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Central Market - North Lamar

Not Rated.
Central Market - North LamarCentral Market - North Lamar
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

34 Ratings
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
[ Store ]

4001 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas, 78756-3733
United States
phone: (512) 206-1000

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @centralmarket

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbub6f
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Central Market North has an excellent beer selection (micros and imports). Most of it is available as singles, though sometimes you have to hunt through the mixed up "miscellaneous 12oz singles" section at the far end of the refrigerated aisle. I've heard that some locations of CM don't let you break sixes. I've broken sixes and paid for them at this location without hassle, but I don't know their official stand on it, so you might want to be discreet.

CM North is my second-most visited beer store in Austin (I probably go there once every two months). On any given day, I'd say the selection is almost as good as Grapevine. In fact, once or twice, I think I've found a seasonal at CM after Grapevine had sold out.

I have not had many encounters with the staff. The few times I've asked questions, they seem to be a little out of their element. (Anecdote: they recently had the Avery Ten, but not the White Rascal. When I asked about it, the guy said he didn't know anything about WR. When I said Central Market San Antonio had it, he said: "oh yeah, that's right, I think we're getting some in... check next week". I bought it at Grapevine the next day).

For me, Central Market gets the vote for "Best place to buy beer when you need fresh produce too". An excellent store.

(Footnote: the parking lot tends to get crazy, especially on weekends when the seniors from small-town Texas show up in their tour buses).

kbub6f, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of mgr78704
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

mgr78704, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of Jame515
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Jame515, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

The review below this one states: "The place reminded me of a less flashy Whole Foods with a slightly smaller selection." And that surprises me, because I went to both a Whole Foods (the one across from North By Northwest Brewpub) and this Central Market, and Central Market had a markedly superior selection. Lots of good options from DFH, Stone, New Belgium, Bear Republic, Unibroue, Great Divide, etc. etc. Where the Whole Foods only had one or two options from most of those breweries, Central Market had four, five, six or more. There is another WF south on Lamar which I didn't make it to. No idea if it's much better than the one off Capitol of Texas Highway.

In addition to a huge cooler with both singles and six packs there were quite a few beers interspersed on the wine shelves, and case displays piled up over quite a bit of real estate. And it was a nice touch to have a separate cooler section just for local brews.

There was no employee monitoring the beer area offering assistance, so I didn't have any experience with service, good or bad.

I didn't hit a lot of places in town, but the prices here seemed to be about on par for the area.

Note that this place is huge, with lots of stuff to interest a spouse who doesn't care much about beer, which is a nice plus for me.

Bonhoeffer, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of brett606
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

brett606, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of OldTex29
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Central Market is an upscale grocery store with a very nice beer selection. It is my regular beer (and food) stop as I live in close proximity to the N. Lamar location. The Grapevine is widely regarded as the best beer store in Austin, but I just don't see it. The beer selection and prices are essentially the same at both places. I would recommend going to whichever store is closer to you.

selection - Caveat: I've only lived in Texas for about 5 months now. That said, I believe that if it's available in Texas it's available at CM. Good sized beer selection, and they get all the seasonals. One interesting note about CM is that they don't sell any of the crappy American Macro Lagers. There's no Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Natural, Busch or anything like that. First store I've ever seen do this. Pretty nice import selection as well, with a good number of Belgians, Germans, and English beers. They also sell Unibroue from the Great White North.

service - I only occasionally see employees in the beer selection, but then I never need any help picking out beer, either. There are enough employees around that if you somehow needed help you would probably get it quickly.

Edit: I am updating my review to point out an all-too-frequent problem with Central Market. Parking can be *insane*, especially on weekends. It's not horribly crowded inside on these days, but the general lack of available parking spots is very annoying. Come here at your own risk during the afternoon.

OldTex29, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of Bstrickler
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Bstrickler, May 14, 2014
Photo of bccocx
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

bccocx, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of elNopalero
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%

Between Central Market and Whole Foods Austin grocery shoppers have everything they need in one place! This place has a fairly decent selection which I would say is fantastic by Texas standards—certainly leaps and bounds above the regular HEBs I’ve visited, with half the selection devoted to micros and the other half to imports. There’s also a cooler at the end of the section with Texas-only brews, predominately from the Austin-area. I picked up some Jester King goodies here off the shelf, even. Best part about my whole visit, tho, was the ‘beer guy’ working the day I was there—super friendly, helpful, and as eager to suggest beers as I was to talk about them.

elNopalero, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of htomsirveaux
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%

The best grocery store in Texas. Has a good selection of beer and wine also. They usually have about 200 different beers to choose from, and their turnover is great, I've never seen old/stale beer there (and I've tried nearly all 200 they have to offer). Service is also good, there are 2 - 3 clerks dedicated to the wine and beer section so there's always someone to answer your questions or run to the back to check on stock. They will often run weekly specials where they sell larger micros and some imports (eg Sam Adams, Shiner, Red Stripe) for $3.99-$5.99 a sixer.

htomsirveaux, Apr 12, 2002
Central Market - North Lamar in Austin, TX
92 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.