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Monk's Café

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

432 Ratings
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 330
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.48%
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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 330 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by orangesol:
Photo of orangesol
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Stopped in here on Black Friday during our beer excursion. I have been to Monk's a bunch of times, figured it is time to sit down and finally write a review.

Not the biggest place in the world to begin with but they make good use of the space. Small bar right inside the door with a few stools, a few tables all around the bar area help to complete the front bar area. A few bigger tables make up the dining room directly behind the front bar. Lots of awards and old bottles help to show the history of the bar. As you walk through the dining room you go through a small hallway and end up at the back bar, my favorite place to hide. Larger bar area than the front with a few stools and a few tables to sit at. My service has always been good but not great. When they are busy they can be really hit or miss but when they are kinda slow they can be really good.

The quality was top notch, as you would expect. From the beers to the food, no expense is spared. The food was excellent. I had a burger on my most recent trip and it was cooked perfectly and tasted great. The beer selection is second to none. I saw quite a few things on the tap list I would have liked to try but I ended up splitting a bottle of '04 Cantillon Lou Pepe - Gueuze, I know poor me. Prices are a bit high but it is Philly so that is to be expected.

Overall one of my favorite bars to visit anywhere, let alone in the city. From the food to the beer, you really can't go wrong.

orangesol, Nov 29, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jacobob10
4/5  rDev -9.7%

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.

Jacobob10, Tuesday at 07:20 PM
Photo of Shandycan
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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!

Shandycan, Monday at 06:14 PM
Photo of Nickanzo
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Nickanzo, Sunday at 04:18 PM
Photo of JackNip
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

JackNip, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Davepoolesque, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of anteater
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

anteater, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of Fusebuddy
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

Fusebuddy, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of ChicagoNick
2.5/5  rDev -43.6%

Monk's Cafe has some decent bottles, but I don't get the hype. Unless you're a local that can stop in anytime for special tappings, this place is extremely mediocre. Food is okay. Service is okay.

My recommendation: go during the day (dimly lit at night and loud) and don't bother reading the online menu. Expect them to be out of at least one thing that you ask for. Also, they like to leave certain high-demand bottles on their list that are long gone. Fair warning to those interested in one of the 5 Cantillon bottles which have been sold out since September 20th. (Today is Oct. 13)

ChicagoNick, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Davelucas88, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of Lupo
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Lupo, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of stephenjmoore
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

stephenjmoore, Sep 30, 2014
Photo of NJBeer265
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

NJBeer265, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of beerded_drunk
4/5  rDev -9.7%

beerded_drunk, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of Devman171
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Devman171, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +12.9%

AlexM, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Stephenjtorres
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Stephenjtorres, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of ILuvBeer
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

ILuvBeer, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Dizzy242
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Dizzy242, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of kwa357
4/5  rDev -9.7%

kwa357, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of MWilcox20
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Amazing place and a must when in Philly. There may be some better places to get a beer in town (Eulogy, Tria) but Monk's is a classic and usually has some amazing stuff on tap. Went there last week and had Lost Abbey Deliverance - rocked my world. Monk's has an epic reputation and is well worth the visit.

Also the mussels are incredible :)

MWilcox20, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Wonderful selection, and the food is great!

MicroBeerMan1980, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of KornWallace
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

I was at Monks for their Pliny the Younger offering in March. The bar itself is a little on the small side, made even smaller by the large number of people who were there for the special offerings that day.
That day their offerings were amazing, as to be expected, I did take a look at their bottle list while there and there seemed to be a good deal of bottles that I would have loved to have tried. While I was there I had one of the burgers which was very good.
The pricing was pretty expensive as was to be expected. The bottle list was slightly over the price points I would have expected.
The servers that day were overwhelmed. They did what they could and remained calm cool and collected throughout the day.

KornWallace, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Slatetank, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of BigRizz62
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

BigRizz62, Aug 19, 2014
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.