They say that no one ever writes poetry about cheese. Cheese, the theory goes, is too mundane and uninspiring for the artistic temperament. That’s not entirely true though. For all of us foreigners living in Guangzhou, cheese and other tastes from home are something to long for and even to wax poetic about. The same may be said about certain other culinary delights, such as good bread, ground coffee, chocolate or even simple tortillas. But where does the longing poet go for such foods, especially in a city which so far fails to appreciate their pleasures?
Aside from a few shelves of foreign foods in the larger supermarkets, it takes some investigating and some journeying across town. Guangzhou does have its share of import food shops, mostly small, and a few of them even close to the center. You can find Western meat, cheese, beer and wine, as well as Korean and Japanese food. The largest, of course, is METRO, and though their official policy is that you need to be a business to buy at their Guangzhou branch, rumor has it that they do make exceptions for Westerners. If you’re frequently at home, there’s an internet delivery service which sells a true abundance of foreign foods.
Below I’ve put together a listing of seven local businesses that sell food for the international palate. The shops here won’t be able to satisfy all of your culinary longings, but they do carry enough to inspire at least a shopping trip, and perhaps several sonnets.
1) Metro 麦德龙 View In Map
There’s a METRO lurking in the outskirts of nearly every large city in China, and Guangzhou’s METRO recently became accessible by the subway with the opening up of Line 5. Metro sells most of its goods in bulk, since it’s a wholesaler, and offers 10,000 square meters of floor space and a large parking lot. Though popular with foreigners for buying food from home, they also sell many non-food items, and would be a great place to get professional cooking equipment. You can expect to find nearly every variety of food here, including meats, seafood, fresh produce, wine, dairy, spices and sauces. Most meat and dairy are from Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.A., but they also import from Europe, Southeast Asia and South America.
Add: No.351 Huangpu Dadao Zhong, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8393 8888 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Opening hours: 06:00 - 22:00
Getting there：Take metro line 5, get off at Keyun Lu metro station and take the B exit. Walk toward your right side as you face the road, and in about 400 meters you’ll see a small canal. The shop is by the canal.
2) Ming Jiang Japanese Food and Book Store名将书店·日本食品店View In Map
One part Japanese books and one part Japanese food, Ming Jiang offers an assortment of cooking sauces and candies as well as fine sake and tea. They are also quite proud of their array of chocolates, which is greatest during fall and winter, and offer popular snacks and sweets in traditional decorative packages.
Add: Booth 244, 2/F CITIC Plaza, No.233 Tianhe Bei Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3877 0677
Opening hours: 10:00 - 21:30
Getting there: Take metro line 3B, and get off at Linhe Xilu metro station leaving by the D exit. You’ll find you are already at CITIC Plaza. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor.
3) Jin Gang Yuan （Korean Grocery Store）金刚苑View In Map
If you’re feeling like Korean hotpot or barbecue, Jin Gang Yuan is the place to start for your ingredients. They sell beef, pork and lamb along with common hotpot ingredients such as fish balls, natto, crab meat and burdock rolls. There are also a plethora of Korean specialties including spices, sauces and teas along with a few items from Japan.
Add: Booth 256-259, 2/F CITIC Plaza, No.233 Tianhe Beilu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3877 2700
Opening hours: 10:00 -21:30
Getting there: Take metro line 3B. Get off at Linhe Xilu metro station and go out from the D exit. You’ll find you are already at CITIC Plaza; you can then take the elevator to the 2nd floor.
4) Corner's Deli Grocery 每一角落 (CITIC flagship Branch)View In Map
Corner’s Deli has three locations in Guangzhou, and the central one in CITIC Plaza is the largest by far, carrying items not sold at the others. Its import food selection is heavily European, with pasta from Italy and olive oil from Italy, Greece and Spain; but it also carries several items from the U.S.A., Japan and Korea. Corner’s deli offers free city-wide delivery when your order is over 8,000 RMB.
Add: Booth 6, SC-01, Basement CITIC Plaza, No 233, Tianhe Beilu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:30 (sometimes they open by 8:30)
Getting there: Take metro line 3B, get off at Linhe Xilu metro station and go out by the C exit. Turn right and you’ll find a small back street by the CITIC apartment building; walk down the street about 50 meters and you’ll find the shop.
5) Friend’s Daily View In Map
Friend’s Daily is a comfortable café bar with European décor, comfortable sofas and large French windows. They also sell a few products to customers, mostly cheese and wine. You can find blue cheese, mozzarella, cream cheese, cheddar, parmesan and more, along with wines from Chile, Australia, France and Italy. They don’t encourage residents to use them as a grocery store since they’d rather you sit down and stay for a while, but they will oblige if you ask. Friend’s Daily wine and cheese are high quality and high price.
Add: 11 Taojin Street (up from the Friendship Store), Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8359 6681
Opening Hours: 14:00 - 2:00
Getting there: Take metro line 5 and get off at Taojin Lu metro station B exit. Facing Huanshidong Lu, turn left, walk about 400 meters, and you will find Taojin Lu on your left. Walk along Taojin Lu about 800 meters and you’ll find Friend’s Daily.
6) Oliver Supermarket奥利华进口食品超市 View In Map
Oliver Supermarket has three locations in the city, one of them downtown. Considering their variety, prices and central main store, this small market may be the most convenient shop in Guangzhou for imported foods. They also offer city-wide free delivery if you spend over 500 RMB. This is a rarity among import stores. Oliver’s prices include many budget items along with the more expensive wines and liquors.
Add: A2.1/F, Clifford Mansion, Ming Yue Yi Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (Opposite the Ramada Hotel)
Tel: 020 8735-9202
Opening hours: 10:00 -21:00
Getting there: Take metro line 5. Get off at Wuyangcun metro station B exit and walk toward the riverside about 5 minutes. Turn right at the first corner and you will be at Ming Yue Yi Lu. Walk along the road about 50 meters and the shop will be on your right.
7) Wencle Delivery Service
If the six stores above fail to satisfy you, there’s also Wencle delivery service, which will bring food to your door any day of the week for only a 5% delivery charge within Guangzhou. The variety of brands and types of food they sell varies depending on the category. For cheeses, it’s three pages worth of listings. For baking goods, only thirteen items. Meat is mysteriously hard to find on their website, although if you look under “condiments” you’ll find a listing, which is mostly for hams. Wencle’s prices are mostly reasonable and they regularly have specials.
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Keywords: Guangzhou import food shops guangzhou foreign food Guangzhou foreign supermarket
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