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Monk's Café

Monk's CaféMonk's Café

Taps: 20 / Bottles: 218
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N

365 Ratings
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 320
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 9.79%
$$$ - a bit pricey

[ Bar, Eatery ]

264 S 16th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19102-3357
United States
phone: (215) 545-7005

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 320 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75 | $$$

I lucked out and happened to be in Philly for work during Russian River Mad Monday at Monks. I ended up spending four separate trips here while in Philly.

A- The bar is pretty small, with a front bar and a back bar at the opposite end of the building. Seating for maybe 100-125 people total. If you go in the evening, it is DARK! So dark that you have to use candle light at the bar to read the beer menu. Lot's of Belgium beer signs hung around the walls. It gets pretty packed and hard to maneuver around in the evenings

Q- You're not going to find an establishment that is more dedicated to serving world class beer, while serving it at proper temperature and in the right glass

S- Bartenders are super knowledgeable, the two females that I talked to were very nice and loved to talk about beer. Service was pretty efficient, even when crowded

S- The best beer selection that I have ever seen at a bar, period. In my four visits, I had Firestone PNC, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Blind Pig, Supplication, Temptation, Consecration, Against the Grain Bo & Luke, Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze, Older Viscosity on tap, the list goes on.

F- the fries are great and the dipping sauce is awesome, highly recommended. Burgers were good but not great, the lunch specials were very good.

V- This place isn't cheap when it comes to good beers, but you won't find a better selection in Philly, it's worth it

O- to be honest, I wasn't a fan of Philadelphia. It's not somewhere I would purposely come back to, but if I ever do, Monk's will be the first place I go

04-09-2014 21:55:42 | More by Treyliff
Photo of KXS

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I had been to a number of places in Philly recommended by beer advocate while here for a conference - but wasn't impressed with any of them until I wondered over to Monk's. It was too small, crowded and popular to bring a whole crew over from the conference without advanced planning, but I was squeezed into a table. Had an ultra hoppy IPA then a couple of their sour beers - brewed and named just for them - that were literally good enough to write home to my family about just how good it all was. I wouldn't travel to Philly just to go here, but if you find yourself here, definitely go.

Have a picture of current offerings but don't know how to post it here.

04-06-2014 23:50:58 | More by KXS
Photo of danshpc

New York

4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75 | $$

So this place has been on my bucket list and finally made it the other night. It didn't disappoint.
Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig on tap, as close as you get to heaven on the east coast. Add St Bernardus ABT 12 and it get's even better.

Be aware if you're going and never been;

The place is small and you must eat to get a table, so come prepared to eat. The good news here is that the food is great.

The servers can be a bit quirky, but that's all to the good as far as we were concerned.

Worth a trip from anywhere.

03-29-2014 09:17:06 | More by danshpc
Photo of Liberatiscioli


4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75 | $$$

Visited here for the first time yesterday. It did live up to the hype. Pliny the elder and blind pig were both deliciously on tap. Sat in the front very close quarters lucky to get a table around 4:30pm Saturday st pattys weekend in Philly. Food was wonderful get the hot wings an definitely mussels!! Our waitress was knowledgable on the beers. My only qualms were as follows: we got into the bottle ordering portion of our night asked for about 10 beers and they could not bring us one of our requests!! I drove an hour and a half in search of am overpriced bottle of supplication and couldn't get one. I felt like our waitresses were feeling us out to see if we were worthy or if we were going to run up a $400 bill before even presenting us with one of the hard to get beers. That irked me a bit. My buddy who was there before said they did the same thing to him around New Years. After he ordered his 10th bottle around New Years then they magically found those hard to get bottles. Overall I would go again but if I run into the bottle game again then they obviously don't need my business. I'm in healthcare when people need drugs i provide without discrimination. Monks please don't gimme the b.s. When I am trying to relax and give you my money so I can enjoy a rare beer that I can't get driving all the way down from lancaster,PA!!

03-16-2014 12:49:35 | More by Liberatiscioli
Photo of socon67

New York

4.86/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

Came here for the Mad Monday event to try Pliny the Younger.

Place is a gem of the American craft scene. Small, ramped place that once inside teases you with bottles of rares like Russian River, Cantillon, and others scattered about the décor. The taplist on this day was mind blowing; so much so that Pliny the elder on tap was an afterthought. On most other days they have an incredible selection of Belgian imports, hard to get domestic beers, and favorites.

Staff knows their stuff and treats you well. I was here on a jam packed bar and still was able to get service fast. Prices normally run high but then again they are pouring the rare liquid. A must visit when in Philly, even with better options around. This is a historic craft mecca (Michael Jackson adored this bar).

I'll be back and when I do go I hope to be at the bar for a stretch.

03-11-2014 01:37:16 | More by socon67
Photo of Sound_Explorer


5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$

At the suggestion of my local bottleshop owner in Washington, I made a stop in Philly specifically for this place on a trip to the East Coast. I wanted to stay for the last 7 days.

The front section has the restaurant and main bar, but it also has a smaller, almost "exclusive" room in back with handles and plain wooden seating. Busy, fun, bit loud but that is a sign of a good business and happy customers.

Huge Belgian selection of both taps and bottles. Friendly, witty staff that know just about every beer they offer. Served in correct glasses of course. Overall a Belgian "Mecca" that, if you are in Phily, you need to try. Slightly expensive but Belgians usually are anyways and sadly didn't try the food. Go forth!!

03-06-2014 22:55:10 | More by Sound_Explorer
Photo of Aledog

New York

5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$

This might be the best bar in the world--definitely a contender. Beer selection is amazing. Cool atmosphere, dark, cramped, bustling. If you can get a seat at the bar you have won the lottery and should stay as long as you can continue drinking-then leave and let someone have a seat. They have some fantastic beers on tap that are continually rotating. Had Pliny on tap when I was there--need I say more? Try their own sour ale, nice way to end the night.

02-08-2014 01:44:55 | More by Aledog
Photo of aqualung23


4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75 | $$$

Monks is THE place for the beer connoisseur visiting Philly. A constantly rotating selection and some VERY knowledgable servers, you absolutely will not leave disappointed. Don't even bother choosing. Just tell them what you like and try at least a few of their recommendations. A little pricey for Philly, but you should be very pleased. A++++

12-29-2013 18:20:28 | More by aqualung23
Photo of mkh895


5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$

I was in Philly for work and had a Saturday free, I went to monks and told the bartender I was from Arizona and would like anything I could not get out west, I ending up trying beers from Switzerland, Belgium, PA, and NH. His selections where outstanding and after every new beer we would talk and he would further refine the next one. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

12-07-2013 03:18:23 | More by mkh895
Photo of curl217


4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75 | $$$

Visited Monk's during a weekend shopping trip based on BA rating, as it was near our hotel. Great atmosphere, beer selection, food, knowledgable bartenders. Loved the old school feel of the place. Best of all, no TV's . Worked my way thru the Deschutes beer on tap. Quite satisfied. My advice: go early, stay late, visit the back bar, have a meal.

11-09-2013 14:04:09 | More by curl217
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
97 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.