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Tell me about your international supermarkets: thrilling!

(196 Posts)
DrMidgeryMargery Mon 21-May-18 18:40:52

I’m on holiday in Croatia at the moment and I love a mooch around supermarkets abroad. We ended up in Lidl today as it was the nearest and it was obviously exactly the same as at home but with a nice bakery. I’m looking forward to visiting a Konzum later in the week grin

It got me wondering whether other countries have the supermarket hierarchy like we have in the UK - your fancy Waitrose and M&S equivalents, mid-price Tesco and Asda etc.

So tell me all about your foreign supermarket experiences. What fascinating threads I start...

wizzywig Mon 21-May-18 18:42:23

Ive found in Copenhagen that supermarkets sell loads of great museli flavours. Bleeding lovely

sparkli Tue 22-May-18 04:16:17

DH and I love a foreign supermarket. Doesn't matter where we go we have to visit the local one.

Most recent was Grenada with shelves that looked like rationing still existed, although the street markets probably make up for this. The cock soup and chicken feet looked particularly appetising!

My favourite are Publix the US. How I wish we had them here.

Copperbonnet Tue 22-May-18 04:21:59

I’m in Texas. Others may disagree with this but my order from bottom to top is as follows:

Trader Joes

Whole foods is fancier than Trader Joes but I think it’s over priced and I never shop there.

We don’t have a Publix where I am but I have used them in other states and agree it was a lovely supermarket.

TroubledLichen Tue 22-May-18 04:28:49

Whole Foods all the way. I’ve perfected the push the cart one handed whilst chugging my glass of wine from the food court and everything. No way could I go back to Waitrose now.

MaitlandGirl Tue 22-May-18 04:30:30

We were taking about this last night!

We’ve got Aldi, IGA, Coles and Woolworths. Aldi is the same as in the UK, IGA is sort of like ASDA or Morrison’s and Coles/Woolworths are like Tesco.

There’s nothing like Waitrose or the M&S food hall which is a real shame.

EssentialHummus Tue 22-May-18 04:33:04

I have happy memories of the cordial aisle at Albert Heijn in Holland - the flavours were just so diverse and inviting.

My other favourite is Lidl in Crete. Every week is Greek Week <faints from excitement>.

BarbaraofSevillle Tue 22-May-18 04:37:08

I love a foreign supermarket and mainly have experience of Spain but have checked out Mercadona, Eroski, Max Dia, Supersol, various Dinos and also found a couple of naice independents in Mallorca and Lanzarote. There's also the Food Hall in El Corte Ingles and Lidl.

Mercadona is my favourite Spanish supermarket. Seems to be similar to Morrisons/Sainsburys, ie not as big as Asda/Tesco and decent enough. Not posh, but not bargain basement either. Usually has a stunning fish counter and good bread.

Eroski seems to be a Tesco equivalent. Massive stores, sell lots of non food too.

Max Dia seems cheap and not particularly nice. Cheap prices and cheap products but perfectly adequate if that's all you have.

Supersol I don't like, but will obviously use if necessary. Seems to be the place to go if you want to buy overpriced UK branded products, eg Heinz beans or Lurpak butter at 3 euros a go.

Superdino/Hiperdino. Corner shop type chain that seems to be all over the place in the Canaries and Mallorca. OK, more expensive than bigger stores, equivalent to Tesco Metro or Nisa type places.

The El Corte Ingles Food Hall is like Waitrose, with El Corte Ingles itself being like John Lewis.

Malta seems to be almost entirely downtrodden looking overpriced independents and the odd Lidl, but I haven't put much time into looking. We generally just go to the nearest shop for ease on holiday, even if it is expensive and limited selection. Even small corner shops often have a fresh bread counter, and water/bacon/eggs/crisps/booze/olives, which is most of what we buy on holiday as we usually eat out.

losingmymindiam Tue 22-May-18 04:40:30

Maitlandgirl I would say Coles is more like Tesco and Woolworths like Sainsbury's. I miss Waitrose! They did have Thomas Dux and Harris Farm in Sydney when I used to live there which are more deli like (expensive!) and other more independent grocers for some of the finer things!

Whowouldfardelsbear Tue 22-May-18 04:41:22

In New Zealand we have, in order of naiceness:

New World
Pak n Save

New World and Pak n Save are owned by the same company, but Pak n Save make you pack your own bags and it a lot more feral than New World.

That's it really. Hardly any competition and high prices in all of them!

upthewolves Tue 22-May-18 04:49:08

IGA are franchises I believe, so vary a lot. We have a big 'Supa IGA' near us and it's amazing, way better than Coles or Woolworths and has lots of local produce and interesting brands not carried by the other major supermarkets. It also has a nicer atmosphere and wider aisles. But we have little IGA at the end of our road that is crap!

HoofWankingSpangleCunt Tue 22-May-18 05:12:35

Oh, I love a forrin supermarket! I went through a phase of buying bathmats (of all things) whenever I was away. I had a particularly nice orange one from a supermarket in Italy. I also have a rather snazzy sugar shaker (like ones in cafes) from the department store on Dam Square, Amsterdam.
I think my favourite, in recent years, has been the Dutch supermarkets. I always used to buy presents for people in supermarkets as you can get some exciting foodstuffs and homeware. (Not bathmats and sugar shakers, I'm aware that I'm a sad knobber in my choice of souvenirs, although my French Tefal crepe flipper is probably the best ever buy from a supermarket and I wish I had bought more for gifts).
Sorry Op, I went off piste then with the mention of department stores.

HoofWankingSpangleCunt Tue 22-May-18 05:17:57

Oh and our British Lidl has had a bakery for a couple of years. Funnily enough, that's about the time I started putting on weight.
Essentialhummus every week is Greek week , that made me laugh as I totally understand where you're coming from. I have happy memories of the Lidl in Hersonissis.

Coyoacan Tue 22-May-18 05:24:29

I hate supermarkets but have a brilliant market just round the corner from me so manage to completely avoid them, here in Mexico.

RedDwarves Tue 22-May-18 05:26:16

I'm in Australia and it goes like this:

Woolworths / Coles (these are the two biggest supermarket chains)
IGA (sell exactly the same products as W/C, but as they're independently owned, they tend to price them higher)
Harris Farm (Wholefoods equivalent)

We also have Costco in some places, but they're few and far between.

Woolworths and Coles are definitely an equivalent here. Aside from the names, there is no difference between the two.

ItsNachoCheese Tue 22-May-18 05:30:10

Ive found my people grin

comfortandjoy Tue 22-May-18 05:31:56

Your right they are the main big three in New Zealand . Though we do have Farro Fresh , at the posh end and Huckelberry farms for organic.

Whowouldfardelsbear Tue 22-May-18 05:45:28

Think they're only in Auckland comfort. Look a bit like Moore Wilson here in Well which is lovely but $$$$$

bakerstreet101 Tue 22-May-18 06:09:37

I give you - drumroll - Delhaize in Belgium.

I grew up there (Belgium, not Delhaize!) and that is one of the things I miss. A really good supermarket, without any Waitrose type pretension.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Tue 22-May-18 06:28:29

In Germany we have, in ascending levels of naiceness:

I was delighted recently to note that our local Hit has now started stocking Nando’s sauce and Sharwoords curry powder and pastes. This is important as German brand curry powder is like a blend of turmeric and sawdust.

WhoopiGoldbergsCat Tue 22-May-18 07:05:31

Great thread!
I absolutely love e leclerc in France, and carrefour, especially the fresh seafood section with huge tanks of lobsters!

You can't beat the cheese aisles in a French supermarkets!

Annwithnoe Tue 22-May-18 07:27:18

Lovely memories of days out with toddlers mesmerized by those French lobster tanks while mummy was mesmerized by the wine aisle

EmilyAlice Tue 22-May-18 07:38:48

We tend to shop at Carrefour (Normandy) because they are increasing their organic range all the time here. We use Lidl for fruit and veg, especially in winter, as it is much fresher than the big supermarkets. Also Lidl for wine, some cheese and coffee. We are always on the doorstep at 0830 for Italian and Spanish weeks.
We buy lots at our local organic supermarket, which is great.
I do miss Waitrose though.

BanningTheWordNaice Tue 22-May-18 07:39:14

Bakerstreet101 is correct Delhaize in Brussels is the shit - especially the one near the commission. My favourite thing being foie gras stuffed quail but they also had suckling pig as standard. Try buying that in Waitrose without spending millions.

PetulantPolecat Tue 22-May-18 07:47:13

Carrefour (giant stores with clothes)
Local market stall (sadly they can’t compete on prices with giant supermarkets but farmers always grown organic without bothering to obtain official label and doing paperwork so the produce is lovely)
Local FB page where people advertise their honey/organic eggs/specialty cheeses for sale

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