Frankford Hall

Frankford HallFrankford Hall
Frankford HallFrankford Hall
Bar, Eatery

1210 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19125-3906
United States

(215) 634-3338 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohneHoodlum:
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JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Jun 20, 2016
More User Reviews:
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cp45 from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Dec 01, 2019
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zbelair from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Nov 20, 2019
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andrewerrico from New York

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Sep 19, 2017
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TeachChefs from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Sep 18, 2016
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

This place I thought was pretty cool, took a little too long to get in the door the night i was there but once we were in I thought it was awesome. The place is pretty big with some indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating has fire pits and stuff all around. The service was good and so was the food. The selection is mostly German beers which is fine, but there are a few others on that are seasonal.

Feb 21, 2016
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LehighAce06 from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Feb 28, 2015
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Hard to believe I would go to such a packed, hipster-y joint on a Saturday night, but after going strong for over six hours, we were not about to stop…

And I’ll have to say I like this place, despite the questionable clientele of bridge-and-tunnel types, fake blondes, pretty bimbos, college kids and hipsters in uniform and perfectly trimmed beards.

The sprawling complex has two bars, a kitchen counter to order food, a ping-pong table and plenty of tables to sit around, mostly communal style (make friends!).
We sat outside in the patio around a fire. They have heaters but it was still mighty cold so we didn’t last long… but enough to drink our beer mugs and munch on some delicious German-inspired food.

The 14 taps lean German like the food and include Hofbrau Dunkel, Paulaner Oktoberfest and Hefeweizen, Weihenstephan Lager, Bell’s Two Hearted and two Frankford Hal-exclusive brews, one by DuClaw and one by Fegley’s. Half-a-liter of Edmund Fitzgerald or Two Hearted for six-seven bucks? Bring it on! This is not the place to seek out that rare barrel-aged release, but for large quantities of solid beer, you can’t go wrong.

Food-wise, I loved the mushroom strudel (with mache, watermelon radish, pickled plum), and also the pretzel with cheeserne dip. Potato pancakes with smoked salmon were alright but not great, and the cheese spätzle wasn’t real spätzle but yummy nonetheless. Beer is relatively cheap, the food is a tad expensive but well made.
I will come back! Maybe on an off day.

Jan 26, 2015
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Sarge3130 from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Jan 08, 2015
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Chesterbrewing from Delaware

4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Dec 10, 2014
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blckwiteboy from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Great place with great beer and food. Go here if you want beer that you are not accustomed to but still want to drink local beer. Not your place for crap American light beer.

Nov 27, 2014
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PhillyStyle from Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Nov 11, 2014
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Robjvoorhees from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Great beer garden atmosphere with a decent tap list. Ping pong tables are cool. The food was your average beer garden food. Brats and very large pretzels.

Sep 10, 2014
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kneary13 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Aug 18, 2014
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cheah from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Jul 15, 2014
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cdaguanno from Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Jun 18, 2014
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dcurse from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Mar 03, 2014
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InspectorBob from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Feb 26, 2014
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hoppymcgee from Maine

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Feb 19, 2014
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svt5126 from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -22.5%

Feb 01, 2014
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Jan 01, 2014
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SpAiReArGsEonNE from New Jersey

3/5  rDev -22.5%

Dec 17, 2013
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slander from New York

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Our Fishtown tour some more, today. Backtracking now and parties met, what about that German joint? Really, um, yeah, sure. It’s like right here. A stone’s throw from, and I mean, I have a shit arm but could easily hit it, Johnny Brenda’s. Drunken kids departing as we were arriving; I guess that this must be the place...

Large windows to both sides of a center entrance box vestibule and layers beyond, sprawling and expansive. Industrial space with I beams, rafters, a few spinnys, ductwork, cut through mad archways of brick, and a wide wide opening through the center space, all that. Mix & match wood plank far wall, and large windowage up front. To the right, a row of 6 beer hall tables, and 3 more sideways & 3 raised roundies behind ‘em. To the left, 4 beer hall tables, a few roundies, and a tree plank looking “C” shaped bar with an alt wood slat bar base adjacent. Seating for a ½ dozen+ stooled there, with a cut through to the rear room behind an inconveniently placed glassware rack. Horizontal blackboard above lists tap & bottled selections. 6 beers on a tower on the bar, and another 6 on the back side bar space (and another tower or two duping). Seating for none there; service only, and off to the side, what Davo is calling an “industrial professional ping pong table” (I am sure he is still feeling the burn of the pasting I dealt him late night at that place in Greenpoint last month). A Foosball table beyond that, and 4 roundy tables.

12 taps in all, served in all sorts of who are we kidding, it’s all litre and .5L muggage here with the one off for that which isn’t. ½ of them German offerings (Kostritzer Schwarzbier, Hofbrau Maibock, Franziskaner Hefe & Dunkel Weizen, Spaten Okto, Weihenstephaner Original Lager), and the other ½ mostly local/regional craft (Great Lakes Elliot Ness, Stoudts APA, Yards IPA, Victory Prima Pils, DogFishHead My Antonia, and the ‘rotating tap’ North Coast Old Rasfuckinputin). I drank the Great Lakes Elliot Ness, ‘cause cause.

Slight bottle list of 11, a few of a bunch of things; Germs (Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock, Schneider Aventinus, Weihenstephaner Hefeweisen, Innstadt Extra Schwarze), regional craft (Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, DogFishHead 60 Minute IPA), however you want to group this lot (Yuengling, Old Reading Bavarian Lager, Narrogansett Lager), a crap mac (Miller Lite), and token cider (Doc’s Apple Cider). And a single can, albeit a 5L Bitburger draft mini keg. There’s also a ½ dozen wines by the glass or bottle.

They do food, true. Ed returned with a number so I knowsomething’s a-coming. He ordered the Riesenpretzel (absurdly large pretzel, literal translation), and the potato pancakes. I took a small piece of pretzel, multiple times; fooling no one. The pancake was okay. The food was food, nothing crazy. They also deal other app type things, 6 snausages and 6 what they are calling burgers (salmon, veggie, lamb, turkey, cow, nicely treated cow), and a few german classics (schnitzel, schnauzer, spatzle).

Did I mention the series of windowed garage door that are the rear wall looking upon the biergarten? Lemme venture out there to see what’s what. Courtyard of big brick walls on 3 sides around, with a sea of tableage; 2 rows of 9 beer hall tables to the left, and 2 rows of 6 & 7 beer hall tables leading back to another ping pong table to the right. A pair of firepits in between with benchings surrounding, and trees & heat lamps dotting the landscape. Seriously, fire pits? ‘cause in my experience, beer + fire, well, anyway, there are people cooking marshmallows in the fire pits, but we’ve voted for throwing on the guy wearing salmon colored shorts. Stands for beer for the order on one side, and food for the order on the other.

I really wanted to crush Davo on that ping pong table just so I can say I’ve made him cry in 4 states. The German beer hall with only ½ their tap list containing German beer barely covers the bases, in my opinion (grumble grumble). I expected something Radegastesque, and got something Studio Squareish. Music is club, and the crowd is kiddie hipster haven. If ‘there’s something for everyone’, then I’m sure this is someone’s everything, but not mine.

Jul 06, 2012
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MusicaleMike from Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 1.5

Frankford Hall is a swing and a miss in my opinion. I went here with my girlfriend to check out the new German spot in the city, and we both had the same reaction: "Really?"

The atmosphere is the best thing ever. I gave this place a 5 without batting an eye because it deserves nothing less. Really open space, with games to play, a open courtyard with trees and games and seating all over the place. The style and feel of this place is just awesome; it makes you want to come with a group of friends and just hang out for an entire day drinking beer and playing games. I can think of no greater achievement when designing a social arena.

As for my rating on "quality," I'm not sure what quality is referring to...I am assuming it is the quality of the establishment and how they present themselves? Because it cannot mean quality of beer, since that falls under "selection" and it can't mean quality of food because that falls under "food". So for "quality" (of life?) i will give this a good score as well. Fun, fresh air, clean, good amount of room for movement with a young attractive waitstaff. Good.

Service is somewhat odd. There aren't waiters or waitresses, but there are bartenders and hostesses (and pretzel girls). The level of service that I did receive seemed somewhat cold and impersonal. They are not really there to be your friends, but more so to help facilitate fun with you and your friends. Me personally, I want to talked up and I want that connection to a server.

The beer selection kinda sucks. It isn't like they have awful beers on tap (or at least not many...Franz) but of the 12 draft lines, only 5 are dedicated to German beers (Kostritzer Schwarzbier, Franziskaner Hefe, Franz Dunkel, Weihenstephan Lager and Spaten Oktoberfest). I can drink Dogfish Head in every other bar in Philadelphia...WHY ARE YOU PUTTING THAT ON TAP AT A GERMAN BIERGARTEN? Anyways, they need to take a note from Brauhaus Schmitz and really focus on German beers. Local beers? Yeah they are great, but if I want Yards I know where to get need to "throw them a bone" by putting it on tap. Need more German beers. And actually...

Need LESS German food. Apparently, Frankford Hall imports a lot of foods and ingredients from Germany, which sounds pretty sweet, but I think that has some serious limitations. Just because the food comes from Germany doesn't mean it is good or worthy of being served to customers. I tried the wursts and the rotkhol(sp?)...the braised red cabbage...and I was seriously underwhelmed. I know that the whole place was highly anticipated and maybe that is why I am being really harsh, but my experiences with German beer and food so far (originally through going to Brauhaus Schmitz) is that it is awesome and tasty and delicious. This food was served on a paper plate and was not worthy of the $$ spent.

And yeah, I felt like a lot of this was overpriced. That side of red cabbage was $4. I know $4 is not much in the grand scheme of things, but for God's sake, it's sub-par cheap ass cabbage and you are giving it to me on a piece of paper.. What about that sounds like it should cost $4? The beer prices were too high as well. $7 for Kostritzer? It is $5.50 at Brauhaus. Come on.

I hope anyone reading this can now understand why my girlfriend and I could only say...."Really?"

Feb 17, 2012
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I'm surprised there's only one review so far for a place that's just a stone's throw up the street from Johnny Brenda's. And for such a large place at that! And they've got bright red and white diagonally striped doors that you can't miss!

Anyway, it's pretty busy in the summer as would be expected, but much less busy in the fall. Still, it's charming to sit at the bar and look out at the fire burning in the center of the courtyard as the sun goes down and the stars come out.

The inside is decorated really nicely as well, and you really can't go wrong: exposed brick, dark woods, marble - what's not to like? It's a Steven Starr venture and you can see that they put some real money into this place. So what's keeping people away in cool weather?

Is it perhaps the beer hall theme? Let's see... there are 11 beers on tap and a cask. There's a definite German leaning but two or three stray from that. There are twelve bottled offerings but after you eliminate the clunkers (Yuengling Lager, Narragansett, and Miller Lite) you're left with one cider, DFH 60 Minute IPA, and the rest German. Personally, I LOVE GERMAN BIER!!! But I can see how some people might be looking for something else. I hope they hold to their guns though because a German-style bierhall without German bier is scheisse!

Or is it the communal sitting? Probably not, and I say that because although the inside bar is small, there's still enough room to fill it and have a good business going. Beyond that, there are individual tables with those cool, industrial artist's-studio stools around them. And, when it's not busy anyone can take one of the large communal tables and make it their own... there's no one else around so why not?

Or is it that you have to order your food at a separate window? That can't be. That's too simple. However, I do find that kind of irritating, but hey, that's the way it's done, right? So go with the flow.

Or is it the German food? It might smite vegetarians, that's for sure, but there are pretzels and ice cream... ? So yes, the food, like the beer, has a certain slant to it, but still I can't see it keeping anyone away really. Although I should point out that I didn't find the brats from Ernst A. Illg’s Meats to be as good as those from Reiker's. They were still good, and everything else I've had has been great.

Or is it the service? Absolutely not. If anything, the service should be better when it's slower; and the people I've met are clearly professionals who would never slack. Cheerful, friendly, and skilled is how I'd label them.

So, in asking why it's not so busy in fall or winter I think I've given you, the good reader, a pretty good overview of the Frankford Hall. I could have described the layout better, but for that you can go to their website and take a look at some photos. I really enjoy the place, and I hope that business will even out so that it's not too crowded in spring and summer, and a bit fuller in fall and winter. Give it a shot and see for yourself!

Oct 21, 2011
Frankford Hall in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 26 ratings