Whole Foods Market - Chelsea
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
3.76/5 rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | $$$
Impressive upon the first visit, but it gets old after awhile. But maybe that's because I'm there so often. I work right by the place, and try and swing by to scope out beers I haven't tried before about once a week. Visits are always hit or miss. Like a thrift shop, you might find a real jewel after digging through the single bottles one day. On another day, you might feel like you've seen, and tried it all before. That said, I do feel the selection is wider than many other places, including the Whole Foods by Union Square. Also, I've never bought a "bad bottle" here.
While the variety of breweries is good, but the variety of styles is less so. It's easy to find a Russian imperial stout, an IPA, or almost any German style out there, but brown ales and porters are rare, for some reason. Single bottles are mostly imports and bombers, so everything is pretty pricey. If you're looking for a 12 oz. domestic bottle, it can be difficult to find something decent. Most of the time, you're going to find leftovers from a single haul, meaning most everything is the same. And it'll stay that way for weeks.
The service leaves you alone, which is fine by me. Everyone is friendly at checkout. None of the cashiers look at you funny for buying a random assortment of single beers at a supermarket, not even when you're a lone young female with a ingénue look to her. It does feel a bit awkward to spend twenty minutes staring at the beer section while everyone around you is squeezing past you with their carts to pick up eggs and cereal.
Checkout is fast in comparison to the Union Square store. I think it helps that the main beer section (yes, there are two, so you need to look out for both) is right by the express checkout line.
08-15-2013 20:56:04 | More by BethanyB
3.85/5 rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
I work right next to the whole foods in tribeca which really puts this one to shame in terms of selection. The variety here is pretty limited, although as others have said, the bottles are well chosen. This neighborhood seems pretty bereft of bottle shops so this might be your best bet as you go north of 14th street for a while. Prices are pretty high too...just did some shoppping at new beer distributors the other day and they had Whole Foods beat by a wide margin on nearly everything.
I picked up a bottle of Ballast Point Imperial Porter (Victory at Sea) and the total was over 10 bucks with tax and deposit. They had a fair amount of Rogue, Pretty Things, Dogfish, Cigar City, etc....nice bottles. Again, the one down on Greenwich really has this one beat by miles. But any beer geek will find something to drink here easily.
The beer guy was really friendly and chatty even if he wasn't exactly super well-informed. The guy downtown really knows his shit!
Overall I hate Whole Foods, its obnoxious and expensive and crowded. But it works in a pinch if you need some craft and can't make a trip to greener pastures.
06-29-2011 21:23:48 | More by tobelerone
4.35/5 rDev +7.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Of the many Whole Foods of New York City, this is the one I know better and frequent the most. It is pretty close to my house, and while I was attending culinary school, it was only one block from the school so I would often go back home with a bunch of craft beers.
Granted, the selection is small. Probably the smallest of all Whole Foods in Manhattan. But still, very focused and very good. There is basically one medium-size cooler and a shelf with room-temp beers across from the cooler. That's it. But worry not!
The cooler's got your classic craft beers... Brooklyn, Smuttynose, Lagunitas, Green Flash, Dogfish and many others.
The shelf will have rarities, lots of Belgians, aged beers, Imperial Stouts, boxed treasures and the occasional oddity, like Goose Island Rare Bourbon County for $39.99!!! Yes, I got one. Yes, it is outrageously expensive. Yes, it is extremely delicious and worth trying at least once.
Service is not really there, unless you ask, and then the official "Beer Guy" will come and talk to you. Nice dude, knows his shit.
Oh, there is another cooler by the cheese department and near the registers, with a good amount of bombers (Stone, Sierra, Hebrew, Avery).
Check it out if you live nearby, or if you're visiting. The location can't be beat, near Madison Square Garden/Penn Station/Midtown/all the best beer bars in Manhattan.
01-22-2011 08:27:15 | More by DoubleSimcoe
3.5/5 rDev -13.4%
quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $
This is not the best whole foods but pretty good in general. 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.
07-20-2009 21:18:08 | More by david18
4.35/5 rDev +7.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I remember visiting here a year or two ago for the first time and being impressed. This place is still bringing serious heat. All of the De Dolle except the Reserva, Defiant Tripel, Pennichuck, trappist ales, Canis Major variety pack, Nugget Nectar, and on and on. Plenty of stuff here worth trying. And if you are visiting in town and are in the area and can't get away to anywhere else, plenty of stuff worth picking up. Even though there are no growlers, and none of the hardcore rarities that the Bowery location has, this is just as good IMO.
Keep in mind if visiting that the larger selection of beer is all the way back and to the right. Don't think the stuff you see near the bread area is all there is.
The only drawback here is that it's Whole Foods and man those long lines really look like a pain in the ass.
04-26-2009 00:12:54 | More by RblWthACoz
3.85/5 rDev -4.7%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
As far as buying good beer to drink at your leisure goes in Manhattan, I think this might be the hotspot. But I am no expert...
The beer is divided into two sections, one section is in the back where you can find cold six packs as well as warm bottles of imported stuff and some random micros.
Stuff available on 3/31/09 that I was impressed by:
*Stone IRS - Spring 2009 Bombers
*Nugget Nectar Bombers
*Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Bombers
*Two Brothers Cane and Ebel 4-packs
*Two Brothers Red Eye Coffee Porter Bombers
*SN Torpedo 6-packs for $9.99
Prices are decent, not overboard and pretty comparable to places outside the city.
The other section is up front and has lots of American Micro Bombers as well as a section of mostly Italian beers.
Overall, its a decent selection, not crazy but lots of good stuff and its reliable.
04-01-2009 00:17:06 | More by indiapaleale
4.5/5 rDev +11.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I visited this Whole Foods in Chelsea after looking at its reviews on Beerfly.
The beer is located in two locations, a large selection of American bombers is located in coolers at the front of the store and European and international beers and 6 packs are located in the back. All the bases are covered in the selection, tonnes of American breweries, and a good selection of German and Belgian brands. One thing that was conspicuously missing was traditional lambic. All I saw was Lindemans.
Most beer were in a cooler and freshness seems to not be an issue based on the beers I bought. The major drawback is the price. a 120 minute IPA cost me 10.99 and a De Proef Tomme Arthur collaboration ale cost 17.99. I regret not waiting to buy them, but still the trip to Chelsea was worth it.
When I first got to the store I didnt realise there was a back section until a store clerk walked up to me and told me, I may have never found it otherwise. The staff wass all very pleasant though I dont know if they have a clue about beer. The cashiers thought there was a mistake when the four beers I bought cost 40 bucks.
Worth a visit, espcially if you're in Chelsea. Good selection of bombers especially.
12-02-2008 04:13:59 | More by CAMRAhardliner
4/5 rDev -1%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Typical Whole Foods. Well, not exactly, as I've been to some that have a larger and better selection (Madison, Wisconsin for one), but let's say typical eastern Whole Foods. Hmmm... even better than that. Good selection. It's not a gold mine but you'll hardly walk away shaking your head. You should easily be able to find at least 5 beers you'd like, and probably 9 or 10 that will certainly suffice. And, of course, they have a great cheese selection and so on. Which brings me to note that this store does a little more cross-promotion than some of the others, and I've found beers in the cheese area that aren't in the regular beer area; as well as displays that are seperate from the rest of the beers, and contains beers that are also not available in the beer coolers. So look around at the back a bit, don't just assume that everything's in one spot. Also, there's one other competitor in the area that will go unamed, but there's really no need to mention them as Whole Foods beats them hands down. Reasonable prices for Manhattan. Last trip I took away a bottle of Boulder Cold Hop, two beers from Schonram (Germany), the most recent He'Brew RewJewVenation, and a Brooklyn Local 2 ( 'cause I like it so much!).
10-22-2008 01:13:33 | More by NeroFiddled
3.06/5 rDev -24.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$$
When in this particular part of town I don't happen to know of any other places to pick up some craft brew to take home so it may win some points in that regard.
Service wise? it's a grocery store and a busy one at that. I've never been offered any assistance in the beer section and workers are often quite busy as it is.
Selection wise, the number of offerings is small but tight and well chosen. At any given time most of what I've seen has been very local or very international with few things between. Seasonal Brooklyn and Southern Tier brews have always been there as well as some more of their staple offerings. Belgian wise, there have been some things I've never seen before and don't quite know how to spell. Specifics as to what I have seen on the shelves include Southern Tier Uber Sun, Lagunitas Kill Ugly Radio, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, Great Divide Titan IPA in sixers, Brooklyn Monster, various 750mL bottles of Slyfox brew...
Seeing as how the beer section is on the small side, and the volume of customers is so high I'd say the turnover is probably very good. Everything I've gotten has been quite fresh and tasty. Prices are a smidge higher than average but they're not offputting. The Union Square Whole Foods has a better selection and some more staff for assistance but that store gets even crazier with foot traffic.
Worth stopping by if you're in the area and you might even find a rare gem or two.
01-18-2008 05:07:07 | More by ommegangpbr
4/5 rDev -1%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Gave Whloe Foods market a shot based on the reviews i read here at the Beer Advocate. Overall i will return based on my experience. There is definitely room for improvement, but in Manhattan the isn't much choice.
Q- nice store, beer in the back, line was a little long but moved fast.
Serv.- very nice guy restocking, recommend beer based on what i had in my basket. even checked in the back for a specific beer. didn't have it but at least he looked.
Sel.- Average Manhattan bar selection. Nothing special
V- reasonable for Manhattan,
07-21-2007 22:52:08 | More by burrholes
Whole Foods Market - Chelsea in New York, NY
90 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.