One of the many benefits of living abroad is how easy it is to make friends and the plethora of social events. In my daily life, I get to speak with many mothers. Many have been here longer than me while others have been here just a few weeks. I remember during my first few weeks in Beijing I thought that the supermarket under Kempinski hotel was the only one available to me. Boy was I wrong. There are supermarkets galore! But where to go and how to find them? Here is a roundup of the supermarkets and food markets that I have found. Peace is found when you know where to go for your weekly shopping. Don’t be fooled though, in Beijing you usually need to go to a few different supermarkets to get everything you need.
Jinkelong Supermarket ~ This supermarket chain is Chinese, and has almost anything you might desire. It helps, also, that it is very cheap. The market activity can be quite a spectacle sometimes with ladies shouting for people to buy their milk and yogurt. The market also has a website and you can order your groceries online, but the site is all in Chinese.
Carrefour Supermarket ~ A great all around supermarket with Chinese and western supplies. Carrefour sells clothes, furniture, and appliances. A great place to get your items when you first arrive and are looking for the essentials, to tide you over. Carrefour has a APP and online store, but delivery is spotty at times.
WalMart Supermarket ~ Has plenty of stores all over town and is stocked with western selections. Though it is a good place to get the basics when starting your life in Beijing, don’t expect the all-American Walmart experience. The have an APP and will deliver.
Wu Mart Supermarket ~ The dingy version of Walmart. The local supermarket were you can get all your daily needs. They have an APP and a website. I have not tried their delivery service.
IKEA ~ My safe haven during the first few crazy weeks in Beijing. They have everything you need and more. I let my child play around in the kids section and then went to the restaurant for a cheap lunch. The little grocery store past the check out counter has good deals on smoked salmon and other western foods. Sign up for a family membership card for more great deals. The children can play in the kids area while you shop as long as they are over four-years old. IKEA delivers and has guys put together the furniture for a small price. These furniture assembly persons work clean and efficiently.
METRO Supermarket ~ A new gem in my supermarket days, this is a wholesale grocery store that sells everything you need. The store is also very clean and calm. You need to create a membership card but this is very easy! Shop over RMB 2000 and get same-day home delivery!
April Gourmet ~ A international supermarket with high prices. While I usually visit this store for certain items like sugar free yogurt, almost all your western grocery supplies can be found here.
Jenny Lou’s ~ While this international supermarket has high prices, Jenny Lou’s also has fresh baked pretzels to make up for it. You can shop till you drop and they will deliver. Be sure to check the expiration dates on goods since sometimes they are expired.
MINISO Store ~ The closest thing I could find to a Pound or Dollar store. Some great prices for daily essentials, office supplies and some small fun kids toys. MINISO stores are opening all over Beijing.
Sanyuanli Market ~ A food market with fruit, vegetables, and international food stalls. Sanyuanli Market is a great place to get some hard to find foods and fresh herbs like rosemary and basil. Find a stall and keep going every week, they will get to know you and be more fair with their prices. I usually get all my nuts and dried fruits here. All the way in the back they sell kitchen wares. There are more food markets over town, find a list here.
BHG Market Place ~ An upscale supermarket where you can find almost everything you need – but for a high price. Stores are clean and neat. This chain store has a good selection of imported foods and great customer service.
- A list of food markets and resources can be found here.
- More supermarkets and addresses can be found here.
- Addresses for Carrefour and Walmart Supermarkets locations can be found here.
- Another helpful list for shopping can be found here.
Pauline van Hasselt has been working for beijingkids since October 2016. Born in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, she moved with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter to Beijing in June of last year. Prior she lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paraguay, Texas, and London, studying and working as a chef. Pauline enjoys biking around Beijing, finding markets and new restaurants, reading crime and fantasy books in bed, and most importantly, turning her house into a home for her family.