Taps: 20 / Bottles: 218
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 312 | Show All Ratings:
4/5 rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
What can I say I was in Philly on a business trip the night before a stressfull sales meeting and needed an escape. Escape is what I got. I was at the back bar, eating a authentic Belgian Rabit dinner and drinking a Flemish sour ale.
It was great. The selection of beers were incredible and the menu was unique. There are two bars front and back, and I reccomend the back cause it's bigger and has more of a Belgian feel to it.
If you go to Philly you must stop by Monk's but if you are on the other side of town try Eulogy another Beligain style bar and some say a Monk's rip off, but also good.
12-16-2003 22:52:00 | More by OatmattStout
4.65/5 rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5
I was very pleased to find this bar on my last trip to philly, a few minutes away from my office there, when I walked in I thought that maybe I was mistaken in showing up. It looks more like a restaurant until you get to the back bar which has in my humble opinon the best beer bar feel I have ever expierenced. The back bar is just big enough to not have people on top of you, but to feel like you can actually interact with the people near you and the bartender.
The beer they had on tap was all very good, the bartender was knowledgeable and the menu of beer they give you is just classic, well organized, with nice descriptions of the beer available. If you are lucky the owner of the bar will be there, the man has a wealth of beer knowledge. The thing that impressed me the most though was the food, I cannot speak highly enough about the food here, the best bar food I have ever had. if you are anywhere in the philly I highly recomend this place.
12-02-2003 15:59:26 | More by qbushido
3.58/5 rDev -17.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Best Belgian beer bar outside of Europe. European indeed: crowded, smoky, with long waits for dinner. But where else can you get Cantillion and your choice of gueze. Looking for a good stout or American pale ale? Try Nodding Head a few blocks away.
Food is very good and can be inexpensive. If you like wings, look elsewhere. The wings are not Buffalo wings but full size chicken wings with a nasty, chunky, overcooked, tomato paste devoid of Tabasco, but peppery hot.
And there is a back bar with different beer on tap. This is sometimes overlooked by first-timers due to the crowds.
10-08-2003 23:34:21 | More by Nay
4.72/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
An incredibly devoted and excessive bar, dedicated to the best in Belgian beer. Always a great selection on the taps in the back room, and a very substantial bottle selection as well. I still remember the day I went there and saw 3 Cantillon's on draft! I don't get to Philly as much as I'd like, but it's probably just as well, as I don't think I could afford to have this as my local!
10-03-2003 20:38:40 | More by saltydog
4.45/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
It was my birthday, so I told my wife we were going to Monk's for dinner. I've visited several times, and there is just something about the place that gets the blood pumping. As usual it was packed, but I thought getting there at 6:00 the wait wouldn't be too long. I was wrong as we didn't get a table until 7:30 ! But as with other trips I did not fret as the beer selection is phenominal. We walked to the back bar (less crowded) and I reviewed the menu for my first selection. They had Prescription Pils on tap, so even though I wanted belgian beer, I couldn't pass this one up.
The tap menu always surprises me with things I never see, like Hommelbier, Tripel Karmeliet, and Freeminer Deep Shaft Stout. The menu states 200 World Class beers, but there were to be no bottles for us that night. I also had a great filet mignon with a LaTrappe Quadrupel steak sauce. It was out of this world. We started with the Rodenbach Mussels and they were also great. The only setback is the huge crowds - but it is nice to see so many people like this place. Can't wait to return.
09-18-2003 23:18:29 | More by Gavage
4.28/5 rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Hard to add to what others have posted here about Monk's. The beer list is terrific, the prices reasonable, and the food is good. I've been there many times with and without our 9 year old daughter, with no problems. The key to that is that people should realize that children are ok in the mid afternoon at the latest, and should never be at a bar in the evening. Also glad to avoid the twenty somethings that can ruin a place in a hurry.
No, this place is for adults, and can be ok for families if done approprietly. A little common sense, maybe?
The service is fine, but not exceptional, but I can see how difficult it is because of the shape of the place. Don't change it, though. Gives the bar character.
Monk's Update 4-1-05
Still the flagship kickass bar in Philly. We get there at least twice a month, so the staff knows us. I have Never been let down.
08-31-2003 21:46:32 | More by thefireman
3.6/5 rDev -17.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5
THE GOOD: Monk's certainly lives up to its reputation. With at least 100 Belgian brews listed, they carried brands that I have never even read about. Their sour house beer is quite good, brewed especially for this place. There truly is no equal of Monk's and it is definitely worth a pilgrimage just to reassure yourself that places like this do indeed exist.
THE BAD: Sorry to say it, but size does matter. There's not even enough room in this place to change your opinion. Service is slow and grumpy (I had to retrieve my own menu from the hostess stand) and I didn't get to try the food. It is a wall-to-wall, shoulder-to-shoulder, can't-even-sit-down, muscle-your-elbow-up-to-take-a-sip kinda place. And this was all before 6pm.
After enjoying only a single beer, I had to step outside for a few minutes to take a phonecall. Honestly, I physically could not get back into the establishment and had to move on. A great place in concept and well worth a visit but what good is seeing the Gates of Beer Heaven if you can't reach it?
08-17-2003 06:54:27 | More by assurbanipaul
4.6/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3
The service was great, and of course the selection of beer was incredible. Treats like Chimay Cinq Cents on tap and their own specially-brewed sour ale (great!) put a big smile on my face. Our server made sure our glasses were never empty long, although they were having tap problems at the time and couldn't serve all the beers on their tap list.
The only real problem I had was with the food. We started with the mussels, Monk's style. It was about $15-$16 for a "large pot" which couldn't have been much more than a pound of mussels ($2). I was really looking forward to the mussels. They were okay, but nowhere near the best mussels ever. I've had better mussels at half the price for the same amount. They came with a small basket of fries, which were good but there were too few given the price of the pot.
My date had the Blood orange chicken for dinner and I had the rack of lamb. Both were good, but nothing special. They really showed no sign of being cooked with the beers they were supposed to have been cooked with. They both were smallish portions, especially the lamb at $18. The potato and veggie "pancake" that came with it was exquisite though. We both ended up getting dessert even after each having eaten a platter and split a "large pot" of mussels, because we were still hungry. She got this chocolate thing filled with crème brulée, which was really good and I got a blueberry and peach tart which was not quite as good.
Overall I'd go back again, but probably just stay at the bar, or maybe sit down and just get a sandwich. The beer is great, nay, amazing, but the food is nothing special and overpriced for the portions (of the mussels and platters at least).
08-06-2003 06:01:22 | More by PopeDX
4.85/5 rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
If it wasn't for the 250 character minimum, my review would simply be "beer heaven." It's very cramped and dark, but it still gets a 4.5 for atmosphere. For some reason it just feels right being there. The service is exceptional. A server who knows as much about beer as you do, and they like to talk about it. They pour it correctly and serve it in the proper glasswear. The selection is fantastic. Not as many micros as I'd like to see, but face it, if you've come here you've come to drink belgians. Come early because it get's crowded quickly.
07-29-2003 00:07:23 | More by dmarch
4.33/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5
just a great beer bar. huge selection of beers. everyone knows that, right? if you do plan on hanging out there and having more than a beer or two, make sure you eat something. i made the mistake of ordering like five beers and didn't order any food. anyway, those belgians will sneak up on you and then kick your ass inside out. don't get torn up, order the mussells. they looked good.
anyway, it's real small and the service isn't super efficient, but they obviously love beer and serve each one in the perfect glassware.
this one is worth making a seperate trip to.
06-30-2003 13:57:53 | More by vitesse
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
97 out of 100 based on 329 user ratings.