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Tria Cafe - Rittenhouse Square

Not Rated.
Tria Cafe - Rittenhouse SquareTria Cafe - Rittenhouse Square
BA SCORE
96
world-class

84 Ratings
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.82%
Taps: 8
Bottles: 19
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

123 S 18th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103-5126
United States
phone: (215) 972-8742

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @triaphilly

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: nomad)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wegass
2/5  rDev -53.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2

This is a very stuffy place. If you are looking for a beer bar this is not it. It is trying for hip and trendy. Trying too hard to please everyone. We are currently sitting outside, we walked up with a cup of Starbucks and have been treated as homeless trespassers since. They pretend to understand the entracasies of beligum beer service but the best they can do is a tall stemed wine glass. Speaking of which, the wine list is also a try of stetching their experience. Being a wine steward it is also limited and overstated. I really have not appreiated the pretentious s
service we have expirienced thus far. Pls forgive my typos as I was using my phone to post this.

Photo of mhatters
3.48/5  rDev -19.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

An odd combination. Great beer and food menus, great location on Rittenhouse Square. Rodenbach Grand Cru on tap, great cheese and meat selections. Bar is long hallway with tables on the other side. maybe 10-12 taps, all strong and quality.

But

The entire place is a "seen and be seen" sort - the service, while attentive is young and not too experienced in beer terms. Felt a lot of pseudo types there, including staff - which is a shame becasue the menu and idea is great. Maybe a bad day, but with this much quality, the service needs to get sorted.

Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

After reading all the hype about this place, I had a chance to check it out after a business meeting. Its a small stylish bar that serves beer, cheese, wine, salads, and sandwiches. The place is long and narrow, with a 10 seat bar overlooking the cheese section and cook's area, and several high tops and wall seats were available. Some tables were at the front. Trendy interior staffed by young 20 somethings. Funky and hip music playing at reasonable levels.

There were 8 beers on tap from Allagash, Rogue, Sly Fox, Yards, DFH, Victory, and Ramstein. Nice variety on tap, then add about 20 belgian and other bottles available too. The beers I had were fresh.

I did not eat but looking at the menu this place is expensive. My pints cost me $6.50 and $5.50 which is rediculously expensive IMHO. Cheese platters looked interesting. Servers looked a little up tight and weren't too friendly.

Why this gets all the rave reviews is beyond me, when I can spend this money for some unique belgian beers at Monks. Don't get me wrong, its a nice place thats trendy, and if you want some cheese with your beer this would be a great place. But I didn't want cheese - just a pint or two - so I would've been better off hitting any number of other bars in the area. Most of the beers on tap are easily found elsewhere in town.

Photo of RBorsato
3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited on 09/25/06 and 10/09/06.

An interesting upscale wine, cheese, and beer bar/cafe. A fairly narrow room, small and cozy but nothing to make it really unique except for the outstanding selection of the items above. Maybe a bit clique-ish and pretentious when you come in as an "outsider".

The draft beer selection is really nice (no BudMilCor products) and rotates fairly regularly... changes from week to week so if there is something you really like get it while you can. Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA on tap is very reasonably priced considering the retail cost. The bottled selection is also very nice with a few hard-to-find beers (but you'll pay for that). In summary, there are a few beer bargains to be found with some limited ones to boot (Victory Kolsch for example).

The food menu is pretty low key and quite nice (considering my purpose was to taste different beers so no need to fill up). Their equivalent of an "Italian Cold Cut sandwich" was fresh, really good, and reasonably priced !

Well worth a visit every time I go back to Philly.

Photo of deapokid
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here for lunch with my girlfriend on Tuesday.

We started things off with a glass of wine for her and a General Lafayette Porter for me. Our waitress was proficient, but a bit distant and she didn't really seem concerned with our orders. Fortunately, she was the only downside.

We got the Claudio Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Bruschetta appetizer, which was delicious, if a bit small and, for the main course, she ordered the Smoked Salmon and Lemon-Pepper Vinaigrette Salad and I got a Smoked Chicken with Lancaster Cheddar Panino. My sandwich was excellent and the salad was apparently pretty good as well.

The beer list was also quite impressive, featuring several Belgians and a few special brews from local micros. I also had a glass of Duchesse de Bourgogne and Founder's Breakfast Stout.

Overall, it was a nice lunch experience and I will definitely return sometime in the future. I guess my only complaint is the lackadaisical service and the not entirely welcoming atmosphere.

Photo of flexabull
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Another place that I got to check out on my East Coast trip while my wife shopped. It works out great, she likes to shop for clothes, I don't, and she doesn't like it when I'm hanging around her while she shops, so once again her suggestion was, "why don't you find a place to have a beer while I check out these two stores?" Sounds good to me!

Small long place, pretty airy, light, kind of stuffy in a wine and cheese type of way, but not bad. But not really my style either...

Quality was good. The beer list had good choices from Germany, Belgium, CA, and quite a few local crafts as well.

Service was fine, I was greeted as I walked in, and quickly served.

Above average selection, they had quite a few good choices, but the bummer to me was that not many were on draft. In fact, the Troegs beer I ordered was from a bottle. Either it wasn't marked that way on the menu, or I wasn't paying attention when I ordered it.

Didn't have any food, it looked good though.

Prices were standard for what I ran into in Philly.

Overall, worth a stop if you are in the area. But I wouldn't go out of my way to come here... might be a nice spot to take your significant other, especially if they like wine.

Photo of MsRif
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I've only been to the Tria located in Washington Square West. It's a tiny place...luckily I have always found a spot at the bar. Atmosphere is very nice...though it's a small bar, it feels spacious and the clientele here are usually a little more mature than some of the bar crowds that one might encounter, which I appreciate. Brew selection is okay...not a whole lot to choose from but there is always quality stuff on tap. Last time I was there they had Pliny the Elder, which I have had a lot of times, but it was still nice to see something of such high quality on the draught list.

Service is generally good. Selection could be better...I would like to see five more additional taps and perhaps a better bottle selection. Food is AWESOME. So good. You will pay a premium here on both food and drink, but it's worth it for the experience and vibe. I will go back again soon...this is one of my pre-concert drinking spots.

Photo of jim102864
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A small cafe that I'd read about on BA. Very clean, contemporary feel. Not at all what you'll get in the two other Belgian bars in town. Narrow space with a short bar seating maybe six. Roughly a dozen or so Belgian bottles and a mix of about six Belgian and micro taps. Their focus is clearly on minimal stocks of quality beer and cheese. No other food to be had here. Very much a niche bar that could only survive in an upscale area in a big city like Philly. Go there with deep pockets. Nice spot if you've got the time before dinner for a few drinks. Very efficient and friendly service. Nice Itlain meat/cheese combo. Can't precisely recall what type of meat and cheese I tried, but both tasted great. A tad too trendy and 20-something-yuppie for my taste, but still worth a visit and perhaps a repeat visit for me.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is by far the trendiest place I have ever been. Located on the corner of Rittenhouse square. Its long and narrow and was a bit crowded when we were there.

This place seems to pride itself more in the wine than the beer-but Philly is all about the beer so they have a pretty darn good beer selection too. I enjoyed some schneider-brooklyn weisse and another beer I would never find on tap in Pittsburgh.

They also have some great artisan cheeses-which were expensive, but very enjoyable.

The bartender was fine and took our orders in a timely manner-they were pretty busy so this counted for a lot

Photo of sinistrsam
4/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I had dinner and drinks here with a friend and was surprised to find a pretty decent beer menu. Lots of belgians as well as locals.
The decor is a little modern for my liking but the chill lighting and close but not clostrophobic feel gave it a comfortable feeling; the place I can see myself coming after a long day to unwind with a drink. The food was excellent (try the gorgonzola and fig bruscetta) and although the beer was pricy, the selection was good and the staff was knowledgable, eager to help and prompt with the service. Overall a great experience.

Photo of Varkias41
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

A nice little place. Very nice atmosphere here. Clean, a bit classy, intimate, maybe a bit on the hipster side; a small bar seats about 10 or 12 people, slightly cramped, with several tables inside and outside. No TVs here, which is a plus, considering it's not going to be plagued with annoying Philly sports fans, therefore making this a good place to hang on game nights.

Menu is small but very good, with the catch here being specialty bruschettas that are small, but amazing, and very reasonably priced. Lots of truffle oil used in the food, which is always a good thing. Beer selection is decent, considering I think Tria is primarily a wine bar. But there are about 8 craft beers on tap, and maybe 20 in bottles, and when I went there were two exceptionally good and [moderately] uncommon beers on tap, namely Pliny the Elder and Lost Abbey Angel's Share. They're not exactly rare in Philly these days, but $6 for a glass of Pliny ain't bad at all. They also have a specialty cheese menu, but that didn't really interest me. That part did seem pricey, but then what do I know about cheese? Other than kinds that I like.

Service is very good. Our bartender was friendly, and extremely polite, not to mention knowledgeable about drinks.

Definitely a nice bar, and a good destination for multiple visits. Hard to go here with Monk's not to far away, but this is still a nice place. Can come off a bit hipster, but oh well.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Pretty nice place.

The atmostphere is very well done; I went on a spring afternoon, and the huge windows were all open for a nice airy feeling. Also, the tables on the sidewalk opened up more space. It's a small place, but the space is used efficiently. Pretty cool music selection, but a bit of the more electronic stuff was kind of loud for my tastes.

The beer list was realtively small (6ish taps and then another 14-15 bottles), but it's a high-quality list that's pretty reasonably priced. The list itself has pretty good descriptions of some of the great beers they serve, which included some Schneider products, Victory lager, Rodenbach, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, DFH 90 Minute, Stone IPA, Unibroue Ephemere, and others that I can't remember right now.

The food we had was quite good, and for the quality in this part of town, pretty reasonably priced. The cheese list is similarly small, but also of high quality, and the server was helpful in making pairings with what we were drinking. The menu is mostly sandwiches, bruschetta, and cheeses, but everything I tasted was nicely done.

Plus, there's no smoking. That's a huge benefit in my book.

Overall, this seems like a good place to visit for either a specific beer or a date place when you want to thinly veil the fact that you really just want to try some new beers. I think your date would fall for it.

Photo of rfgetz
4.05/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Tria presents itself mostly as a Wine/Cheese bar, but they definitely do enough on the beer end to warrant consideration.

Tria is located in a small corner rowhome. Atmosphere is very minimalist metro, little decor but letting all the wood speak for itself. Enought tables for maybe 30 and bar seating for 10.

They typically stock about 8 draft beers and have a bottle selection of about 20-30. The menu seperates the beers into loose styles from light, to fruity, to heavy, to dark etc. etc. The drafts are usually above average to good with the frequent standout from Russian River (Consecration) or The Lost Abbey (Angels Share). The bottles range from average local craft to a handful of domestic craft and export. My one gripe is the price... charging $8 for a 12oz bottle of something that normnally costs $5-$6 for a 16oz draft and charging $8 for 8oz pours of limited brews.

The food is focused on small plates, where for $5-$7 each you get a few slices of cheese, peices of bruchetta, mini sandwich etc. The food is excellent and you will find yourself ordering a nice amount.

The wine menu is a stand out for the wine enthusiast, although once agaian pricey. Service is typically very good although not always 100% knowledgeable. Great spot for a date or quick bite for lunch, but expect waits at dinner time.

Photo of mbudner
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A- I enjoy the atmosphere. It is definitely focused on being a trendy wine-bar (rightfully so since it is a trendy wine bar), but for me this does not detract from the bar. It is extremely clean and well kept, usually not too loud and not so crowded that you're squeezed into a corner.

Q- All in all, it is a pretty high quality place. They don't have the proper glasses for every beer they serve, but wine is their specialty and for me the wine glasses they use (although they do have some beer glasses) don't detract from the beers at all.

S- The service is great when it comes to serving food and attentiveness, but there definitely seems to be a commonality between all of the employees at both locations: pretend you know a lot about beer and/or wine when you do not actually know what you are purporting to know. This is what keeps the score at "average" for me. I just choose not to ask questions anymore and do my own research from my phone to read reviews on BA if I am unsure.

S- The selection is small but solid. Roughly 20 beers in bottles and another 8 on tap. They don't often get crazy rare beers, but at the same time they have virtually no "throw away" beers on the menu. They have been known to get RR sours in bottles and on tap, I sampled LA Brandy-barrel angel's share tonight, and they have some solid staples in bottles such as Founders Breakfast stout, edmund fitzgerald, cantillon classiz gueuze and others. All in all, not the absolute best selection in Philadelphia, but underrated/overlooked by many in my opinion due to the perceived image of the bar.

F- Lots of great dishes to pair with beer. Large cheese selection and many of the different tapas options on the menu pair well with any type of beer from sour to IPA to stout.

V- Not the cheapest bar in Philadelphia, but the markup seems to be equal on every beer (say it is $2, that will seem like a lot for a Prima Pils, but not so bad when drinking a rare beer never on tap in Philadelphia for under $10/pour.) Food can go either way, in terms of cost, but definitely reasonable for small dishes to pair with beers for happy hour or a late night snack.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Corner location in the hoity toity Center city "neighborhood" of Philly. This is an upscale, good for foodies and couples type place. Tasty light fare, menu of eclectic food, wine, cheese and, blessed is the day, beer. Romantic, euro style place. Food was excellent, beer was tasty, the wife was impressed with this "beer joint". You gotta give props to a place that has Three Philosophers on tap. Go with a date, dont go with a crew of guys looking to watch the game, good, mellow place to start a down town Philly crawl.

Photo of carlosd74
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

You will find Tria (named after the three fermentables) in the most unsuspecting place for a solid beer/tapas bar. It is just north of Rittenhouse Square. Ok, maybe I was just surprised.

They offer 8 taps and I am guessing 20 bottles of beer. They also have a huge wine list and the best selection of cheeses in Philly. The beers are from all over the world but there are no stinkers (macros) on their small list.

What makes them stand out is the decor. It is so nice...it screams Olde City but it is not a club scene by any stretch. The atmosphere is relaxed but smartly dressed. I love how it is only lit by tea candles and the soft-white lighting that radiates from under the bar's surface...I find this wickedly cool. I guess I am easy to impress. As said by other BAs, it is a first date place.

The night I was there I had the pleasure of meeting two chaps from Britain who were football coaches. They gave it the International BA thumbs-up.

It is a small place and it can get loud but that is just from all of the conversations. There is no annoying cover band, blaring jukebox or obnoxious idiot box in this place.

Finally, please do not go there without anticipating to through down a bit more cash than at your typical Philly corner bar. Like duh.

Check it out if you are in West Center City.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped here on a Saturday night with fredandboboflo. This was a pretty cool place. It has a very uppity-vibe and it was quite crowded when we were there, but we did get seats. Solid tap list. It's not very long, but it had quality beers. We got Victory Yakima Twilight, Yards Extra Special Ale, Meantime IPA, and Allagash Interlude. They also have a really good wine list if you're into that too. We ordered a cheese plate and it was awesome as well. Pricey and not exactly the atmosphere I'm into, but I can't deny that this is a really good beerbar. Definitely check it out.

Photo of ithacabaron
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Hey now -- why do people have to hate on the yuppies?

Yeah, this place is a little fancy-pants for its own good, but the concept of the bar is simple and strong. More importantly, that concept is executed to a T.

Tria...the name refers to the" three fermentations": Beer, Wine, and Cheese.

The constantly updated menu contains about 10-15 choices of each, and paring suggestions from one fermentation to another. Very handy for the young beer or wine enthusiast looking to learn more about pairing. I started out with an Ephemere (on tap), and paired it with a delicious aged goat chevre that came with balsamic-preserved strawberries. I found that the strawberries overwhelmed the beer/cheese pairing, however, so even though it was delicious, I ended up passing it off to the young lady dining with me. There are a variety of compotes that occasionally appear with cheeses...the strawberries, a savory mushroom with chunks of black truffle, and others. Seems to be that they make whatever sauce fancies the chef's heart that evening.

Service was friendly and attentive, if a bit unexperienced.

Beer choices are solid and varied, but sort of serve as a "greatest hits" of world brew...Saison Dupont, Rodenbach, Allagash White, Fransizkaner Hefe, Celebrator, Dogfish 90 Minute...it's almost like the owners just bought a copy of Garrett Oliver's Brewmaster's Table, looked at the "classic choice" of each style, and decided to stock them. As a result, you'll never go thirsty, but you won't be unearthing undiscovered gems here either...and at those prices, you might want to wander to the other side of the menu for exploration. As my score says, good, but not inspiring.

...and that's exactly what I did, knowing I could find any of the beer choices outside the bar without too much trouble, I became in fact more interested by the wine list, and switched over to drinking some great funky South African Pinotage by my second round. The rest of the night was dedicated to wine, and I have to say that I was surprised and pleased by all the things I chose to try.

All in all, a place where they do few things, but do them very, very well. And yeah, the bill was a little high, but the constant supply of tealights lining the bar doesn't pay for itself, I guess.

A great date spot.

***
Why To Make The Scene: Because you're on a first date, don't want to do anything too imposing or formal, but don't want to look like a rube. One other thing -- this is a beer site, sure...but drink wine here. You'll be very pleased. Bonus: Take your date for a stroll through Rittenhouse Square afterwards.

Photo of Seanibus
4.18/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

The food is merely OK, but the real reason to go is the fascinating selection of beers, wines, and cheeses. Each is laid out in a well-thought out and well described menu. The selections change constantly, but you will always find something on the list to tempt you or to educate your palate. The beers are adventurous (where else will ever you see Victory's Rauschbeir on tap, for example) and the selection shows the owners have a deep knowledge and appreciation of really fine beer. The downside is that the restaurant is small and cramped, so it can be a challenge to find a seat sometimes.

Photo of bosco7
4.18/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I really did not enjoy the atmosphere of this place. Too trendy and cramped. I do however love the concept of the place: Beer, Wine, and Cheese. All things fermentation! There are other items such as sandwiches, bruchetta, and desserts as well.

Beer menu is pretty amazing (for a restaurant) with stuff from all over the US and the world. About 20 beers on the menu. I had De Ranke XX Bitter and DFH 90. Cheese menu is equally amazing.

Food prices are cheap but portions are also pretty small. The appeal: Bring a date and have a good beer at the same time.

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

So I finally made it to Tria, an establishment that my visiting is long overdue. It's exactly what I expected: a bit upscale though the atmosphere was relaxing and comfortable. Not a very interesting place inside aesthetically, but I'm here for some good beer and cheese, so the quality of that is what's important here. There was a good crowd on a Saturday evening, though we were able to grab 3 seats at the bar and order up a few rounds. The bartenders and wait staff were very intelligent concerning the beer and cheese. I knew exactly what my first beer was going to be (Rodenbach Red) and our young waitress was able to speak intelligently on the beer, its nuances, and cheese pairings that would go well with it. Service was very friendly, attentive and knowledgeable.

The beer selection is not mindblowing (you can certainly find all the beers here elsewhere within a few blocks) however the quality abounds, and it seems the styles are carefully chosen to run a very wide range. Hoppy IPAs, baltic porters, sour geuezes, thick stouts, crisp pilsners...they're all here. A nice mix of good imports, West Coast beers and local beers as well (Victory, Stoudt's, Lancaster, and Heavyweight were all represented). The 2 cheeses we paired our beers with were fantastic, served with bread and an accompanying sauce. They were recommended by our server and she was right on. Also had a sandwich, seemingly Italian...hot coppa, genoa salami, proscuitto, provolone...excellent. Really really good.

Wine selection looked extensive as well, though I can't speak intelligently on this, but I'm sure it's chosen just as carefully as the beers. This is a place I will definitely be returning to, probably on a frequent basis, not so much for the beers, but for the beer and cheese/food pairings.

Photo of rikatine
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Came in to Tria for the good tap list and had a great time. When we first arrived it was quite busy (Saturday night) with a 30 minute wait for a table. We decided to just head up to the bar and get the beer we had come in to try, Daisy Cutter. All the seats were taken, but I was waited on immediately, nice. One of our group headed back to the door to put our name on the list for a table, and two seats opened up at the bar within minutes.

We really liked the atmosphere of the place. Nice lighting, good vibe, crowded but not overly loud. We were enjoying our beers, and before we knew it someone came up to let us know our table was ready. From the bar side our drinks and waters were taken over to our table, and we settled in to order food.

The service here was very attentive and friendly. The apps we ordered were all nicely done. We would make a point of returning here on a future visit. From the first greeting at the door, until we left, everything exceeded our expectations.

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Tria Cafe - Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.