Monk's Café

Monk's CaféMonk's Café
Liked This Place
4.44 w/ 535 ratings
Monk's CaféMonk's Café

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(215) 545-7005 | map

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Ratings: 535 |  Reviews: 354
Photo of pennatale
2.76/5  rDev -37.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

I really do not have many positive things to say about Monks. My boyfriend and I went here because many beer sites recommended it, but I was turned off within a minute of walking in the door. The hostess who greeted us was extrememly rude and we were told we could not have a table unless we were eating dinner and our original plan was have some drinks then appetizers after a while. So he told us to go to one of the bars where there wasn't really standing room and no available stools. When I asked him how to get to the back room bar he gave me a huge attitude like I was some idiot because I didn't know where it was. When we were at the bar we had to originally stand and one waitress gave us attitude becuase we were standing at the bar trying to order a drink. The bartender was the only nice person there but would rather engage with off the clock employees than her customers. The beer was a bit pricey. After 1 or 2 beers we decided we'd rather not order food and just go home and drink while watching t.v. It would be a better atmosphere. I highly do not recommend going to monks. There are plenty of better quality and better service beer bars in Philadelphia.

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

I had a great first trip to Monk's. The front bar was pretty crowded, but everyone seemed to know a lot about beer and seemed to enjoy talking about it. The selection of beer is amazing. Even more than the amount of different beers, the amount of beers that are really hard to find that they had really impressed me. I've been in school in virginia for the last 4 years, a state plagued by a largely sub par distribution of beer, so that might be a reason why their selection blew me away so much.

I had a russian river night, having the temptation and damnation there and taking home the consecration and supplication. I was very excited to see their large selection of rr beers as Ive never been able to find them before. I ordered mussels, veal cheeks, scallops and the rack of lamb. All of the food was delicious, and the scallops and mussels were especially outstanding. Overall a great place.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

After lots of talk, I finally decided to check out the famous "Monk's Belgian Cafe". The front appearance is kind of neat...there's a nice selection/row of empty beer bottles lined up in the front window. When you walk through the front door, first impression was uh oh...Just a hallway leading to 2 more doors. Then when you walk through the door to the right, your in the front bar. It's a little cramped and narrow...and very dim, but crowded and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

Once seated, I was quick to learn that the waitress was pretty knowledgeable in beer...which was refreshing, since I questioned vintages and batches of perticular beers. The Monk's Beer Bible has lots of great beers, most impressive was the Cantillon selection! I was in Cantillon collection. First beer was a Cantillon Gueuze Monk's Cafe Cuvee. Ended up purchasing a couple bottles to take home. Also drank a Pannepot Old Fisherman's Ale 2006(Denmark version) since I've never seen this one locally...just the 2007 vintage. Food was good, but not amazing.

As for pricing, let me clarify...some of the beers were very reasonable, especially considering being in a beer bar. But some beers were priced rediculously high. I'm sure some may buy them, but the prices were high enough to keep me away.

Overall, an awesome place! Would love to go again to indulge a little more into the Cantillon time I would prefer to go with some beer friends though!

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Photo of Wolfhausen
3.4/5  rDev -23.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5

Visited Monk's on a Saturday night with my girlfriend. Upon entering the place the host made it very clear that tables were for only if you were eating and since I was there for the beer were directed to the back bar. It was very small in the back bar and way overcrowded, so I had to order at the end of the bar. While browsing the beer menu I was approached by a waitress who yelled at me that I would have to move out of her way. I was very put off the overcrowded atmosphere and unfriendly staff. I only had a couple brews and decided that this is not the beer bar I want to patronage. Unfortunately, the beer selection is world class but with such a poor staff I will ensure that I will not return to Monk's.

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Photo of akenethon
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I can't be not emotional about this place, this was the first place where I had my "initiation" to quality beer.

The atmosphere is superb, decoration is cosy and cleverly done. Just somewhat noisy in weekend evenings.

God quality, the people who visit it are decent.

Service is very good compared to the US average. They all know their stuff, which is VERY rare. one of my friends was actually a waiter there, he told me they test every time they get a new beer. They have some cute waitresses as well:)

Selection of beer is very large and good. They renew their stuff every month, and the owner tries his best to bring the rarest and tastiest beer both on tap an bottle. One of the waitresses told me he went several times to a Belgian monastery to get a keg of their beer. I would say if there was a term like "curator" for beer, this guy would be one of the top curators in the world.

Tasty food! Amazing fries with super sauce, solid burgers, outstanding mussels(rarely done so well outside france). The only thing I regret is that they had removed my favorite appetizer (the duck spring rolls) from the menu last time I visited them. Still, makes me overeat.

Pricing can be reasonable or high, depending on what you eat and drink. I remember getting below 15$ and above 30$.

I deeply miss this place, it is one of my dreams to get a franchise from them one day I settle down.

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

Great place with huge beer selection and the food is really good, too. Even with two bars and tables to sit at, this place can get packed any week night. The front bar is good for socializing and grabbing a beer before you're seated and the back bar is sort of more relaxed if you find the right time to get a seat there. Also, every time I've been there, the bartenders have been very attentive despite having so much patronage.

I recommend going for an early dinner or drink to avoid crowds, but it is definitely worth the experience and beer selection.

If you are in Philadelphia and you love love beer, this is a must.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Heaven? Very authentic, old world European atmosphere. Two bars well stocked with some absolutely incredible beers, rotated frequently. The bottle list was even more outstanding with just about everything I've ever heard of available. Went there recently for their 3rd annual Russian River day when they brought in 8 of their brews including both Plinys, and Blind Pig. Food is equally excellent. I typically start with one of their mussel dishes, cooked in varying beers served with fries and their house sauce. Not cheap though, be prepared to spend for the beers, with a usual trip ending up being north of $50 a person. Worth it though, a must try for anyone who can make it.

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Photo of blackie
4.13/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

stopped in for dinner our first night in Philadelphia

narrow row-house type building, bar up front with a few seats and some cramped standing room, further back is the dining room, a row of booths along the left wall and tables on the right with the kitchen up a few steps from the dining floor, never made it into the back room/bar

decor features wood, low lighting, and beer paraphernalia - neons, signs, emptied bottles; quite crowded and annoyingly loud at the time of my visit, decent atmosphere but doesn't really replicate the moody, old-world Belgian atmosphere as well as some other places

a little disappointed in the draft list given all I've heard about Monk's in the past - especially the front bar, three great IPAs had been stricken from the list, leaving Damnation and TenFidy as the only items generating any interest of the 6 or so total, the back bar had a slightly longer draft list to include an exclusive gueuze that was quite good, bottle selection was nice but drafts are king

went with the vegetarian seitan cheesesteak for dinner - full of flavor and really enjoyable, frites were good if a little limp

the hostess was nice, bar service very cold, and the waiter quick and generally friendly

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Photo of burquedout
3.33/5  rDev -25%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 5

Let me preface this by saying that prior to the pliny the younger event I had been here a couple times and it's generally awful, that said I will NEVER attend monks cafe for an event of any kind.

Nothing was organized whatsoever, a line halfway down the block rushing into the bar at once and nobody to help organize the sea of people. They only had one bartender working and the order in which she took drink orders was insane, having nothing to do with how long you waited, instead she seemed to take orders from the first person she saw when she looked up. This resulted in people walking in and getting a younger within a minute while others who were among the first in line couldn't get a younger at all. When I went to order a second beer (I wanted a supplication) I stood at the bar for 45 minutes before she took my order, and by this time the supplication had kicked. During that wait three people came up next to me and were all served supplications before she even looked at me, that's three people who I know for a fact hadn't been waiting as long as me. The person next to me was there before me and after half an hour gave up and left, something I would have done if I hadn't started a tab. While I ordered my second round (temptation instead of supplication) I asked to close my tab (no way in hell I was going to stay any longer) which she agreed to do when she handed me my beer. For the next 25 minutes I waited to sign my receipt and get my card back. During that 25 minutes in one of my futile attempts to grab the bartenders attention to hand me my card a waitress waiting for her order told me not to blame her and be patient and that I should have payed cash.

This was the most disappointing bar experience of my life, and to make matters worse I took my brother with me and had been hyping up how awesome this place was. I doubt he will ever go to monks again after that horrible first experience. They should have limited the people allowed into the bar if you can only serve x number of people you should only let x number of people into the bar. I would have been a lot less angry had they told me at the door that the bar was full instead of this fiasco. I'll be back to monks again but there is no way I'll go if they claim to have any sort of event because it's obvious nobody there knows how to run one.

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Photo of kimmiekim
3.14/5  rDev -29.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Pliny the younger event
NO ORGANIZATION WHATSOEVER. Eighth in line and first to sit at a table. When the server came over, who was very nice and the only good thing about this experience, we somehow were the last table to be helped, which again was not her fault.(no organization ) Waited 40 minutes for a beer. Ordered two rounds, received second round first which did not include younger, which obviously was in the first round. When we did get younger we received two 3oz pours...WHY DID WE SHOW UP EARLY? not pleased and will not return.

Displeased in Philadelphia,
Anthony & Kim

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Photo of potownbill
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What a great night. I was told (by their website) that they had Pliny the Elder on tap, but unfortunately, they were out of the beer. Walking in, I was suprised by how small the place is, and there were people packed in to this thin bar. There were people standing at the bar two deep, and people standing against the wall. I thought it would be 10 minutes before the bartender even acknowledged me. As soon as I reached the bar, he spun around, pointed at me and said "whadda ya want". I asked for the Pliny, and he told me he didn't have it, handed me a beer menu, and waited on someone else. OK, I thought "10 more minutes". BUT, as soon as I put the beer menu down, he pointed at me and said "whadda ya want". I was totally impressed!!!! Belgians! Duvel Green, DuPont, and some stuff I can't remember.

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Photo of gcare02
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I will always find myself going back to Monks. They don't carry a million beers but the beers they do carry are outstanding. Expect to find almost every beer from Cantillon, which is always a good but expensive treat. They have a very impressive draft line-up with Belgian beers you will not find anywhere else. I feel like the beers on tap do not change up to much though.

My only problem with Monks is that the service is hit or miss. I had a table with 3 other guests out front and just dropped about $200. My guests wanted to check out the back bar and the hostess said we can't go back there unless we order food again (attitude included). She gave us a hard time so we ordered some more food just to head back there.

I still find myself still going back there because this place is pretty irresistible.

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Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went to Monk's for dinner the other night. It was a smaller establishment than I expected and we were seated up front. The dining area was a bit tight, but not uncomfortable. The waitress was knowledgeable and got our orders in quickly. Both of our dinners were very good, we had lamb and chicken. The beer menu is huge and there are lots of hard to find items, both bottled and on tap. They had 2 RR selections on tap. The night I was there most draft pints were about 8 bucks. Also, they do not update their tap list very much on line.

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Photo of Jesstyr
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I visited Monk's on a business trip in Philly on the recommendation of a posting on "NextStop". This place was tremendous, and only increased my love affair with Belgian beer.

A: Cool, not overwhelming, people come here to hang out and eat or just have a great drink.

Q: Everything they offered was great to me - solid selection of beers with matching glassware. Food prepared well, and relatively clean surroundings.

S: Waitress knew a boatload about beer, but wasn't real friendly about sharing her knowledge until I proved I knew a thing or two. Recommendations were very good for my guest.

S: Great range of beers, particularly on the Belgian side of things. Saw a bunch of names I didnt recognize.

F: Great for a bar, decent for a restaurant. I will say the moules frites I ate were the best I had ever had. Tremendous.

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Photo of Minotaur
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The reviews are numerous and mostly on target with my experiences.

I've been there at least 20 times with various groups of friends at all different times of the year - from afternoon to late evening.

My only complaint has ever been the crowd. Only once I had an issue with a waiter who seemed a bit... pretentious and full of themselves. But that was once out of many many times.

And to counter that I was pleased to see the manager once ask a group of already very intoxicated (and rowdy to the point of obnoxious) bar-hoppers to leave.

Monk's shoots for a particular atmosphere and has generally high standards of service, food, and drink. It is priced accordingly but always has been well worth it.

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Photo of pwoody11
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've been to Monks dozens of times. I usually start every meal there with a Chimay, and then it's pretty random from there. I try to get something I haven't had before. For food, I've tried most of the menu, and at this point I'm pretty consistent on ordering a pot of mussels, frites, and the Broccoli rabe burger. Even though I stick to this trio for the most part, when I do happen to stray, I have never been disappointed. Be prepared to show ID to get a table.

Cons: Very crowded for dinner especially on weekends. If going in the evening you can plan on having to wait for a table. Which is worth it, but there really isn't much room to wait around. Parking can be tough to find. I choose to utilize a nearby garage, costs $20 though. Expect a high tab. While the food is well priced, you can expect to make up for it in beer. No $2 Buds here. You're getting the best beers in the world and you can expect to pay in and around $10+ per beer.

Pros: GREAT FOOD. I can't get enough of their fries. Best beer selection I have seen. Beer Bible is split into sections by parts of the world and style. Also has good info on different types of beer etc. for those new to trying different beers. Conveniently located right off Broad St. Staff is knowledgeable and pours every beer in its proper glass. Love the atmosphere.

Overall, I would highly recommend this venue to anyone. Monk's is an experience and in my opinion, somewhere fine beer lovers should go to enjoy a beer before there death.

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Photo of sbw138
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Nice location around 16th and Spruce in Philadelphia, just down from La Viola (one of the best BYOB's in the city).

The place is older looking, but with plenty of character. It is a narrow, but long, space, which can get crowded in a hurry. But, there is a bar in the front, and back to be able to spread out some.

Most people have heard that Monk's has a massive beer selection, and they will not be let down. A huge selection, mostly featuring Belgian's, but they also have a good variety of American craft beers to choose. They also rotate about 15 drafts, and at least 5-10 featured bottles.

The bartenders and waitstaff are extremely knowledgable about the beer, and can help anyone make a selection, from a beer newbie and up.

Food is real good there as well. They have great frites, which you have to try with their famous dipping sauce.

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Photo of tpd975
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Monk's was my first stop on this trip to Philly. Old world charm just oozes from the place. Very rustic and cozy. The wife and I popped down at the bar to look over the beer list.

The draft list is not large but it is packed with rare gems. You can also get beer from the back bar at the front bar and vice versa. I ordered Russian River Publication followed by Cantillion Fou Fone. Holy Shit Fou Fone on draft!!!

Fou Fone is one of my favorite beers ever from the bottle and on draft it was a true drinking experience. The Publication was solid as well. I did not dive into the bottle list but to call it impressive is an understatement.

We snacked on some Frites as we consumed our beers. Me and the wife both loved them. The kicked up Mayo was some of the best I have ever had. I will be back for a full meal.

Overall a wonderful place. The service was quick and the beer served at proper temp in proper glassware. Monk's deserves all the acclaim that it receives.

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Photo of WynnO
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I used BA to locate the 5 top rated pubs near my hotel in Philly during a recent visit. I was able visit only 3, and this was the best of the three.

The worst parts were having to wait an hour to get a table (I ate dinner there too). The place is very tight too -- not much room for many folks. But, whadaya gonna do? There's six-million folks on Philly!

The dinner was excellent & although you all want hear about the beer, I must say that if you're wanting to eat, you may as well do that here too.

The beer selection is SUPERB. Visit their website for the latest -- it seemed to be up to date. As far as the atmosphere goes, let me say this. I had dinner in their "backroom" bar & it was quite loud and dark. BUT that is not a criticism. They have wood floors and walls -- natually sound is going to be bouncing in all directions. The darkness bothered me at first until I realized, "This must been what it was like in the 1700's when candlelight was the brightest thing going." So then, I found it amazing & it made me feel like I was in those times; but of course, unless I am wrong, I doubt that Philadelphians of the 18th century had such high quality beers!

After dinner, my wife & sister went back to the hotel so I could hang a bit longer. I went to the front bar, and by this time it had become a zoo (it was about 10 PM on a Friday). Nevertheless I pressed into the crowd, and ended up having 3 more excellent Belgians. I wished I recalled the name of the bartender, but this white-haired fellow was awesome. How he was able to hear people's orders in the midst of such noise, maintain his cool, & get it all right was a modern marvel :-)

The bottom line: If you dislike crowds, you won't like this place . There are several less crowded places with good beer in that area. However if you are like me & you don't mind putting on your battle gear to fight for good beer, then Monks is worth the effort.

Oh, one more thing. They say people in big northern cities are rude & mean. I found that to be totally FALSE. The patrons of Monks were as nice as I chose to be. OTOH, I rarely meet beer lovers who are anything other than nice.

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Photo of dick783
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped by here around noon on the Saturday before the Marathon. Nothing like beer and frites for pre-race fuel.

Very cool looking place, had an old feel to it. Small and cozy. Had I not had to run the next day I would have spent allot more time there. We sat at the front bar. I didn't see the back bar but they have the tap list for it up front and will get you any beer you want from it.

Quality was excellent. They served all the beers in appropriate glass and the bartender was helpful if you had any questions. Food was great too. The frites were spectacular.

Excellent selection. Lots of Belgians, Russian river, and dog fish head on tap. They have a 6 page bottle menu to choose from as well. Beer prices were reasonable considering what you were drinking, and the food prices very good. All in all no complaints there.

Definitely worth making a trip too if your in the area. If I go to Philly again I'll be back.

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Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

After hearing so many amazing things about Monk's Cafe, my girlfriend and I made it a priority to stop here on our recent visit to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it did not quite live up to our lofty expectations.

The interior of Monk's is dark, cavernous and quite cramped. Although it had a somewhat "home-y" feel to it, the front room looked a bit dated. The lighting cast a sort of eerie red glow on the space. Painted pictures of abbey monks and creatures straight out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting filled the walls.

As for the beer at Monk's, the bottle selection was astounding both in quantity and quality. Every one of the Trappist brewers were represented (with the exception of Westvleteren) along with a dizzying array of both hard-to-find Belgian and American offerings. Some of the more rare selections included Port Brewing's Angel's Share and Older Viscosity and Cantillon's Loerik. These beers were fetching a pretty penny but, then again, how many others places in the world offer them? In total, there was approximately an entire page in the beer menu devoted to vintage offerings. The only fault I could find here regarding the beer selection was the limited number of taps. Upon closer examination however, I discovered another smaller bar in the back of Monk's that was pouring twenty-or-so quality (primarily) American craft beers.

One of the nicer things about Monk's is that, due to their noteworthy reputation, they have specialty beers made specifically for them. One such beer is Cantillon Gueuze Monk's Café Cuvee. Although pricey at $30 a bottle, my girlfriend and I felt this may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and therefore decided to spring for a bottle. The gueze was excellent. Crsip, funky and refreshing yet amazingly drinkable for the style. We made a good decision.

While the beers were extraordinary, the food most definitely was not. We ordered Monk's Flemish mussel pot as an appetizer. The mussels themselves were fresh tasting and enjoyable but the broth (which was made with Flemish sour ale) was a bit bland. Worse yet, the rolls accompaning the mussels were horrible. (Who serves cold, soft rolls with mussels? Did they run out of toasted French bread?) The dry, miniscule-sized frites were equally as bad. Unfortunately, our meals were even more disappointing. My girlfriend ordered the duck ragout with currents. The the duck was decent but the pasta tasted like mushy egg noodles. My rabbit dish was simply terrible. The rabbit was tough and totally lacking in flavor. (The maple glazed root vegetables that accompanied the rabbit however were delicious.)

Service was a mixed bag. The (one) bartender at the front bar seemed completely overwhelmed. Every order paid with a credit card required her to go back to the kitchen to run the card. This meant that when our table was called, I had to wait almost fifteen minutes to pay for our bottle. (Why could they not just add this to our tab?) The servers also seemed frazzled. To their credit, all were quite friendly and gracious. When I mentioned how poorly my rabbit was cooked, our waiter removed it from our tab. Classy move.

I am glad I visited Monk's. Unfortunately, it was not as grand an experience as I anticipated it to be. This place may have been one of the top places in the world to have a beer ten years ago. However, with the new wave of Belgian beer bars serving up super high quality beers AND food (i.e. Armsby Abbey, The Publick House, etc.), it simply does not compare.

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Photo of Tiklmelmo
4.22/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Monk's is definitely a Philly standard. Great beer selection with pretty solid quality Belgian fare.

That said, the prices are a bit steep, especially on the bottle list.

Food is generally good, but not amazing, though the sandwiches are great, and a good value for money.

Beer list is incredible, but you pay for it. Where Monk's really shines is on the various draft events that they have during the year (My two favs this year were Russian River and Cantillon).

Atmosphere is a bit loud and crowded most nights, as this is definitely a standard happy hour/weekend hotspot, and the bar is a bit narrow with minimal seating. Come early if you want a good seat.

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Photo of mszuch
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Was in town for business and always try to find the best rated places. Been looking forward to going there for months as it is always highly rated and talked about.
Well, walked in there on a thursday afternoon and was surprised at how small the place is. Front bar, all 8 stools, were taken, but was told I could get served at the back bar until dinner party started later.
Best advice all night!
No one there, and just saddled up to the bar. This is where this place shines, I talked to the bartender (Can't remember his name, but was extremely knowledgeable!) and discussed where I was from, what I am used to drinking and what can I get here that I cant get anywhere on the west coast, heck, even on the east coast! He hands me the "bible" and starts to walk me through the list of goodies. After drinking 3 of the top hoppy examples on the list, I am grinning ear to ear!! Cant remember the last time I had this good of a selection, was able to actually drink it, and it didnt cost me a fortune!
Staff was great, personable and fun! If you are attending convention, its oh so close, and even if you arent, you have to stop by. Pomme Frites are good, had several items from menu for dinner, and all is good.
IF there was actually anything that I could nit pick with this place, it is that you can't sit at the tables without eating dinner. But then again, it is a great atmosphere, and the beer selection is second to NONE! and from where I am from and where I frequent, says alot!
When in Philly, dont miss this place!

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Dropped in on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Bars were both crowded but there were empty table scattered about. Only problem is you cant sit at one of the tables unless you are ordering a full meal, which we were not. We were able to grab a corner of the bar that was a little cozy for the four of us, but it got the job done. Only a few beers on tap at the front bar, but they were some interesting ones including RR PUblication, Port Wipeout IPA, Duvel Green and a couple of others. The "Beer Bible" was sitting on the bar which had their bottle Easily the best bootle list I have seen (including the Brickskeller in DC, and Monks actually had all their listing available). Huge selection of Belgians and alot of American micros. Some of the highlights I remember were Lost Abbey (Veritas, Isabelle), Russian River (Consecration, Temptation, Beatification), Cantillon, Stone, all the trappists except Westy, Dupont, Fantome and many more. Prices were steep but very reasonable given rarity of the brews. I had the Publication on tap and then a bottle of Beatification. We also ordered the pommes frites which were excellent and the other food I saw flaoting around looked great. Service was slow but friendly given the large crowd at the bar and only one lady working the bar. Very dark setting which I always enjoy. Felt very welcoming.

Overall I really thought this palce was great. Might not be the best bar if you are not really into beer because the prices were a little steep, but I would make a trip to Philly just to go back.

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

I went there on October 3 and although it was a busy Saturday night, they were able to get me and my wife seated and fed in time for a concert we had to attend afterwards. The staff were very polite and accommodating. My burger was delicious and the cheese dipping sauce for the fries was to die for. Likewise, my wife loved the mussels.

There were five beers on tap in the front bar: Russian River Publication, Duvel Green, Cazeau Tournay, Triple Karmliet, and I think the last one was Allagash White.

The only thing that wierded me out was my last order.I asked the waiter for a suggestion because the bottle list rocked. I wasn't sure if I wanted Hanssens or Girardin Black label or many other beers there were to choose from. He suggested the Cazeau Tournay. What I got wasn't black as per the description and was no where near a stout. He insisted this was the beer he advertised. Was this the blonde? Where was that on the menu?

Otherwise, we had a fabulous time and plan to be back for repeat visits.

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 94.2% out of 100 with 535 ratings
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