Ludwig's Garten

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Ludwig's GartenLudwig's Garten
58 Ratings
Ludwig's GartenLudwig's Garten

Type: Bar, Eatery

1315 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107
United States

(215) 985-1525

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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 58
Photo of slander
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Just the pre-Firkinteenth tune up that I needed...
A short walk from Monks and an even shorter walk from NoddingHeads, we had a few hours to kill yet and Phil was badly jonesin' for German beers. Ludwigs, unassuming, bar room side to the right, still closed this early in the day, restaurant side to the left, a-bustlin' with activity, yes. It's a good sized room, with a rectangular bar with seating for about a dozen and a half in the middle of the room, plus 6 booths adjacent to the bar running the length of one wall and about that many tables here and there as well. There are large windows to the front of the bar but they don't seem to bring too much light in to the room. The booths are heavily lined above with a thick tangle of hop plants. Commenting on having spotted them, Spesh said he'd eat one for $20. "A whole plant or just one hop?", I asked. "Just one hop" (He them dropped his asking price to $5 which I said I'd pay but the moment was gone).
2 taps were off but they regularly have 25 taps pouring mostly Germans, with a few Belgians (Leffe Brown and Blonde, Stella, Lindemans Framboise) thrown in for laughs, and Guinness, too.
Still, you see a dozen and a half good German beers on tap where? Um? Nowhere. Engel Gold & Octo, Paulaner Hefe & Salvator, Franziskaner Weiss & Dunkel, Warsteiner Hefe & Dunkel, Spaten Octo & Optimator, Leikeim Light, Lager, Schwartz, Weiss & Winter, Dinkel Acker Pils, Avinawesomephuckintinus, and oh yeah, Samiclaus, not looking the least out of place here. You know, when you see Samiclaus on tap somewhere, it's like a crazy extreme tap selection. Fits in damn nice here.
A very good collection of bottled beers to be found here as well. Schneider, Paulaner, Eggenberg Bathbeer, Urbock 23, Oberdorfer, Krombacher, Hofbrauhaus, Konig Ludwig, Aecht Schlenkerla and on and on.
Many hours later, when the Firkinteenth fires had long since been extinguished, Phil and I returned (because Phil just had to have more German beer) and this time we got to hang in the bar room side of the place. A considerably smaller room, but very comfortable. It's got a tight L shaped bar and a bunch of tables, nicely done up with checkerboard tableclothes and bear, moose, boar and deer heads on the walls. The shelves behind the bar are lined with all sorts of bavarian pieces. A cuckoo clock with pine cones, monk figurines, oddly shaped lights, German flags, a mini barrel deliever wagon, unusually shaped pitchers, flasks, bottles and other vessels, plaques and shields with coats of arms, beer steins and so much more.
Best damn German bar I've been to.

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Photo of Billolick
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

German themed, center city , Philadelphia place. Just down the road from the Nodding Head. As you enter, the dining room and bar #1 are on the left and the less formal dining room and bar #2 are on the right. German beer, German food, German decor and yes waitresses dressed in the familiar and pleasing to the eye german barmaid outfits. life is good. About 17 on tap and plenty of bottles. No time to eat but tasty platter of good smelling German grub looked very good. Well worth a visit, for fine German brew, food and ambience. Fits in well on a downtown pub crawl.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Not much can be said of Ludwig's Garten other than great authentic foods (although they've recently expanded that to include more American dishes), great authentic atmosphere, great beers, and great service. Every visit is a treat, and it's well worth stopping here anytime that you're in Philly. They've added a bar in the main dining room so it's a little bit smaller, but hey, that's just like Germany! And now there are even more beers on tap!

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Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

My wife thought it was very homey, I thought it tacky, with plastic tablecloths and cigarette butts. Also I do not have the see so much flesh on middle aged women who themselves drink a lot of beer. Several taps, I think 15 operational, of a variety of German beers, some better rated than others, but mostly fair. Which I like, however the beer tasted old and overcarbonated. You would think this crowded place would have a lot of turnover in product. Also being middle aged people. Centrally located, allowing me to go to other places quickly.

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Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Walked in to the bar area, which was adorned with dark wood, animal heads, and a nice size bar with german steins and other breweriana on the shelves. There were 22 german beers on tap. The other side of the building there was a large bar and plenty of tables that were brightly lit in contrast to the darker area we were sitting in.

The bartender was very friendly and since my wife was unsure of her first selection, he said to start with a nice Engel Gold Lager. I had a Kostritzer, followed by a Spaten Optimator. We didn't have much time before our dinner reservations for that evening, so we couldn't stay very long. We did not try any food. The next time I am in the mood to do the german thing, this will be the place I will come to. This place became my #2 choice for best Philly beer bar, just behind Monk's.

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Photo of John_M
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited this place on a very rainy night in Philadelphia. As it was raining and a Saturday night, I'm still amazed I was able to get a parking spot within walking distance of the Ludwig's.

Had not been here in some time, but the impression I had was that little has changed from when I was last here (several years ago). The restaurant is split between two large dining rooms, both with a nice size bar running along the back. The place was kind of dark and noisy the night I was there, hardly surprising (the noisy part) considering this was a Saturday night in Philly. This place always has a very solid selection of German Beers on tap, the best I've seen in the states. On the other hand, for some reason they were out of a couple of selections (Schneider weisse and a maibock I tried to order). That struck me as a bit odd, considering this was a Saturday night. Ludwig's also has a number of Belgium beers on tap now (now why does't THAT surprise me in Philadelphia?), consisting of a couple of lambics, the Hoegarten and Corsedonk Brown. I think they also had the Hennepin on tap as well.

The service was OK, though the bartender seemed a bit distracted. Nevertheless, I didn't have to wait long to get my sampler of 5 German beers, which I was happy to see included the Aventinus draft. The sampler is a pretty good deal, consisting of 5 8 oz. pours for $7.95.

All in all, I had a pretty good time at Ludwig's, and will certainly go back... though next time hopefully not on a Saturday night.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Thank you, WilliamPhilaPa! Visited here last week with Bill and old bier-pal Artied2. Being a lover of German cuisine, bier and culture, I felt right at home hier. Very attractive old bar, with many accoutrements from the Old Country.... Superb!! A great selection of Biers! We had a Franziskaner DunkelWeizen, Spaten Oktoberfest and Schneider Aventinus! 'Nuf said! Throw in the $6.95 all-you-can-eat German lunch buffet (which was quite tasty and filling) and, well... A big-time Prosit to Ludwig's!!

overall: 4.6
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$


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Photo of jjboesen
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

If you are into German food and, ahem, German beer (bier) then this is the place... And since it is around the corner from McGillin's (see my review) and is strategically located between Nodding Head (see review) and Fergie's, Ludwig's is perfectly situated for a Center City pubcrawl.

There are two sections: to the right, is the homey L-shaped bar surrounded by a smattering of booths and tables and stuffed to the rafters with all sorts of Bavarian paraphernalia; a larger and more formal dining area is to the left. In addition to deutsches bieres (Optimator, Fransiskaner and my personal favorite Kostritzer Black Lager), Ludwig's also offers several Belgians (Stella and Grimbergen) - all served in the appropriate glassware.

And the food is geschmact! Especially the wiener schnitzel, naturlich.

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Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A decent place to grab some German suds. Some what cheesy atmosphere and it seemed like the staff was not too much into it. I had one lightly stale beer out of the bunch but the rest seemed fresh. I thought it was odd to see Non-German brew on tap. It was awesome to see some German pilsners that I have never had yet as well as a doppelbock. The glassware varied which was nice ... there were many authentic glasses. Next visit I'd love to sit for dinner and get a better feel of the place cause the bar area was sort of blah.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

OK so we stopped here on a late Saturday night at about 1:30AM and it was dead. The atmosphere looked nice, decidedly German with some nice decorations and a girl dressed up in a St. Paul Girl like uniform....ouch! The quality of the beer sampled (Saison Dupont) was good, but at $7 for a 12oz glass it was damn pricey as well! The service was fast and friendly though. The selection of German tap beers was awesome, but we opted for the Saison Dupont which was fresh and tasty. The food looked and sounded good, but i'm off of meat again, and for people like me there are not too many options. Anyway, the beer selection seemed pretty awesome, although very themed and German and the service was good as well. I'd like to come here when it is absoluteley jumpin'

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

As you approach Ludwig's, you will get the feeling that you really are approching an authentic German bar. The decor is done to look authentic inside and out. Inside, Ludwig's is sizeable with two main areas for customers. The main bar as you enter is a dim smoky square room with the bar in the corner and a few benches at the windows. Decor is a bit schmaltzy with the aesthetic side sorta overboard. The waitresses wear those Saint Pauli girl outfits. A cuckoo clock behind the bar , German bier paraphernalia jammed into each crevice like an antique shop and flags just make this place feel like it frozen in time a la Munich 1955.

A giant proper glass pour of Aventinus which took 5 minutes was a nice touch. Five huge pour towers at the bar dispense endless German choices of thee types of Stapens, Gaffel, Kinsale, Saison Dupont, Framboise, Samiclaus, Leikhem weisse & Lager, Jever Pilsner and others. There are two cold boxes behind the bar. Make sure that you check both on the left and right side if you choose bottles. Ludwigs has all three Aecht Schlenkerlas, DFH WWS, on and on...

Since the place was basically M-T, (no body else was here) the server was quite chatty, friendly and full of suggestions. Does this pass the "Could you bring Mom here test? Well, I'm gonna say no, unless Mom smokes and yearns for a taste of the Old Country.

Last call: They actually answer the phone in German. Too smoky with Oldies palying kinda gives Ludwigs a twist, for better of worse. This is not "The Best Bar in Philly to grab a pint, IMHO. The bathrooms are a dump and the wooden stools are uncomfy. Only monks beats Ludwigs on bottle selection. Monks might have the most taps in the city, though.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Ludwig’s is a fantastic place to get Bavarian cuisine and authentic brew.

The atmosphere is nice with a separate dining room and tavern. The tavern has a few booths, some wooden tables and the bar with all of their beautiful German tap handles to stare at and drool. The selection is really top notch. The dining area is nice with partitioned cozy booths that are adorned with hop vines. There is also a bunch of Bavarian pictures and beer steins on the walls. The only down side is that there’s another bar in the dining area! Great for drinking, terrible for eating. It’s hard to enjoy an expensive/delicious meal when some jack ass is cheering at a television. That’s the only real downside to this place.

The food here is awesome. Great Bavarian food reminiscent of my time spent in Bavaria. It’s hard to get the intangible bit of quality down, but they’ve managed to do it. Well done. Then there’s the magnificent beer selection. Their Franziskaner is always fresh. I mean really fresh. Freshest I’ve ever had it this side of the Atlantic. Geeze. I think I might stop there after work today to get a half liter just thinking about it. They also have a hard cover beer menu incase you weren’t in the mood for Deutsch Brau. There, they have a ton of Belgians, British and a bunch of other countries to offer in bottles. They’ve really surpassed my expectations for fresh kegs and bottled selections.

The service consists of young women wearing traditional Bavarian outfits. You really can’t ask for much more than that. A good deal of them actually have German accents. Tragically, when speaking with one of them, she revealed to me that she was from northern Germany. Gasp! That totally ruined the experience for me. (not really) They do a spectacular job of knowing the selection and coming around regularly. Top notch!

I can’t seem to get here enough. The over all quality of this place is fantastic, but their prices keep me from eating here more regularly. When I do have the disposable cash, I look forward to coming back.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I visited this place with my wife and her uncle during a recent visit to Philly. We had hit up Monk's and nodding head already during the day. Guess who was picking our tour stops?
This bar is easy to find, with a large sign on the front wall and some flags as well. Entering the front door you can go to the right for an area more for bar experience, or to the left for a dining experienece.
The right side has mostly bar stools around the bar, maybe 18 or so, and then some small two seat tables and a few other seats. Not too accomodating, but like I said this is a bar side, grab a pint and stand its ok. The decor is kind of eastern european meets modern american. Ok modern in late 80s early 90s. I remember not thinking the black and white tile floor fit with everything else. We left and went to dine on the other side.
There is a rectangular bar on the dining side with about 15-20 stools and about thee same amount of taps, a mix of German brews and other Europeans, plus a few locals/regionals if I recall. There are several table and a row of booths as well. The booths have a wooden trellis frame over them draped with hop vines. They are real, but very old. I smelled them and the aroma is pretty dead.
We orderd some food, I had a pulled pork spatzl which I found to be delicious, my wife and her uncle enjoyed their dishes as well. I didnt write down their orders, but all was enjoyed. The bottle beer list is pretty immense, and although I wasnt able to get my first bottle order, there are plenty to choose from! Over 100 I think!
Our server was friendly and helpful with beer selections, and was aware that some bottles were out when they were ordered. I dont know how much she actually knew about the beers she recommended, but she tried.
You should hit this place up when in Philly. There are better places sure, but this is worth the stop if you like some brews other than Belgians.

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Photo of jrancan
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Update to the two prior reviews. Ludwig's has added another bar to the dining room on the left. In addition to the 20-30 German beers on tap, they now have Lindeman's, Leffe, Stella, and Hoegaarden. The bottle selection seems to have been updated as well. If you are looking for hard to find German brews, this is definately the place to go. Anyplace that has Aventinus on tap AND in the bottle is alright with me!

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Photo of Phatz
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Ludwigs was a cool enough place. Lots of classic old wood style decor but it didn't do much for me today. Maybe coming from Monks didn't help. I heard Ludwigs recently had an Oktoberfest party that was off the hook! But today was pretty dead. Still, the bartender was pleasant and she served the beer in propper glassware (they have an extensive collection of glassware I noticed around the room). And they had a number of German beers and others I never had before. So it was a decent place and well worth the stop but we didn't camp out here for long.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of nomad
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Aye, yes, their Oktoberfest was great. Nice to see everyone reveling and creating an all-around mess. Love the interior of this bar: the faux-authentic portraits of royalty, the plants hanging from the ceiling, the numerous closed in booths, the bar you can walk a full circle around, the plasma screen with a thick "period" frame around it. Nice people working the place, too. Wish the Belgian choices on tap were better (Interbrew and Lindeman's, boo...), though their bottle list is wide and impressive, including Anchor, S. Smith, EKU, DFH, and other very well known beers. Tap list is of Warsteiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger, and so on and so on. Their selection of German beer, bottle or draught, is truly impressive - focused and flavorful. A real delight of a place, I think it might become my choice neighborhood bar.

EDIT: Whoo, the food is really good! I'm a snotty foodie, eating organics and gourmet whatnot, and this place was impressive. Not cheap sausages and fried bits.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I've visited here many times, but never reviewed. This is a go to place for those in search of a real German bar.

When you first walk in, the sight of solid wood decor and women wearing lederhosen should tell you that this place takes its German roots seriously. They always have a great selection of Hefe's and Dopple's on tap, from Ayinger, Paulaner, Franziskaner, and many others.

They used to have a variety of house beers, most of them made by Victory especially for Ludwig's, but apparently Victory doesn't want to be bothered with that anymore.

Food is excellent, I recommend any of the Spaetzle's, as they have a great variety of them. The potato pancakes are also dynamite.

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Photo of elmocoso
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Another stop on our one night Philadelphia beer scramble, our last for the night. We walked into a cozy little joint that was hopping with customers, most of them drinking 1/2 litre German beers and i should have got one too, but was in a Belgian mood, which they had plenty of. Nice selection of German/American/ and Belgian beers. The waitress was friendly and informed. She wore a traditional German summer dress, and even spoke with a German accent, which added to the atmosphere.

I didn't try the food, but from what i saw, it looked good.

I would hit it again.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Stopped by here on a little center city pub crawl. The place was dark. Very dark. The waitress working this particluar afternoon was very friendly. The four of us in our party all ordered draft and were marveled by the selection of German beers on tap. Who would have thought a German bar would have German beers on tap. My one compadre who only drinks wheat beers was marveled by the fact that she had more than one choice when it came to draft. In addition the draft beers were all 22 oz glasses and only $5. Really great prices for center city.

All in all a great place with a great happy house.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Many believe civilization itself would not have developed if not for the discovery of beer. Few countries take beer more seriously than Germany, so when a chance arrives to attend a nice German Pub or Brew Pub I try to find my way there. 40% or nearly 1,200 of the world's breweries are located in unified Germany. In particular the southern German state Bavaria is noted for it's commitment to beer. Nearly 800 of these are located in the southern state of Bavaria. No other nation, not even Germany's other states combined, can rival Bavaria in this respect.

With that being said Ludwig's, stocks the most comprehensive selection of imported and domestic German style microbrews than anywhere in the city of Philadelphia!

Last but not least...Prost!

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

If you like all things German, this is a must see location. Points must be deducted from the atmosphere because the servers wear traditional Bavarian clothing. My friends from Germany wouldn't be able to handle this. But all in all it has a great atmosphere. The quality of everything is very high. Service is just right. Not overbearing, but very prompt and helpful. They know what's kicked and what's hasn't and suggest good alternatives. The selection is really good. A 5 just for German selection. But a 4.5 overall may be more appropriate. Tough call there. The food is very authentic and very good. But you can only rate German food so high.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hmmm. What to say about ol' Ludwig's Garten? I have been wanting to go to this place for I cannot tell you how long. Myself and Mrs. goindownsouth took in a late lunch there and the following is our "official" report.

Ludwig's Garten is situated in a relatively busy section of center city Philadelphia. The decor on the inside is deep, rich and very wooden. The eyes immediately go to the stuffed animal heads and German knicknacks on the walls.

The menu here is all German, all the time. I took part in the onion tarte for an appetizer, and it was fantastic with an Ayinger Alt Dunkel. My main entree was the Stelze, or pork hocks, which were flambe'd table side in German brandy. Fantastic eating. The warm apple strudel with carmel and chocolate sauces was a fantastic finisher, and I was ready to be wheeled out of town. Literally.

The Bier menu here is fantastic. In all, I tried 4 new brews, and was not disappointed on any of them, including Victory's Mad King Weisse, Hacker-Pschorr Alt Munich Dark, Ayinger Altbier Dunkel and Augustiner Brau Maximator. Service was a bit on the slow side, but she was pleasant and, in her defense, it looked as if she was the only waitress working at the time.

Overall, this place is a keeper, in my humble opinion. Regardless that Ludwig's is about an hour away from me, I can see going there once a month or so, without a doubt. Well worth checking out.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of saltydog
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Wonderful German bar. Good food and probably the largest selection of German beers I have seen in any one place. Great atmosphere as well. And as it's only a short walk to Monk's you can cover two great beer producing countries in one evening. How can you beat that?

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Photo of ark57
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

For as long as I've been in the Philadelphia area I just made my first trip here very recently and I was not dissapointed. I was in the mood for some good German food. The place made me feel like I was in Bavaria, though some might think the theme is a bit much. Service was firendly and fast. The selection is much better than average, but their listing of what was on tap was not the most up to date. I had Weihenstephaner lager and Jever Dark on Tap, but they had an impressive selection of bottles for both German and non-German brews including a decent selection of Belgians. Over all it is the place to come for german beer. I thought the food was really good and the prices were not bad at all. Witht that said, if you don't like German food, then this won't be your thing regardless. I happen to like pork products, sausage, and cabbage. I had the farmer's platter which included a bratwurst, a knockwurst, a smoked porked chop, saurkraut, and my choice of another side (I had the potato pancake). For dessert I has the apple strudel, though I wished I split it because it was quite large. Definitely worth a visit even if you don't want to eat and just want a few to drink.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is GREAT. We have far too few German specialty beer bars in the US, IMO. Its not far from Monks, and is a very nice alternative to the elbow to elbow situation there with the grumpy service (even though I still like Monks). They have about 20-25 beers on tap, mostly germans with a few Belgians and other Euros thrown in there. Definitely seek out the Salvator or Optimator (or both). They have another 200 or so in bottles. Prices are pretty good for most things and all beer is served in the proper glassware. The bartender was a friendly German girl who knew her beer and poured a good glass. There are two large bar areas, so it helps to spread the crowds out. The clientelle is also very friendly. My buddy and I had an hour long beer conversation with a guy we never met. I didn't try the food, but it looked pretty good.

This is a definite must when coming to Philly.

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Ludwig's Garten in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 58 ratings