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Monk's Café

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

449 Ratings
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 334
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: 449 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jmatthew:
Photo of jmatthew
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

From a Philly native, Monk's is the best. It deserves in every right its prestigous reputation. The beer menu is just large enough to not be ridiculous and the selection is well thought out, featuring not only premier Belgians but also well chosen Americans. The atmosphere is appropriately appointed, particularly in the back room where the best taps are. And the Belgian fare is excellent: great burgers, mussels and pommes frites. Hands down, this is the place to go in Philly. And if the crowds annoy you, try going there for lunch when it's quieter.

(Remember, crowds are a sign that you're in the right place)

More User Reviews:
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
4/5  rDev -9.5%

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%

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Pav5069
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Jacobob10
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Arrived at 1:30pm on a weekday and found on-street parking about a block away on 17th St. There were a decent amount of people sitting down grabbing lunch and two people at the front bar. I took a seat at the front bar and after a quick review of the draught list ordered a St. Bernardus Abt 12. The beer arrived and seemed a little under-carbonated, perhaps a bit cold as well. Still tasted great but not the world class beer I've had many times before. I spent some time looking through the impressive "beer bible" containing their bottled offerings. Surely something for everyone. The bar area was dimly lit and had a dark feel inside of it, with Halloween decorations and colored Christmas lights strewn behind in. I was into whatever music was playing, some sort of 70's funk fusion.

Next up, I ordered a Tripel Karmeliet, but after a quick trip to the back bar to retrieve it, the bartender told me the keg was kicked. I was disappointed as I really had my heart set on it, but decided to go with something I had not had in many years, La Chouffe, and got an order of Ghent mussels to go along with it. The beer and mussels were both excellent and lifted my spirits after the sub par Abt 12.

The vibe was a little gloomy but I went at an off time and I'm sure it is much less low key at night. Next time, I will check out the rear bar area as the front bar is small and very close to the entrance. Still, I enjoyed my time here and wouldn't hesitate to return to this mecca of beer.

Photo of Shandycan
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Took long enough but I finally got to visit the esteemed Monk's after figuring out it was less than a mile from the concert venue I was attending... upon first entrance, I thought I might have been missing something... and I was right, because once we navigated our way to the 'back bar', there was far more room to operate! Semi-early on a Friday night, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowd. Super happy to sit down and order a Blind Pig! Tried out the house beer, Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale, which was solid.

I doubt I'll ever make a special trip to the city JUST to go here, but if I am nearby I won't hesitate to stop in for a few pints or possibly something from that vaunted Beer Bible!

Photo of Nickanzo
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of JackNip
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of anteater
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Fusebuddy
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

NIce beer bar if you're in Philly. Only a short 10-15 minute walk from my hotel by the convention center. Small place for sure and as others say, its quite dark in there. Which is cool by me, so I was at home. Loads of Belgian offerings here, I'm guessing more than half the beers. Had a Damnation on tap, sure nice to enjoy a RR beer on the east coast, then a Racer 5 IPA. Food was so-so, the service was fine. In between my two beers, I did waste some time trying to order off the beer list which said they had FW PNC and 17. Each time the server going around looking for the beer, then coming back to advise that its no longer available. After waiting to find out they didn't have those, just went with tap offerings. I would say its a must place for any BA in Philly because its really a cool beer cave, but I wasn't exactly overwhelmed.

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
98 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.