Do you love going to supermarkets abroad? It is so exciting to go to a foreign city and visit their food shops. It feels so nice when you discover new brands and it is cool to try something new and local.
With the spread of big supermarket chains, the range has become more uniform and you can buy the same brands everywhere in Europe, but if you look closely, you will be able to find local brands and products as well. Have you heard about “Túró rudi”? This is so Hungarian. A cottage cheese bar covered in chocolate. Do not miss out on it when you do food shopping, you will find this sweet snack in the fridge.
Budapest is no different. We have got all the big names, like Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Spar (they are the most popular in Hungary) but if you want to check out the “local” Tesco, CBA and Reál are your grocery stores.
We have collected all the type of shops where you can buy food, drinks and more in Budapest and we are going to help you find what is best in them, plus you will receive useful tips about how to food-shop in the capitol and what you should watch out for.
TYPE OF GROCERY SHOPS
International supermarket chains (Tesco, Spar, Lidl, Aldi, Penny etc.)
Local supermarkets and small shops (CBA, Reál etc.)
BEST FRUITS&VEGS SELECTION
If you feel like eating a crispy apple or buying some salad for dinner visit these grocery stores where you can stock up on fresh fruits&vegs.
BEST BAKERY SELECTION
If you would like to have a fresh roll for breakfast or just want to make a yummy sandwich, visit the following food shops.
BEST INTERNATIONAL INGREDIENTS
If you cannot give up on your favourite spices or spreads that you are used to eating at home, it is quite likely that you will find your favourite product in one of these grocery shops.
BEST SUPERMARKETS WITH THE WIDEST RANGE OF PRODUCTS IN GENERAL (INCLUDING HUNGARIAN PRODUCTS)
If you don’t want to visit several stores to find all the necessary ingredients and the best Hungarian products, it is highly recommended to check out the following stores.
BEST BUDGET GROCERY STORES
If you fall into the category, who like to save money and closely watch what they buy, you should definitely visit one of the following shops. Maybe the range of food and drink choices are a bit limited, but they offer a lot of cheaper own branded items too.
If you are always on the move you don’t have time for proper shopping, pop in these stores that can fix your immediate cravings:
0-24 small stores: they are open all day long, you can visit them even in the early hours, but prepare yourself that these are more expensive than an average supermarket and you might want to check your receipt before you leave. They can be funny with their prices.
Small local shops: they are scattered all over Budapest, the huge advantage of them, that you can pop in for a quick shopping any time and you won’t be queuing and you may find some very nice specialities in terms of sweets or drinks that cannot be found anywhere else.
1.Bring your own bag, because none of the grocery stores offer free bags. If you forget yours at home, you can buy one in the shop.
2.In some shops, fruits&veggies need to be weighed before you take them to the cashier, if you forget to do that beforehand, they will send you back to the fruits&vegs department.
3.In case of Chinese stores check the expiry date of the products to be on the safe side.
4.You can pay in most shops by credit card, but shops in general will NOT take euros, only forint.
5.Don’t be surprised if the stuff doesn’t usually speak good English, ask them simple questions only.
6.0-24 stores are usually more expensive.
7.Local small shops have their own opening hours, check them out so you won’t be surprised.
8.Most grocery stores are open on Sunday too, with shorter opening hours.
WEBSITES FOR THE LOCATION OF SHOPS MENTIONED ABOVE
Lidl : https://www.lidl.hu/extrak/uezletkereso
Budapest has got all the international and local stores that you need for shopping. If you are staying in downtown Budapest, usually the size of the shops is smaller, and the further into the suburbs your accommodation is, the bigger the shops are. Do you feel like eating a cooked meal? Try the online food delivery!