Monk's Café

BA SCORE
97
world-class

531 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Ratings:
531
Reviews:
353
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
8.43%
 
 
Taps:
20
Bottles/Cans:
218
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 531 |  Reviews: 353
Photo of razorsdescent
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of blkcld
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of AdamTebbs
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I hope you like Belgian beers because this place has got them. I love Monks. It is a must see when in Philly.

109 characters

Photo of timlyon
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of throwback
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What establishment can possibly score a 5.0 on every point - only Monk's! And that's pretty much all that needs to be said, but let me also interject that it's not just Monk's - it's Tom Peters! Chimay on draft! Their own house beer! Where else? Belgium? This guy does it all - I'd say he breaks his balls but I think he enjoys it WAY TOO MUCH for that. It's what he's about. That should be enough to get your ass over there. Even if you have to drive from Maine... plan to show up during the week and enjoy some of the finest Belgian cuisine and the biggest selection of Belgian beers in the area!

 598 characters

Photo of Davelucas88
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of RLM15
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I am lucky to have been to fantastic beer bars all over the country. No matter how great the beer selection, food, or ambience, all other beer bars fall short of the mystic of Monk's. When you enter Monk's you are transported to another place and time and it is easy to spend the entire day, leisurely eating, drinking, and conversing with friends and new acquaintances. The beer, the food, the service, and the atmosphere simply can not be beat.

 446 characters

Photo of patm185
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of papy1924
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of iuhoosier336
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What a great place. First off, the food is amazing, I had the trout sauteed in Sasion Dupont which was great. Every knows this place is the best beer bar in Philly and there's really no doubt about it. The have a very wide selection including some very good Belgiums, their specialty. The service is great, everyone is very friendly and knowledgeable. There are two bars which could be a little bigger but not much room here to complain. There's one in the front which a little more social and one in the back which is also usually packed on Fridays and Saturdays. There are some good beers for cheap there but for the ones that are hard to find you may be paying a bit more. All around a great great bar that can never really let you down. If you're looking for something new to try give Monk's a shot, its a great place.

 822 characters

Photo of jackrodgers77
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of tkdchampxi
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Nickanzo
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of beersheppard
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Atmosphere: Dark, the place is crowded and cramped, but it is the best bar in Philly. I reccommend a Sunday night if you don't like the crowds.

Quality: The finest beers from Belgium, the US, and around the world. The owner Tom ensures that the beer list is phenomenal. Once, I was in there and the "Beer Bible" listed three casks of beer from a defunct brewery that the owner loved so much that he made sure he bought up the very last of their product. Things like that are not unusual at Monks. The owner, for years, has taken his vacations in Belgium and has established amazing connections in the country. He is regarded as the foremost Belgium beer expert in the US.

Service: The servers and bartenders know there stuff and are always helpful when selecting from the plethora of beers. My favorite is the bartender with the white hair.

Selection: Hundreds of beers specializing in Belgiums, nonpareil.

Food: Is excellent as well. Great burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. The mussels are amazing.

Value: The beers are a little on the expensive side, but you can't find that kind of selection anywhere. Well worth the money. The alpha and omega of the Philly beer bar world. I have since moved away from the area and I miss it dearly.

 1,244 characters

Photo of brnmc922
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of frank4sail
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What can I say... this place is my church. I have never had a bad time here. The food is always consistant and good.. you must get the mussles and fries and a burger.. The burger is on a LaBus roll (awesome). The beer selection is second to none.. When entering put your name in at the podium and then go to the back ber... very quaint and the staff is knowledgable.

Tom will go out of his way to help a customer and to get a beer to the US just for you. If you like Belgian Beer this place will knock your socks off. It is not cheap... but for the city it is a great value. I know for a fact the beer engine is clean as a whistle. It is a "beer advocate" kind of place.

 682 characters

Photo of DLSheidy
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of MasterRigger
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of GeoffreyM
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of bpfrush
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Sound_Explorer
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

At the suggestion of my local bottleshop owner in Washington, I made a stop in Philly specifically for this place on a trip to the East Coast. I wanted to stay for the last 7 days.

The front section has the restaurant and main bar, but it also has a smaller, almost "exclusive" room in back with handles and plain wooden seating. Busy, fun, bit loud but that is a sign of a good business and happy customers.

Huge Belgian selection of both taps and bottles. Friendly, witty staff that know just about every beer they offer. Served in correct glasses of course. Overall a Belgian "Mecca" that, if you are in Phily, you need to try. Slightly expensive but Belgians usually are anyways and sadly didn't try the food. Go forth!!

 726 characters

Photo of AGust82
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of jrancan
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Prior reviewers have pretty much said it all, but I thought I might as well throw my 2 cents in. Of the countless times I've been here, I have never had a problem with either the exceptional food or outstanding beer. Although the taps are usually reserved for hard to find Belgian's, July brought about the tapping of 7 or 8 great American selections, Arrogant Bastard, J.W. Lee's Brooklyn Best Bitter (cask), Rogue Double Incinerator, Tupper's Hop Pocket etc. Outstanding!!
The one small issue I have is the crowds, but I guess that's what happens when a place this good comes along.

 592 characters

Photo of amano_h
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

If I were to commit a capital crime tomorrow in the city of Philadelphia and were asked what I wanted for my last meal, I would without hesitation answer "The Duck Salad Sandwich, Ghent Mussels, and draft Pliny the Elder from Monk's Café."

It's kind of hard to describe experiences like these, but every time I walk into Monk's Café and sit at their rustic bar waiting for my food and beer, it's as if I'm sitting on some sort of invisible, yet mobile spa; all my stress and worries just melt away from my shoulders and leave me in a state of complete relaxation and bliss... which soon shifts to ecstasy as soon as my food and beer arrive.

Fluffy and flowery images aside, if you don't know already, Monks Café probably has the most extensive Belgian beer offering in Philadelphia and maybe in the entire USA. If you didn't know already, Monks Café probably offers the most authentic Belgian fare in all of Philadelphia and maybe in the entire USA. And if it hasn't hit you already, you should most definitely make this a to-go destination if you enjoy good food and beer, which probably means YOU, since you wouldn't be on yelp.com if you didn't enjoy good food and beer.

I would also recommend stopping by here during the afternoon if you like a more serene, home-y atmosphere; make this place your destination in the evening if you like a more ambient, dive-ish under the candlelight atmosphere (to whomever called this a dive/hole in the wall: how dare you.)

I love you Monk's Café. Never leave me.

 1,512 characters

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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
4.39 out of 5 based on 531 ratings.
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