Let’s face it – if you wanted a taste of home, it is perfectly possible to whip up a Western meal with only ingredients from the local supermarket. But sometimes, you just crave the comfort food easily available back home – something highly-processed, highly-flavoured or sugar laden stuff that comes out of a can or bottle or packet. For this, the only way out is a trip to the import section of a local supermarket. Unable to find the object of your craving? Then a longer trip to an import supermarket might be necessary. While you may not find every food item that you can buy back home, here’s a list of supermarkets and shops that can go some way in soothing your craving.
1) Metro 麦德龙
Originally a supplier to hotels and restaurants, they are also in retail in China. Metro is the earliest and most comprehensive hypermarket in Chongqing dedicated to all things imported. For non-food items, like linens and cookware, Metro has their own house brand. Great for those of us who can’t sleep without fitted sheets. Food-wise, they have a credible onsite bakery and a good selection of dairy products, imported snacks and canned goods. But what most expats are there for is the comprehensive selection dedicated to imported condiments and baking ingredients. Since they are wholesale, you can also buy in bulk to save money. The selection here is so varied that you should be able to find most of what you need to cement your reputation as the Jamie Oliver of Chongqing. The only drawback is the membership card needed to get in make purchases (no discounts though!). Your employer can probably easily make an application for you or simply borrow one from the person behind you in line.
Add: 101 Baihe Lu, Nan'an District, Chongqing
地址：重庆市南岸区白鹤路101号View In Map
Tel: 023 8902 8888
Add: 69 Tianfu Lu, Beibu Xinqu, Chongqing
地址：重庆市北部新区63号 View In Map
Tel: 023 8873 9888
Photo: Joi Ito
2) Far Eastern Supermarket 远东百货
Far Eastern Supermarket is another established name in the imported foods line. Unlike Metro, Taiwanese-owned Far East Supermarket is more retail-oriented and conveniently located (in downtown Paradise Walk). They do have an adequate selection of snacks and basic imported cooking ingredients, but do fall short compared to Metro on condiments and canned goods. They shine in the fresh produce and meat department, especially fish, but of course, you can get that cheaper elsewhere. Apart from imported food items, products geared towards the upper-crust Yubei clientele include luxuries like expensive glass-bottled milk and premium skincare. In case you prefer having an import-themed home, Far East Supermarket is located in a department store with the same name carrying foreign brand-name cookware, appliances and bed linen.
Add: 10 Beicheng Tianjie, Jiangbei, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市江北区北城天街10号View In Map
Tel: 023 8918 0088
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
3) Ole Supermarket
An up-market supermarket chain from Shenzhen, Ole Supermarket is somewhat styled after Far East with similar product lines. Although also not as comprehensive as Metro, you can probably get most of what you need without travelling far since outlets are conveniently located in the downtown shopping Meccas of Jiefangbei and Jiangbei. Besides, everything is beautifully laid out as stores are relatively new. The only drawback is the scores of promoters touting everything from supplements to juice but if you look Western, they usually give you a wide berth or free samples without the sales talk. Like Far Eastern, it also carries non-food luxuries like expensive cookware and robot vacuum cleaners. It also ups its game in the food department by offering rarities like truffles and whole legs of premium ham.
Add: 100 Zourong Lu, Yuzhong District, Chongqing
地址：重庆市渝中区邹容路100号, 重庆时代广场 View In Map
Tel: 023 6374 1188
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
Add: 60 Yangheyi Lu, Jiangbei District, Chongqing
地址：重庆市江北区洋河一路68号, 重庆星光68广场View In Map
Tel: 023 6771 6868
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
4) Ikea Food Hall 宜家家居
Ikea has come to be associated with food as much as home furnishings. Before you dismiss the meatballs, Ikea’s food hall has quite a few credible edible product offerings. Omega-3 aficionados would scoop up frozen or smoked salmon bred in the icy pristine Nordic waters. Other foreign staples include coffee grounds, chocolate bread, jams and sausages. Swedish versions of mustard and dips come in glass bottles with hard-to-pronounce names (unless you’re Swedish). Pocket-friendly house-brand beers are also worth a try. The greatest plus is, if all that shopping leaves you no energy left to cook, head down to the food hall where someone else has gladly done all the hard work for you.
Add: 2 Huiliu Lu, Beibu Xinqu, Chongqing
地址： 重庆市北部新区汇流路2号View In Map
Tel: 023 4008 0023 45
Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Supermarkets with imported goods sections
Sometimes, you may be able to find what you want in the import section of your local department store- this is especially true for snacks. Carrefour, Walmart, Lotus and New Century Department Store (NCDS) all have import sections in downtown branches or branches near the more renowned universities or foreigner enclaves. Carrefour, for instance, has an import section in the Shapingba and Yuanjiagang Branches, owing to its proximity to large communities of foreign students and teachers at Chongqing University and Chongqing Medical University. Foreign-name supermarket chains like Carrefour and Walmart have the added advantage of offering their own house brands of import items.
If you just need some butter or something sweet, you may also head down to a baking supplies shop for a quick fix. Or go the whole way and come back with everything you need for chocolate chip cookies or a rich cheesecake. One such store is Double K Bakery in Shapingba.
Double K Bakery
Add: Unit No. 2-3, JinShaGangwan Area A, Shapingba District, Chongqing
地址：沙坪坝金沙港湾小区A区2-3号 View In Map
Tel: 023 6503 1337
Opening hours: 10:00-19:00
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Keywords: western food in Chongqing Import western supermarkets Chongqing
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