By Kathleen Purvis
When places like Lincoln’s Haberdashery and Rhino Market joined the ever-expanding Common Market universe, we debated what to call them. Gourmet market? Pricey-deli market? Meet-up market?
“Urban market” is the best description. They’re usually in neighborhoods close to the center city, so you can grab a coffee in the morning and a bottle of wine on the way home. Urban also fits the atmospheres, from WiFi to wine and ironic greeting cards to sarcastic sticker art. There’s usually nitro-brewed cold coffee, vegan or vegetarian menus and avocado toast. Of course we checked on the avocado toast.
We took a spin through eight urban markets, looking at everything from coffee selection to wine prices.
You don’t have to wear a flannel shirt and yoga pants to fit in. But it doesn’t hurt.
Common Market Oakwold
Just as funky as (but bigger than) the original on Commonwealth Avenue. Oakwold (between Oakhurst and Cotswold) has all the craft sodas, organic snacks and goofy personality with a little more room.
Best spot: The conversation “nook,” walled off by pegboard, with a few beat-up leather chairs.
Seating: A dozen tables inside, more on the covered front porch, plus seats at the craft-beer bar.
Coffee: Drip only, but the beans are from local roasters Magnolia and Enderly.
Wine prices: $10.99-$17 (highest is a $66 Clusel-Roeh Cote-Rotie).
Menu: Breakfast $4.75-$5.75; sandwiches, panini and salads $6-$10. Vegan available.
Avocado toast: Greens ‘N Stuff, with egg, avocado, spinach, Swiss cheese and Vegenaise ($5.50).
Parking: Plenty. 4420 Monroe Road.
The urbanest of the urbans, on the Elizabeth Avenue streetcar line, it’s popular for meetings and WiFi working. The food is the thing, from pastries to sandwiches, salads and soups, but it also has a deli counter, wine, beer and craft sodas, and gourmet gift items.
Seating: 14 tables, although people tend to camp.
Coffee: Full coffee and juice bar. (Also cocktails).
Wine prices: $12.99 to $68, with a rack of $25 bottles.
Menu: Daily banh mi, grain bowls, salads and sandwiches with vegetarian choices, $4.99-$10.49.
Avocado toast: No, but you can special-order ($2.68).
Parking: Big lot across the street, and some street parking, but . . . it’s Elizabeth. 1609 Elizabeth Ave.
The granddaddy that’s been tucked off Providence Road for years, this is half wine market and half deli.
Packed in the morning with people picking up breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
Seating: None. Benches outside.
Coffee: 10 urns, with a wide selection of drips.
Wine prices: $10 to $70, plus some craft beer.
Menu: Breakfast sandwiches, $3.95-$4.95, lunch $4.95 to $7, plus salads and soups. Vegetarian options.
Avocado toast: No.
Parking: Only 10 spaces, but turns over quickly. 114 Cherokee Road.