The Belgian Cafe
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 19 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
4.33/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Finally I made it to this place after numerous trips to Monk's and Eulogy. It looked pretty small from the outside but seemed alot roomier inside. I enjoy the atmoshphere and the overal vibe. The place was done nicely and I was seated right away. The menu is awesome as far as beer selection and food selection. Some typical Belgian fare as well as some other interesting food choices. The food was great, the beer was awesome and the hostess and server were very pleasant as well. I had a great time and will be revisiting soon.
01-22-2011 22:19:29 | More by BeerForMuscle
More User Reviews:
3.72/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | $$$
Great bottle selection, decent tap selection. Service was OK, a bit aggressive around peak hours. We could not order beer fast enough for them. Staff knew something basic about the beers. Decent location. Inside is kind of dark, outside tables nice.More or less an average place to go for beer in today's market.
08-07-2013 18:21:05 | More by Sammy
4.25/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
With a two hour Amtrak layover in Philly, I was quite pleased to find this lovely little Belgian-style beer bar about a mile from the train station. Pleased enough that when I had a second 90 minute layover on my return trip, I went again.
There is a fair number of tables outside, and plenty of seats inside. A long bar runs the length of the main room, behind which is a tremendous array of Belgian glasses. A second room goes off to the side with tables for seating.
I had two different bartenders, and both were knowledgable and pleasant, though not overly talkative. The Phillies game was playing both times on an HD TV in the corner.
The food is not Belgian, and tends towards high-end American bar food. The first trip I had the vegan Korean tacos which I found a little sub-par. The second trip I went with the Chimay Cheeseburger which was quite good. I definitely recommend going with burgers as opposed to the specialty items. The fries are quite tasty as well and are served with a chipotle mayonnaise.
Now the beer.
The tap list is modest (maybe 8 taps) and ranged from American to Belgian. While I was there they had St. Bernardus, Allagash, Victory, Monk's Café, and a few others on draft. A Lost Abbey draft night was a couple days away.
But the bottle list is where this café wins. An enormous list, they featured beers from US, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, among others. The list included several beers I had been wanting to try for years, including five different Russian River selections, and two of the beers from Abbey of Christ in the Desert.
The bar is certainly well worth visiting if you find yourself near the train station. I haven't spent a lot of time in Philly, so I can't say that it is necessarily worth trekking over for (my understanding is that Philly has many worthy beer spots), but if you did make the trip, you wouldn't leave disappointed.
04-04-2012 15:34:49 | More by rinhaak
3.65/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Nice spot in a residential area, inside and outside seating. Medium sized bar area that opens into a slightly larger dining room.
Beer selection was very good and some beers seemed to be a few dollars cheaper than monks. Beer was served in appropriate glassware and my server seemed to take care not to pour in the yeast from the bottle of cantillon that I had ordered.
We had lunch here with the wife getting a soup and salad and me getting some mussels. The "monk's" mussels were ok bordering on plain and some of them were very undercooked. My wife really liked her food. The menu here is very similar to monks.
The service was very good for such a casual place and our server was very attentive despite it getting busier and busier as lunch went on.
I would return if I was in the area.
07-09-2011 17:38:16 | More by bpfishback
4.18/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I had wanted to check out this spot because I'd heard of it from the monk's cafe website prior to my trip to Philadelphia. It turns out this place is owned by the same people who own Monk's Cafe which is amazing. Like Monk's cafe, the Belgian Cafe had a good selection of vegetarian food on the menu and also had a really relaxed atmosphere. The service here was good and the selection of beers was also good. I tried a De Struisse beer which I really enjoyed. I would definitely recommend checking this place out although I have to say I really liked Monk's Cafe a lot better.
12-31-2010 03:11:20 | More by Chincino
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This place is owned by the same people that own Monk's in Center City Philly. It's in the museum district of Philly, and hence not quite as big or busy as Monk's. It's about as good beer- and food-wise, although the staff and atmosphere isn't quite as nice. Still mostly pleasant, and a great selection of beer, and they often get stuff that isn't available anywhere else, including Monk's. The food menu isn't quite as extensive, but still overall just as good in quality. Location is a bit out of the way, which is why I don't make it over there often.
12-13-2010 21:57:01 | More by Rifugium
4.08/5 rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Went here after not going since it has opened, with so many bars in the city you got to take it one bar at a time or it will knock the life out of you.
In the Fairmount section of the city, The Belgian Cafe sits on a corner and from the outside looks exactly like Monk's except there is outside seating and there are no bottles lined up near the windows. Once inside there is a bar area to the left, a seating area to the right. Did not get a chance to visit the bathrooms. The atmosphere is basically Monk's cafe but this time with TV'S. A long wooden bar with coolers full of beer and about 12 or so taps, and a bunch of expensive liquor.
Quality was nice as was the service, I was greeted at the bar with a smile and a taplist on a chalkboard and in front of me on paper. I opted for a Port summer pale ale and a old engine oil on tap. Selection is not as huge as monk's, but there are some Belgians mixed in with American craft and some local's. On beer menus, they always seem to have sly fox o'riely's stout on nitro, great beer. Bottle list is extensive with alot of american micro and alot of Belgians plus beer from a bunch of countries. Basically it has all the big heavy hitters brewery wise, without some of their more rare offerings, gotta go to monk's for that. They do have Monk's cuvee gueze by cantillon so thats a plus. A very nice selection.
Could not try the food, I was already full.
I'll be coming back here if im ever in the neighborhood, not really a go to bar in my opinion, I can get the same options closer to where im at. But if they ever tap a De Dolle beer, beer that I have not had on tap since about 8 years ago at monk's, I'll be there with bell's on.
10-04-2010 21:30:40 | More by BARFLYB
4/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I visited the Belgian Cafe for the first time during Philly beer week. I got to meet some of the Belgian brewers than were from some of the smaller breweries. We sat in the room on the right. It was a pretty vibrant scene compared to other Belgian bars in the city. There was a lot of paintings and decor in the room. It was intimate and cozy. The bar was stocked pretty well. Beers from all of the popular countries. I had one of the beers they were sponsoring plus a Schlenkerla Smoke beer. The mussels there were really good, but not quite as memorable as the ones at Monk's Cafe. I wondered why because as far as I know they are the same owners. Maybe it was just the atmosphere at Monks that makes it all better. Not my favorite Belgian bar in the city, but I'll return again someday given the chance.
08-30-2010 04:49:33 | More by cooch69
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The Belgian Cafe in Philadelphia, PA
90 out of 100 based on 21 user ratings.