun Inn
Most people associate the Liberty Bell with Philadelphia, but it also has ties to this Telford hot spot. Built in the 1730s, the Rising Sun (then Gerhart’s Tavern) is believed to have hosted the Liberty Bell and its tired transporters for a night in the 1770s. Today the Rising Sun is a finely appointed restaurant specializing in North American bison. risingsuninn.net 
Temperance House
This Newtown destination began as an inn in the 1770s, and provided lodgings for one or more prominent figures from the Revolutionary War. It maintains its historic charm, and its Tap and Barrel Tavern is among the finest places in Bucks County to bend an elbow, with more than 30 beers on tap—quite fitting given the establishment’s teetotaling name. temperancehouse.com
Valley Green Inn
Built in the 1850s, this Forbidden Drive spot is one of the few remaining roadhouses and taverns that served the 19th century carriage trade along the Wissahickon. These days it’s a hugely popular dining destination known as a lively lunch and brunch spot for those out for a walk or bike on the trail. valleygreeninn.com
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, October 2022.