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Ludwig's Garten

Not Rated.
Ludwig's GartenLudwig's Garten

58 Ratings
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.93%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1315 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107
United States
phone: (215) 985-1525
// CLOSED //

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBorsato


3.7/5  rDev -12.5%

Visited on 09/26/06 for lunch and 10/10/06 in the late evening.

Attempt made to look like an old Euro/German beer bar/cafe. Split into 2 rooms - one for dining - one a bar. The bar side was maybe a bit to modern-ish ...

FIrst off, the beer: The fact that they don't have a beer menu is MOST annoying when they're sitting there asking what you want and you have to walk around looking at all the taps to see what they have. German beer selection actually leaves a bit to be desired in the fact that if you 've ever had more than 10 or 12 German beers then you've probably had most everything they have on tap. The beer list on the website is so far from accurate that it must be years old !! There was one Belgian tap that I didn't recognize and the bartender couldn't tell me what it was ... it was a Belgian Dark Strong Ale and I drank that most of the night ... pretty good - wish I knew what it was... :-(

Beer samplers were small considering the price... so you may as well stick with regular sized beers.

I had a tasty German dish (Spatzle) for lunch the day I ate there and it was quite good !

Not sure I'd rush back for the beer selection alone... but the food may intice me back there again.

11-13-2006 21:18:39 | More by RBorsato
Photo of gueuzegeek

New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev -1.7%

I cannot believe I have not rated this place yet!! I have been there enough that I should have gotten to it before now, but I must say, the thing that prompted me now was a very pleasant visit this past weekend!!

It was not all that crowded, so we got plenty of attention from the bar tender. She has only been there two months but seemed to have made a very good effort to know something about all the beers on tap. Perhaps, when some people have gone, they had temporary bar tenders in for things like Octoberfest or the World cup, but I have to say, it seems Paul DOES want his staff to know what they are serving.

Another thing I noticed was they did have some odd-ball bottles from Germany I have not seen anywhere else in Philly. I generally just look at the draft board, and this time, there seemed to be more interesting seasonals than I have seen in the past. Sure they have their normal big-name breweries, but they definitely had something for everyone. They were nice about letting us try something before getting an entire glass.

I also found out they sell a scaled down size (.3 litre, I believe)for those who do not want a full .5 litre of something.

Overall, I do like the small side of the bar better, but when you have more than two people, it is nice to have the larger bar on the left hand side to go to.

I did not get any food, as I am a vegetarian, and don't usually opt to eat here, but in the past I have gotten things specially prepared and they were quite nice about doing that as well.

The prices of the draft at 5.00 for .5 litre I thought to be pretty in-line for an import beer in the area.

11-13-2006 17:27:24 | More by gueuzegeek
Photo of carlosd74


3.18/5  rDev -24.8%

I am know that I am in the minority but this place is so overhyped. Yes the atmosphere is better than your typical suburban Chili's but compared to otehr downtown haunts this place is not outstanding. The waitresses are nice enough and cool in their Eastern European way but I have never had great experiences with the bar staff. They are usually not very informed of the beers they are pouring. They do a good job of being attentive especially when busy with World Cup or Oktoberfest.
The biggest problem is with the overpriced and very average menu - both food and drink wise. You get better German food at otto's in Horsham, PA. The Old Blue Ox Brauhaus (or whatever it was) had more food selections and at better prices. I ordered wild boar and it tasted like sauerbraten...$30 sauerbraten!
Beer selection??? Please...I think people give these guys way too much credit for having the old German standards, macro Euro brews and a few interesting Belgian bottles.
So it is a great place to watch football and certainly worth a stop if you are in Center City East but not worth the #3 ranking!

10-25-2006 22:37:30 | More by carlosd74
Photo of Phatz


3.8/5  rDev -10.2%

Ludwigs was a cool enough place. Lots of classic old wood style decor but it didn't do much for me today. Maybe coming from Monks didn't help. I heard Ludwigs recently had an Oktoberfest party that was off the hook! But today was pretty dead. Still, the bartender was pleasant and she served the beer in propper glassware (they have an extensive collection of glassware I noticed around the room). And they had a number of German beers and others I never had before. So it was a decent place and well worth the stop but we didn't camp out here for long.

Hope this is helpful.

10-01-2006 05:39:42 | More by Phatz
Photo of jmatthew


4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

Very unassuming and lack-luster exterior tucked back on a minimally-traveled street, but the atmosphere once you step inside seems to immediately transport you somewhere else. Dark woods, low lighting, beer paraphernalia, and appropriately garbed staff set the hole-in-the-wall local German pub mood. Obviously a good German tap selection. A majority of the taps are immediately recognizable (Franziskaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner, Schneider, Spaten, Warsteiner), but there are a few nice surprises, like the occasional Samiclaus. The Victory Mad King's Weisse, exclusive to Ludwig's, is reason alone to visit; not to mention a nice local addition to the taps. Beer prices are a good value across the board. The drinking is coupled with all the quintessential German eats you would expect: spatzle, wurst, schnitzels, and sauerkraut. Food as well is generally good and also a value. The establishment is broken into two halves, and I would recommend the bar on the right as it is darker and more cozy, and usually draws livelier patronage than the restaurant on the left.

09-07-2006 21:31:30 | More by jmatthew
Photo of nlmartin


3.09/5  rDev -27%

I must say I wasnt impressed with Ludwigs Garten overall. The bottled beer list was intially impressive; however, after trying to order about 6 different beers I ordered from the tap list. Dammit they are out of Victory Mad King Ludwig. I almost gave up at this point. I settled on a Frankinser Hefe on tap. Not to shabby. From here my wife and I had a few more on tap offerings. Not a bad place to get a pint. The room is a bit smokey but almost all the bars are smokey. The staff provided seeming indeferent service. Hell I guess your mileage may vary. The food didnt look particularly inviting. I will probably give it another try next time.

06-16-2006 22:00:53 | More by nlmartin
Photo of StoutHearted


3.8/5  rDev -10.2%

I accidently found this place when I was staying at the hotel across the street a few years ago. I've been back a few times a year since, and the place is pretty consistant: Good German beer selection and excellent German food.

The atmosphere gives off the impression of a German hunting lodge, especially at the front bar. If you're in this room, look up towards the ceiling around the bar: there's a dried hop garland, a nice touch. Service at this bar usually takes a while; getting the bartender's attention has tried my patience. My last visit, it took about ten minutes before the bartender stopped talking to a coworker and came over to see what we wanted. To his credit, he was apologetic and checked up on us later. The front bar fills up at night with a young crowd and loud music plays (strangely not German, but 80's rock. The atmosphere almost begs for a polka, but that might chase the Chai-may crowd away.)

The back bar is usually a haven for the older crowd, and it's more quiet. I get better service here, so I prefer this area. It's the perfect place to relax with a pint and a bowl of potato salad, which is fantastic. I remember having a sausage dish here once- while its name escapes me, I haven't forgotten how delicious it was. Great place to go for dinner.

The beer selection is heaven for German beer fanatics, obviously. You may have to practice saying the name of what you want in your head several times before you order (What is it about Germans and their love of long words?). I discovered Rauchbier here, but they always have some sort of bock and a heifeweizen (Lemon-haters beware! Warn your bartender!). Nice bottle selection as well, which usually includes the aforementioned rauchbier.

Oh, and guys: The waitresses are dolled up like a St. Pauli Girl label. They bend over your table to put your beer down. Why aren't you there yet?

05-30-2006 14:16:03 | More by StoutHearted
Photo of gbarron


4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

Hit this place on the advice of several BA's while on business in Philly a few weeks ago.

It appears to be divided into two somewhat distinct bars -- on the left, is a quiet room with no TV's, etc. On the right (where I sat down) is a louder room with piped in music, TV's, and smoking. Bartender was a lovely young lass who clearly knew her beer. She asked me what I wanted to try and I asked her what bocks they had -- she immediately rattled off a list of several rarely seen German maibocks and regular and double bocks on tap. The rest of the wait staff is composed of young ladies wearing very attractive Bavarian outfits and bustiers.

The draft selection was outstanding and logically appeared to focus primarily on German products. As I said, they had several rare draft maibocks on as well as over a dozen other types of German helles, hefeweizens, etc.

On reflection, I should have sat on the quiet side, but I wanted to watch the baseball game on TV. The loud side got a little too loud for me and the cigarette smoke became a little much after awhile, but that is my own fault.

Prices seemed to be very, very fair. I ordered a Spaten maibock which was served in a beautiful Spaten bock .5 liter glass mug with an amazing bock "logo" or coat of arms type thing on it and was pleasantly surprised when my bill was under $5.

Highly recommended. Unfortunately didn't try the food as I had eaten at Monk's only an hour or so earlier.

05-25-2006 17:32:51 | More by gbarron
Photo of elmocoso


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Another stop on our one night Philadelphia beer scramble, our last for the night. We walked into a cozy little joint that was hopping with customers, most of them drinking 1/2 litre German beers and i should have got one too, but was in a Belgian mood, which they had plenty of. Nice selection of German/American/ and Belgian beers. The waitress was friendly and informed. She wore a traditional German summer dress, and even spoke with a German accent, which added to the atmosphere.

I didn't try the food, but from what i saw, it looked good.

I would hit it again.

05-10-2006 02:41:26 | More by elmocoso
Photo of BillyB

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

The best German beer bar I've been to. If you're looking for German beer and nothing but German beer I highly recommend Ludwigs. They have a nice atmosphere with a friendly (a good number of them actually German)staff that dress in traditional Bavarian outfits.
The tap selection was excellent and the bottle selection was even better. Besides Germans they had some hard to find American micros as well like Dogfish Head.
I didn't try the food but I did notice it was a bit pricey. The beers were reasonably priced though.

02-06-2006 20:53:17 | More by BillyB
Ludwig's Garten in Philadelphia, PA
94 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.