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Places to Eat in Bucks County, Pennsylvania: The Historic Piper Tavern and The Hattery.

by Suzanne Fluhr on January 20, 2019 · 18 comments

Exterior of the Historic Piper Tavern, Pipersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

We spent the first day of our mid-week escape from Philadelphia to Bucks County, Pennsylvania visiting the three sites composing the Mercer Mile in Doylestown, the county seat. When lunch time approached, we asked one of the employees at the Mercer Museum for a recommendation. Without hesitation, she recommended The Hattery. She explained it is her “go to” restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner whenever someone visits her from out of town.

The Hattery Stove and Still, Doylestown, Bucks County, PA

The Hattery Stove and Still is the restaurant associated with the historic Doylestown Inn. Apparently, at some time after 1902, it did indeed house a hattery. It can be entered from the Inn or from the street. There is a cozy bar area and another downstairs room, but arriving during a mid-day lunch, we were seated in the main, street level dining room. The other patrons seemed to be “ladies who lunch” complete with adult beverages. Since I was “working”, I settled for unsweetened ice tea.

Hattery stove and Still Restaurant in Doylestown

The Hattery is connected to the historic Doylestown Inn on West State Street.

We ordered a chopped Greek salad and a quiche to share because Mr. and Mrs. Excitement are THAT exciting. Seriously, at some point, we apparently became our parents, lacking the ability to finish many restaurant size portions. If we’re eating out close to home, we are “those people” walking out with bags “to go”. (When we were growing up, these were called “doggie bags”. However, it is no longer necessary to pretend you’re taking leftovers home for the dog.) When we’re away from home, we typically share meals unless we’re staying somewhere with refrigeration and cooking, or at least heating up, facilities.

The quiche was rich enough that we both deemed it prudent we had decided to share. We enjoyed the decor, good service, and moderate prices. The Hattery is ranked number 12 of 101 places to eat in Doylestown on TripAdvisor. I find I usually agree with TripAdvisor rankings. The average TripAdvisor ranking for The Hattery is four out of five stars with the usual “worst restaurant in the world” – “best restaurant in the world” spread among the reviews, reinforcing the adage that “you can’t please all the people all the time.”

Interior of the Hattery Stove and STill in Doylestown, Pennsylvania

The attractive upstairs dining room in the Hattery.

If you go:

18 West State Street
Doylestown,  PA 18901

Phone: 215-345-1527

Hattery Stove and Still Website

The Historic Piper Tavern, Pipersville, Bucks County, PA

After checking into the the Galvanized America Inn in Pipersville, about a 15 minute drive north of Doylestown, we were served a glass of wine from a Bucks County winery and a snack. This caused us to call the Historic Piper Tavern, hoping we would be able to move our dinner reservation later. On a Tuesday night in October, this was not a problem.

Exterior of the Historic Piper Tavern, Pipersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

It was dark when we left the attractively lit Historic Piper Tavern.

The Historic Piper Tavern was picked for us by Visit Bucks County which also generously picked up the tab. No promise of a positive review was requested nor offered, but I’m happy to report that we were quite happy with their choice. For one thing, it was less than a quarter mile up the road from the Inn. Had it not been dark, we would have walked. (After a scary experience walking along a road in the dark on Key Largo, in Florida, we are firm believers in discretion being the better part of valor.)

Like the 1754 farmhouse that is now the Galvanized America Inn, the Historic Piper Tavern was also present in 18th century Bucks County, opening in 1778. We entered the building through the welcoming bar area. People there by themselves seemed to be comfortable eating their meals at the bar, and it looked like they were having more fun than they would alone at a table.

On a Tuesday night at 6:30 in late October, we could have walked in without a reservation. However, our waitress said it gets crowded on weekend evenings year round, and even on weekdays during the summer. We were seated in a covered porch area next to a window. It was perfectly comfortable and is probably a coveted table during daylight hours. Despite the word “Tavern” in the name, we enjoyed white linen table cloth dining with artfully presented food.

Mr. Excitement (a/k/a Steve) has a theory, often borne out by experience, that the less crowded a restaurant is, the worse the service is. This was not the case during our meal at the Piper Tavern. Although it was a slow night in terms of numbers of diners, service was excellent. Our waitress was knowledgeable, just the right amount of friendly, and our meals were served at a comfortable pace for us. Our waitress clearly did not know we were dining as guests of Visit Bucks County, so our pleasant service experience was not influenced by the fact that one of us was a likely reviewer.

The menu was extensive. Sometimes this results in the quantity of choices being a substitute for quality. Fortunately, that was not our experience at the Historic Piper Tavern.

When they are on the menu, one of my “go to” restaurant test meals is crabcakes. You have to cross all of New Jersey to get to the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, so I was a little surprised to see crabcakes on the menu, presented as Seared Crabcakes Benjamin. Our first born is named Benjamin, so that sealed the deal on my ordering the crabcakes.

Historic Piper Tavern, Pipersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania crabcakes Benjamin

My Historic Piper Tavern entree, crabcakes Benjamin.

The menu describes them as two four ounce crabcakes “loaded with lump jumbo crab meat”, based on a recipe rumored to be from Benjamin Franklin, one of my all time favorite Philadelphia Founding Fathers. Crabcakes Benjamin did not disappoint. Indeed, The Historic Piper Tavern crabcakes rank among the best I’ve had.

Steve was similarly happy with his trio of filet mignon, “tournedos of choice Black Angus Beef” which were grilled as ordered and served with mushrooms and bordelaise sauce.

Both entrees were preceded by a fresh tasting Piper house salad, served with warm artisanal rolls with butter. The entrees were accompanied by a separate side dish of grilled asparagus and “real” mashed potatoes.

Historic Piper Tavern, Pipersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania house salad

The house salad was served with a warmed artisanal roll.

The pre-dinner salad, rolls, and vegetables were included with the price of the entrees. At $25.95 (crabcakes) and $26.95 (filet mignon), we considered the meal an excellent value.

Side Vegetables at the Historic Piper Tavern, Pipersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

For a reasonable upcharge, more substantial appetizers can be substituted for the house salad. We each also ordered and enjoyed a generous 9 ounce pour of a house white wine (chardonnay and reisling).

An assortment of desserts were presented to choose from by our waitress. By this point in the meal, our aging appetites meant we were back to sharing—a chocolate lava cake served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

The Historic Pipersville Tavern is clearly a satisfying dining choice for both locals and visitors.

If you go (and you should):

The Historic Piper Tavern

Dark Hollow & State Route 413
Pipersville, PA 18947

Telephone for reservations: (215) 766-7100

Closed Mondays
Opens for lunch and dinner
Not wheelchair accessible.

The Historic Piper Tavern Website

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Bartel January 21, 2019 at 11:41 am

We’re planning a road trip that will probably include Gettysburg and Philadelphia this year, so thanks for the heads up on these spots. We’re always looking for food, it seems.

Reply

Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 22, 2019 at 10:08 pm

“Man (or woman) does not live by bread alone” — someone once said. And why would you want to? —- I said. Not that there’s anything wrong with bread.

Reply

Rose Palmer January 23, 2019 at 9:47 pm

Tom,
If you are heading toward Philly from Gettysburg, make sure to also check out the sights in the Brandywine Valley (where I live). E-mail me if you are interested-I can give you lots of recommendations. Brandywine Valley Tourism might also be interested in working with you-they were at WTM London.

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Michele January 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm

I love the look of the atmosphere at The Hattery… it looksboth historic and welcoming. Good call on the crab cakes I’d say… they do look very substantial and who could resist a recipe by Ben Franklin?

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 22, 2019 at 10:09 pm

The Hattery was fun to walk around and looking at the themed decor—–chandeliers, mirrors, and hat boxes.

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Lori January 21, 2019 at 4:57 pm

My hubby is from Allentown, and we go back to visit from time to time. We have road tripped through Bucks County and have actually passed-by the Piper Tavern but have never thought of stopping. But with the crab cake recommendation it’s now on the hit list.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 22, 2019 at 10:10 pm

We happened to eat dinner there, but the Piper Tavern looks to also have an extensive and well regarded lunch menu.

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Doreen Pendgracs January 21, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Thx for the great post, Suzanne. I’ve not previously heard of Bucks County, but it sure looks like you’ve found some great culinary treats during your visit there–especially those crab cakes!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 22, 2019 at 10:12 pm

Philadelphia has the Liberty Bell and Independence National Historical Park, so Philly gets most of the tourist attention, but all the adjacent counties, such as Bucks, have plenty of American history to share also.

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Debbra Dunning Brouillette January 22, 2019 at 1:21 am

You’ll be happy to hear that my husband and I also often split salads and entrees when we are traveling, since we can’t take leftovers with us. Both restaurants sound like great choices!

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Jeff & Crystal Bryant January 22, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Following your Pennsylvania series makes me realize we barely scratched the surface during our visit. Looks like Bucks County is another district we need to visit.

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Karen Warren January 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Doylestown is one of the places I almost got to when I was in PA last year, but didn’t quite manage. A pity because I think I would have enjoyed The Hattery.

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Cathy Sweeney January 23, 2019 at 4:55 pm

The crabcakes Benjamin look pretty amazing! I guess I wouldn’t go hungry in Bucks County, PA. I don’t have any problems taking leftovers home either — in the few instances where I actually leave food on my plate! 🙂

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Rose Palmer January 23, 2019 at 9:48 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’ll travel half way around the world but wont drive an hour and a half to see great sights close to home.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr January 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm

LOL. I suspect you’re in good company. I wonder how many Philadelphians haven’t visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell?

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Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields January 26, 2019 at 5:30 am

I will tuck this post away for our next visit to Bucks County. It is one of our favourite places in the U.S.

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alison abbott January 28, 2019 at 10:51 am

My parents had friends from New Hope that we used to visit in Bucks County when I was growing up. I have fond memories, but haven’t been there since. I’d love to take a road trip back there and will tuck away your recommendations for sure. Thanks.

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Kathy@DavesTravelCorner February 24, 2019 at 3:18 am

I prefer to eat at the restaurants who was built like since 1900’s. I just don’t know, but my tongue has a taste for the food served by them. Surely, this Hattery Stove and Still will be on my list when I visit PA.

Reply

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