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Monk's Café

Your Rating: None
Monk's CaféMonk's Café
BA SCORE
4.44/5
Outstanding
558 Ratings
Monk's CaféMonk's Café
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

264 S 16th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19102-3357
United States

(215) 545-7005 | map
monkscafe.com

Notes:
None provided.

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
366
Ratings:
558
pDev:
9.46%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 558 |  Reviews: 366
Photo of Ampman69
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

I'm in Philly almost every weekend. There's so many places to go. I try and hit a different spot each time. Came across Monk's this past weekend. They have a huge selection of beers from around the world, mostly Belgian. I was disappointed they didn't have my favorite, Nostradamus, but there was plenty to choose from there. It was quite busy, one spot open at the front bar so my girl sat there and I stood. Didn't venture to the back bar. We ordered a burger and it was really good plus some dessert. Definitely a good spot to hit if you like Belgian beer.

 559 characters

Photo of RollTide7
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

My go to place in Philly. Monks has an incredible selection with Russian River (particularly Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder) regularly on tap. Also great selection of hard to find bottles like Cantillon, 3F, and others though obviously you will pay up for them, they are for onsite only though.

Note there are 2 bars, one in the front and another if you walk all the way back then down the long hallway tot he very back of the the place, frequently its much easier to find a place at the back bar and its also much nicer in ambiance too. Food is good not great, I typically get a burger and frites. Full disclosure though this place can also be very crowded and difficult to get seating even at the bars, as others note they only give you a table if you are ordering food.

 772 characters

Photo of Evan93
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Vibe- Nothing special. The bar was full and they wouldn't let us sit at a table without ordering food. Kind of crappy considering our table of 4 spent almost $100 on beer and weren't there longer than an hour.
Quality- The beer quality was great and the cheese board we got was very good.
Service- The server was good. Nothing special of note.
Selection- This is off the charts. This is where this place really shines. Not very many taps but what they have tapped is usually great. The bottle list is out of this world. Lots of Cantillon, Russian River, Tilquin, etc. Lots of hard to find items.
Food- Only got the cheese board, but the food we saw looked good.
Overall- good experience, great selection. I had a good time. My only 2 negatives were the having to order food to sit at a table, and they won't let you buy any of the rarer bottles to go. I don't live close and they have things i can't get close to home, so I would have spent quite a bit on bottles to go if they allowed it.

 992 characters

Photo of CanConPhilly
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of JamFuel
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

One of the most Belgian places I've ever been to outside of Belgium. Narrow room with a bar at the fron ant one at the back, with tables in between. Not a huge place, and apparently gets pretty packed. Fairly quiet when I was here.

Tap list is about 20-24 strong with a lot of European beers, especially Belgians, which makes sense. Since I live in Europe, I came for something else, namely Pliny the Elder. The list is very varied, and noone should feel unable to get something they like. Bartenders are very helpful if needed. They are also very friendly and laid back. The overall vibe at the bar was very upbeat and inviting.

Food was very nice, a take on European pub grub with a twist here and there. The pulled pork sandwich was excellent and worked well with the house Flemish sour.

Overall, a great spot that I will happily visit again when in town.

 861 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of npolachek
4.75/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

This is likely the best beer bar I've ever been to. Tom is terrific, and every time I've gone, the bartenders have been able to recommend a beer a haven't tried that is fantastic. I love this place!

 198 characters

Photo of TTripp725
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Best Belgian bar in Philly, hands down. Very consistent. First visited back in 2003/04, before I knew all that much. Had my first Rasputin upon that first visit (got it take-out, all I could afford off the bottle list at the time). Been coming back periodically ever since. Sat at both front and back bar and have eaten in each of the three sections many times over. Not really a bad seat in the house, unless you can't get a seat. Prices have jumped considerably over the years, some favorite dishes now gone (trout saison, rabbit), but it's hard to stay away for too long. Frites are usually fantastic, and the mussels are more often on point than not. The main draw - the beer - is of course the constant lure. Despite prices, I do sometimes get a bottle, but the draft list is ever-changing and usually has more tempting beers on it than I could drink in one sitting. I have been to a few events here and they're great, usually bringing out an eclectic crowd, and often offering an eclectic, can't-miss tap list. Last visited a week ago. Great beer, great company. Always on my radar. Imitators abound, can't match.

 1,119 characters

Photo of brewme
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here recently while vacationing in the area. It has a legendary reputation. Somewhat small, cramped space. Epic beer selection (Lunch & Pliny on tap when I went!).

 172 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.91/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Rubezahl
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of dafla67
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

One of the originals and still the gold standard in Philadelphia. Wonderful food and always a varied and great selection of beers.

130 characters

Photo of Summer_Swelter_Beer_Fest
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Try the mac and cheese with ham and asparagus. Pairs really well with a nice Pliny the Elder. In Philly. Pliny in Philly. That alone has to get this place some major points. The staff knows beer and are really helpful with trying new styles. Really cool old school vibe that makes you feel like you're in a pub in Europe instead of a block away from the NJ train station.

 377 characters

Photo of jcb1130
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of GregSemenza
4.86/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of pioneer13
4.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Loved the vibe here. Cozy on a chilly winter evening. Sat at the bar. Bar tender real pleasant and friendly. Had to try Pliny the Elder for the first time. Really enjoyed it. Only had one though as my bartender steered me to some other quality stuff that was overshadowed by Pliny. Glad he did. Food was excellent for what you’d expect at a bar known more for its beer selection. Loved the location on a relatively quiet block still only a few blocks from City Hall.

 471 characters

Photo of edthehead
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of zbelair
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of VABA
4.75/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I went there for the Pliny the Younger day, and I was very impressed with the selection of beers on tap (7 Russian River beers!) as well as a decent selection of food. The place was packed and rocking! Well worth it!

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Photo of Brianh427
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Popped in on a quiet Saturday afternoon and to my delight there was a bar seat open and Russian River on tap. It was a great experience to have their beer for the first time. Could stay long but will definitely be back.

 219 characters

Photo of ssato27
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of oldn00b
4/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Went here for the first time on a visit to Philly. They did have a fantastic selection of things I have never been able to have on tap before - specifically Russian River sours. It really was a treat. I wanted to try a couple other things (Fou Foune) but at $60 for the bottle had to pass. Selection is great, but there are certainly some high prices on the menu. Worthy of a treat or celebration but I couldn't justify it this go.

It's a nice, old school dive bar vibe. It is definitely cramped and there is very limited space if you are only drinking. I understand that tables are reserved for people eating, at the same time if you're spending enough and there are open tables without people waiting that should be an option.

Service was efficient and not unfriendly. We didn't eat so can't comment on food. I would definitely go here again though. The location is very convenient and within walking distance of quite a lot.

 942 characters

Photo of daeds_714
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Love the atmosphere of this place. Delicious food, knowledgeable staff, great selection of sours. Also, the only place in Philly I've found that has Russian River brews on tap. Just moved to the philly area, will be visiting again.

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Photo of _nickg_
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.44 out of 5 with 558 ratings