Berlin has no shortage of supermarkets to satisfy your daily grocery needs. Big and small, foreign and local — Berlin supermarkets have it all. However, it can be tricky when you first arrive. If you head to the closest supermarket, it might happen to be a smaller store, like the very affordable chains of Penny or Netto. You will probably leave satisfied, but just a little bewildered at the fact that you were unable to cross everything off your list. And, why on earth are the aisles so narrow? Fear not — there is most likely a larger store not too far away, like REWE, Kaufland or HIT, where you can indulge in larger aisles of produce, meat, and fresh bread.
What is your specialty grocery need? Most grocery stores in Berlin are well-equipped to provide organic and vegan options. If local produce is a priority for you, try some of the many farmers’ markets around Berlin for vegetables, meat, and cheese. Berlin’s international culture is evident in the many Turkish and Asian specialty stores you will find, and you will be sure to find authentic ingredients here for your curries and stews. Missing something particular from home? Bigger grocery stores often have a selection of international foods to add to your cupboard.
We have compiled an Archer Relocation Supermarket Guide below. Take this guide and reusable grocery bags (you will have to pay for bags at the store if you don’t bring your own) along with you on your first grocery store adventure.
Small to Medium-sized Supermarkets
Edeka is the largest supermarket chain in Germany. You will find practically everything you’ll need in an Edeka, including some international, British and American products.
You will see these supermarkets all over Berlin, varying from small to large. REWE ON THE GO, good for Sunday provisions when all other stores are closed, can be found at some service stations.
LIDL, PENNY AND NETTO
Providing good quality, most of the time at lower prices, these stores are also found in many Berlin neighborhoods. They tend to be a little smaller in size.
ALDI AND NORMA
On the lowest end of the spectrum for prices and sometimes quality. In other countries, Aldi can be at the top of someone’s supermarket list, but in Germany, this tends to not be the case. As for Norma…..it might be best to find other options.
HIT, KAUFLAND, REAL AND KARSTADT
We are lumping these guys together, as they tend to be the largest. All of the stores in this category lean toward massive, sometimes multi-leveled layouts where you can purchase household products, clothes, music, sports goods, small furniture and toys in addition to your daily groceries. You will generally find these supermarkets on the outskirts of town, and a car might be necessary to haul back all of the great items you find.
Organic and Vegan
BIO COMPANY, ALNATURA, LPG, DENNS, ANAVEDA, VITALIA, SUPERFOODS & ORGANIC LIQUIDS, OKOTUSSI, ERDKORN BIOMARKT, VEGANZ AND DR POGO VEGANLADEN-KOLLEKTIV
Oh, this list could go on and on! Berlin does love organic food. The most commercial chains on this list, Bio Company, Alnatura, and LPG, are more readily found. The majority of the others are independent and have one to two locations in Berlin. If you are up for a food adventure, check out Dr. Pogo Veganladen-Kollektiv. This store is a co-op of small vegan, organic and sustainable producers.
Check out The Culture Trip for a rundown of organic grocers in Berlin.
GOLDHAHN & SAMPSON, KA DE WE, FRISCHES PARADIES AND GALERIES LAFAYETTE
Who does not love to indulge in a gourmet food store? Head to one of the above to pick up that must-have gourmet ingredient.
KaDeWe is not only the second largest department store in Europe (1st is Harrods in London), but its food floor is to die for! They even have a Veuve Cliquot champagne bar. The cheese counter is the largest in Berlin. Lunch with the sophisticated, Western Berlin population and get the feeling that time stands still here.
Goldhahn & Sampson not only stocks gourmet sundries but also holds cooking classes and sells books and kitchen tools for every foodie.
GO ASIA, ORIENT MASTER, VIHN LOI, ASIA MEKONG, SMART DELI, DONG XUAN CENTER, ASIA-MARKT-LEE AND HAO CAI LEI ASIEN
Hurrah — Berlin boasts so many Asian food shops! Rest assured you will always find somewhere to get real soy sauce and bok choy. But why? Berlin has around 20,000 Vietnamese people living in the city, and they are the largest group of East Asians in Germany. For those who love to whip up an authentic stir-fry or need to find hot chili and sauces, head to the Asian shops to fill your baskets. You will surely find one not too far.
BOLU, EUROGIDA, NAZAR, OZ-GIDA AND ISTANBUL SUPERMARKET
Berlin is home to more than 200,000 people with a Turkish background, which makes this population the largest community outside of Turkey. Naturally, you will find bountiful, Turkish supermarkets in many Berlin neighborhoods. Most commonly you will first see the red and blue BOLU sign or the red and white EUROGIDA name. But have a further look around and search for the smaller, independent Turkish grocers. Obviously, you will not find any pork here, but the meat counters are great for lamb and beef. The Turkish Wochenmarkt, at Maybachufer (see the farmer’s markets section below) is a must-visit for authentic fare.
MARKT HALLE 9, BOXHAGENER PLATZ, KARL-AUGUST PLATZ, MAYBACHUFER, SCHILLERMARKT, KOLLWITZPLATZ
What is a Wochenmarkt? Translated to ‘weekly market’, these markets are similar to a farmers’ market. Fresh produce can be bought directly from the producer, and there are a lot of vendors on hand selling artisanal pasta and bread. You might even find some handmade clothing and jewelry during your exploration.
Top 10 Berlin has a great list with opening times and days to help you find your closest one.
There are heaps more international shops in Berlin if you are up for traveling for that very special ingredient.
PYZA – Polish
AQUI ESPANA – South American
MITTE MEER –Mediterranean
CENTRO ITALIA – Italian
PUNJAB FOOD TRADERS – Indian, Pakistan, and African
INDIA STORE BERLIN – Indian
TARIQ FOOD – Indian
BROKEN ENGLISH – English
Remember to take a 1 EUR or 50 cent piece with you for the shopping trolley, or get yourself a re-useable coin. And don’t forget those shopping bags! Read on here to find out what a Pfand is (deposit of up to 25 cents on ie. plastic bottles) and how to recycle in Berlin and Germany.