A meal and beverages from the King's Arms Tavern hit the spot.

Kings Arms Tavern – A Revolutionary Meal

Dining in a pre-Revolutionary War tavern was a new experience for us. During a day in Colonial Williamsburg, we stopped by Kings Arms Tavern for a lunchtime meal. Everything about this visit was special and we were ready to soak it all up. While this may be a reproduction, the attention to authentic details is astounding. As the mid-day heat bore down on the landscape, we enjoyed a peaceful escape from the elements.  

Kings Arms Tavern is a dining establishment in Colonial Williamsburg.

Lunch at Kings Arms Tavern

The original Kings Arms Tavern opened its doors in 1772. This updated version has stayed true to the period, except for the addition of running water and air conditioning. (Both we were thankful to find.) Resting along Duke of Gloucester Street, this colonial dining option draws in lots of visitors. Before our day in Williamsburg, we had researched an option that provides 18th-century dishes. Kings Arms does that and also includes some updated menu items that add 21st-century flavors.

A musician draws in diners at Kings Arms Tavern,

Calling Us In

As the noontime hour was approaching, we started heading toward Kings Arms Tavern. Since Colonial Williamsburg is such a popular attraction, we knew there would be lots of dining options. Many are located on the edge of the historic district, which is still easily within walking distance. Most of those offer your standard dishes, but we wanted something unique. Nearing in on our target, we began to hear the melody of a single flute. Standing in the shade of the stoop, a musician played her song to draw in the crowd. It certainly added a little bounce to our steps. 

The dining room feels like the 1760s.

Historic Dining

Kings Arms Tavern keeps with the theme of the area. We had spent the morning exploring 18th-century buildings and speaking with artisans from that period. Moving from that activity into this midday meal provided a seamless experience. Our waiter, as well as the other staff, were dressed in period garb. The dining room isn’t overly decorated and seemed a fitting example of the period. Even the small details added to the experience of a revolutionary meal.

The menu at Kings Arms Tavern.

Kings Arms Menu

The restaurant is a version of a chophouse and serves up dishes peppered with meat. While perusing the choices, I decided to order a Draught Root Beer. This tasty beverage was full of flavor and tasted like it was freshly concocted. I even shared a few sips with Crystal. Back to the menu, we were struggling to narrow our selections down to just two meals. Many of the dishes sounded foreign to us, which made us want to sample them. In the end, we knew the hot day would be best handled if we didn’t overindulge. 

Welsh rarebit was a first for us to try.

Old World Classic

I had the hardest time choosing but eventually landed on the Welsh Rarebit. I have heard of this dish but have never sampled one. When I was younger, I assumed it was just cheese-covered bread. The reality is they use a cheese sauce that includes flour, beer, cheese, and sometimes egg. This is poured over toasted bread slices and garnished with meat slices. In this case, they used a cured bacon and brightened the dish with some green onion. How do I describe the taste? It was a delightful blend of salty and savory and we both enjoyed it.

Pulled pork barbecue was a tasty dish at Kings Arms Tavern.

Don't Pass Up BBQ

Our waiter informed us that the Barbecued Pulled Pork was a special feature on the menu, so that helped earn it a place on our table. This East Coast version reminded us of a Carolina-style BBQ and had plenty of delicious flavor. They served it as an open-face sandwich with some sides. The tangy-sweet sauce complimented bites of the Rarebit, so we decided our choices made up the perfect meal. 

The authors pause on a hot summer day in Williamsburg.

A Revolutionary Experience

We discovered that the amount of food had been perfect for this occasion. We had satisfied our pangs of hunger but felt good enough to continue our explorations of Colonial Williamsburg. The heat of the day had not dissipated but we were feeling refreshed from our air-conditioned escape. Our Revolutionary Meal, at Kings Arms Tavern, was the perfect way to dine in colonial style.    

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