The first question that almost every visitor has in mind before coming to Xiamen is: "Where can I shop for food?" The good news is that Xiamen has become so cosmopolitan you can find some, if not all, of the breakfast cereal, candy, condiments, canned foods, dairy products, dried foods, frozen foods, fruits, meats, snacks and vegetables that you would find back home.
Most international supermarkets dedicate a section especially for imported foods among the dried food aisles. Organic fresh produce are usually individually wrapped in plastic and costs more than the regular stock. As more and more local Chinese brands realize the benefits of bilingual Chinese and English food packaging, you will find it quite easy to shop for foods in the supermarkets. Halal foods would have the Chinese characters "清真" (qīngzhēn) printed on the food packaging.
Take your time to explore the various international hypermarkets, local supermarkets and specialty stores scattered around this island. Here is a list to start you off on your grocery shopping.
1) Metro View In Map
The first stop for most expats in Xiamen, Metro is a German chain hypermarket near the airport where you can find various types of local and imported foods like beef, butter, candy, cheeses, chocolates, cold cuts, dried foods (cereal, flour, snacks, sugar), electronic appliances (blenders, juicers, mixers, ovens and vacuum cleaners), flour, frozen baked goods, fruits, icing sugar, juices, milk, pots and pans, spices, vegetables and more.
Metro also has a clearance section for candies and cookies within a month of their expiry dates. Within the aisles, special red tags are used to flag special discounts. You are free to browse through the supermarket but you will need your passport to apply for a Metro card to shop.
For a general idea of what you could find at Metro, you can browse through the supermarket's website created for Shanghai customers here. Just remember that not all the items listed on the Shanghai site are available in Xiamen.
Add: 8 Changhao Lu, Huli District, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 5758888
Getting there: Take bus to Màidélóng zhàn (麦德龙站)
2) Merry Season View In Map
This newly opened supermarket with branches at SM Lifestyle Center and Xindeco Department Store probably has the widest selection of imported food products and toiletries from the Asia Pacific, European and Northern American region.
Merry Season has a fresh produce section (fresh fruits like apples, avocadoes, blueberries, cherries, oranges and peaches), a dairy section (butter, cheeses, milk and yoghurt), a canned food section (beans, pasta sauces, tomato puree, tuna and etc.) and a dried food section (organic flours, grains, noodles and pasta).
While shopping for food, you can also check out the various brands of American, Australian, Korean and Japanese organic toiletries available. Their merchandise is priced slightly higher than Metro but you can grab some good bargains off the clearance shelf near the cashier.
Add: SM Lifestyle Center, 468, Jiahe Lu, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 5608188
Getting there: Take bus to SM chéng shì guǎng chǎng zhàn (SM城市广场站)
Add: 3rd Floor, Xindeco Department Store, 27 Xingrong Lu, Huli District, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 5608201
Getting there: Take bus to tèqū jìniànguǎn zhàn (特区纪念馆站)
3) Tasty Life View In Map
A favorite among English-speaking expats, Tasty Life stocks American baby food, beers, butter, cake mixes, candy, canned foods, cereal, cheeses, flour (all-purpose, organic and whole wheat), organic milk, potato crisps, spices and yoghurt in this "organic food and world food" specialty shop behind the Marco Polo hotel.
A few aisles contain Asian foods from China, Japan and Korea. Although the prices of foodstuff here are slightly higher than at Metro, you will find this store a convenient, one-stop center for imported foods downtown.
Add: 10-105 Jianye Lu, Guomeng Building, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 5119190
Getting there: Take bus to Bīnběi Zhōngháng zhàn (滨北中行站)
4) Carrefour View In Map
This French chain hypermarket, particularly the one on Zhongshan Road, has a modest supply of imported foods: cheeses and pasteurized milk (Devondale) in the frozen section with cereal, cereal bars, pasta, pasta sauces and salad dressings in the imported foods aisle.
Add: B1, China City, Zhongshan Lu, Siming District, Xiamen
Tel: 0592 3222026
Getting there: Take bus to Zhōngshān Lù zhàn (中山路站)
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Keywords: supermarkets in Xiamen import groceries Xiamen grocery shopping in Xiamen foreign grocery stores in Xiamen
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