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The Abbaye

Not Rated.
The AbbayeThe Abbaye
BA SCORE
88
very good

26 Ratings
Ratings: 26
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 7.3%
Taps: 11
Bottles: 27
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

635 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19123
United States
phone: (215) 940-1222

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @theabbaye

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: NeroFiddled)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NoLiberty:
Photo of NoLiberty
4.05/5  rDev +2%

The Abbaye is a true neighborhood bar with a good selection of Belgian beers. They classify themselves as Belgian beer and Cajun food - both of which fit, but don't assume this is the best place to go for either. They generally keep 5-6 Belgians on tap and 3-4 local brews.

The food is standard pub food with a twist of cajun done up tasty, fresh and large portioned. They usually have at least two vegan selections.

The atmosphere is Belgian pub feeling, low-lighting, deep wood tones, clean and inviting. The room is large but broken down the middle by the L-shaped bar and dividing wall, which makes both sections seem small.

The wait staff is friendly, young, local and pretty well versed in beerism.

The first few times I visited the Abbaye I noticed a general muted flatness to the beers on draft, which made me think they hadn't cleaned the lines in while. Philly's many other good Belgian bars drew me away until I couldn't resist giving it another shot. The beers tasted fresh and clean and since then I've had no problems.

NoLiberty, Jun 22, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +0.8%

mvanaskie13, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of Durandal_777
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Durandal_777, May 29, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +0.8%

InspectorBob, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of corby112
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%

The Abbaye is a decent neighborhood bar in the Northern Liberties section of the city. The vibe is pretty cool with a mix of bikers, hipsters and yuppies but it's basically a dark pub with a large bar and a decent amount of tables for dining.

The food is decent, just a step above average pub food but I particularly enjoy the fish an chips. Nothing eye catching on the menu but everything s prepared well and the table service is good.

You would think with the name Abbaye that they would specialize in Belgian beers, but in reality they only have a few staples, Chimay, Bernardus, etc. Around ten beers on draft focusing mostly on locals and run of the mill craft. You're not going to find anything out of the ordinary here but the food is okay and it's a fun place to hang out and enjoy some good beers.

corby112, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

So I've been exploring cool Euro pubs and this one has been on my list. The vibe was very good and relaxed. The people there seemed friendly and the staff was very personable. The beer menu was a little limited but decent. What beer they did have were some nice choices. A nice tap list and a little chunk of bomber bottle Belgians and such. The food menu was of good quality and the mussels and fish dish I had were delicious. This is certainly not a huge beer bar but makes for a very nice low key hang out spot with some tasty food/drink. I'll be returning here.

BeerForMuscle, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of Soonami
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

I've walked past the Abbaye on several occasions in and around Northern Liberties, but at the bequest of my significant other, we decided to check it out while watching a Phillies game. We happened to walk in this afternoon to the Pre-My Morning Jacket Party, which featured very loud music, some annoying emo kids, and luckily $3 drafts from Sixpoints.

The bar was a typical Philly beer bar, with dark wood decorating the bar, walls, floors, and counters, and well worn chairs and tables. The service staff was an interesting blend of young and old, although it did take a few minutes to get the bartender's attention to change channel to the Phillies game and get seated. Once seated, our server was very quick with taking our drink and food orders.

The appetizer, a Mediterranean plate with hummus, roasted peppers, feta and pita came out quickly and was delicious. The hummus was flavorful and savory while the pita was warm. I ordered a burger that was prepared very nicely with tasty thin cut fries. My date went with the expectation of having the best grilled cheese in Philadelphia, but was disappointed by a merely good sandwich (SPTR still the reigning champ). Food was reasonably priced as were the $3 pints!

The beer from Sixpoints was nice, but the selection looked to be limited to about 10 taps. The other beers were rather pedestrian without any notable beers. I'd like to go again on a regular night where I can get a better feel for their selection and the clientele.

Soonami, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Ah, dependable, reliable (standby) Abbaye.

Always has unique selection of $5 drafts (with the 1 or 2 $6-7 stronger delights). Always has Yards (wonderful) ESA on hand-pump. Really enjoy the atmosphere any time of year. Great place to stop in during the summer for a brew or two.

Been here dozens of times over the years, only had and issue with service once. But I'd chalk that up to the thought that the server probably just had a bad night or something. In the 7 or so years I've been going here, a lot of the staff is the same, which is cool. Mostly all friendly and some of them remember you even if you're not exactly a regular.

The food has always been top-notch. Their core meals, sandwiches, apps are all moderately priced and all delicious. The specials, more often than not, can run a little pricey, but you're hardly getting gypped because the portions are often generous and you get your money's worth on quality and preparation.

One of the best places (if not the best) in the neighborhood.

Bouleboubier, May 08, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%

A Belgian inspired beer bar in Philadelphia, who woulda thunk it. Stopped in here on a weeknight and realized that i've been here before in the past, I'm positive.

A- Belgian inspired but it really does not come off like that if you look around long enough, trust me you'll understand. Only about a quarter of the beers on the tap list were Belgian and I'm being generous there. Did not check the food menu so can't comment there. Abbaye came off like a neighborhood bar with some Foreign selections.

Q- My beer tasted fine, that's all i'm pretty much looking for in my beer bars in term's of quality. The place did not look like it needed a dusting and came off mildly rustic. Clean and proper glassware.

S- Service was good, attentive but not overbearing, mind you, it was not busy at all when I arrived. Service with a smile and she knew how to pour her beer, kudos.

S- The selection was nice for a neighborhood pub, above average in fact. A few locals, a few out of state breweries and some Belgian selections. Did not see the bottle list but i'm sure there are some lookers on there. Abbaye actually seemed to be more booze oriented as I seen more hard alcohol bottles than beer bottle selections and beer signs on the wall. Is this a Beer Bar?

F- I did not get any and the kitchen was closed down, i'll try it out next time.

I find Abbaye to be a very good neighborhood dranky spot with a good heart and muddled focus. I'm sensing that they have not found their true path in the business that is the Southeast Pennsylvania beer bar scene.

By the way, I had a Mardesous 8, which was awesome. They also had on the Yards ESA from a handpump, reading other reviews, I see that's a common occurance.

BARFLYB, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +0.8%

What a pleasant little find - I was trying to go to N. 3rd for lunch on a Monday. Closed. Then I tried Standard Tap. Also closed. Just as I was about to give up and drive home, my wife said - hey, there's a restaurant and it's open.

I don't know why I didn't know about the place already, but there it is. Glad I do now.

It is dark and pleasantly divey, in the way of many good Philadelphia watering holes. There is a homey bar section and a less scruffy dining room behind it. The food is good - lots of wholesome, whole-grainy, vegetable kinds of things, but also burgers and really tasty french fries. The chicken wings are amazing - not double sauced like many in the city, but fried and soaked in a hot sauce afterward. Meaty and delicious and savory.

The beer list is good, with some unusual draft offerings, including Duck-Rabbit and Sprecher, which you don't see around town much, and a nice if not exotic selection of Belgians. I didn't examine the bottle list closely, but it looked substantial.

The service was pretty good, considering it was a modestly busy lunch and the bartender was by himself.

I recommend this place.

Seanibus, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%

Stopped here on a Friday night after seeing the Standard Tap was just way too crowded.

Nice little cozy place when you walk in, the crowd is made up mostly of the young crowd, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Upon sitting down, we waited a solid 5 minutes before wondering if anyone was going to be serving us. Eventually, I went up to the bar and ordered drinks, and asked if a waiter would be taking our orders. Considering that the place was half full at best, I was really upset at the crappy service. Twice, we had to go up to the bar and order drinks because our "waiter" went MIA.

Selection on tap was really nothing to write home about, Stoudt's Maibock, Yards ESB on cask (which was excellent), Delerium, Chimay White, and other assorted Belgian macro's(Stella, etc).

Food was solid, I had one of their salads, and it was very good.

Overall, this place has a great location for a Belgian themed bar, but I think they need to realize that there are other great bars in the area and need to try to difference themselves from the pack. I will probably go back to see if my visit was a fluke, but I can't see myself becoming a regular here.

leftmindedrighty, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of Abita45
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

Another good beer bar in the Northern Liberties. The Abbaye sits on a corner, allowing for some wrap around outdoor seating, which is nice, with a clean, light interior. The beer selection is very good, featuring a solid line-up of Belgian beers. I had the Young's Special London Ale and a crispy chicken sandwich. It was a sandwich in the loosest of terms due to the fact it was more fried chicken breast flattening the roll underneath. There was no way to eat it like a sandwich, so I ate the chicken first, once I chipped the fried coating off (it tasted good, but made cutting the chicken impossile), and then got after the roll. Everything tasted good, though the fries were limp and kind of soggy. I had heard good things about the menu, and will need some further research before reaching a conclusion. Thankfully, the beer was excellent.

There was a light crowd on an early Friday evening, with most people eating and hanging out, it seemed. The place a very comfortable atmosphere and a clientele ranging from nouvou hipsters (like our waiter), young professionals, a couple older couples, with some bohemian types liberally sprinkled in. Basically, a cross section of the neighborhood.

I can imagine this is a reliable go-to place for many people, and I had a very good experience. Our waiter was attentive and helpful, and happy to let us linger over our beers.

Overall, I found it to be a very nice place with an impressive selection of quality beer. I'm looking forward to future visits.

Abita45, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of StoutHearted
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%

A nice little corner neighborhood bar, this place offers above-par beers, like the De Koninck I had. My boyfriend digs this place for having Brewer's Art on draft constantly. It has the boho Northern Liberties atmosphere complete with being dog friendly. That is, they seem to allow dogs to hang with their owners inside, not that they serve dogs.
I haven't had food here, but have hung with people who've ordered the mac and cheese and the burgers and all were very pleased with their food.
The beer features great imports, plus the best of what's local. For entertainment, there's a dartboard, but beware on leaving your beer behind at the bar while you play- on one trip here, a bartender dumped my beer when I left the bar to visit the Ladies. However, when she was apologetic and quickly supplied me with another brew at no charge when she realized the mistake. Eh, things happen, and all was well in the end. Prices are typical for Philly but not too outrageous.
This place features DJ's occasionally, spinning music that is cooler than you'll ever be, but don't let that keep you from walking in. Everyone is friendly, casual, and out to enjoy a good beer, sometimes with dog sitting beside them.

StoutHearted, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of eldondre
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

This place is neither the best bar nor the best restaurant around but it is one of the best balances of the two around. The food is quite good (love the belgian beer chili) and the beer is a good selection of belgians and regional beer (from as far as baltimore...brewer's art). The service is friendly and there is definitely a neighborhood feel but there is no tension for outsiders to enter. I enjoy the burger and the brunch here as well. Notes: Also serve lambics for those who do not enjoy beer (girlfriends) and liquor.

eldondre, May 14, 2005
Photo of oxmasterscream
4.13/5  rDev +4%

The Abbaye is a much frequented place for me. Always good people, good food, and most importantly good beers... always something from the likes of Rogue, Elysian, Heavyweight, Brewer's Art, Flying Fish, Sly Fox, Yards, Victory, Stoudts, Sierra Nevada, Wild Goose, Lucifer, other Belgians I can't remember - and so on, and tons more. A worthwhile stop if in the Northern Liberties area. Have the pork sandwich. Experience karaoke on Sunday nights - yes, karaoke. Piggyback it with a visit to Standard Tap and you're having a good night.

oxmasterscream, May 13, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%

The Abbaye is a nice bar in Philly. The atmosphere is decent, brightly lit and winding with a nice L shaped bar and a few tables in the back. This place is pretty damn small. The quality of the beers seemed good, and our group of Ba's had no complaints. My Dekoninck was pretty fresh tasting. Service was pretty fast, and friendly enough. The selection was this establishments weak point. The draught list was just a little uninteresting compared to other "Belgian beer bars" in Philly. Still i'd come here again, and look over their bottled list. The food looked pretty good as well. Not mind-blowing, but definately worth a stop!

francisweizen, Dec 06, 2004
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%

A good bar located in an up and coming neighborhood. The selection was ok. Not great but not bad at all. Heavyweight's baltic porter and a nice Belgian sour brown ale were the highlights. Sly Fox's ESB was there as well. The service was good, and it was only one bartender for the rest of us. The only food I tried was a bread pudding with chocolate with a chocalte/coconut sorbet. That was truly worthwhile.

I would suggest eating at the Standard Tap, which is a few blocks away, for dinner and hitting here for dessert.

Edit: on 1/8/2006 I came here with my wife for Sunday brunch. I had the Huevos Rancheros and she had the eggs Benedict. They were seriously good. The afternoon's food menu looked excellent as well. A few more visits and I will be forced to give this a 5 for food. Standard Tap a block or so away and the Abbaye right nearby with excellent food? Parking? Northern Liberites rocks!

GeoffFromSJ, Oct 05, 2004
Photo of GnomeKing
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%

I'm going to try to be constructive, because I want this place to succeed, and I don't think that it's doing so now. Although it's located in arguably the hippest, friendliest neighborhood in the city (the Northern Liberties), this place feels stale and cold. The interior reminds me of a Bennigan's. The lights are too bright, and there's not enough character. Atmosphere is tough to put your finger on, and you can't fake it. This place just doesn't have it. So why do I bother? There's a good, if not extensive, selection of beers (emphasis: Belgian) and the few food items I've tried have been good. This bar is very nearby several other beer bars (Standard Tap, North 3rd, Ministry of Information), so if I'm in the neighborhood, I can usually find a better place to go. I would like to add the Abbaye to my list of hangouts. If they do something about the atmosphere (something drastic preferably), I'll definitely go. Right now, the selection falls short of some of the city's best bars, and it's not broad enough to justify putting up with the stifling, half-dead atmosphere.

GnomeKing, Aug 12, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%

Part of the Buddy Bar Tour of early summer. It combines a very solid, relaxed atmosphere repeat with various brewery nick-nacks. But the "chill atmosphere" is probably the key here. I mean you can fill it with all the random items an niceities you want, but the atmosphere is the best part here.

The selection was nice. Had Victory Vienna Lager, which was a pleasent surpise. However, when I asked for the bottle list, i was either ignored, or, just told, "eventually". I mean I wasn't being pushy, but come on. the prices, were OK. Not to bad, not to great. The only problem I had was the service. It was like I had to shoot up 3 flair guns to get some attention. And it was not like it was crowded by any means.

Though I was definately dissapointed with some aspects, it was still a good time. Recomend a stop any time

PSUDREW, Jun 28, 2004
Photo of nomad
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%

This place gives a great feel: light-colored pastel walls, abundant soft lighting, tin-topped bar, modern photos on the walls, and sounds and tables that exude a warm congeniality. Do only women work here? The service staff and the only cook I've seen her are all women, and I know the owner is a woman as well. All assumed jibes aside, they are courteous, quick, and keep at bay the Cro-Magnon vibe of many Philly bars. The vibe is chill without pretense.

Most recently the tap list had Paulaner Hefe, Fuller's ESB, Brewer's Art Resurrection, Stella, Hoegaarden, La Chouffe, Yards ESA, Victory Hop Devil, a Chimay, and some other I can't remember. Bottle list has Duvel, Maredsous, La Fin du Monde, and other well-known but high-quality Belgian beers.

What I like is the free and no-hassle dart board. No long wait and no deposit required, the darts and things are left out for anyone. Even cooler is that if you're playing in the middle of the restaurant, so don't play badly because everyone can see you!

If it matters to anyone, but the bathrooms are very large, clean, and tasteful. Haven't tried the food yet, but looking forward to it. A favorite stop when in Northern Liberties.

nomad, May 29, 2004
Photo of slander
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%

Hey, I'm not sure if you know this, but you don't have to go through the PJ's to get to the Northern Liberties. No really, it's true. What? Yeah, believe you me, I was just as surprised, but here we were. Walked right the hell on up. No, I wasn't a-scared.
An 18 seat, "C" shaped copper topped, dark wood bar (actually a straight line with a handle on each end), stucco beige and brown walls in a lowly lit rom, it's a nice comfortable joint. Drafts listed on a blackboard behind the bar, 1/2 dozen tables littered about and stick lighting above with (like) this star covered fuzzy golden threading (I always dig on the small asthetic things). White Xmas lights bordering the food specials blackboard and front windows. There's a side area with a dartboard and a back room with about 9 tables, beer signs and the Randy portrait Oer Bier poster (yeah, they had the Bos Keun poster too). They've also got a few tables spotting the sidewalk for chillin', curbside.
Ah, 11 taps on 2 towers. Some real nice local and regionals (Victory Golden Monkey, Brewer's Art Resurrection, Yards ESA, Brooklyn Organic Porter, Appalacian Scotish Ale, Sly Fox IPA) and imports (Young's Special London Ale, Maredsous 8, Leffe Brown, Stella, Guinness), not too shabby.
2 dozen bottles, Kasteel Triple, La Chouffe, Kwak, Duvel, DT, La Fin Du Monda, Chimay X3, Lindemans, Paulaner Hefe...
Service was good and I had a kickin' damn bowl of gumbo. It was a make my face ache kind of gumbo (that's a good thing).

slander, Apr 30, 2004
Photo of Scoats
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%

This place is more of a restaurant than a bar and more of a neighborhood place than a destination. They have a nice varied selection of beer on tap, but nothing most beer geeks haven't had before. I was here twice, once at the bar on a Saturday night, and once at the outside tables on a weeknight. So this two, two reviews in one.

Barwise, this is a good place to catch up with a friend you haven't seen in a while over a couple of tasty beers. The noise level is perfect for conversation, loud enough to be private, low enough to be hearable. There is nothing to do other than drink and talk though. It really isn't a good place to hang out with your best buddy that you catch up with daily. It would be a good place to take a date.

Restaurantwise, we sat outside on a nice late summer evening. And who walked by but NeroFiddled. Rather than hide from him, I shouted across 3rd Street to him. The food is rather yuppied but very tasty with right sized portions. Maybe one of the best places to eat al fresco.

Scoats, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

I absolutely love The Abbaye because it offer the best of both worlds - beer and food! It's a very comfortable, relaxed bar with friendly faces; good conversation (no TV); and great beers. But it's also a really decent place to eat. Soups and stews will run you $5-8 and offer vegetarian choices like the Butternut Squash. Apps are usually all $7 and have included mussels and crab spring rolls. A mixed green or Caesar salad is $6; and sandwiches run in the $8-9 range with some great selections like the Chipolte burger w/ Asiago cheese, the fried oyster po' boy, and the grilled portabella. Entrees are just a little bit more, but well worth it. Fried chicken w/ green beans & mash was $9; the vegan shepard's pie on a bed of sauteed spinach was $10, and the N.Y. strip was just $14! But wait, there's more! The homemade (literally, in the basement) banana ice cream is well worth saving room for! They've also offered other flavors (including Plum); and assorted pies (loved the Pecan!). It's an easy and comfortable place for a quick dinner and the service is great! They also have wine, but the draft beer is why I go. The selection changes to keep things fresh (just like the menu) but I've enjoyed a wide number of beers there including Fuller's London Pride, Paulaner Pils, Maredsous 8, Corsendonk Brown, Kwak, Sierra Nevada Celebration, La Chouffe, Hoegaarden and Leffe Brown. And, of course, they have Guinness... Bottles make up just as many choices including all of the Chimays, Duvel, La Trappe Quad, Kasteel Golden, Delerium Tremens, La Fin Du Monde and Paulaner Hefe Weizen. And if you want, they have cask-conditioned Yards on the hand pump! But after all of that drinking, you might have to hit the bathroom. Be prepared... the first time I walked in there I thought I'd find a bidet! It's easily the nicest bathroom I've ever been in at a bar; with shiny marble and a feel of French Coutoure (sp?). It can get crowded and smokey later at night, so go early, but otherwise it's well worth the trip!

NeroFiddled, Apr 11, 2003
Photo of Beermaninpa
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

Atmosphere: I can't wait to be here in the summer, hope they have seating outside. But even if they don't those big windows should let some air in. Nice bright, open and airy, the layout more or less separates the diners from the bar people. The place is clean, has not been to smoky and always seems to have a couple of well behaved dogs lying around. People hanging out seem nice and you can strike up a conversation with a stranger with out being looked a funny.

Quality: The beer has been very good, they seem to go through a fair amount, none of that has that beer been sitting in those lines for a week? On the food side I have only had some basic sandwiches and burgers and they where quite nice, will have to go with a appetite some time and have an entree. Good portions at a fair price.

Service: Service was very good one time and spotty the next two times, sometimes I wonder if bartenders realize the more I spend the more they get tipped. A glass should never get empty.

Selection: 12 taps, usually a Brewers Art on tap. Have not delved into the bottles yet, because there is always have 4 or 5 beers on draft that I want to drink. Proper glassware has been used the couple of times I was there. Food selection seems to cover all tastes.

Food: As mentioned before good food, good portions at a fair price.

One of the things I like about this place is that it is a short walk to North 3rd and the Standard Tap. You can have your own little bar crawl right in Northern Liberties.

Beermaninpa, Apr 10, 2003
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4/5  rDev +0.8%

After visiting Eulogy on Chestnut St. my bro-in-law & I headed here, The Abbaye. Upon walking in, I notice fellow BA Jim (NeroFiddled) quaffing a Val-Dieu Blonde. There bar area was fairly empty (sround 8 people total), perhaps thats why the service was good. The interior is dark, dim, on the right hand side there is a nice copper top bar, which seats around 16 patrons. On the left side and towards the back area there are a number of tables. I ordered the Val-Dieu Blonde, which was interesting. Like Jrancan stated in his review, this place doesn’t even compare to Monk’s, but it is interesting in its own right, around 10 taps I believe. The Abbaye does however make a interesting addition to a Northern Liberties Pub Crawl, in that area there is Standard Tap, Druid’s Keep, 700 Club, North 3 and Liberties.

WilliamPhilaPa, Jan 27, 2003
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The Abbaye in Philadelphia, PA
88 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.