Pioneer Supermarkets


289 Columbus Ave
New York, New York, 10023-2303
United States

(212) 874-9506 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +11%

I love coming here! Before I got into craft beer, I would come here to shop for food that was cheaper and slightly lower in quality due to being on a tighter budget. Whole foods it is not! You won't find too many organic food snobs and shi shi people hear. No, this supermarket is, how else to put it?, a supermarket for the masses. Yet, somehow it boasts a varied assortment of domestic and foreign craft beers that is unusual for a regular supermarket. They offer great deals on 6, 12 and 18 packs; usually on less fancy beers. However, they have a good assortment of singles ranging from regular 12 ounce to larger bottles. They carry many Belgian beers, German, and American craft beers. I never come here for the food shopping; I simply come to try new beers and will pick 5-6 singles, each of a different variety. If you love craft beer and live on the Upper West Side, this is the place for you.

Oct 31, 2014
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone from New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I'm still fond of this place because in the early 1990's it was one of the only (and best places) uptown to get craft ("microbrew") and Euro beers at the time. It's basically a dingy supermarket. They are however known for being a beer destination and advertise the fact. Prices are about as good as you're gonna get anywhere close. Selection is varied, with a good selection of American and foreign beers in singles, 6ers, bombers, cold, etc.

This place is not going to blow anybody away in today's beer climate but it's a more than solid place to stop in a neighborhood still not teeming with choices. Again, I give it points for hanging in there so many years and being one of the early ones in the door.

Oct 05, 2011
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.24/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

Among the fancy designer stores and restaurants that have turned Columbus Avenue into a Bleecker Street for stroller-pushing moneyed parents young and old, Pioneer Supermarket stands as an oddity, a relic from times past and long gone.

It looks tattered and old, as if it had not been cleaned/renovated in thirty years. Inside and out, this place feels like stepping into a 1970's supermarket in some grimy part of America.

But the beer! Yeah, for some reason, they care for and carry good craft beer. They announce it outside, in big paper ads plastered all over the windows, and inside, with beeradvocate quotes and stuff.

There is a bit of everything here, mostly placed into a single, well-stocked aisle with refrigerated singles/six-packs and room-temp bombers.

Prices are a bit jacked-up. They price everything individually and say it is good for the customer, but to me it means you'll end paying big bucks for a six-pack of some not-so-rare beer.

Quality is so-so, lots of dust and old bottles around the bomber section. The singles are fresh and cold, though.

Service is non-existent. The underpaid, overworked, indifferent cashiers won't help you, and I have not seen any other employee around. Definitely not a beer expert here! You're on your own.

Among the brands I found... bombers of Elysian, Southern Tier, Rogue, Troegs, Green Flash, Smuttynose, Sierra, Stone...

And singles: Cigar City, Lagunitas, Blue Point, plus all the bomber brands.

Tons of imports too, from the crappy (Italian Moretti) to the fairly-rare (Spanish Alhambra, Portuguese Sagres), plus quality Belgians, the classic British Samuel Smith and a variety of Euro crap (Stella, Newcastle).

All in all, Pioneer is nice for a local supermarket and an emergency beer-run. Other than that, you can do better at any Whole Foods locations north and south of this place, and then some.

Feb 26, 2011
Photo of hmk22
hmk22 from New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Pioneer is great -- reasonable prices and great selection in the middle of a high-priced neighborhood where the only alternatives are overpriced supermarkets and even more overpriced delis/bodegas/Korean grocery stores. The manager isn't a snob, either -- he sells high-end Belgian offerings and other rare stuff alongside 12-packs of PBR and Schlitz. They recently had 16.9 oz. bottles of Yarpivo Amber from Russia and the other Baltika offerings for 0.99 (although the sell-by dates on some are a little close for comfort). He also publicizes BA on hand-lettered signs. Great place if you're on the Upper West Side.

May 02, 2010
Photo of david18
david18 from New York

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%

This place is two blocks from me so my review is biased by convenience. It's always been a good place, particulary for british and belgian ales. The original compliant was that everything was unrefrigerated and then they started to refrigerate some of their stuff. Then, it was not enough mircobrews, now they have a good selection of those.

Included are the full Stone compliment, Hebrew, southern tier, boulder, Great Divide, green flash and many others. Prices have gotten worse over time but still worth a visit.

Jul 20, 2009
Photo of popery
popery from California

3.35/5  rDev -12.5%

It's a supermarket with a decent selection of beer. I was visiting New York and went to Pioneer to look for some fancier East coast beers. It is not the best store for that purpose. The prices aren't terrible and I certainly would shop there if I lived nearby, but if you're visiting NYC, hit up New Beer Distributors downtown or go to Brooklyn. Employees were friendly and helpful enough, but I didn't find any that knew much about beer. Also, they were fairly busy with other parts of the store. For comparison's sake, this store had about twice the selection of a normal, upscale grocery store in NYC (that I bought some food at later that day) that has not been deemed worthy of BeerFly. The selection was a mix of Belgians, Germans, other imports and general East coast distributed American beers. Actually, I thought that the import section was stronger than the domestic craft section. They had a decent selection of European beers, if not the fanciest stuff in the world.

May 27, 2009
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage from Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -12.5%

I stopped in becuase my hotel was close by hoping to score some gems to take home. When I walked in it is a very tiny supermarket packed full of essentials. That was why I was surprised to see a full isle (both sides) dedicated to beer. One side had the warm beer and the other side had an open cooler with a good number of singles.

I was hoping to score some East Coast Gems that everyone else had passed up but that was not the case. I still walked out with a good number of beers. They had lots of good session beers from all over the world with many as 12 oz bottles aswellas bombers. They didn't have any beers from local brewers that I couldn't find in other groceries. I found some beers from Slyfox in PA that I hadn't seen other places and a few seasonals but not many.

The checkout space up front is very small and they don't do much to protect the beers as they pile them all in a single plastic bag but they get you out of there in a hurry so it is not bad.

I still go back to Pioneer when I am in the area and I still walk out with a sack of beer.

Dec 03, 2008
Photo of baggio
baggio from Sweden

3.35/5  rDev -12.5%

Visited on the 22 of november 2008.

This store has a good selection of american micros and imports but nothing you can't find everywhere else. There was actually a person re-stocking the beershelves when i was there and he was happy to recommend a few beers for me (i actually just asked him because i wanted to find out if he had any clue about beer).

Prices were way lower than wholefood but unless price is very important to you i wouldn't go out of my way to visit this place.

Give it a go if you're in the vicinity.

Nov 23, 2008
Photo of gfreed
gfreed from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.4%

If you're in the UWS, you owe yourself a visit to the Pioneer. It's grubby outside and in, and the staff could give a crap if you buy something or not, so don't expect any help making your choices. But the beer cooler (currently located in the center of the store) is well stocked with a huge variety of singles from everywhere. Take note of the many wheat beers, not to mention the Belgians and the Pils. Be sure to wander around the store because they also stock warm beer on the endcaps. Closed on Sunday, so stock up on Saturday.

Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
Brianmerrilyn from New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

The place has been upgraded folks. Well, the rest of the store may be the same, but now all of the beer is in open drawer refrigerators. All sorted by style and region, you can get all of the Magic Hats, Southern Tiers, Brooklyn's as well as too many Belgian and German bombers to type. Wit's, Belgian Dark Ales, IPA's, RIP, Heffe's, Marzens, and at INSANE PRICES. That means under 12 bucks for a case of Becks or Heineken and 6 bucks for all of the Ommegangs, Chimay's and Rouges. Blows away Whole foods.

Jul 09, 2008
Photo of akahn
akahn from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

This was a very interesting store. As others have said, it's a sort of run-down little place. It's actually like going into a time machine -- our checkout lane didn't have a conveyor belt.

But, they have a full aisle of 12 oz singles. This is a huge and impressive selection. A lot of trappist ales and other Belgians, local stuff (Brooklyn, Blue Point), regional stuff (Smuttynose, Harpoon), U.S. micro stuff (including a couple Rogue offerings and Stone 05.05.05, RIS and 8th anniversary, Flying Dog Horn Dog, Anchor, and so on) and a bunch of the random Eastern European stuff (and the more familiar ones such as Baltika) and a bunch of Unibroue.

All in all, good selection and good prices. I don't know if anyone in the store can help out, but whoever selects what they stock must know their shit. Definitely check out this store if you're in the area. This was a neat store... and looking at a full supermarket aisle of singles is a staggering sight. Check this store out.

Jan 22, 2006
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

Stopped in here at the recommendation of the bartender at the Westside Brewing Company. It's tough to find good beer selections in NYC and I sure appreciated the recommendation.

This is a run of the mill, somewhat run down grocery story with the notable exception that they really care about beer. Where in other stores the end of aisle displays might be for toilet paper or laundry detergent, here you have an end of aisle display of Belgian bombers. Wow!

A whole aisle is devoted to craft brews and imports in standard bottle sizes. Great selection of most of the top northeastern craft breweries that distribute into this area - Smuttynose, Victory, Stoudt, etc., along with a bit of Eastern European beers to boot. I've seen better selections of British, Belgian and German beers but that is a quibble.

You can mix and match to your heart's content, which is a huge plus in my book.

Jul 15, 2005
Photo of Billolick
Billolick from New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Upper west side NYC location, only a block or two from Central Park. This place is basically a medium sized supermarket, with a suprisingly extensive selection of BA worthy suds. The majority of the good stuff is located warm on an entire center aisle, a bunch of 12ers, cases, and large bottles face the cash registers and then there is a smaller cooler area further to the left as you enter. All the usuals can be found here, Typical Belgians, Germans and Brit imports, Bklyn, Chimay, Ommegang, Stone, Blue pt., Smutty etc, as well as a smattering of more obscure ones. Singles o'pleanty are available. I did notice some dust on some of the stock, so be aware of the potential for old/stale bottles. Not worth a special beer hunting trip, but if in the area...

Jun 14, 2005
Photo of MarkD
MarkD from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

I can't belive my luck. I'm in NYC for a quick visit, and I had beerfly reviews for 6 other beer stores around town. We're walking down Columbus Ave looking for a resturant, and I stop in this store out of curiosity just to see if they have any decent beer. Damn, I hit the motherlode. It turns out I didn't need those other beerfly reviews afterall. This place had an incredible selection of imports and domestics. Oddly, almost all were stocked and sold by the single bottle, so if you wanted a few sixpacks, you had to find some scattered empty sixpack holders to fill. Maybe this allows them to stock more beer on the shelves, as they have a greater variety of beer in 1 small aisle than some beer stores I know. Good prices too by NYC standards. I only ended up buying beer from Southhampton and Blue Point, as most of the rest I can get at home. But if I lived in this neighborhood, this'd be my packy.

Apr 01, 2005
Photo of palma
palma from New York

4/5  rDev +4.4%

This is just your typical supermarket with only one exception: they have a whole aisle devoted to craft beer! A little odd, but im not complaining. This place rules!

Took me a couple of passes around the store before I found the beer aisle but you definitely know when you’ve found it. It’s basically a great selection covering almost every style you can think of. They stocked MULTIPLE offerings from each of the following:
Rogue, Stone, Victory, Smuttynose, Anchor, Magic Hat, Harpoon, Geary’s, Cisco, Long Trail, Brooklyn, Cooper's, Blue Point (northeast is really represented), Fuller's, Samuel Smith, Ommegang, Allagash, St. Bernardus... plus A LOT more including many german beers, seasonals, and a few lambics, but I just cant remember anymore.

Can't diss the service - it's just a supermarket. Cashiers were very friendly though.
Best part is they let you mix and match to your heart's content. Prices aren’t bad either. I don’t know what else to say. This place rocks.

Feb 03, 2005
Photo of Loki
Loki from North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%

Finding quality beer outside of restaurants and bars in the Upper West Side can be tricky. Pioneer makes it a little easier.

Quality: Get quality from Hitachino to Beligians to Unibroue to Gale's to Geary's to many more quality selections. Nearly all in 12oz bottles with a few 33mL and maybe some around the 20 to 22oz range. Nothing bigger, no 750mL, many beers I had never seen in the smaller sizes.

Service: Well it's a grocery store first, and a busy one at that. Expect that level of service and you won't be disappointed.

Selection: Very good. Great range of beers, tons of singles and six packs. You can select singles of anything they have in stock at great prices. Actually for Manhattan, fabulous prices.

Great selection and prices as long as you don't need help.

May 05, 2004
Photo of skar
skar from New York

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

There is no perfect beer store in Manhattan that I know of. I shop at a number of different places and this is one of my regular stops. This place is one side of a supermarket aisle on the Upper West Side.

Pros: Everything is available in singles.
Prices are a little below average for Manhattan.
They have a nice selection of British, German, and US Micro beers.
A good number of seasonal selections.

Cons: I don't really need help, but I never see any employees in the beer section.
The Belgian beer selection is below average.

Here are some standouts I noticed on my last trip:

Old Engine Oil
2 Hitachino Nest brews
Gale's Millenium
3 Rogues (Shakespeare 22, Mocha Porter 12, Dead Guy 12)

Oct 31, 2003
Photo of AaronRed
AaronRed from New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

I have been going to Poineer for years. They have consistently had a tremendous selection of beer- all kinds from Czech to Belguim to American Micros. It's a grocery store, but they specialze in beer, and have an entire asle devoted to beer. They have hard to find beers such as Westmalle Trappist as well as the typical Brooklyn Lager etc. They also have specials druring the different seasons and you can get a reasonably priced six pack- example: Anchor Steam Holiday or Brooklyn Octoberfest. I always loved Poineer because everything is available in singles. They rotate their beer, so there is less of chance of old beer- yet I still find it on occasion. Overall, great selection of beer- you can keep trying new ones and never get bored.

Jun 24, 2002
Pioneer Supermarkets in New York, NY
Place rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 20 ratings