Not the fictional coffee shop featured on “Seinfeld,” this real Monk’s Café in Philly is considered by many to be the best Belgian Café outside Belgium — and the first to popularize Belgian beers in America. Opened 19 years ago by Tom Peters, this award-winning bar in Rittenhouse Square is small and dark inside, and except for the eclectic tunes playing and the boisterous, happy customers, could easily pass for an actual cramped, old abbey refectory.
The “beer bible” at Monk’s features 20 top brews on tap at any given time and over 400 bottled beers from around the world. The bottle list is dominated by about 175 Belgian beers, including Gulden Draak, voted Best Tasting Beer in the World in 1998, plus five Cantillon selections.
Excellent burgers and traditional Belgian pub fare available here. Naturally, the mussels and twice-fried pommes frites (served with Monk’s trademark bourbon mayonnaise dipping sauce) are perennial favorites. You may have to wait to get into this very world-renowned pub, but it’s definitely worth it.
Most Belgian beer brands here are each served in their own unique, traditionally shaped glasses designed to enhance the look and flavor of the particular brews.
264 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA 19102