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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 ithacabaron:
Photo of ithacabaron
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What a fantastic place, and I'm lucky enough to make it almost a weekly stop. My opera company rehearses just down the street, so Monk's is a natural stop for a pint afterwards.

Atmosphere is fantastic -- incredibly dark, incredibly smoky, incredibly crowded, and every piece of dark wood furniture banged and bruised to a well-worn shine. A beautiful thing, and very much in the traditional belgian vein. Don't mess with the front bar. Go right to the back, babe.

Quality is very good. Sometimes things are served a touch too cold, but you shouldn't be in a rush hanging out here. Going to Monk's for a spell means a few long, lazy hours. Just hang out and let that baby warm up a bit.

Service is very nice, always interested in helping you out, and appropriately gruff and rude when they need to be. If you pester a waitress too often about a certain vintage (and this happened at the table right next to us), she'll turn right around and tell you to get off her back, to relax, and that she's still trying to find the bottle. Once she finds it, she'll be happy to tell you the history of it, her own feelings about the offering, and whatever else have you. So don't be a pain in the ass. You'll be gotten to when you need to be gotten to. These people are consumate professionals -- and sometimes that means giving a little verbal beat down back. Nothing wrong with that. Sort of charming, really.

Selection is just about the best you'll find, Belgian-wise, in the entire United States. No 5 from me, however, as a little bit too often there's bottles that appear on the menu, but no longer exist down in the cellar. Still fantastic selection, and some things (Cantillon 2002 vintages on tap) that you simply won't find anywhere else, anytime soon. Proper glassware is provided for everything. Other countries are well represented as well, and those beers are treated with the same respect.

Food is fan-freaking-tastic. Have any of the burgers, moist tender, and a little bit bloody. Have some mussels (I'll even break my rule and snag a few from a friend's plate here), have some pomme frites. Just have something to eat. It's surprisingly affordable, and very delicious.

In fact, everything here is pretty reasonably priced. Sure, you'll pay 15 dollars for a beer sometimes, but it'll be a 750 of a limited-run Saison from a brewery that doesn't even exist anymore. Things like that. Pretty much everything on draft, from the Hommel Ale, to the Delirium Tremens, to the Cantillon, to whatever else, you'll get for five dollars, and generously poured full into a nice tulip for five dollars at that. You'll never be shocked and horrified at the bill here, and that's a good thing. You will put out a little cash, but you get what you pay for -- and you only find the best here.

All in all, Philadelphia's finest beer bar, far and away. Make a special trip just to visit here, or just make it your new local, like I have.

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.