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Whole Foods Market - Union Square

Not Rated.
Whole Foods Market - Union SquareWhole Foods Market - Union Square
very good

25 Ratings
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

4 Union Sq S
New York, New York, 10003-4196
United States
phone: (212) 673-5388

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @wholefoodsnyc

Place added by: twilight on 03-30-2005

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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 17
Photo of Silke_Neryn
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25

Photo of Phigg1102
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Eman17
3.31/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of rojapa
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JoeMans
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Bwagner1122
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mmmbeerNY
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

This is, without a doubt, the weakest Whole Foods in NYC beer-wise. It is also the one Whole I visit the least, due to the busy-crazy location.

Beer is downstairs, all the way at the end of the store. What you'll find first is the cheese-and-coffee section, with five taps right there for growlers to go. Good selections, I have gotten Avery Czar and Fort Collins Incredible Hop among others.

Then you'll see a small shelf with room-temp bombers (Ommegang, Blue Point, Pretty Things, Rogue, Allagash, Dogfish Bitches!). Around the corner they have a big cooler with six-packs (Sierra, Sam, Founders, Troegs, Ithaca) and cases (Dale's Pale Ale, Troegs, Ommegang).

More imports and fake good beer I care for (Stella, Heineken, Bass, you name it), and one final shelf with cool bombers, including a lot of Belgians, British and German names.

As I said, this place is very busy and not the best to shop/browse/look for beer. Similarly, service is not the best. I usually have to call somebody to get my growler refill, and you won't see a "beer guy" on the floor too often.

A good stop, but really, Whole Foods Bowery is not that far away... and don't forget Duane Reade Union Square right next door for cheap growlers!

Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited on May 20. Came here right before heading back to our hotel.

It's hard to see from outside but you can the big building across from the metro station (sorry, can't remember the name) and go down to the escalator.

The beer is to your left after the escalator. The place was very busy but it didn't stop the guy stocking the beer to help. He showed me where the singles were sold (near the cheese) and seemed knowledgeable in respect to breweries. No breaking of six-packs which is a minus but a good selection nonetheless. There was 2 Bruerys, Bear Republic, Cigar City, Night Stalker, Big John, some Hitachino and English ales. There was also 5 taps where growlers could be filled. Bought some Jack D'or. Prices seemed actually reasonable in comparison to Philly. Would come again.

Photo of beenitty
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Union Square Park in NYC.

Take the escalator downstairs for the beer department. Mostly refrigerated bottles. Service is a bit spotty and nobody really knows anything about the beer.

Decent selection but nothing like Whole Foods Bowery.

Usual NYC area breweries Brooklyn, Captain Lawrence, Ommegang, decent Europeans as well.

Sometimes they have decent stuff on tap for growlers, so thats always a plus.

Overall decent to stop in a check to see whats on tap or grab a bottle of one of your usuals if you're in a bind, nothing crazy though.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

This was the first place I bought beer when I visited NYC a few months ago, and while I usually shop at the Bowery Whole Foods for beer, I decided to stop in today as this place is closer to me and I didn't feel like walking all the way to Bowery, and walking back with a load of beer.

The beer is all downstairs, and they have a reasonable selection. The selection isn't overwhelming, and there really isn't a whole lot, but most of the beers they have are enough to keep beer lovers happy. There is a solid lineup of imports and a good selection of American craft. Price-wise, most things are fairly pricey, but that's expected in NYC. They do have some specials from time-to-time which are nice (I got a sixer of Wolters Pils for $6.99). Quality-wise, the beer is all pretty fresh, and it seems they do a good job of quality control.

Service here is great- two very friendly employees came up to me asking if I needed help. One had explained that they just added taps for growler fills, and I asked him where it was and he showed me. I didn't have my growler on me so didn't fill it, but it's nice that they added this. They have five taps, mostly of beers from more local breweries. The service here is very good, and the employees seem to know their department.

Overall, this isn't a beer store with a huge selection like New Beer or WF Bowery, but it does have a solid selection and I like going here when I don't feel like wandering too far. If you're in the area, this store is worth seeing. Also, as others have said, since this is a food store, this is a good place to make food and beer pairings.

Photo of goblet
3.85/5  rDev 0%

whole foods, there are a few in the city and easy to find like this one ,it's right on the lower part of union square park. you'll notice right away that this place is fairly big and busy.on your first visit it maybe hard to find the beer. ! it's hard to find help to ask where the beer is located also.the beer aisle is about a half of an aisle long,it's in a corner conveniently next to the cheese.. there is a decent selection of sixer,bottles,international and local brews that change often so you can visit once in a while to see what they got new. a bit pricey and long lines take points off the over all .i would suggest don't come to this place just for beer, shop a little to make it worth it.. cheese anyone...??!

Photo of mltobin
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Located right near Union Square Park in NYC.

Take the elevator downstairs and work your way over to the opposite corner to reach the beer selection. Nearly all of it is refrigerated, with the exception of a few stacked displays of six packs. Service in this small section is essentially non-existent. They carry Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn, Dogfish, Stone, Anderson Valley, Butternuts, Schneider-Weisse, Chimay and others.
Since this is Manhattan, most of the prices are higher than you would be in the suburbs. But if you are visiting a friend in this neighborhood, this is a good spot to pick up some beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

Whole Foods in Union square is one of the more pricey places to go get beer in the city but its also a little more mainstream so its easier to seek out.
The beers are kept in cold and in good condition on refrigerated shelves and condensed into one easy to find and manage area. Lucky because being one of the busiest places to get eats around Union Square, you're unlikely to find many people around to tell you about the beer and help you with a selection. Also, if you're gonna buy something, be prepared to wait as you;ll have to check out through the grocery line.
Being in Manhattan, prices are a little high, but still and again, seeing where this place is, paying $4.99 for a 12oz. St. Bernardus Abt 12 isn't totally unreasonable.

Definitely recommend this place as you'll likely find nice cheeses, meats, chocolate, and other foods to go with that nice Belgian or Imperial Stout, but if you're just going to try to seek out elusive beer, skip it. Go to New Beer in Chinatown instead.

Photo of CHickman
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%

Whole Foods always carries a great selection, considering that it's a food store. A lot of imports as well as micro-brews, and in general they always have a good variety of brands with a mix of IPA's, pilsners, lagers, stouts, seasonals, as well as some large bottles.

When I lived in the neighborhood it was always a treat to try something new while picking up some good food, and it allows for great food pairings since you can pick your beer based on the planned meal. I'm not sure that any other true food store carries a better beer selection.

Photo of david18
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Not the best whole foods but pretty good in general. Not sure why the best one isn't listed on this site.

Whole Foods has been great about offering a wide selection of international and popular micros.

My biggest problem with them is that they refuse to sell many of their beers by the bottle. Particularly their 12 ounce bottles, and cans, have to be purchased in six packs which is never good at a store that has such a wide selection as well as for selling beers that I've never tried.

The 22 ounce bottles are, of course, available individually and the staff is very knowledgable about beer.

Also a great neighborhood and easy to get to.

Photo of Andreji
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

I love wholefoods all over america, however here in NY it's far ahead from its distant brothers down in FL.

the selection here is amazing, a whole aisle full of sixers and singles from across america and a floating selection of singles from all over the world. party packs of brooklyn beers, dozens of other promos lying around while i stare in awe in what is one of the most hectic supermarkets i've seen (the queue itself can serve as a reference).

by default, having 50+ different beers in a supermarket (translation: this is NOT a liquor store) means the place is fabulous. and I come to think paying what, 7bucks for sixers of craft beer is inexpensive.

in conclusion, this place is well worth the visit.

Photo of dudecandle
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Yes, Whole Foods is a pain, way too crowded, and pretty pricey, but given this one's in New York City, it fits pretty well.
Selection was good, a good selection of Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Coney Island, Stone, Sam Smith, just to name a few. You're not going to find too many ridiculous finds here, but you get more than what you need. Prices were pretty average, if not even lower on some beers like Sierra Nevada than they tend to be.
When I was there, a guy wearing an apron and a Sierra Nevada shirt saw me talking to my friend and struck up a conversation with me for a good 15 minutes on anything and everything beer-related, so the service in my mind was pretty good.
He told me they apparently have beer tastings every Friday night, so that sounds good, though haven't checked that out.
All in all, worth the couple minutes of checkout time.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Just south of Union Square, this is probably the best Whole Foods in the city. But it is really busy, and it is really big. The beer is downstairs in the back. They have a very good selection and you won'tt leave wanting. It also has reasonable prices for Manhattan, especially considering that some of your options are little deli's! And, of course, they have the whole thing going on with fresh fish, fresh bread, fancy cheeses, etc. Now, there is a fairly new Trader Joe's just a bit to the east at NYU, but the selection there is not nearly as good (for beer and food) and it's even more crowded!!! Unless you can't get around paying jacked-up deli prices try to head over here!

Photo of scooter231
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Whole Foods is massive and well stocked in general, but it was a nice surprise to see a relatively large beer selection. Dale's Pale Ale, Stone, Brooklyn, Stoudt's, Ommegang, and several others. Decently priced, and they almost always have some kind of special of a brew or three in large piles next to the main beer area. Staff wasn't really to be found anywhere to help, but it's a grocery store, so what ya gonna do. Whole Foods is usually insanely busy, so if you can deal with that, then definitely stop in. They're cafe area, cheese and coffee selection, and spices are good finds too.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%

They carry PBR!
I just really enjoyed the fact that there was not an Anheuser-Busch product to be found but that they did start carrying PBR. I guess we can thank the hipsters for this happening.
Anyway, the beer: certain seasonal selections make for some pretty good deals as far as prices go. Last time I was there I think it was Sierra Celebration for $7.99 a six pack.
The selection is about one third imports, a little more than a third US craft brew and a little less than a third of New York craft brew. Stoudt's, Sly Fox, Ommegang, Southern Tier, Stone, Brooklyn, the Chouffes, maybe a Rochefort or two, some Great Divide, the occasional Southampton...
There's always something tasty and often something new and exciting. Like the 24th street Whole Foods there is the occasional surprising gem but the section and selection here is larger.
If you don't mind wading through the masses of customers throughout the store this is a pretty good place to pop in to take a quick look for some good beer. The coffee and cheese sections are pretty badass, too.

Photo of twilight
3.85/5  rDev 0%

So. The store opened to much anticipation sometime during March. The first week it opened, it had not beer. None. Zilch. A query to an employee only came up with apologies. Rolls eyes, leaves with Whole Wheat tortillas.

About two weeks later I return to find... Ommegang, Duvel, Schneider Weisse, Aventinus, Sugar Hill, Wolavers, Victory, and all the other sub-macro prospects. No bad beer here except for the trendy higher end schwill such as Corona, Stella and Heineken. "Bad Whole Foods! Bad!... Kneel! Roll over! Do not stock these! Good Whole Foods. Good. Now you get a treat..."

The puzzling thing about the store is that there is no "beer person" a la Francis or Ben at the Chelsea Location. No one to chat about the beer with. Or maybe I haven't been going at the appropriate times. Because of this, the selection is not as good as the Chelsea location, but they do carry some glassware!

I have to compare this one with Chelsea because it's the only other Whole Foods in NYC to carry beer. I really wish the Belgians weren't all refrigerated, and that they had a more thought out selection.

Lastly, some of the prices are rock bottom, but inconsistent. Fin du Monde was 5.99, but Trois Pistoles was 7.99? Schneider Weisse is 2.99 and Aventinus 2.79? However, all Ommegang products were 3.99 a 750. My guess is that they got a discount for buying all the beer at once and prices will normalize to those of Chelsea. But for now, snap up some of the cheapest beer in the city!

Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev 0%

There seems to be WFMs popping up everywhere, and this one has emerged in a terrific for business, downtown location. My visit found the city streets just below Union Square Park brimming with foot traffic and the huge store PACKED with all kinds of people shopping like mad in this very well stocked, good looking food mega store. Right, what about the beer? It may take awhile to find it, its located on the lower level to the left side as you get down there. One large cooled area and a smaller shelving area with warm suds. Respectable selection, including the typical Ommegangs, Stone, Avery, Chimay, Allagash, Sierra Nevada etc etc, and a bunch of Organic creations. You will find decent beer to buy at decent prices, nothing very esoteric or far afield. This is a great store if you like to eat, fresh, tasty food. huge variety of products and a ton of prepaired food to boot. Worth a visit.

Photo of Goldorak
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Found the place by accident, walking through Union Square before hoping on the L-train to Brooklyn.

Big-ass bio/organic/fair trade/rich hippy market, something that a KFC/Taco Bell/White Castle infested nation like the US needs more of. But maybe with cheaper prices. I know I couldn't afford to do my groceries here too often. But let's check out the Beer section downstairs, shall we?

My only other reference for a Whole Foods Market is the one in Vienna, so this location's selection semmed pretty weak compared to it. But it still had plenty of interesting stuff. Pass on the 6$ Orval, but plenty of Ommegangs, Hair of the dog, DFH, Wolaver's and other organic brews, lots of six-packs and bombers, and a few ciders that my girfriend couldn't resist taking home. Not much imports though, and the little selection wasn't too impressive. Alas, no Cantillon, not even the oganic Gueuze.

The store seemed clean, no dust apparent. It's a supermarket, so not much service on the floor to speak of, but the nice girl at the cash was friendly and charged the Beers that didn't scan well as "Cheeze" on my bill, which could have been very practical if the border guards asked for my receipts, it would have reduced my total tally.

I wouldn't qualify this place as a "must stop" in the city, but if you're in the NYU/Union Sq. area, why not stop in to check it out.

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Whole Foods Market - Union Square in New York, NY
88 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.