There are some really excellent foreign supermarkets in Changchun; you just need to know where to look. If you require that one special ingredient, you love to cook Mexican food, or you just crave something that reminds you of home, then do not lament about being in China’s remote North-East: there are enough hidden treasures in Changchun to keep you comfortable for ages.
Wal-mart and Carrefour supermarkets do sell a small range of imported foreign goods, but the long queues, extended travel time, and unreliable guarantee that they’ll have it in stock, means it is not always worth the hassle if all you need is one or two items. For quick and easy shopping, a great selection of cereals, cooking sauces, canned vegetables, spices, chocolate, candy, crisps, spreads or foreign beers, look no further than these stores below!
1) OD Foreign Store OD便利店View In Map
This store is not just a beer drinker’s paradise, although judging from the copious amounts of booze piled up in the front window, you’d be forgiven for thinking so. You can get 5 litre kegs of Krombacher, Seeweisse, Paulaner and other tasty weissbier (German white beer) for around 200 RMB. If you like wine they have some well priced Australian Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir from New Zealand, or if spirits are more to your liking, the gin, whisky and brandy selection is pretty good and they even stock good quality Lithuanian vodka!
Also available here is Blue Mountain coffee, instant coffee, pasta sauces, Thai jasmine rice, a huge selection of chocolate and candy/sweets (depending on which hemisphere you come from). Look out for the massive green iguanas (1,000 RMB, if you’re interested), tarantulas or miniature crocodiles for sale in cages on Guilin Lu; once you see these you know you are nearly there.
Add: near the corner of Lixin Jie and Guilin Lu, Changchun
Tel: 0431 877 5791
2) City Supermarket 城市超市 View In Map
If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, then phone home, because it probably isn’t available in Changchun. The selection of ground coffee, frozen pizza, cereals, sweets, German black bread (25 RMB), tortillas (small, medium [12 RMB] and large), kidney beans (5 RMB), refried beans, curry paste and cheeses is excellent and the prices are fair without being expensive. What’s more, they often have specials here. The staff are always helpful: I have on more than one occasion searched high and low for a kitchen utensil only find it hiding in the back in City Supermarket.
Add: near Guilin Lu Market, Changchun
Tel: 0431 8562 6065
3) Charter Mall Foreign Supermarket View In Map
In the basement of the shopping center (the revolving door on the right, not the left) beside Watsons pharmacy, tucked away from prying local eyes, is absolutely the best foreign store in Changchun! It is basically a mini-supermarket with great quality fresh fruit and vegetables (extremely well packaged), frozen seafood, a huge selection of goodies including nuts, sweets, chocolate, spreads, soups, canned goods, sparkling water and coffee. This store has the best selection of potato chips and foreign beers in Changchun. The beer selection is quite incredible, Asahi, Kirin (8 RMB) Stella Artois (cans on sale for just 5 RMB at the time of writing), Paulaner, Chimay, John Smiths and the adorable Belle-Vue Framboise fruit beer. On top of all that abundant luxury, there are frequent specials on beer, enough to quench any laowai’s thirst!
The deli section has a pretty good range of salami, marinated beef and chicken, and fresh sushi packaged and ready to eat. I‘ve never seen such a big range of toiletries, vitamins, spices, beer or cooking sauces in Changchun. This is the best store in town to shop for those ‘must have’ items: wonderful (if a little decadent) if you are on a decent salary, but be careful that you don’t get carried away; the prices are equivalent to back home. No queues guaranteed!
Add: Chongqing Lu Business Street (opposite Wal-mart), Changchun
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Keywords: Shopping in Changchun import groceries Changchun C Buying imported products in Jilin
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