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The Monk's Kettle

Not Rated.
The Monk's KettleThe Monk's Kettle
BA SCORE
96
world-class

75 Reviews
Reviews: 75
Visits: 121
Avg: 4.38
pDev: n/a
Taps: 24
Bottles: 180
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

3141 16th St
San Francisco, California, 94103-3334
United States
phone: (415) 865-9523 | map
www.monkskettle.com

Notes:
Place added by: NikStique on 12-07-2007

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Visits: 121
Reviews by NorCalYeti:
Photo of NorCalYeti
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Great beer bar/eatery located in the Mission. Street parking is available in the neighborhood. 16th St. BART is also within walking distance, which is a nice option. Arrived at 12p upon opening and was immediately greeted and asked whether I was there for food or drink. Sat down at one of 12 seats at the bar and was provided with a beer menu. The bartender was very friendly and helpful and open to pouring samples as requested. 24 beers on tap with two extras being poured off the list. A mix of Czech, American Pale Ale, English-Style Brown Ale, and Belgian-Style beers available on draught. And then the beer list...pretty much representative of every category you can think of. Major drawback is the price across the board...all the prices are inflated. Be prepared to pay dearly...especially for a big group. My choices were somewhat focused due to price. If you're out on the town and price isn't an issue, you've found your place. All beers poured in proper glassware with most beers poured a little cold, which is a drawback.

Plan to arrive early as the place fills quickly. We arrived at 12p on a Saturday and the place was full around 1:45p.

The place holds 49 people...approximately 12 seats at the bar and the remaining seats divided among eight, two and four tops. Rustic menu with snacks such as the daily pickle and elves on horseback, to small plates such as house salads, mushroom risotto, buttermilk fried rabbit, and mussels, and entrees like chicken paillard, duck confit, and diver scallops. Food coming out of the kitchen smelled great. Had a basket of fries that hit the spot.

I would definitely go back but would have to save my pennies ahead of time. Aside from the price, the other criticism might be the diversification of the beer list...while several beer styles are represented, only a couple of beers are available in each style, many of which aren't that rare or inspired. I would suggest they focus on fewer styles and have a deeper selection for the price.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -20.5%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25

I will grant that this is a place with plenty of interesting beers that seem to be chosen more for weirdness and rarity, which will please many. For those who pursue the top 500 list, you can get a nip of Fantome Saison, Sucaba, and Abyss if you're willing to pay the price. I objected to the $8.75 pirce for the 10 oz American Pale ale from Santa Cruz, but you can get a whole pint of Firestone DBA for the same price, so you can say it's just San Francisco.

The other nice thing is the wall of glassware between the tall carved back bar endpieces. But the noise is so deafening with people yelling over the sound system. It's so cramped and uncomfortable, no matter how good it looks, I drink my one beer and get out. The food is also lovely and they seemed to be selling a lot of the $17 burgers. The fried chicken wins the beauty award. You can see the food menu as well as current beers online, which is also a plus if you're looking for a reason to visit on any given day. But go when it's warm enough to sit at the few sidewalk tables-- though the time I noticed empty seats was a damp, chilly evening.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Tiny corner spot near 16/Mission in SF. Some outside seating, some funky bar seating as well as booths inside. The beer selection (while pricy) is great...same goes for the food. Nice people there and a good vibe...but your wallet may hurt if you stay for too many!

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Photo of carniwhore
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of amano_h
4.86/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

The Monk's Kettle pretty much ruined the Mission District bar crawl for me, simply because there's really no other place worth visiting in the Mission District after you've been (and have been promptly seated at) to the Monk's Kettle.

Where to even begin. The food at Monk's Kettle is out of this world; I've never once been disappointed with their Monk's Daily Sandwich, and the charcuterie board is a home run if you're just stopping by for a few casual drinks late in the afternoon. If you end up staying for dinner, like I usually end up doing once I see the lines forming outside, their trout is a delightful combination of juicy and chewy (two adjectives I don't commonly associate together with fish), and I double dog dare anyone to NOT fall in love with their duck confit. It's impossible, I swear.

The beers. By now everyone has that one friend who is absolutely bonkers about craft beer. When I say absolutely bonkers, I mean that this one friend is the one that drives four-five hours to a different state for bottle releases, will look his nose down at you for drinking an IPA out of a nonic pint glass, and publicly shame anyone who thinks Blue Moon is a "craft beer." Monk's Kettle is kind of like that annoying friend, except he has an ulterior motive to be nice to you in that he wants your money. So imagine that the one beard-toting, hop-sniffing, pot-belly-having, brewery t-shirt wearing friend suddenly had some sort of a lightning epiphany and decided he wanted to share all of his prized possessions with you (in exchange for money) and you pretty much have the Monk's Kettle.

For those of you that speak beer, the Monk's Kettle is one of two places that I can count on to carry Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Elder on tap at any given day of the year. They also have around 25+ taps of beer, primarily from CA (Cellarmaker and Firestone Walker being the usual suspects) with some other choice curations from around the US and Europe. They also have an extensive, yet somehow rotating bottle list as well which includes a vintage ($$$) sour/stout selection; a very curious selection of hard-to-find (albeit grossly marked up) Belgian beers with the likes of De Dolle Brouwers, Brasserie De la Senne, and Oud Beersel; and for extra brownie points, they also serve the original Leipziger Gose here as well.

If by some chance you're that one absolutely bonkers guy and are still sporting a resting meh face even after reading the above paragraph, Monk's Kettle is also a long-time participant of Pliny the Younger Day (February); on top of that they regularly have themed tap events, like hosting a vertical of all the years and variants of Deschutes' the Abyss, for example.

My advice for any beer-oriented guy or gal looking for a good time in the Mission District would be to shut up and let Monk's Kettle take your money.

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Photo of bouncepass
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Claytonis
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of tshanahan
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Always have a definitive beer geek list to salivate over. Went for the sour fest earlier this year. West Ashley, Cantillon, Spontaneous Cheer, etc on tap. Prices are a bit high. Their staff is well trained though and the place is really well kept.

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Photo of bostonbeans
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of jloomis
4.38/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Brown120
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of mayorQuimby
4.25/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of Motchy
1.55/5  rDev -64.6%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 1

Wowwww! Never have I seen a place with such a stupid table policy. We were denied a table to sit at 10:30PM on Friday and were asked to stand around the full bar whilst 3 tables remained spare..

We left and didn't have a beer that time, though I came earlier in the day and the waiting staff were terrible as we'd only ordered a pretzel so that we could sit outside, it was a bit absurd.

Such an odd place, good beer selection but god awful people you'll have to deal with. You can do better for the area

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Photo of HookemHoos
3.2/5  rDev -26.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

The service was awful. They had a good selection of beers, but nothing that you couldn't find in other, less pricey bars in the same neighborhood.

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Photo of Jackolope
2.08/5  rDev -52.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2.25

If you like being talked down to and unparalleled levels of pretension than go to this place. If you enjoy sharing beer with friends AVOID THIS PLACE like the plague. Me and my friend were basically asked to leave because our friend wanted to join us for a beer after we had finished our mediocre food. He came at the end of our meal and sat down next to us, I gave him a sip of my beer and that was enough for the host to come over and explain, "We don't just let people come in here and eat and drink..." It was so absurd I couldn't tell if he was being serious until he made it clear that he wanted us to finish up and leave. Why? I'm still guessing. Mind you it was a Tuesday at 9pm and there were a handful of open tables. When I called management the next day to see if this was some kind of joke my concerns were not taken seriously. If you are in SF there are literally dozens of establishments within walking distance that have comparable selections and MUCH Friendlier service. Hell I'd even say Zeitgeist has friendlier service and they essentially pride themselves on being gruff...

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Photo of Rilesmiles
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Small place, but cozy. Had heard great things about the tap list but was sort of underwhelmed. Was looking forward to trying west coasters that I can't get in Wisconsin but found that the list wasn't very west coast-centric, which is fine. I suppose my expectations set me up for it, but I didn't see much that I can't find at the good places in Madison and Milwaukee. I did enjoy a Salvation, among others, but didn't see the whales that others speak of seeing on the menu.

Service was very good. Excellent wait staff.

Food was good but nothing special. I would order something other than the relatively basic chicken sandwich I ordered.

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Photo of toronadotornado
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of JamLand
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

A cool, cafe feel to the place. A place to grab a great pint and some great food. The service was very friendly. Amazing selection while we there, including '10 and '11 Abyss. I can't verify much variety with the food because everyone I was with ordered the burger, which was excellent. Plenty of street parking in the area, if you rent a car while visiting SF.

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Photo of brywhite
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.16/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of erha2
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Super friendly staff. I guess it helps when you bring over some Heady and Sip of Sunshine from the East Coast. No, they were great before I even offered those beers. Tap list still had most of the sours available from their SF Beer Week sour event the day before. Only remember a vintage Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa being unavailable the day after. Got to try a lot of Rare Barrel offerings along with Cellarmaker/Sante Adairius I see a Dankness.

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Photo of Fogindex
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of MichaelLamb
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Bwagner1122
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of jimh67
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Way different vibe than Tornado. Sat outside-great people watching- never really saw the inside.
Had a Pliny and a nelson! Very good. Worth the trip. easy on/off back to east bay- near on ramp to I80

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The Monk's Kettle in San Francisco, CA
96 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.