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Central Market

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

35 Ratings
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

3815 Westheimer Rd
Houston, Texas, 77027-5003
United States
phone: (713) 386-1700

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @centralmarket

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Place added by: Gagnonsux

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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 17
Photo of myspoonistoobig
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Stopped here on a recent business trip. I was hoping for some Jester King, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw a bottle, but alas, it was empty from a tasting. More on that later...

Very good selection, though not very broad. Almost all of their beer is located in an open-front cooler. Nothing terribly rare (though they do have some Brew Dog and Mikkeller, among other imports and a decent selection of locals), but a solid, well-curated selection. If I was grocery shopping and wanted a six-pack, I'd feel completely comfortable knowing they'd have some tasty brews to go with their excellent food. I bought a sandwich from them for lunch, it was outstanding.

They do have a very small section amongst their wines of limited beers. Having seen the bottle of Jester King earlier, I was hopefully that there would be more. No dice. I found an employee and asked if there were any more. She explained to me that they'd only received one case and didn't shelve it. She disappeared into the back to look for more, but came back empty handed. I thought it was very nice of her to go out of her way (way out of her way, this place is huge and labyrinthine) to look for me.

One other note: I had stopped here a couple months earlier and saw bottles of Tokio* from BrewDog for $5 and snagged one, not realizing what a huge discount that was. This time around, the price was up to $12.

Very good, but I'd only go back as part of a grocery trip for high-quality foods.

Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%

This might be the biggest grocery store I have ever been in. It takes a little maneuvering to get to the beer isle, and the place is packed with people. The isle is a long cooler stocked to the gills with a wide variety of beer. Lots of Texas crafts like Southern Star, Saint Arnolds, Real Ale, ect. Plenty of other US micros as well. Dogfishhead, Ska, Rogue, Sierra Nevada. A large section for imports as well. Overall, your typical HEB selection plus some more. The service is not bad for a grocery store. Though it is still grocery store service. If you need help it will take a while to flag down someone. Prices seem reasonable, and a little cheaper than Specs. A good place to pick up a sixer or two if you happen to be shopping there, but not a place to browse around for the latest and greatest releases.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Based on one visit, I would most easily compare Central Market with Whole Foods. An upscale grocery store located in an upscale shopping district with a well thought out selection of beer and wine. The beer is all displayed in an open cooler, mostly USA craft beers (I guess about 100 with a strong showing from local breweries such as Real Ale and St. Arnold). Probably also around 40-50 Belgian beers, 20-30 German beers, and 15-20 from the UK. Prices were OK, a little steeper than Spec's but not that bad. Overall a great stop if you're in the area, but otherwise I'd make a move for Spec's as a higher priority.

Photo of ottovon
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%

IMO central market has the best beer selection in houston, with the exception of spec's of course. They seem to stay on top of getting new and seasonal beers in.

I love to go here on saturday afternoons for lunch. They have a live band and bring out a grill and grill burgers, fish, and vegetables. My favorite is the asian grilled salmon sandwich. They do sale some beer outside as well, but last time me and a buddy just went in and got a 6pack of brooklyn brown all and drank it outside with our food.

Photo of stumac
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%

On top of them having a huge grocery supply of exotic foods like cheeses, meats, grains, produce, they have a nice big beer department. And I think one thing that I like about Central Market even more than their big beer selection, is that they don't carry Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors, or anything Miller! Although I wouldn't mind if they wanted to carry Miller 1855 beer if that ever released again. They always have up to date stock on the newest beers to the market. The employees that work that department are really cool and helpful, except for this one balding older guy with thick glasses. He's kinda rude. Other than that, go H.E.Butts!

Photo of ckeegan04
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%

Dropped by while I was in town for the weekend and picked up some nice stuff I cant get in Tennessee. Big long cooler in the same area as their ratehr expansive wine selection. All the locals including St Arnolds, Real Ale, and Southern Star. Also grabbed some Lagunitas and Bear Republic. They also have a good selection of imports including Ayinger, Chimay, Orval, Samuel Smiths, and many more. Wasnt anybody around to ask questions to but it was getting a little late on a Sunday night. Definitely worth the stop.

Photo of itcomesnpints
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

This place is brilliant. I always spend at least 30 mins just pacing up and down the beer section in awe, while my girl shops for groceries. The beer has always been fresh and the food is of the highest quality. And is it just me, or is every employee at Central Market extremely friendly and helpful? A huge selection of micros and imports. One of the best I've seen. For a gourmet store, the beer prices are very reasonable. The outside patio at Central Market is also really cool with the occasional live music. You can grab a beer and pick up an awesome lunch and just sit outside and relax. I love this place.

Photo of RickSawyer
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

So you want to go grab some quality craft beer while your wife/girlfriend/children/significant other etc... grabs the groceries? Go to Central Market. Pretty identical selection as Spec's downtown but add a bad ass grocery store to the mix and you get Central Market. The gentlemen I spoke with certainly knew his beer and helped me find a couple things not on the shelves. They carry all the major Texas crafts that bottle/can, and have a good rotation to keep old beer off the shelves. I have found it a bit easier to secure some of the harder to find items at Central Market as they will sell out quickly at Spec's downtown.

Photo of armock
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%

The first thing you notice about this store is that its a freakn maze. I felt like a lab rat trying to find my way to the beer section I found a hole in the wall that led me straight to it though. While the selection is not as big as Specs downtown the quality is just as good. They have a good selection of bombers in their cooler which is nice. Actually the majority of their beer is kept in the cooler. The people in the beer and wine section were nice and helpful when I was looking for beer. It is a grocery store first with a good beer section so don't expect to find every beer here.

Photo of skittlebrau
3.9/5  rDev -8%

My advice, come here for hard to find groceries, not beer. While I really like the store, I never spend much time with their beer selection, which I would characterize as only slightly better than my neighborhood grocery store.

On the plus side, they have a vast array of foods, including several types of sausage made in store, as well as the best selection of cheeses in town. This is a good place to come if you want some fine foods to go with your beer. I suppose you could call it a one-stop-shop if they happen to carry the beer you want.

Photo of ruckzuck
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Central Market. Oh how I love this place. I wish, wish, wish we had one of these in Atlanta. A grocery store with a beer selection this good should be criminal! I picked up a bunch of Stone, Great Divide, and DFH we don't get in GA a few weeks ago when I was visiting Houston. I was overwhelmed by the amount of beers to try that I couldn't get my hands on in Atlanta or could only find on tap at the Brickstore. Definitely made me miss home that much more.

When I did once talk to the beer guy he was friendly and gave me recommendations. The rest of the store is great too. If I lived in Houston still I'd probably only shop there (Spec's is too far downtown to hit regularly IMO). If you're in Houston and haven't been, go now! You'll most likely be converted. Whole Foods and Rice Epicurean have nothing on Central Market.

Photo of irishtimepiece
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

This place was amazing from start to finish. As mentioned in previous reviews, it rivals Spec's in many respects. Almost all of the beers are cold, great selection of singles, etc. Overall, I think Spec's beats them in selection though. My only real complaint is that they don't offer case discounts. Service, oh god, it could not be beat. Cesar, who I believe is the manager of the beer and wine department, is a god. He dug two bottles of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #2 out of a dusty cupboard and sold them to me for 1.39$ each. Additionally, the girl at the checkout counter was gorgeous.

Photo of HoustonTX
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%

Central Market is definitely an supurb supermarket. It really has a variety of things to offer. First impression, is wow, this parking lot sure is damn full. Soon I was to discover, as of why. This place was magnificent. As you step through the door you are greeted by an enormous selection of beer, meat, cheeses, coffee, etc. They have almost anything culinary. The atmosphere of the place is overall exceptional. Now onto the part that really matters, the beer selection. Central Market Downtown offers a large variety of singles, approximatly 150. A large selection of 6 packs as well. If you can't find it at Specs Downtown, this is the place for you. Out-of-the-ordinary finds are often, and you will be suprised at what you will find. Central Market is just a beautiful establishment, and one that I recommend fully.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

There are a lot of things that I like about this store...even over Spec's in a lot of respects:
* All of their beers are cold
* They sell singles of the more popular beers (Celebrator, Maredsous, etc.)
* They are open on Sunday
* They sell bulk munchies
* You don't have some guy trying to carry your 6-Pack to the car for you for the tip.
* I don't know where else in Houston that you can find Deus.

This place is like a maze, and I have a few choice routes I take to find the beer section. Every time I stray, I get lost for a minute or two. Aside from this, I have noticed that I get a whole lot more help out of the local beer rep who is there, rather than the guy working that station. If you can find somebody, they don't know beer too well for the most part.

If you know what you are looking for, this is a great stop.

Photo of soper2000
3.9/5  rDev -8%

Central Market is becoming a weekly stop for me. I consider myself fortunate that when I go to buy my vegetables, breads, and seafoods I can pick up some quality beer as well. Selection is not as diverse as Spec's, but I'd venture to say that there are around 150 different choices, not shabby at all. Almost all of the beer is kept cooled but under flourescent lighting. I've never noticed any employees really hanging out around the beer section, but staff seems to be friendly when asking questions. Prices are fairly decent (cheaper than I'm used to in Indiana).

CM is a great place for grocery shopping and don't miss the prepared food that you can grab and eat on the patio. It features sushi from Kubo and foods from all around the world including some amazing soba noodles not to mention the crab and salmon cakes. They also have single bottles of beer to purchase to go along with your meal(look by the olive and salsa bar). This is one of my favorite places for a quick lunch in Houston.

Photo of HogieWan
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%

While visiting Houston for the weekend, I checked this site and found Central Market to be very close to where I was staying.

The store is pretty big, but the beer is close to the front. I was impressed by the selection of wine and spirits, but I was there for beer. There was not a lot of imports, but they had a great selection of micros. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't buy a mixer sixer, but I found a good deal of bombers choose from. It took forever to find someone who worked there, so don't expect any advise from knowlegeable staff.

Overall, good place to grab a sixer - good selection of great beers without all those macros in the way.

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

7/6/14 - I have changed my grades to reflect my current opinion. Below is the vintage review.

Original review from 5/30/04: Central Market had an excellent selection of beer for a supermarket. Plenty of imports and micros are to be found, but very few macros were represented. The staff also had personal picks of beers to enjoy, but nobody ever came over to offer a suggestion or bother me. I saw a couple of beers here that I haven't seen anywhere is Houston. Central Market is an unusual supermarket, and for Houstonians is worth the drive for at least a look. For a supermarket the selection is awesome, but in Houston Spec's liquor is still a little better. However, if you can't find it at Spec's, Central Market just might have it.

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Central Market in Houston, TX
94 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.