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  • Writer's pictureAlejandra Bernard

Best Supermarkets in Portugal: Complete Guide 2024

Fruits and vegetable section in a supermarket from the blog post Best Supermarkets in Portugal offered by the trusted real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve Portugal



1. Understanding Portuguese Grocery Stores

Shopping for groceries in Portugal offers a unique blend of traditional and modern experiences. From small local markets to large hypermarkets, the variety of grocery stores available reflects the country’s rich culture and evolving consumer needs. This guide will take you through the different types of grocery stores, what to expect, tips for shopping, and highlight some of the most popular chains and specialty stores in Portugal.



Types of Grocery Stores in Portugal


Small Grocery Stores (Mercados e Mercearias)

Local grocery stores, known as "mercearias," are common in Portuguese neighborhoods. These stores often carry a limited but essential range of products, including fresh produce, bread, dairy, and household items. They are typically family-run and offer a more personal shopping experience. Shopping at a "mercearia" can be a great way to integrate into the local community and support small businesses.


Supermarkets

Supermarkets in Portugal are larger than "mercearias" and offer a wider range of products. Popular chains include Continente, Pingo Doce, and Lidl. These stores provide a one-stop shopping experience, stocking everything from fresh produce and meat to household goods and clothing.


Hypermarkets

Hypermarkets are large retail spaces that combine a supermarket with a department store. Auchan (previously known as Jumbo) and Continente Modelo are examples of hypermarkets in Portugal. They offer a vast selection of products, including groceries, electronics, clothing, and home goods, making them a convenient option for comprehensive shopping trips.


What to Expect

Whether you are setting up life in Lisbon, Lagos, or Loule, grocery shopping in Portugal will be an integral part of your routine. Portuguese grocery stores offer a wide variety of products, often emphasizing fresh and local produce. You will find differences in the shopping experience compared to other countries, such as the prominence of local markets and the availability of fresh seafood and regional specialties.


Tips for Grocery Shopping in Portugal

  • Bring Reusable Bags: Portugal has implemented a tax on plastic bags to encourage sustainability. Bringing your own reusable bags will save you money and help the environment.

  • Learn Basic Portuguese: While many Portuguese people speak English, knowing some basic Portuguese phrases can make your shopping experience smoother and more enjoyable. Learn Portuguese Basics.

  • Carry Cash: Smaller shops and local markets may not accept credit cards, so it’s a good idea to have cash on hand.

  • Check Store Hours: Supermarket hours can vary, especially in different regions. Stores in Lisbon, for example, may have different operating hours compared to those in rural areas.


2. Exploring the Best Portuguese Supermarkets


Portuguese supermarket from the blog post Best Supermarkets in Portugal offered by the trusted real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve Portugal

Popular Supermarket Chains in Portugal


  • Continente: is one of the largest supermarket chains in Portugal, with over 700 stores across the country. Known for its wide range of products and competitive prices, Continente offers everything from groceries to electronics. They also have an online shopping service, making it convenient for busy shoppers.


  • Pingo Doce: has more than 400 locations in Portugal and is known for its focus on fresh produce and health-conscious products. The chain has been actively reducing plastic bag usage and promoting sustainability. Pingo Doce stores often feature in-store bakeries, butcheries, and delis, providing a comprehensive shopping experience.


  • Lidl: is a popular discount supermarket chain in Portugal, offering a wide range of products at affordable prices. Known for its efficient store layout and competitive pricing, Lidl is a favorite among budget-conscious shoppers.


  • Intermarché: is a well-known supermarket brand with approximately 200 stores in Portugal. It offers competitive pricing and a loyalty program that provides additional savings. Intermarché stores often feature a wide selection of fresh produce, meats, and bakery items.


  • Aldi: is another budget supermarket chain that offers high-quality food at affordable prices. With a focus on efficiency and value, Aldi stores are a great option for shoppers looking to save money without compromising on quality.


  • Auchan: A French supermarket chain, that operates a network of supermarkets and hypermarkets in Portugal. Known for its low prices and large product assortment, Auchan is a one-stop shop for groceries, electronics, clothing, and more.



3. Specialty Shopping in Portugal


Healthy Food and Organic Options


Apolonia Supermercados

Apolonia is an upscale supermarket offering a wide range of organic and international products. It is particularly popular among expats and those looking for high-quality and specialty items. Apolonia Supermercados.


El Corte Inglés

El Corte Inglés, a Spanish department store chain, has locations in Portugal that include grocery sections offering health food and organic options. The store is known for its quality products and excellent customer service. El Corte Inglés.


International food section in a supermarket from the blog post Best Supermarkets in Portugal offered by the trusted real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve Portugal

International Food in Portugal

For those craving a taste of home or looking for international ingredients, Portugal has several international grocery shops. These stores offer a wide range of products from various countries, catering to the diverse tastes of expatriates and locals alike. Additionally, there are online services that deliver international groceries to your doorstep, making it easy to access specialty items. International Grocery Stores.


4. Convenience and Liquor Shopping in Portugal


Convenience Stores in Portugal

Convenience stores in Portugal, such as "lojas de conveniência," are small shops offering essential items like snacks, drinks, and basic groceries. They are often located in urban areas and near transportation hubs, making them a convenient option for quick purchases.


Liquor Stores in Portugal

In Portugal, alcoholic beverages are sold at designated establishments such as "Adega Cooperativa" and independent liquor stores. The sale of wine, beer, spirits, and other alcoholic drinks is regulated by the government, ensuring quality and safety. These stores often feature a wide selection of local and international beverages. Portuguese Wine Guide.



5. Food Delivery Services in Portugal

Food delivery services have become increasingly popular in Portugal, offering a convenient way to have your favorite meals and groceries delivered to your doorstep. Services like Uber Eats, Glovo, and local options provide a wide range of choices, from restaurant meals to grocery deliveries. Online shopping platforms also offer delivery services for international food items, making it easy to access a variety of products without leaving your home. Uber Eats Portugal.



6. Organic Food at Local Markets in Portugal


Organic food at the Time Out market in Lisbon from the blog post Best Supermarkets in Portugal offered by the trusted real estate buyers agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve Portugal

Organic Supermarkets in Portugal

Portugal’s municipal markets and greengrocers are excellent places to find high-quality fresh produce, meats, dairy products, and more. These organic food markets play a significant role in the community, providing a space where locals can buy fresh and affordable food while supporting local farmers and producers.

Visiting local markets is not just about shopping; it’s an opportunity to experience the cultural significance of these spaces. Markets are often bustling with activity, filled with the sounds of vendors calling out their wares and the vibrant colors of fresh produce. They are a place where tradition and community come together, offering a unique glimpse into Portuguese life.


Farmers Markets in Lisbon


Mercado da Ribeira

Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market, is a traditional food market dating back to the 1890s. It offers a variety of meals and dishes from local vendors and renowned chefs, making it a popular destination for food lovers. Time Out Market Lisbon.

Mercado Da Baixa

Located in the heart of Lisbon, Mercado Da Baixa is an open-air market selling everything from traditional street fare and drinks to local goods. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and sample Portuguese delicacies. Mercado Da Baixa.

Mercado de Arroios

Mercado de Arroios is a traditional farmers market selling locally sourced fish, meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers. It’s a vibrant market that offers a true taste of Portuguese life. Mercado de Arroios.


7. Conclusion - Best Supermarkets in Portugal


Grocery shopping in Portugal is a diverse and enriching experience, whether you prefer the convenience of large supermarkets or the charm of local markets. With a wide range of options, from budget-friendly chains like Lidl and Aldi to upscale stores like Apolonia and El Corte Inglés, there is something to suit every shopper's needs.

By understanding the different types of grocery stores, knowing what to expect, and following a few simple tips, you can make the most of your shopping experience in Portugal. Whether you’re exploring the aisles of a hypermarket, browsing the fresh produce at a local market, or ordering your favorite foods online, grocery shopping in Portugal is sure to be a rewarding part of your daily life.


For more information about living in Portugal and finding your dream home, visit Lagos Homes.


Dona Ana panoramic beach view describing the blog post conclusion offered by the independent real estate buyer's agent Lagos Homes in the Algarve Portugal

Lagos Homes is your reliable partner for all your real estate needs in Portugal. We go beyond helping you find your dream property, offering expert guidance across all aspects. Do you have any inquiries? Feel free to contact us now!


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