Central Market - North Lamar
Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -4.1%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5
Although this Central Market is smaller than the ones in Dallas, it seems to tout a better selection of beer. When I saw the physical size before entering, I was worried, but later quite pleasantly surprised! The service there is barely above average, but the beer selection and a very nice cheese selection that is at your convenience make the demand for service pretty low. I would definitely make another trip to this store and if you haven't been, I would highly recommend it. Cheers!
04-29-2003 09:23:01 | More by BeerAngel
3.65/5 rDev -12.5%
quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Central Market is a grocery store that also has a nice selection of beer and wine. This review is for the S. Lamar location, not the N. Lamar location that is listed in BeerFly. The wine and beer sections are located towards the back right corner of the store in relation to the entrance.
Quality - All of the beer storage and display here was in refrigerated shelving units that formed an "L" around a portion of the wine selection. The temperature was not set too low, but it was cooler than the surrounding store in the beer area and should be adequate to keep the warm Texas weather from affecting the beer. Some of the beer that we purchased from this store had gone bad by the time we opened it, unfortunately. I do not know if that was the result of transporting it back home, storage conditions at home, old supply, or some other storage conditions previous to purchase. Luckily it was only a portion of the total purchases that were bad, but it was definitely a disappointment.
Service - While we were shopping, we happened to run into the managers of the beer section who were running inventory and getting ready to order the next season's seasonals. Both guys were very knowledgeable and helpful, and didn't mind answering any of the questions we had about their suppliers.
Selection - There was a good variety of beverages available, with an entire row of shelving reserved for local Texas brews like Shiner and Independence. There was a decent selection of Belgians from Affligem, Leffe, Rochefort, Chimay, Koningshoeven, and others, as well as a nice variety of Youngs, Wells, and other English breweries. Most beers were in three, four, or six packs and couldn't be broken down individually, but there were multiple larger single bottles available too. The prices were a little high for some things, but very reasonable for other items.
The trip to Central Market capped off our weekend in Austin quite nicely. The next time I'm there visiting with friends, I will definitely have to stop by the N. Lamar location and see if it is as good an experience as the S. Lamar location was.
04-02-2008 18:22:53 | More by kensuthe
3.7/5 rDev -11.3%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
the central market beer section is divided into two coolers. one for six packs and one for individual bottles. there is also a small section of 12 oz bottles at the front.
good quality of beers. nothing you couldnt find at most stores but still impressive for a super market.
ive only encountered a beer guy once out of the many times ive been but the store is so huge i didnt really expect anything else.
pretty big selection. only problem is all the new, limited beers fly away because they put all of them on the shelves. nice rotation of seasonals and new beers.
the section in the front is usually where i lurk theres usually a few good bottles for 1.99 a piece. its definately worth checking out.
11-24-2009 23:32:53 | More by northaustin
3.35/5 rDev -19.7%
quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
A nice store, with lots of over price hippy stuff. BUT, when it comes to the Beer selection, is very good. Lots of belgians and a nice selection of texan brews (nice to see that!) ... The prices can be high but seeing some of the beers they bring in and it being Austin, not that unreasonable... Have also have a great wine selection and some expensive good food ... went with Hans + Ans....
Overall feeling on my visit: Like others have said, Is like most other Central Market stores and being based in Austin this store gets a good selection of brews that should not disappoint any true beer lover!
02-15-2008 22:16:56 | More by Onslow
4.25/5 rDev +1.9%
quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
12-09-2008 19:02:40 | More by Bonhoeffer
4.15/5 rDev -0.5%
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
The usual disclaimer: a perfect 5.0 on selection not because its the best youre going to find anywhere, but if its available in Texas theres a 97-98% chance you can get it at Central Market. Both Austin locations have a similar selection, so there is little reason other than proximity to choose one over the other. Both have cafes with outdoor seating and bands on the weekend. Central Market itself is owned by HEB and centrally located in Austin, although in the last few years its branched out to the San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas areas. Those who have Whole Foods in their neighborhood (none too coincidentally also headquartered in Austin) will pretty much know what to expect. The main difference is probably in the beer selection. Prior to the Austin Whole Foods relocating to its new, much larger, World HQ building in March the selection they had was maybe one-fourth of CMs at best. Even at the new World HQ the selection is not quite as large as CMs, although there are a few meads stocked by WF that are not available at CM. Central Market is constantly battling it out with the Whip In and Grapevine Market for beer supremacy in Austin, so it never hurts to hit all three. If I could afford the gourmet food prices Id do all my grocery shopping there as well.
05-24-2006 21:05:18 | More by BAbaracus
4.08/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Another good place in Austin to get craft beers.
As for atmosphere, it's in a grocery store, I prefer a quite place where I can chose my beer patiently, but what can I expect. Was surprised to see the amount of beer available especially 22oz bombers. Most grocery stores seem to stock up heavily on 4 and 6-packs with only a few big bottles. Prices I thought were also very fair, especially on a recent release, Life & Limb. They were only charging $8.99 when I have seen it going as high as $12.99 elsewhere.
Overall experience I felt was better than Whole Foods downtown, and will be going here again in the near future.
09-17-2011 23:00:20 | More by tjkinate
4.15/5 rDev -0.5%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
In town for ACL, my Austinite sister-in-law & husband needed to go grocery shopping and I read about this place here.
The place reminded me of a less flashy Whole Foods with a slightly smaller selection.
The place was clean and the service was prompt. I mentioned to the clerk that I was from out of town and he suggested some beers; most I have tried but he did point out the Pine Belt 16 oz. cans. Pine Belt turned out to be an outstanding beer.
The place was affordable and average priced. If I lived in Austin I am sure I would hit this place up every couple weeks or so (as I do with Whole Foods in Columbus).
10-03-2008 20:22:13 | More by jdoncbus
Central Market - North Lamar in Austin, TX
92 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.