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Taps: 20 / Bottles: 218
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
264 S 16th St
phone: (215) 545-7005
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Reviews by mdfb79:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Went to Monk's Cafe in Philly last weekend with my girlfriend, her brother, and some of his friends. Since a car crashed into the front of the bar, you had to enter through a side alley into the back bar. We were met at the front of the alley by a hostess, who told us we couldn't walk down the 25 foot alley by ourselves; we had to wait for to be escorted by another hostess.
Once we got inside we asked the bartender if we could be seated (tables are only for people ordering food), but she told us we had to go back outside and ask the hostess to seat us. It was a pretty awkward start to the Monk's experience, but it picked up from there. We asked a waitress if she could seat us and she did so no problem. Both waitresses we encountered were very nice and knew their beer. Some of the people in my party weren't sure what they wanted and the waitress was very helpful.
In terms of the beer itself, I was pretty impressed. They had about 15 beers on tap, including bourbon barrel aged Allagash Black, Consecration, and Damnation. Most beers were only $6.50 too, which coming from DC bars I found pretty reasonable.
The bottle list was pretty large, especially the Belgian section. I noticed some stuff like Fou' Foune, Angel's Share Grand Cru, and De Struisse Pannepot 2006, as well as many more Cantillon beers. While some of the prices were expensive (Fou' Foune was $50 a bottle), others were quite reasonable (the Pannepot was only listed at $12 a bottle). I ordered several beers and the only one out of stock was the Pannepot.
In terms of food, I ordered a small bucket of mussels which were cooked in a Cantillon beer. They had many different kinds that were all reasonably priced (half cooked in different types of beers) and I thought they were great. Someone else ordered the frogs legs and the scallops, both of which I'm told were very good as well. The frites were ok.
Overall I really enjoyed Monk's and would definitely go back next time I'm in Philly.
08-25-2010 00:21:09 |
More by mdfb79
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Glad I paid Monk's a visit, great selection of both tap and bottled beers. Being from NJ we do not get to enjoy beers from Russian River so I was very happy to indulge while I could. They had Pliny the Elder but had run out just before we arrived although I did have some Blind Pig and Supplication which were both outstanding. The barmaid was very helpful and service was what I love... very attentive but not in your face. Prices were very reasonable and I plan on visiting again soon.
05-15-2013 21:55:14 |
More by erialbill
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$$
I've been to Monk's quite a few times being from the Philadelphia are and it never disappoints. Excellent selection, leaning slightly heavy onto Belgian's. Good tap selection, usually a great variety, but the bottles are even better. A lot of very difficult to find brews which is the main reason I seek this place out every time I visit home. The service is outstanding. Very educated bartenders and servers. They seem to know their stuff and are extremely attentive every time I have been there, even on Friday and Saturday nights. There's actually two bars with a different taps in each area. Space is dark and cramped, but it's very unique. The food is pretty good, though I am usually pretty far gone by the time I eat. I recommend the Chicken and apple sausage, it's amazing. The price can be a little on the high side but when it comes to their selection and you realize you are in downtown Philly, I don't mind.
Awesome overall venue, a definite place to check out.
05-14-2013 20:52:33 |
More by rjp217
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75 | $$$
Hard to rate this place if you are thinking that it is a beer nirvana since apparently it is in the top 3,5 or 10 places to have a beer list depending on who you ask (and that's just at Monk's b/c they are proud to willing to remind of you this). That being said, while it may be impossible for this place to live up to the hype it is a, and pardon my couth language but I don't have the most extensive vocabulay, damn good place. Avoided any crowd by going on a Wednesday afternoon right between lunch and dinner (and parking was still a bitch) crowds and got a table for two next to the bar for my wife and I. Some people say this place is snobby or pretentious, but the server and bartender I talked to were great, if not the most knowledgeable, and while I was there I heard Abbey Road and Tupelo Honey in their entirety so being a "classic rock" that appealed to me. OK - the beer: the biggest Belgian selection I have seen and probably the most diverse so go ahead and just assume it the most diverse (that I've seen). American and other imported beer selection is just as good as there aren't too many diamonds in the rough but the ones you find are worth the price and the wait. Only knock on this place for me was the food. I was told their pommes frites were some of the best chow in the city and quite frankly they were average, as were the chicken strips and sandwiches. Oh well - I will definitely go back to this place and just eat something around the corner b/c other than the food this is one of the best beers in the country. Just ask 'em yourself.
04-09-2013 21:38:58 |
More by clayrock81
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Visited on a dreary day in November 2012
After taking forever to find reasonable parking, I finally got to visit Monk's after reading about it for years. First off: the place, even during the day, was incredibly dim and a bit spooky, if you will. I sat at the bar up front. Being after lunch, the place was dead, with just a few tables and bar stools occupied. This helped me get some great service from the bartender.
The beer selection was diverse and all-around awesome. Belgians, major US crafts, and obscure shit. The bottle list was impressive as well - though, apparently, they don't sell Westvleteren ;-) Monk's has all of the proper glassware and they serve their beers to perfection. As far as selection and quality go, this is one of the premier beer bars in America.
Monk's is every bit worth the hype, visiting on a midweek afternoon allowed me to really take in the place and exploit its merits. Highly recommended.
02-04-2013 17:12:42 |
More by jophish17
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
Decent food and an impressive beer list. Convenient location. Have been here a few times and servers (not the bar tenders) were awful. Took a long time to take our order, were not helpful when it came to questions we had about the beer, never came to check on our table until we were ready to pay, serious attitude problem. If you want as great a beer selection but without the snobbish wait staff, visit Eulogy in Old City.
01-28-2013 00:20:46 |
More by PaleAlePat
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
I had the chance to visit the legendary Monk's Cafe last year while I was in Philly for work. The beer selection and quality didn't disappoint me at all. Great beers had included multiple bottles from Lost Abbey including Red Poppy, Deliverance, and Serpent Stout. All were items I couldn't find at home in Mn. The place has a cool charm to it however it was packed on the two nights I visited. Servers were very nice and knew their beer.
01-24-2013 03:23:04 |
More by Hopsiam14
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My favorite bar...period. Been coming here since the mid to late 90s. It has a great blend of beer selection, including high end American craft beers, and solid, quality food. The mussels and burgers are absolutely excellent. The pomme frites with the bourbon mayo are to die for. I also love the trout dish but I miss the smoked trout appetizer. They are even brewing their own beer now.
But, the best part about Monk's is the fact that there are NO TVs!!! Wow! You have to actually talk to people and socialize. What a novel concept.
I also like that they do beer and wine tastings periodically and get their hands on some rare offerings like Pliny the Younger.
This is my go to spot in Philly.
12-28-2012 15:33:43 |
More by BeerSnob1022
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Great Belgian treats and fantastic fries...I have been many times and loved every visit. You are almost guaranteed to find something rare or something you have never seen. They have more beer that you will want to try than you are physically able to try. Its best to do multiple visits to ensure you take it all in. The selection changes regularly and the online taplist is not accurate so don't get your hopes up if you see a great one online, it may already be gone. Just go if you can and see what is on tap...if you like Belgian brew, this place is killer. They also have a great bottle selection as a fall back if the taplist doesn't do it for you. The food is pretty good and the fries are the best I have ever had. Its right in the city so plan out your parking ahead of time...its a great place and worth the parking hassle.
12-27-2012 19:51:48 |
More by diverite
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
Rodenbach Grand Cru American Release Day during the Craft Beer week 2005 and a few times since.
The first trip there was a quick lunch and a pint, but I came back with a posse and we were there to see what Tom was hiding in his cellar. $800 bar tab well spent between the four of us, and the food was great. Had a lot of unusual bottles that had just been recently acquired from a purchase in Belgium, the Rodenbach was awesome and welcomed back after many years lost to the US. Great people at Monks, top level seafood, and just a great Cafe all around.
The rest of the night is a blur, was already checked into a hotel in NJ that I knew early on that I was not going to make it back to so I sensibly checked into some hotel around 7pm that I forgot where it was by midnight and finally checked into a third at about 4am,.... Good times, good times.
12-20-2012 00:28:47 |
More by RockAZ
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA