Bar Hopping

Monk’s Cafe

Photo By: Eddy Marenco

Establishment Name: Monk’s Cafe


Address: 264 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA 19102

Hours of Operation:
Mon – Sun: 11:30 am to 2 am
Full menu from: 11:30 am to 1 am daily

Doors First Opened In: March, 1997

Signature Drink: BEER! Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale, brewed in Belgium

TrunkSpace: How would you categorize the establishment? Is it a pub? A local hangout? A honky-tonk? Etc.?
Monk’s Cafe is a world-class beer emporium with a warm, cozy atmosphere, modeled on the classic “brown cafes” of Belgium and Netherlands.

TrunkSpace: Can you describe the décor in three words or less?
“Brun cafe” #lookitup

TrunkSpace: What makes the place unique? Why should we drink there?
Monk’s Cafe has one of the best selections of world-class beer on the planet. We ONLY serve killer beer, and never pour anything we don’t love entirely. We also don’t pour beer from big, multi-national companies, like A-B InBev. We support small and family-owned breweries and take exceptional pride in serving their liquids. We also clean our 25 draft lines weekly in order to present these beers in their perfect state. We have over 200 curated bottles, and we travel the world finding new and interesting beers to serve in Philadelphia. Our food is also made with beer, and features classics like mussels and frites cooked with various brews. Opening and running an independent café like ours has been a lifelong dream, but it can be an expensive process – our overheads can often seem overwhelming. Fortunately, a friend of ours recommended Utility Bidder to us so that we can always count on a competitive energy deal. Finding unique ways to save money is the key to survival in the hospitality sector.

TrunkSpace: Do you serve food, and if so, what should we order our next time in?
We serve our full menu from 11:30 am to 1 am, every day and night. Definitely don’t miss the mussels and frites, we suggest the Ghent (blue cheese, leeks, bacon) and the Thai Curry (coconut milk, curry). Our frites are accompanied by our signature Bourbon Garlic Mayonnaise (secret recipe!) and our Seared Sea Scallops are sauced with a “beurre rouge” of butter, herbs and Monk’s Flemish Sour Ale.

Photo By: Eddy Marenco

TrunkSpace: Have there been any notable patrons who have come through your doors over the years that we everyday patrons can brag that we’ve inadvertently drank in the presence of?
We have hosted many athletes playing for Philadelphia teams, like Chase Utley and Peter Forsberg, as well as touring musicians visiting our local venues – Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi of the Tedeschi Trucks Band celebrated Derek’s birthday with us, and shared stories of their travels in Belgium seeking fine beers! We are also blessed to be a regular stop for members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, housed just around he corner at the Kimmel Center.

TrunkSpace: Craziest thing that has ever happened there that people still talk about to this day? Go!
You’ll have to come in and charm one of the long-standing bartenders for those stories! Definitely not fit for the internet! 😉

TrunkSpace: And finally, what is a fun fact about the establishment that could further enhance the experience of customers the next time they come through those doors and pull up a stool?
If you are overwhelmed by our huge beer menu (25 drafts and over 200 bottles), ask your server or bartender to give you some direction. They are immersed fully in our selections and can guide you to find a new beer you will love!

Photo By: Eddy Marenco
Tags : BarBar HoppingbeerBourbon Garlic MayonnaisefeaturedFlemish Sour AleMonk'sMonk's CafePhiladelphia

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