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Monk's Café

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class

346 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
97
Reviews:
346
Ratings:
517
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
8.45%
 
 
Taps:
20
Bottles/Cans:
218
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
Monk's CaféMonk's Café
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

264 S 16th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19102-3357
United States

(215) 545-7005 | map
www.monkscafe.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 346 | Ratings: 517
Reviews by ckeegan04:
Photo of ckeegan04
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Dropped in on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Bars were both crowded but there were empty table scattered about. Only problem is you cant sit at one of the tables unless you are ordering a full meal, which we were not. We were able to grab a corner of the bar that was a little cozy for the four of us, but it got the job done. Only a few beers on tap at the front bar, but they were some interesting ones including RR PUblication, Port Wipeout IPA, Duvel Green and a couple of others. The "Beer Bible" was sitting on the bar which had their bottle list...wow. Easily the best bootle list I have seen (including the Brickskeller in DC, and Monks actually had all their listing available). Huge selection of Belgians and alot of American micros. Some of the highlights I remember were Lost Abbey (Veritas, Isabelle), Russian River (Consecration, Temptation, Beatification), Cantillon, Stone, all the trappists except Westy, Dupont, Fantome and many more. Prices were steep but very reasonable given rarity of the brews. I had the Publication on tap and then a bottle of Beatification. We also ordered the pommes frites which were excellent and the other food I saw flaoting around looked great. Service was slow but friendly given the large crowd at the bar and only one lady working the bar. Very dark setting which I always enjoy. Felt very welcoming.

Overall I really thought this palce was great. Might not be the best bar if you are not really into beer because the prices were a little steep, but I would make a trip to Philly just to go back.

 1,545 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of KVNBGRY
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Was there for craft brewers conference. It was way too crowded. I feel like there could've been either another bartender in the front (albeit small bar) or maybe a door guy with a limit on the number of patrons. May not the best tim to visit and rate on a normal night. But this is a huge event that could've been prepared for a little better. The menu had a few solid and really interesting beers on tap. Would like to try on a normal day and also the food.

 458 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4.25/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of nickfl
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

This place has a great vibe, provided it isn't ruined by being literally packed full of humanity. It is decorated nicely in what I would describe as "Belgian Pub" style, but it is kind of tiny. There is a second bar and some more seating way in the back, past the bathrooms which may be less crowded if the front is packed, but it is a small place and it seems like it may just get too busy to really enjoy at peak hours. When we were there it was too full and service was all but non existent, which wasn't really their fault, though they really could have had another couple of bar tenders on duty. The draft selection wasn't huge and some of it was pretty meh, but there were a couple of real stunners on there to make up for the "I can get that anywhere" kind of stuff. Didn't eat but it seems like it would be worth going back to try that aspect. Really not my best philly beer experience, but I'd like to give it a try again some time when its a little less crowded.

 978 characters

Photo of glass_house
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Wowzers. Taplist was impressive, the bottle list even more so. The duck salad sandwich was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. Service was slow, but with the craft brewers conference in town, we fully expected that. And we were in no hurry. Incredible. I'll never go back to Philly without making a stop here.

 315 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Hitchcock
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of RLM15
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I am lucky to have been to fantastic beer bars all over the country. No matter how great the beer selection, food, or ambience, all other beer bars fall short of the mystic of Monk's. When you enter Monk's you are transported to another place and time and it is easy to spend the entire day, leisurely eating, drinking, and conversing with friends and new acquaintances. The beer, the food, the service, and the atmosphere simply can not be beat.

 446 characters

Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of dbrauneis
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of pagriley
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of thepenguin
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of tmac
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Beginner2
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Visiting for only one night... so I didn't know how packed this place is in the evening.
Lucky to get a spot at the bar (two hour wait for a table!) and had Corsendonk's Noel on tap and bar food.
I bought "Monk's Beer Bible" and later found out that I had had over 150 of its 300 beers.
There will have to be another time for dinner... and make a dent in the rest of the list.

 376 characters

Photo of Shnanign
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
3.14/5  rDev -28.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.25

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

Photo of mkh012
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Maybe my favorite restaurant. Go here if you get the chance. Small, cozy, good music playing quietly, usually a tame crowd. Can get pretty crowded on weekends, but the people are usually chill and courteous. The service is very knowledgeable but can be a little snippy/condescending (mostly when they're busy). The food is probably an 8/10 but a 9 or 10/10 for a bar. Amazing burgers. The mussels are pretty good as well. The beer list is just...almost intimidating. There are usually only about 20 beers on tap, but they're mostly hard-to-get gems like Pliny the Elder. The bottle selection is mindblowing. Yes, there may not be as many beers on tap here as there are at other places, but there are probably well over 200 different bottles of beer to choose from. I've had many of my favorite beers here for the first time. Dreaming right now about a bottle of Goulden Draak and a goat cheese burger...

 903 characters

Photo of beershawn
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of MasterRigger
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of frankiebrewer
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of THSmusicman
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Went here for my birthday with my grandma. Love this place!

Vibe: Very relaxed, with a diverse mix of music playing in the background. This place is very cozy but has a very friendly vibe about it.

Quality: The beers are served at optimal temperature and the food was cooked perfectly! The food was also very fresh, as was the beer!

Service: My waitress was fantastic! She knew her beers very well and was very sweet and accommodating. She even checked up on us periodically. I will look for her next time I'm here!

Selection: The tap list isn't huge but it's incredible. Today, they had Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder on tap and even Tilquin Gueuze. The bottle list was pretty awesome but they don't have many of the beers in the beer bible. I got a bottle of Brooklyn Wild Streak which was a surprise to me!

Food: The food is among some of the best food I've probably ever had! The mussels were cooked to perfection and loaded with flavor and the duck salad sandwich was so rich! The fries with their dipping sauce are also incredible.

I will definitely be going here as often as I can. This place is a almost hidden gem in Philly. An amazing place to celebrate my birthday!

 1,182 characters

Photo of Spreetaper
4.16/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of mildlybitter75
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Monks is an enigma wrapped in a tight Pandora's box. My Oddessey began a few years ago on a cold winter night in Philly. Me and a few friends at the time were making our way to this beer Mecca. I had a wallet full cash and I was ready to drink. We entered this hallowed hall and made our way back to the back bar. No room at the bar so we grabbed a table and started to study the huge bottle beer list when all of a sudden a snooty waiter informed us, that unless we were ordering meals off the menu that we were not allowed to sit at the table. What a crock of crap! We walked out never looking back. A few years roll by and monk's myths of snooty waiters and bartenders have grown into legend. I had been to Philly about a hundred times since that visit and I never have given monks much thought. Well forward to November 2014. My father was getting surgery at Thomas Jefferson and my sister and I decided to step out for a late lunch and a few beers. We had checked out mcgellins ale house for sandwiches and a beer. We wanted something with more of a kick to take away the late fall chill. We decided to make the small hike to monks. Made the hike walked in, the place was empty. Made if to the back bar and sat down at the bar. The bartender was right on us. We both ordered a draft chimay white while we looked at the bottled list. We didn't really have much time, so we didn't get food just a few more beers. The service was great and we were treated very well. Monks is a great place when it works. Yes, when it works! To next time, well I might have to change this review.

 1,581 characters

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
97 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.