The Willows Market

Liked This Place
4.45 w/ 21 ratings

Type: Store

60 Middlefield Rd
Menlo Park, California, 94025-3504
United States

(650) 322-0743 | map

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Added by efrank on 09-21-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by djeucalyptus:
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%

The Willows is an interesting place. A small but fairly nice grocery with good produce, a good meat counter, and an amazing selection. The banners out front advertise 400+ beers. Reminds me a bit of Johns Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Cases of the new stuff stacked around. Limited cooler space, which is unfortunate... otherwise quality would be near 5. There are a few things on the shelves that I wish were in the coolers. Interesting selection though, with solid UK & Europe selections that i haven't seen elsewhere in the south bay. They get some of the San Francisco distribution that doesn't make it further south (i.e. Midnight Sun). And there's a sign (and I've been told) that the beer guy can be e-mailed or phoned with any questions and can get stuff they don't have. not a bad setup.

The Willows is obviously moving in the right direction, they just need more space dedicated to beer, more shelves, and a few more coolers.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.14/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of James_Michaud91
4.04/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Lots of selection, slightly inflated prices. Definitely do get some special goddies from time to time though if you know who to ask.

132 characters

Photo of HoppySeb
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Knowledgable staff. You'll find beer all over the grocery store. Great selection (Eclipse, FW reserve, etc). Best beer store I found in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Fogindex
4.04/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of NorCalBeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Jonstopable
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Paccamacca
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Bruinbear
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of glennpoole
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of badgerman
4.18/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is my neighborhood grocery store and gives nearby Beltramos a run for its beer selection.

Having this place in my neighborhood is one of the biggest perks of living where I do. Great selection of craft beers from all over the world. They're rightfully proud of their large selection. Their good selection of Norwegian and German beers keeps this European coming back.

I cannot judge the service as I've never had to rely on it yet, but the staff are friendly and they restock my favorites in a timely manner, so there's nothing to complain about.

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Photo of johnhmstr
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Willows market, what a place for beer. Hands down the largest selection of beer on the SF peninsula hands down. Was surprised to find that many harder to find brews were represented here. And was impressed to see that the Sierra Nevada & Russian River collaboration sour ale "BRUX" was being sold there just a few short weeks after its initial release. Yes, unfortunately other Russian river beers are not sold here, but I am told they are working on that. Prices are some of the best I have seen in brick and mortar shops especially for the harder to find beers. Wine selection is not bad either if you are into that. Meat counter is kind of strange but have some interesting selections including grass fed beef, organic, etc. Service is always great and also worth noting that they are open until midnight.

Great place, only problem is I spend too much every time I go there. Going to take me quite some time to run out of new beers to try here.

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Photo of bignuke61
4.64/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I only go to this place once every month or so in order to keep my budget in check.

This is a great little market. Quality products, nice butcher counter... it is small and a bit tight (i.e. skinny isles, etc.) but it has that old school neighborhood market vibe that large supermarkets will never pull off.

The beer selection is fantastic. Almost every single thing you can possibly get in the area. There is always hard-to-find bottles in the cooler and some special beers in the back. The prices are quite good. No big markups here. If you buy 4+ bottles, you get 10% off which makes the deal that much sweeter.

If Nick is there, he will talk to you for 10 minutes and remember you when you come back. He's great and will let you know what is coming in and if he can order something you are looking for.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I can't believe The Willows Market is less than 3 miles from my house, and I just discovered it. It's the best kept secret on the Peninsula. I heard about this store from the Samuel Adams website, which informed me they carried Utopias (which they did).

The beer selection here is among the best I’ve seen. They had lots of top 100 beers like Rochefort 10, Parabola, Sculpin, St Bernardus Abt 12, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Abacus, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Speedway Stout, Cantillon, Imperial Eclipse (all kinds), Celebrator Doppelbock, Fantome Saison, Pannepot, Utopias, La Fin Du Monde, Aventinus, and Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek and Golden Blend. Over 500 big name craft beers from all over the world. The prices were all very reasonable, even on the hard to find bottles. On top of already good prices, you get an additional 10% discount if you buy 4 or more bottles. That's easy.

The one thing they didn’t have was anything from Russian River. The buyer, Nick, is hoping to change that, but didn't sound too optimistic (If anyone from Russian River reads this - check out The Willows Market and add them to your distribution - they're worthy).

The grocery store, while relatively small, was filled with great food and a nice deli. They had a good selection of wines and other spirits as well. This was a great find, and will become my primary local beer stop.

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Photo of Gambac
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

On the way back from a foray to Whole Foods last year, saw the Willows Market. There was a sign out front proclaiming

"476 great beers, and 11 not so great beers"

Always a good sign.

Nick is very helpful with his suggestions, though sometimes he gets a little too excited about certain things - tried for a while to get me to buy a Corona Familiar. Still, the selection is hard to beat on the peninsula - Allagash, Stone, Dogfish Head, Mikkeller, Port, Alesmith, Avery (!), etc. If Founders would distribute out here, Willows would definitely make an effort to stock it.

They are still running a 10% off sale if you buy 4 or more, which is both awesome and dangerous to the wallet. Wish they could store more of the beers, but they do get the important ones in the cooler. Still, great store, just wish I had realized it was 6 blocks from my high school sooner :facepalm:

Don't forget to check out the deli if you need some food, Palo Alto Blazer is an impressive sandwich!

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Photo of PaleAlescope
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Terrific place to get beer in the South Bay. Nick is great and will talk to you for awhile about rare beers in the store and ones that are coming in. He will get his hands on anything he can for you. You can't find his selection of beers anywhere else in the area. I have tried and there is nothing close.

Beers I picked up:
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Dogfish head Old School & Bourbon Baton
The Abyss
Alesmith brews
Stone brews

See for yourself!

PS pick up a tulip for a more enjoyable beer tasting expierence

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Photo of nataku00
3.86/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I had been looking for BCBS here in the Bay Area and when I saw a recommendation that this market had many bottles left, I made a trip down to visit it.

They still had BCBS, but the rest of what the market offers was pretty good. About 3.5 coolers with single beer selections from around the world, and three more island metal shelves with many more beers (some of which were already in the coolers).

I didn't see too many people on the floor, but I don't really expect that from a super market. The cashier and the guys at the butcher counter were friendly and helpful for those areas.

Selection was very good for a super market, with many good beers from the UK, Belgium and Germany along with a nice selection of craft beers from around the US. Surprised to find bottles of rarer beers like Black Xantus and FiftyFifty Eclipse Evan Williams among many others.

Prices were a buck higher than some other super markets and/or beer/liquor stores, but still within reason.

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Photo of yeastbay
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%

I have been very happy with the last couple of visits to the store. Cool little grocery stop that has a fantastic beer selection. Prices are fare, selection is better then most.

Last couple of purchases include:
* Allagash Black
* Mikkeller Beer Breakfast/Geek
* Goose Island Mathilda & Bourbon Country
* Dogfish Head Sahtea & Olde School
* Nøgne Bitter
* Stone Bastards (can't remember which one(s))

I did not count, but they have 100's of different beers. Have not tried to special order beer but have been told it is an option.

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Photo of thekoz
4.05/5  rDev -9%

I really like Willow Market as a beer source. There prices are competitive with other stores in the area including BevMo. Almost always my first stop when I am looking for something specific as I would hate to lose such a valuable local craft beer location.

As the other reviewer has mentioned, they seem very open to suggestions for new beers. They have a wide selection from across the US and a number of fine international beers as well.'

I wish that they had more cold storage, since some of their beers ought to be stored cold and are not.

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Photo of calebrichter
4.65/5  rDev +4.5%

The Willows Market recently made a commitment to getting high quality craft brews that are hard to find elsewhere. If you haven't perused their beer in more than a year, it's time to go back and see what's new. There's a huge selection of bombers that include American craft brews, Belgians, Germans and other international beers. In addition to a plethora of CA microbrews, they're also one of the very few places in all of the bay area that carries a hefty supply of Avery, one of my favorite breweries from Colorado. I've also been told on multiple occasions that I can request any other beers that they don't currently carry and they'll try to get ahold of them.

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The Willows Market in Menlo Park, CA
Place rating: 100% out of 100 with 21 ratings
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