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Monk's Café

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

439 Ratings
Ratings: 439
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: 439 | Reviews: 330 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of razorsdescent
5/5  rDev +12.9%

razorsdescent, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of blkcld
5/5  rDev +12.9%

blkcld, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of timlyon
5/5  rDev +12.9%

timlyon, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of throwback
5/5  rDev +12.9%

throwback, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
5/5  rDev +12.9%

What establishment can possibly score a 5.0 on every point - only Monk's! And that's pretty much all that needs to be said, but let me also interject that it's not just Monk's - it's Tom Peters! Chimay on draft! Their own house beer! Where else? Belgium? This guy does it all - I'd say he breaks his balls but I think he enjoys it WAY TOO MUCH for that. It's what he's about. That should be enough to get your ass over there. Even if you have to drive from Maine... plan to show up during the week and enjoy some of the finest Belgian cuisine and the biggest selection of Belgian beers in the area!

NeroFiddled, Jul 16, 2002
Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Davelucas88, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of patm185
5/5  rDev +12.9%

patm185, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of papy1924
5/5  rDev +12.9%

papy1924, May 26, 2014
Photo of iuhoosier336
5/5  rDev +12.9%

What a great place. First off, the food is amazing, I had the trout sauteed in Sasion Dupont which was great. Every knows this place is the best beer bar in Philly and there's really no doubt about it. The have a very wide selection including some very good Belgiums, their specialty. The service is great, everyone is very friendly and knowledgeable. There are two bars which could be a little bigger but not much room here to complain. There's one in the front which a little more social and one in the back which is also usually packed on Fridays and Saturdays. There are some good beers for cheap there but for the ones that are hard to find you may be paying a bit more. All around a great great bar that can never really let you down. If you're looking for something new to try give Monk's a shot, its a great place.

iuhoosier336, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of jackrodgers77
5/5  rDev +12.9%

jackrodgers77, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of tkdchampxi
5/5  rDev +12.9%

tkdchampxi, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of Nickanzo
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Nickanzo, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of beersheppard
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Atmosphere: Dark, the place is crowded and cramped, but it is the best bar in Philly. I reccommend a Sunday night if you don't like the crowds.

Quality: The finest beers from Belgium, the US, and around the world. The owner Tom ensures that the beer list is phenomenal. Once, I was in there and the "Beer Bible" listed three casks of beer from a defunct brewery that the owner loved so much that he made sure he bought up the very last of their product. Things like that are not unusual at Monks. The owner, for years, has taken his vacations in Belgium and has established amazing connections in the country. He is regarded as the foremost Belgium beer expert in the US.

Service: The servers and bartenders know there stuff and are always helpful when selecting from the plethora of beers. My favorite is the bartender with the white hair.

Selection: Hundreds of beers specializing in Belgiums, nonpareil.

Food: Is excellent as well. Great burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. The mussels are amazing.

Value: The beers are a little on the expensive side, but you can't find that kind of selection anywhere. Well worth the money. The alpha and omega of the Philly beer bar world. I have since moved away from the area and I miss it dearly.

beersheppard, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of brnmc922
5/5  rDev +12.9%

brnmc922, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of frank4sail
5/5  rDev +12.9%

What can I say... this place is my church. I have never had a bad time here. The food is always consistant and good.. you must get the mussles and fries and a burger.. The burger is on a LaBus roll (awesome). The beer selection is second to none.. When entering put your name in at the podium and then go to the back ber... very quaint and the staff is knowledgable.

Tom will go out of his way to help a customer and to get a beer to the US just for you. If you like Belgian Beer this place will knock your socks off. It is not cheap... but for the city it is a great value. I know for a fact the beer engine is clean as a whistle. It is a "beer advocate" kind of place.

frank4sail, Jul 23, 2002
Photo of DLSheidy
5/5  rDev +12.9%

DLSheidy, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of GeoffreyM
5/5  rDev +12.9%

GeoffreyM, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of bpfrush
5/5  rDev +12.9%

bpfrush, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of Sound_Explorer
5/5  rDev +12.9%

At the suggestion of my local bottleshop owner in Washington, I made a stop in Philly specifically for this place on a trip to the East Coast. I wanted to stay for the last 7 days.

The front section has the restaurant and main bar, but it also has a smaller, almost "exclusive" room in back with handles and plain wooden seating. Busy, fun, bit loud but that is a sign of a good business and happy customers.

Huge Belgian selection of both taps and bottles. Friendly, witty staff that know just about every beer they offer. Served in correct glasses of course. Overall a Belgian "Mecca" that, if you are in Phily, you need to try. Slightly expensive but Belgians usually are anyways and sadly didn't try the food. Go forth!!

Sound_Explorer, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of AGust82
5/5  rDev +12.9%

AGust82, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of jrancan
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Prior reviewers have pretty much said it all, but I thought I might as well throw my 2 cents in. Of the countless times I've been here, I have never had a problem with either the exceptional food or outstanding beer. Although the taps are usually reserved for hard to find Belgian's, July brought about the tapping of 7 or 8 great American selections, Arrogant Bastard, J.W. Lee's Brooklyn Best Bitter (cask), Rogue Double Incinerator, Tupper's Hop Pocket etc. Outstanding!!
The one small issue I have is the crowds, but I guess that's what happens when a place this good comes along.

jrancan, Aug 22, 2002
Photo of sfr26
5/5  rDev +12.9%

sfr26, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of JakeDebus
5/5  rDev +12.9%

JakeDebus, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of baybum
5/5  rDev +12.9%

baybum, Monday at 08:14 PM
Photo of RockAZ
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Rodenbach Grand Cru American Release Day during the Craft Beer week 2005 and a few times since.

The first trip there was a quick lunch and a pint, but I came back with a posse and we were there to see what Tom was hiding in his cellar. $800 bar tab well spent between the four of us, and the food was great. Had a lot of unusual bottles that had just been recently acquired from a purchase in Belgium, the Rodenbach was awesome and welcomed back after many years lost to the US. Great people at Monks, top level seafood, and just a great Cafe all around.

The rest of the night is a blur, was already checked into a hotel in NJ that I knew early on that I was not going to make it back to so I sensibly checked into some hotel around 7pm that I forgot where it was by midnight and finally checked into a third at about 4am,.... Good times, good times.

RockAZ, Dec 20, 2012
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
98 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.