Central Market - North Lamar

BA SCORE
90
outstanding

43 Ratings
Central Market - North LamarCentral Market - North Lamar
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

4001 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas, 78756-3733
United States

(512) 206-1000 | map
centralmarket.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Score:
90
Ratings:
43
Reviews:
21
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
7.69%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of Getalegup
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of gilgar
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of jdimento
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Jame515
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Fabiand
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jamescain
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Not too far from the Draught House is this central market. They have a very good beer selection, there are other places in Austin that have better selections, but for a grocery store it is very good. This specific location has a better selection then the south store. The problem with Central Markets in general is that they some what over charge for their products. I've noticed HEB brand products at Central Market before and they were more expensive then they were at HEB (HEB owns Central Market). Their beer has the same issue. A lot of times they have beers that other places sell and they are slightly more expensive. The nice thing about Central Markets is that every now and then they have a sell on beer. I believe it's 25% off of $25 or more in beer, 15% off of $25-15 and 10% of $15-10. I don't normally shop there for beer, unless I'm leaving the Draught House and I know they have something I want and I know it's the same price elsewhere.

 953 characters

Photo of mgr78704
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of bccocx
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of BeerAngel
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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!

 488 characters

Photo of kensuthe
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

 2,102 characters

Photo of northaustin
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%

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.

 706 characters

Photo of Bstrickler
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of mamaraza
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Onslow
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%

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!

 601 characters

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

 1,292 characters

Photo of BAbaracus
4.15/5  rDev +3%

The usual disclaimer: a perfect 5.0 on selection not because it’s the best you’re going to find anywhere, but if it’s available in Texas there’s 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 it’s 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 it’s new, much larger, World HQ building in March the selection they had was maybe one-fourth of CM’s at best. Even at the new World HQ the selection is not quite as large as CM’s, 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 I’d do all my grocery shopping there as well.

 1,294 characters

Photo of tjkinate
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 624 characters

Photo of dasotelo50
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of jdoncbus
4.15/5  rDev +3%

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).

 618 characters

Photo of Fenris244
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%

Well I stopped in because of a tip from a few fellow BA's and I have to say I wasn't at all disappointed. They had a great selection although some of the areas seemed really disorganized but I could still easily find everything I wanted.

The staff seemed to do their best to avoid me which was kinda annoying but when someone finally talked to me he seemed like he knew his stuff.

Central markets prices were also pretty competitive and I found some stuff that was long gone from the other stores and aside from most of the staff trying to dodge me it was a pretty good experience, if I'm downtown and wanting to pick up some beer this will be my first stop.

Note: I like that the beer is right next to the cheese section, makes it super easy to grab a beer and pair it with some cheese.

 792 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

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).

 1,431 characters

Photo of menezes
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of blue_eyed_fury
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Texas_T
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of brett606
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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Central Market - North Lamar in Austin, TX
4.03 out of 5 based on 43 ratings.
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