Monk's Café

Not Rated.
Monk's CaféMonk's Café
BA SCORE
96
world-class

335 Reviews
Reviews: 335
Visits: 481
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: 218
Cask: 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 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 335 | Visits: 481
Reviews by mdfb79:
Photo of mdfb79
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went to Monk's Cafe in Philly last weekend with my girlfriend, her brother, and some of his friends. Since a car crashed into the front of the bar, you had to enter through a side alley into the back bar. We were met at the front of the alley by a hostess, who told us we couldn't walk down the 25 foot alley by ourselves; we had to wait for to be escorted by another hostess.

Once we got inside we asked the bartender if we could be seated (tables are only for people ordering food), but she told us we had to go back outside and ask the hostess to seat us. It was a pretty awkward start to the Monk's experience, but it picked up from there. We asked a waitress if she could seat us and she did so no problem. Both waitresses we encountered were very nice and knew their beer. Some of the people in my party weren't sure what they wanted and the waitress was very helpful.

In terms of the beer itself, I was pretty impressed. They had about 15 beers on tap, including bourbon barrel aged Allagash Black, Consecration, and Damnation. Most beers were only $6.50 too, which coming from DC bars I found pretty reasonable.

The bottle list was pretty large, especially the Belgian section. I noticed some stuff like Fou' Foune, Angel's Share Grand Cru, and De Struisse Pannepot 2006, as well as many more Cantillon beers. While some of the prices were expensive (Fou' Foune was $50 a bottle), others were quite reasonable (the Pannepot was only listed at $12 a bottle). I ordered several beers and the only one out of stock was the Pannepot.

In terms of food, I ordered a small bucket of mussels which were cooked in a Cantillon beer. They had many different kinds that were all reasonably priced (half cooked in different types of beers) and I thought they were great. Someone else ordered the frogs legs and the scallops, both of which I'm told were very good as well. The frites were ok.

Overall I really enjoyed Monk's and would definitely go back next time I'm in Philly. (1,977 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of RutgersBeerGuy
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

The legendary Monk's Cafe! A craft beer icon in both locally in Philadelphia and in the United States, if not the world.

We sat at the front bar. It was pretty crowded for mid-afternoon on a Saturday, but due to a party leaving right as we arrived, we managed to get three seats together. The space is somewhat cramped and the lighting features neon. It's a weathered aesthetic. A testament to the bar's longevity, perhaps.

The tap list is small, but incredibly well-considered. There is a focus on Belgian and Belgian-inspired brewing, but there is a nod of the head to the popularity of IPA, as well. The taps are split across the two bars. You can order from either, but it does mean waiting a little bit for your beer to be fetched from the other bar, as necessary. I had a Russian River Blind Pig and a dry-hopped Saison Dupont. The beer was in top shape.

We didn't eat, but the menu, like the beer, trends Belgian. There's an impressive range of mussel preparations that I'd love to sample.

The service is a bit stuffy. Our bartender wasn't unfriendly, but he didn't welcome us with open arms, either.

I can only imagine the oasis that Monk's Cafe must have been in, say, 1998. (1,190 characters)

Photo of TheNakedStiletto
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of sokol_1993
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

A very nice and cozy place with a huge selection of beer. The service was very nice and polite. The food is great too. I got a good burger and fries. (149 characters)

Photo of JArt
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Without question, this place has an awesome draft list! However, I feel that the bartenders are extremely pretentious and act as though you are bothering them when you order your beer. (184 characters)

Photo of HookemHoos
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Photo of Persdawg
4.7/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of devilfluff
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Sparger
3.54/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25

Great selection of beers to choose from (39 characters)

Photo of philerman
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of N17shelfside
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of JoeMans
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of lizpckrng
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of cp45
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of Goodytime
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Sludgeman
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Visited on a Saturday around noon. Place was fairly empty. Sat at the bar. Have the bartender show you the bible.

Vibe – Knowledgeable crowd at the bar. Smaller than I expected, narrow, clean and fresh, probably very dark in the evening, single toilets but men or women. - 4.5

Ser - Good, proper distance, bartender was engaging - 4.25

Sel –Excellent, great tap and bottle list, had three Russian Rivers - Pliny the Elder (on tap), Supplication and Damnation. - 4.75

Q - Nothing to complain about, clean and proper glassware - 4.25

Food – The mussels were good. - 4.5

Price - $$$ - Reasonable for what we drank - 3.75 (629 characters)

Photo of American_Hawk
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Nmelione
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 2 | selection: 5

Photo of PhillyFoodie
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Amazing selection of primarily Belgians and rare beers. Food is excellent and and as affordable as can be in Center City Philly. Truly a beer connoisseur's heaven. I had my first Rochefort 10 there 15 or so years ago and it has held a special place in my heart ever since. (272 characters)

Photo of ohyeahitsmuff
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Bill69
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Flooz
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.