City Market / Onion River Co-op

City Market / Onion River Co-opCity Market / Onion River Co-op
City Market / Onion River Co-opCity Market / Onion River Co-op

82 S Winooski Ave
Burlington, Vermont, 05401-7407
United States

(802) 863-3659 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 44
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Little bit of one those "hippie/tree hugger" type of stores, grocery store, well, it does the trick if you're in the area, you won't be amazed by their selection. It's clean, and the store is always crowded whenever I'm in here. Service is decent. They get Heady on Wednesdays.

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Photo of kool-aid
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.5

Otherwise known as 'Shitty Markup', this place has an ever increasing beer selection and a great hot/cold food bar. Unfortunately, you can't drink on premises but grabbing food and cans to go picnicking on the waterfront is always a great idea. The downsides are that navigating the weird aisle layout is awful, the parking lot is a nightmare, and the other customers are generally rude (either huffing at you being in their way or driving their carts right at you). The cashiers aren't friendly, helpful or efficient either. Expect your hot food to get cold while waiting for the gossip sessions in line to end. At least they sell quality goods, but it's generally a last resort stop for me personally.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

There are definitely better options for beer selection in Burlington, but they do have a nice variety of VT beers. The rest of the store is what makes the place stand apart.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3

The grocery store itself is really cool, but the beer department leaves a lot to be desired. The selection was fairly limited and the selection of interesting or harder to find beers was almost non-existent. You can literally see every beer they have in 2 minutes with only a single wall of bombers and a few shelves of 4/6/12 packs. Was very disappointed overall in the beer department here.

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Photo of MattyV
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Pretty solid location right downtown. The store itself, as others have accurately described, is a mini-"Whole Foods" co-op with a decent vibe. The beer section seemed mostly devoted to 6 and 12-packs of some of the larger somewhat craft options. There was also a smaller end cap featuring various singles, including a few imports and larger US craft breweries. The prices for beer were pretty much on par to a few other spots I checked out in Burlington. The best aspect of City Market for myself and the wife was the excellent fresh food available for take out.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

As other BA's have pointed out, how best to describe this place is of a scaled-down version of Whole Foods (but with better advertised sales from what I've noticed). Conveniently located in the downtown core with ample parking available.

A lot of Vermont and NE staples are available in 6 and 12-packs in a long open cooler, with seasonal and mixed 12-packs a plenty (grabbed a Wolaver's mixed 12-pack last visit). On the endcap of this cooler is an area devoted to singles, with some pretty decent regional offerings (and acouple Belgian options) but nothing too rare or outstanding. I've picked up some Stone, Ommegang, Dogfish Head, and once found a reduced 4-pack of Old Rasputin.

Probably not necessarily worth a visit for the beer alone (better places in the area), but if you're into amazingly good and fresh sandwiches made-to-order in front of you or want a variety of lunch options, then I'd stop here.

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Photo of mltobin
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This co-op style supermarket is fairly close to most of the attractions of Burlington. It has a feel of a more scaled-down and low key version of Whole Foods. Food seems to be of higher quality than your typical large grocer. But, the beer seems to be just above average in terms of selection. You can find a good variety of the major national brands and the larger VT brands. And a small # of US craft brewers are here. I was hoping for a bottle or two from the smaller brewers out of the state, maybe in the future, this will become a reality.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +8.1%

"Crunchy" food market, just a few blocks from the pedestrian mall in downtown Burlington (just a few more blocks to American Flatbread and the Vermont Pub). Has a mini whole foods feel to it. Great place to get a healthy bag of groceries or a bite to eat for lunch. Tons of cheeses, sandwedges, veggies, and of course all the Vermont locals and ample worthy (mostly domestic) others beer wise. They have a pleasant area to sit down and enjoy your meal, with windows out onto the bicycle riding, music playing, lovin life streets of great to visit Burlington. Always have a good time when I visit, and this place is well worth making a part of your day.

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Photo of TheRowan
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%

City Mark-UP is right in the center of town and most things there are costly but good. The Beer is no different. I would not even begin to know were to ask for help with a selection because a large portion of the staff there are "co-op" members and work like 1 night a week. But if you know what you are looking for they have a good amount. Many cold 6-12 packs of local/new England stuff. There large bottle collection could be better but some could everyones in Vermont, it is a work in progress. I was happy to see that they had this years Big Foot (something pearl street didn't have) but when i tried to buy a case they made me open it up and scan each 6 pack individually. Overall good but if you are shopping for large amounts head some where elz!

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%

City Market (also known as City mark-up) is Burlington's "whole foods" or co-op. The have all sorts of natural, organic, and local foods from VT and surrounding states. They also have a pretty good beer & wine selection for a grocery store. They do have BMC beer, but only about 1/10th or less of their beer is BMC (versus the other way around at most supermarkets).

They try and keep something from most Vermont breweries such as Magic Hat, Long Trail, Rock Art, McNeil's, Otter Creek, and a handful of others, as well as some larger craft breweries like Stone & Dogfish Head. If you're downtown it's your best place, but if you've got a car I'd head over to Winooski Beverage for more Beer.

I'm not a huge Wine drinker, but they do have a decent selection of Wines as well including local & organic ones as well.

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Photo of papat444
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

UPDATED: Bumping up a bit the selection score as it's not too bad. It seems to have gotten a bit better.

ORIGINAL REVIEW DECEMBER 2008: On my mini-trip to Burlington last weekend, i decided to visit the other beer stores in the area before going to the Winooski Beverage Warehouse to see how they stacked up.

As i walk in, it defintely has a Whole Foods vibe to it as their main focus seems to be the organic slant of things. A bit cramped but i like the decor.

Quality seems good and service was nice, quick and efficient. But there are 2 major problems with this store:

Problem #1: Selection is borderline pathetic (compared to other beer stores in the vicinity). They have a couple of Belgians and English ales (note, i said a couple) but they are REALLY lacking in different beers. You have the locals plus SN, Dogfish, Stone, Rogue, Allagash, you see where i'm going, just large micros. Yes, it has a good selection for a grocery store but with Pearl Street Beverage just a stone's throw away there is really no excuse of this lack of selection.

Problem #2: You can't break up 6packs. Now i don't know if there's a law for grocery stores that prohibits them from doing it. If there is, then i will retract this criticism and adjust my rating accordingly but if not, then there is no excuse. All beer stores i have been in VT allow it. They have a few singles loose which the employee said was because "something happened to it" but upon closer inspection, they looked old and i think they were trying to get rid of old stock, not cool. I bought a single bottle of Wolaver's Pale Ale but not the ones in the singles basket (bottled in July) but from a 6pack (bottled in November, that's better). They do have single bottles of the imports though but no U.S. micros. Of course, when i talk about singles, i mean 12oz. bottles.

Overall, i won't be coming here again and i don't recommend it unless you happen to be here for your groceries and want to pick up some beer at the same time. Even then though, you can take a 5 minute walk to Pearl Street with a way better selection than here.

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Photo of dirkchivers
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%

They have the best selection i have seen available at a supermarket, but the prices definitively separate this place from other supermarkets. There are cheaper places to buy brews in town and those places have larger stocks. But is one is pressed for time picking up groceries, then ease is on your side at City Market, assuming you have the money for it. Most everything they have stocked which is of decent quality and in a size larger than would fit in a sixer (i.e. bombers and tallboys) is in a cooler, just an FYI.

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Photo of gdfan47
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

this place is basically burlington's answer to whole foods.

its a pretty cool supermarket with a mix of specialty/gourmet foods and reg groceries

oh and they sell beer

the beer is pretty reasonable

they sell most vt brews, and alot of them. They have all the up to date seasonals and go across the board for most vt breweries.

they sell 6 packs, 12 packs , even some growlers and singles

the prices are fair, not great. The people that work there are nice, but I have never met someone there who seemed to know a whole lot about beer

they sometimes heavily discount beers in a bin, and there can be some good deals to be found

in addition to vt beers they have some good domestics and some foreigns including some Uk beers and CA beers (like unibroue!)

worth checking out

the bakery is good too, get a peanut butter brownie you wont be dissapointed

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Photo of scottg
3.7/5  rDev 0%

City Market has a great selection of local and organic veggies, bread, cheese, etc. as well as a deli and prepared food bar and is conviently located one block east from Church Street, the pedestrian mall.

The beer is all the way at the far end of the store. All of the major VT breweries are well represented in six pack and 12 packs as well as others including Brooklyn & Shipyard, refrigerated and at room temp. They have growlers of Shed and Rock Art and a solid selection of 22s-lots of McNeils, Stone, Rogue, Berkshire, etc. They also have a couple of Unibrou on rotation. In addition they also carrying local mead and hard cider and have one of the best selections of wine in the city.

Prices are on par with others in the area. The staff is usually friendly, but their beer knowledge isn't great, although not terrible considering this is a full market and lots of the staff are members.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%

The City Market / Onion River Co-op fits right in with the hippie vibe of Burlington. It's kind of like a Whole Foods, and they have a lot of organic items. They concentrate on local items. It is a small store, and it's kind of beat up, but I'd rather shop here than at a larger grocery chain. At the very least they have a great selection of cheese that you won't find in the bigger places. They're currently open from 7 - 11 daily. But on to the beer. Roughly 32 feet of space is alloted to beer, with a few free-standing displays as well. The selection is based in local beers, and as such changes. They didn't have any beer from The 3 Needs, for example, on my last visit. And the growlers from other breweries varies as well, obviously due in part to the season. There's a pretty wide selection of 22 ouncers as well, but most of it's six-packs (as would be expected). Every Vermont brewery is represented, and a few from the surrounding states as well. It's certainly worth visiting.

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Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

A good selection of Vermonts particularly McNeills. Not much in imports. There were some Rogues as well. As this is not the biggest supermarket, the beer selection is a significant portion of the store. Lots and lots of 12-paks boxes and some growlers. Staff were not beer knowledgeable they just work here. Good long hours and convenient downtown location, so a sure stop ifyou are passing through this beautiful small city. What I liked best in Vermont was here, the emphasis on the local craft everythin industry, and the minimum in macro selection.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.7/5  rDev 0%

Located right in downtown Burlinton, this place is a nice alternative to the usual Super-grocery stores you can find anywhere. There is a bakery on site, loads of fresh produce, and a great selection of organic products as well, not to mention the beer. The beer selection includes: almost anything brewed in VT (Rock Art, Hornpout, Long Trail, Magic Hat, McNeil's, Trout River, Otter Creek and a few others that are usually a little tough to find); they also offer brews from Anchor and few other micros from around the country. Maybe I was lucky, or if it's policy, but I didn't happen to see any macros at this market. Woo-hoo! A nice little surprise in the middle of Burlington.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

We were there at around 10am on a Saturday morning, just before heading down to the Brewer's festival.

Plenty of free parking, quite surprising in the parking-meter infested Burlington dowtown core. This place seems fairly new, I've been to Burlington many times and never noticed it before. Looks very clean, lots of vegetarian/organic/environmentally friendly fare. If I had a store like this in my neck of the woods, I'd probably do my weekly groceries there. Too bad we were stressed for time, I would have enjoyed browsing through the isles a bit.

The Beer fridges are at the back end of the store, next to the wine and snackbar. Apparently, visitors here in town for the Brewer's festival pretty much bought everything out, and the store didn't have time to restock their shelves. A cart with cases next to the isle suggested that they were about to get to it, but no store clerk was in sight. They still had a few McNeil's bombers, but not too many. A couple of Rogues, but only the ones I'm not too interested in shelling out 4 bucks to try out. They still had plenty of Rock Art growlers, and the most common NE breweries (Magic Hat, Long Trail, Harpoon, etc.) were well represented. The Beers looked nice and fresh, even the McNeil's, with their ultra cheap, half unglued labels didn't seem like they were sitting there for months, as I suspect is the case at other places in the area.

***Edit, July 2005***

Finally had a chance to check out the isles a bit, I really liked everything I saw. Great cheeze selection, I also liked the bulk section that had a lot of teas. Beer selection is similar to my last visit, and I was a bit dissapointed that little to no ciders were available. I did get a bottle of Dupont's Foret, the organic saison.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%

Located somewhat in downtown Burlington, this is pretty much a fancy grocery store featuring a lot of vegan, organic and crunchy food. I'd kill to have one of these places around me. It's pretty easy to find, as Burlington is not too congested or complicated a town to drive in, and the parking lot is fairly spacious. The beer selection takes up a short aisle near the deli area, with an impressive selection for just a supermarket. The selection is mostly craft beer, with lots of locally made stuff, and pretty much just a token macro beer selection. Right in front is a big selection of single bottles in larger sizes, mainly bombers and 750ml sizes. Some McNeill's, Allagash, etc. A small selection of singles lines the bottom. The six packs are displayed around the rest of the aisle. The pricing is pretty good, about average for anywhere else. The stock seems to be well rotated, and I wasn't afraid of accidentally getting anything old. The employees are friendly and a little crunchy, which is endearing to me. I was actually asked if I needed any help whilst making some McNeill's selections.
A great stop for take home beer if you find yourself driving up to Burlington for a beer adventure. I'd recommend this place, for sure. Lots of tasty food in the deli area, as well.

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Photo of scottum
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%

They have a nice selection of McNeill's! Also available are Magic Hat, Trout River, Rock Art, Otter Creek, and Long Trail. Growlers of Rock Art and Shed Mountain Ale. Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Smuttynose, Shipyard, Woodchuck, and more! A solid place to stock up on beer when in burlington area. Certainly on par with Pearl Street Beverage. The selection at Winooski Discount Beverage is a touch better though. I love seeing McNeill's Imperial Stout and Old Ringworm at a low low $3.25 after deposit per bomber. Worth a stop when in town!

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City Market / Onion River Co-op in Burlington, VT
Place rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 44 ratings