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“Best mussels” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Monk's Cafe

Monk's Cafe
264 S 16th St, Ste 1, Philadelphia, PA 19102-3358 (City Center West)
215-545-7005
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Ranked #59 of 3,780 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: $12 - $30
Cuisines: European
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Neighborhood: City Center West
Clarence, NY
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Best mussels”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Fantastic mussels and beer here. Any of the mussel varieties are fantastic. We were told the burgers are the best in town, but we were never hungry enough to order one after the mussels.

Visited July 2013
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397 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    197
    137
    43
    11
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Why, yes. We *do* have St. Bernardus ABT 12”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

The beer list in this place will blow you away. Lots of the larger format bottles, they pour in the correct glassware, and there is a Monk's Beer Bible that you can use to help you sort through a staggering list of excellent beverages. Loud, friendly, crowded. Knowledgeable wait staff that can guide you a bit if the variety is overwhelming. And not just beer. Mussels with garlic and bacon (bacon!) were excellent, and other cafe foods (burgers etc) are delicious.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“A required pilgrimage stop for Belgian beer lovers. Reviewing it as a bar only since we did not order food.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

There are lots of other more interesting food options in Philly, several within walking distance of this place. I would recommend eating elsewhere and then stopping here outside lunch or dinner hours, as we did.

We are lovers of Belgian beer and had made it a point to stop here on our Philadelphia trip after getting a look at the extensive beer menu on their website. There are a number of beers listed that are almost impossible to get outside of the EU.

We stopped by in the late afternoon-early evening after having eaten lunch elsewhere and strolled around town. It had plenty of people in it but I wouldn't call it crowded, and we quickly got a good seat at the bar.

We stuck to Flemish sour beers sinced they can be hard to find in the US. Their signature Monk's Cafe beer was a little on the sweet side for us, but we also enjoyed a fine gueze and a remarkable kriekenbier from Echte.

Take your time with the beer menu. There are detailed descriptions of the beer types so you should be able to find something for you.

Unless you like Bud Light, in which case you shouldn't come here. At all.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Malvern, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
359 reviews 359 reviews
206 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 170 cities Reviews in 170 cities
301 helpful votes 301 helpful votes
“Real beer, good food, and comfortable pub atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

If you love beer (especially Belgian and Belgian-style beer) you will love this place. If you're ready to expand your beer horizons, this is a great place to get a beer education. While the focus is Belgian style beer, there are quality brews from several countries including the United States. You can peruse the extensive beer menu on their website. Several beers on tap; over a hundred bottled beer selections to choose from. Personally, I recommend sticking with the beer selections on tap. My favorite is their own private label brew called Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale. Highly recommend this beer. The food choices on the menu are interesting; some creativity and uniqueness going on. Everyone around us was ordering mussels as an appetizer. Mussels are a featured menu item; the mussels are served in a pot simmering in a wonderful "soup/broth" of beer, cheese, veggies, spices, etc. Absolutely first rate; very tender and of high quality. I normally do not order mussels at a restaurant, but I would order them again. There are eight sauce/broth options to choose for your mussels. I concur with the less than stellar reviews by others regarding the burger buns. Our waitress mentioned that they are working with their bakery to come up with a better bun. My wife thoroughly enjoyed her grilled Atlantic salmon filet. We waited approximately 20 minutes for a table for two on a Thursday evening. A definite pub atmosphere; warm tones, dark, loud (when busy).

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“If you're looking for a burger, look elsewhere.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

If you want a beer come here. If you want delicious frites come here. If you want a burger, go somewhere else. My burger was way overcooked and the bun was not tasty. Everyone in my party that ordered burgers agreed. One member of our party ordered muscles and seemed happy.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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