Monk’s Café | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Places > United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia

Monk’s Café
World Class based on 222 ratings
Type: Bar

264 S 16th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States 19102 [ print map ]
215 545 7005 | facebook | twitter | beer menu

Hours: Mon - Sun 11:30 AM - 2:00 AM

Mayor: solidfunk (2) | Taps: 20 | Bottles: ~150

Monk’s Café

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Beer Available At Monk’s Café (arranged by most recent)
Lost Abbey Devotion 93, 4 Hands Snake Oil 80, De Molen Rook & Leer (Smoke & Leather) 90, Oxbow Loretta 95, Chimay Dorée / Spéciale du Potaupré 82, Oersoep Brettanosaurus Rex (Bruisend en Blond) 92, Port Brewing Wipeout IPA 99, Russian River Blind Pig IPA 100, Dogfish Head Blood Moon , Pizza Boy Citra Pils 88, Russian River Damnation 98, Allagash Victor 92, Deschutes Black Butte Porter 97, Tired Hands WoodLaHands 96, Bear Republic Tripels Alley 66, Port Brewing Older Viscosity 100, Mikkeller Beer Geek Bacon 99, 3 Fonteinen 95, De Molen Rasputin 99, Deschutes The Abyss 100
More Beers Available Here
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222 reviews for Monk’s Café
 Ambiance  81%
 Service  74%
 Selection  90%
 Food  81%
 Value  71%
 Overall  84%
 Rating  97%
Rating Distribution

EithCubes  (241) New Jersey | June 3, 2015
Have been meaning to get over here for years and happened to pick Beer Week for the first visit! Only about a twenty-minute wait in the evening, luckily, and validated by the experience. It’s another venerated institution, and yet another dimly-lit hole-in-the-wall, but lively and diverse, happy despite the cramp and bustle. Beer list is tremendous, an expansive survey of Belgium and a satisfying selection of local and upper-end American beers (one of the handful of places to reliably find Russian River east of Colorado, for example). They’re known for mussels and the like, but even my humble pommes and mayo-based dip impressed and, perhaps more importantly, reminded vividly of authentic Belgian/Dutch street food. Essential.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 13/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 18/20
conway  (71) , | April 20, 2015
Bar is somewhat crowded and dingy but not a bad vibe overall. Service was generally friendly and knowledgeable in spite of the large crowd. Great draft and bottle list. Food was excellent, especially the mussels. Prices were a little high but not outrageous given the area and quality. Definitely worth a visit, although the place does get packed so plan accordingly.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 6/10   SELECTION 14/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 18/20
jenray  (22) Houston, Texas | April 17, 2015
Interior had a cozy, old world feel. It felt a little on the small and cramped side, but maybe that was a factor of it being so crowded. I lucked out and was able to score a spot at the bar just as someone got up to leave, otherwise the wait for a table would have taken awhile. The beer selection was great with the highlights for me being the Pliny and Blind Pig. I didn’t really check out the bottle list, but I understand it is extensive. The food I ordered was very good. The service was a bit spotty, as it was so crowded that the bartender was kept very busy. Prices were a bit high, but that was to be expected. A great experiance overall and I’d love to make it back there sometime.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 13/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 17/20
nate2g  (964) Boomtown!, Australia | April 10, 2015
I came by on Monday night and it was jam packed so it goes to show the popularity of this joint. Fortunately, I managed to squeeze the last spot at the bar. Shorty after, folks started to queue for the wait on tables...busy! Once I was settled, service was great. The bartender was clearly busy but handled the pressure without any issues. I was disappointed that quite a number of taps had kicked so that ruled out my first few preferences. Oh well, there were still a couple of interesting beers to try and of note the upcoming list of beers looked solid. Ordered a duck salad and it was delicious. Lively ambiance and warm, soft lighting ensures it’s an inviting bar to visit.
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 4/10   SELECTION 15/15   FOOD 9/10   VALUE 9/10   OVERALL 17/20
Lothore  (54) California | February 19, 2015
Small place with a distinctly Belgian feel. Dim light, lots of glassware hanging from the ceiling above the bar. Their beer bible is incredible and I’m not sure you could beat the selection of you tried. Catillon bottles? Check. Assorted vintage Belgian brews? Check. The food was great, mussels were phenomenal and the bread they served along with it tasted fresh baked. The only minor gripe I had about the place was the service. Once I got in and started talking to the bartender it got better but he seemed to like to pretend people werent there. Didn’t greet me when I sat down, had to ask a couple times for a beer menu over the course of at least a few minutes when I could see them stacked directly behind him.
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 10/10   SELECTION 15/15   FOOD 9/10   VALUE 9/10   OVERALL 20/20
cratez  (256) Toronto, Ontario | January 17, 2015
When I visited: Late September 2014. What I had: Russian River Blind Pig IPA, Monks Café Flemish Sour Red Ale, Russian River Pliny the Elder, and Dogfish Head Ta Henket on tap, Pan Seared Rainbow Trout for me, Caesar Salad, Roasted Chicken, and several glasses of sauvignon blanc for my fiancé. What I liked: Wonderfully low key atmosphere in the front of the restaurant, no trouble finding seats on a Thursday night, extensive and carefully selected draft list, was elated to find two of Russian River’s best beers on tap, our waitress was warm, attentive and knowledgeable, we enjoyed all of our food and my partner liked her wine, couldn’t have chosen a better spot to celebrate our engagement. What I disliked: I probably wouldn’t come here on a busy night if I just wanted to drink, since they reserve all tables for diners. Thankfully, though, that wasn’t an issue for us. Would I go back? Absolutely. We had a flawless experience here and it’s clear that The Monk’s Café is a must-visit when in Philly. Overall Rating: 100
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 9/10   SELECTION 15/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 20/20
Joel  (15) Massachusetts | December 29, 2014
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 3/10   SELECTION 14/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 17/20
solidfunk  (211) Washington D.C., Washington DC | October 8, 2014
On a more recent visit, I should note that this place is vehemently against giving out samples. The younger staff give a lot of attitude and douchiness in general, though the older staff is nice. Compared to Churchkey, this is a major failure of an otherwise great bar - attitude. They are also vehemently against letting you taste a small sample before ordering. Some wonderful stuff here, made better by the fact that you can carry any bottle on their list out on offsales. Was here during Beer Week and unfortunately some of their great stuff was taken up by New Belgian stuff I’d had before but it was all made up by the fact they had Pliny the Elder on tap as well as some other Russian River and good stuff. Friendly service, and bottle list is extensive and full of good stuff. Unfortunate they don’t do taster flights, as when their full menu is on there would be a lot of stuff to get through. Sometimes they do half pints. Great hole in the wall vibe here, with typical cramped Philly atmosphere that makes for friendly place.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 14/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 18/20
jackl  (526) Charlottesville, Virginia | October 4, 2014
I ate some great mussels and drank a few pints of Blind Pig, so I can’t strongly criticize the experience. However, this is the only serious beer place I’ve ever been to that refuses sample pours to customers. It’s a policy that simply makes no sense. Apart from refusing to bend on the sample rule, the staff were kind and accommodating. The beer list is strong. It’s focused on Belgian styles with a few random things sprinkled into the draft and bottle list. Prices were fair considering the quality. All of my mussels were fully opened, which suggests they probably err on the side of overcooking their seafood. Overall, I’ll be back the next time I’m in town.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 9/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
BeerandBlues2  (795) San Diego, California | August 7, 2014
I walked into Monks expecting to be blown away but left somewhat disappointed. The interior is warm and inviting if not small and cozy. There was a good beer selection on during my visit, likely similar to drafts available during other patron’s visits, but nothing exceptional, just solid offerings, and fresh. The burger was particularly good.

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