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Monk's Café

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

428 Ratings
Ratings: 428
Reviews: 328
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.5%
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: 428 | Reviews: 328 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rdrummer:
Photo of rdrummer
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%

I figured it was about time that I actually reviewed Monk's although it doesn't suffer from lack of attention. I try to go for weekend lunches when the press of the crowd is tolerable. The place is tiny so expect a mob scene any dinner hour or until late at night.

It is a great atmosphere with dark woods and the beer bible and blackboards with all the taps listed and their wine selelection, as well. The beer is always served at the right temperature in the right glass, and I've never had a bad pour.

Now, the one bugaboo of the place. The service, to put it nicely, is not friendly and it is slow. I thought this was a product of being busy until I realized that it's the same way when it's slow. The bartenders can be friendly during the few slow periods they have, but the wait staff basically slings the food at you.

That won't stop me from going back. The mussels are the best in the city. The Monk's burger is superb. Sausages are great. Seafood is always done perfectly. The beer selection seems to have gone downhill a little. There is a huge bottle list, but many favorite Belgians are off the list. Don't bother looking at the tap selections on the Web site either. Other than Chimay, Hoegaarden's, and Monk's Sour Flemish Ale, none of the beers are likely to actually be on tap. The beer that is on tap is always good and never macro crap.

If you've never been here, you have to go. If you have been here, you know what I'm talking about.

rdrummer, May 25, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of anteater
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

anteater, Oct 14, 2014
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.

Fusebuddy, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of ChicagoNick
2.5/5  rDev -43.4%

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 +13.1%

Davelucas88, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of Lupo
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Lupo, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of stephenjmoore
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

stephenjmoore, Sep 30, 2014
Photo of NJBeer265
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

NJBeer265, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of beerded_drunk
4/5  rDev -9.5%

beerded_drunk, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of Devman171
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Devman171, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +13.1%

AlexM, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Stephenjtorres
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Stephenjtorres, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of ILuvBeer
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

ILuvBeer, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Dizzy242
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Dizzy242, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of kwa357
4/5  rDev -9.5%

kwa357, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of MWilcox20
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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 +7.5%

Wonderful selection, and the food is great!

MicroBeerMan1980, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of KornWallace
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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 -3.8%

Slatetank, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of BigRizz62
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

BigRizz62, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of SFNC
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

SFNC, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of Lehighace06
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Lehighace06, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of MattXT
4/5  rDev -9.5%

MattXT, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of mklisz
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

mklisz, Aug 13, 2014
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
98 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.