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Monk's Café

Not Rated.
Monk's CaféMonk's Café
BA SCORE
98
world-class

458 Ratings
Ratings: 458
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: 218
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 | Reviews: 336 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by glid02:
Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in here twice during a recent stay, once on a Thursday night for a St. Feuillien event and again for lunch on a Saturday right after they opened.

Atmosphere is great. Half of it is the old-school cozy confines of the place and the other half is just knowing how much amazing beer and brewers have spent time here. The bar is fairly dimly lit with daylight from the windows up front fading out before they get to the bar in the middle of the front portion. Opposite the bar are a few tables. Around the bar in the front move you'll go through a narrow hallway that spits you out in the back bar where different beers are on tap and an additional bar sits with a few more tables to keep it company. The vibe is far from quiet yet somehow reserved.

Quality is very good. The beer is served with the proper amount of head regardless of how it comes out of the tap and everything is at a good temperature.

Service is a crapshoot. On Thursday night I met Tom and he was happy to walk us through some of the stuff not on the bottle list and go down to the cellar to help us out. Also, our server never made us wait long after our glasses had been emptied to get another beer. When I returned on Saturday morning I walked in with a friend about five minutes before they opened and was asked to wait outside. About 15 minutes later the door was unlocked and we had to wait a bit to get drinks and food. In addition to that I went to the back bar to check out their tap list and had to wait about five minutes for the bartender to finish her private phone conversation before I could see a list. I think 3.5 is a fair average, the service may be great or you may have to wait a while.

Selection is, of course, great. The tap list and bottle list are both nearly exhaustive and there are even more goodies down in the cellar that aren't listed in the novel. The focus is more on Belgians but they do a good job of representing locals as well.

Food is very good. I had the Monk's burger with frites and bourbon mayonnaise and both were solidly above average.

Value is just a bit pricier than most other places. The beer is just a tad more but the food, while as noted above is above average, also had above average prices.

Overall I was on the fence about visiting based on the tap list as I wanted to focus on locals while in town but after a few people told me I needed to stop in for at least a drink I'm glad that I did. It's a cliche but you really do have to stop in at Monk's if you're in Philadelphia.

More User Reviews:
Photo of PA-Michigander
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of wisegreensoul
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of stevehagy
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of swalsh666
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Craft_Imperial
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Madmartigan78
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I am an out of towner, but whenever I am in Philadelphia I make time for Monk's. Incredible selection of drafts which usually include a few offerings from Russian River. The mussels and frites are also top notch. The crowd can get pretty big depending on the day/time but it is worth the wait.

Photo of AdamTebbs
5/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I hope you like Belgian beers because this place has got them. I love Monks. It is a must see when in Philly.

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of epyon396
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Photo of poppollutesminds
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Awesome selection but VERY tiny. Hard to get service and hard to get what you really want.

Photo of Mfbda1daonly
1.59/5  rDev -64%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.25 | service: 1 | selection: 1

My wife and I went to Monks Sunday on a whim. Their website, which I checked before taking the trip over said they had many beers on tap including Pliny the Elder. Once we arrived, it took the bartender about 10 minutes to emerge from the back area. He wasn't very helpful. Their tap list stunk. They only had Damnation on tap and the other selections were nothing special. My hopes were dashed and I won't be back.

Photo of shoretaxi
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of jeiiVP
5/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Ohiovania
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of mattysuke
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Monks is part of our Mussel Fest annual event and should be visited not only for the incredible beer selection, but also for a pot of some of the best mussels in Philly. The Red Light, Ghent and Monks mussels are outstanding and taste even better being washed down with a glass of Pliny or Blind Pig. Excellent stop for beer and mussels!

Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of dwoolley1
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of tonyrocknroll
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Best bar on the planet to drink beer! Drink some Russian River or the house Flemish Sour under the unicorn tapestry in the windowless backroom, it's cool as hell. Bonus, awesome mussels and a killer legit veggie cheesesteaks.

Photo of jgiordano88
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of baybum
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of kaufmaal
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of newbeeraday
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of dreichus
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
98 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.