Get ready to explore your local grocery stores and supermarkets in Germany with our guide. What’s the wurst that could happen?
One of the best parts about expat life that you won’t read in any guide book is just how adventurous grocery shopping becomes in your new home. Faced with aisles of weird and wonderful products you’ve never tried before, a trip to the local supermarket can quickly become a casual adventure into an unknown culinary world. Food shopping definitely isn’t a chore when you’re an expat.
If you’re new in Germany, you’ll soon find most local grocery stores are well-stocked with an impressive range of foreign and domestic goods. But before you get ready to explore those supermarket aisles, this helpful guide has everything you need to know about grocery shopping in Germany. It includes information on:
- Grocery shopping in Germany
- Supermarkets in Germany
- Things you need to know about German supermarkets
- Food delivery services in Germany
- Ethnic grocery stores in Germany
- Food shopping at German markets
- Specialty stores in Germany
- Convenience Stores
- Liquor stores in Germany
- Buying groceries from your home country
Looking for bargain Berliners and Brot on a budget? Netto has your German discount shopping covered. As well as groceries, they offer great deals on household products, electronics, and even holidays. With thousands of stores all over Germany, you’re never too far from your next discount. Find bargains online or in-store with Netto Marken-Discount.
Grocery shopping in Germany
When you arrive in Germany, the local supermarket will likely be one of the first places you visit in your new home. It probably won’t feel like the grocery stores you’re used to, but don’t let that put you off. Step inside and you’ll find a whole world of tastes and flavors that you may not have even heard of before, let alone tried.
Supermarkets not your thing? There are plenty of other options for getting food in Germany. These include shopping at local specialty stores, perusing your nearest fresh food market, or using online services that deliver groceries straight to your door. If you don’t like cooking, you’ll find a range of restaurants, cafés and snack bars across Germany, as well as plenty of takeaway options.
Supermarkets in Germany
If you like your supermarkets, you in for a treat in Germany. Every town, village, and neighbor will have at least one grocery store. Many will often have two: a regular supermarket and a discounter. In the larger cities, you’ll find stores for every taste and budget. Supermarkets in city center locations tend to be on the small side, but you’ll be surprised at just how much they cram into the aisles.
For many expats, the best thing about grocery shopping in Germany is the prices. German supermarkets are typically cheaper than neighboring countries. This is why many residents from Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands cross the border for their weekly groceries. However, like in most European countries, the range of choice in Germany may not be what you’re used to. This is particularly true if arriving from the United States. But once you’ve acclimatized, you’ll soon find everything you need.
German grocery stores offer a decent range of products, with good selections of produce, meat, diary, and vegetarian foods. Many also have in-store bakeries – usually a popular spot for expats. You’ll be amazed at just how many types of bread, cakes, and pastries your neighborhood grocery store has. You’ll also find many in-store offers, helping you make your money go further.
German supermarket chains
As one of the largest countries in Europe, Germany has plenty of supermarket chains to choose from. Many are found nationwide, however there are still significant regional variations when it comes to grocery stores. Some of the largest chains you’ll find in Germany include:
- Rewe: With over 3,000 stores nationwide, you’ll likely come across Rewe when grocery shopping in Germany. Shops range from large out-of-town hypermarket-style outlets to small convenient locations called Rewe To Go.
- Edeka: The largest German supermarket chain has almost 6,000 stores, ranging from hypermarket-style to convenience stores. Larger stores sell a decent amount of non-food items.
- Kaufland: At one of their 600 hypermarket-style stores, you’ll be able to find most of your basic groceries at Kaufland. Some stores also sell non-food goods, including electronics and clothes.
- Globus: Another hypermarket-based retailer, Globus has around 50 stores, mostly in central Germany. Perhaps the closest you’ll find to the Walmart-style US grocery stores, with in-store restaurants, gas stations, and tire centers.
- HIT: These supermarkets are also typically on the larger side. Based predominantly in the Rhine Valley, although you may see the occasional store further afield.
- Tegut: This Swiss-owned supermarket is found mostly towards the south of Germany. Stores total around 300, with smaller shops in town centers and larger formats out-of-town.
As Germany is a big country, you’ll find plenty of other supermarket chains we haven’t included on this list. Many of these operate regionally. However, you’ll still find the same wide range of products in-store, so don’t be afraid to dive straight in.
Get your home connected with our guide to German utilities
Discount supermarket chains in Germany
Germans love their discount supermarkets – which is probably why they’ve decided to share them with the rest of Europe. Stores are generally well-stocked with a decent range of products. Don’t expect to be blown away choice, but the products are of good quality. Most locals shop at these discount stores regularly, so leave any prejudices at home and enjoy your shopping.
- Aldi: Split into Aldi Sud and Aldi Nord, the retailer has over 4,000 stores throughout the country. Offering a basic but affordable product range, you’ll be able to stock up on all your must-haves.
- Lidl: Another German discounter you’ll see everywhere is Lidl. Their 3,000+ stores offer a mix of food and non-food items, including the popular weekly specials.
- Netto: The Danish retailer has a strong presence south of the border, with over 300 stores in the north and east of the country. You’ll notice the stores by their distinctive yellow signage.
- Netto Marken-Discount: Yes, rather confusingly there are two similarly-named German chains with yellow signage. This Edeka-owned chain has over 4,000 stores, predominantly in the south and west of the country.
As the locals love their discounters, expect to find many other low-cost, low-frills retailers in Germany. These include Penny Markt, Norma, and many other regional players.
Organic & health supermarkets in Germany
Are you looking for something a little more niche from your weekly grocery shop? Germany has a full hamper of other supermarkets to choose from if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the aisles of Aldi or Edeka. These range from organic food supermarkets to health food specialists.
- Denn’s Biomarkt: Germany’s largest chain of organic supermarkets has over 300 branches nationwide. Stores have a decent selection of products but expect to pay a little more for your shopping.
- Alnatura: Another bio supermarket is Alnatura. At their 100+ stores across the country, you’ll be able to purchase all sorts of organically sourced products.
Read our guide to opening a bank account in Germany
German supermarket opening times
If you’re living in Germany, you’ll want to know just when you can explore all these great supermarkets. Generally speaking, German grocery store opening hours are some of the most restrictive in Europe. Supermarkets are typically open from 07:00–20:00, although you can expect slightly later closing times in larger towns and cities. However, this is not the norm in smaller towns, so don’t be surprised to find your local hypermarket shutting up shop at 20:00.
Sunday opening hours are often another expat annoyance, with many stores closed the whole day. Therefore, it pays to plan your grocery needs ahead of time so you’re not caught out. In larger cities, you’ll find a handful of smaller convenience stores open on Sunday. These are usually located in train stations and sell a limited – and often significantly marked-up – range.
Things you need to know about German supermarkets
If you’re an expat living in Germany, there may be a few things you don’t realise about supermarket shopping in your new home. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are a few pointers:
- Bring your own bags: Like much of Europe, supermarket bags don’t come for free in Germany. Stock up on reusable bags you can take with you, or expect to pay a small fee at the register.
- Take some change: If you’re heading to a larger supermarket, you’ll need some coins for the shopping carts. This is usually €1, and you’ll be able to get your money back once you’re finished shopping.
- Pack quickly: Don’t expect any help packing your bags in Germany. In fact, be prepared to pack your groceries quickly as the checkout operators don’t hang around!
- Recycle, recycle, recycle: Don’t end up throwing your money away in Germany! Take advantage of the country’s fantastic pfand system and recycle your bottles at your local supermarket’s convenient machine.
Food delivery services in Germany
If you’re unable to visit your local supermarket, or simply prefer the convenience of having your groceries delivered, then you’re in luck. While supermarket delivery may not be as widespread as in other countries, it is increasingly popular across Germany. There are even online-only supermarkets, including:
Availability depends on where you live, and is often not available from discounter chains. However, the process is easy. Simply shop online and choose your delivery slot. If you run into issues buying groceries directly from the supermarket, you could also try hiring help from an online marketplace such as TaskRabbit.
Those are not the only delivery options in Germany. If shopping for groceries online isn’t your thing, why not shop for meals, instead. There are a number of meal-kit providers in Germany. These deliver pre-prepared recipe boxes straight to your front door, filled with seasonally fresh ingredients and recipes. Meal-kit providers in Germany include:
If cooking at home sounds a little too much like hard work, don’t worry. You’ll find a whole host of excellent cafes and restaurants throughout Germany, catering to every taste. Don’t feel like venturing out? Germany also has plenty of food delivery platforms that can connect you with your favorite local takeaways and restaurants. These include:
Ethnic grocery stores in Germany
Germany has one of the most ethnically-diverse populations in Europe. Since the 1960s, the country has attracted a number of immigrants hailing predominantly from southern Europe. Significant immigrant communities in many of Germany’s larger towns and cities have seen a steady rise in the number of ethnic grocery stores serving these and other communities.
While German supermarkets aren’t known for their high prices, these ethnic supermarkets can still provide a wider range of products for cheaper prices. This is particularly true if you’re looking for international foods, although the ranges of everyday goods typically vary significantly in terms of quality and price. If you have a local ethnic supermarket, check it out as you may be surprised by just how much you can find inside.
Food shopping at German markets
For many expats arriving in Europe, their grocery shopping dreams don’t revolve around supermarket aisles but perusing the stalls of their local food market. Thankfully, if this is what you’re looking for in Germany, you’re in luck. Just do a little research ahead of time to find the trading times at your local market and grab your tote bag so you can stock up on goods!
While you won’t be able to find everything you need, some German food markets offer a surprisingly broad range of goods. This is particularly true in larger towns and cities. Regardless of size, most markets have stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, and baked goods. Others will have more niche offerings. You’ll also be able to find plenty of tasty treats to try while you buy, and many markets have food trucks selling hot meals and snacks.
Specialty stores in Germany
It’s safe to say the Germans know a thing or two when it comes to getting great-tasting food and drink. While the supermarkets and grocery stores offer good quality food, if you’re looking for something a little more special, you might want to check out your local specialty stores. These are entire shops dedicated to a handful of products, such as butchers and bakeries, and Germany has lots of them.
As you might expect from a country known for its baked goods, there are plenty of bakeries to explore with your tastebuds. You’ll also find butchers and delicatessens for all your fresh meat and cold cuts, as well as the occasional lovingly-made sandwich that might take you by surprise. In coastal cities, you’ll likely find fishmongers selling the latest catch. You also won’t want to miss out on the local chocolate shops – especially around the holidays.
Sometimes you need to grab a quick bite to eat, and in Germany, you can do this at the country’s growing network of convenience stores. Traditionally, these neighborhood stores are called Kiosk or Spätkauf. They sell a mix of items, from newspapers and magazines to beer and Haribo. Depending on the weather, you may well see a group of locals collecting outside for a beer or a smoke.
If you prefer your local stores a little more modern, the big names in German supermarkets have been moving into the convenience sector. You’ll likely come across these at train stations, gas stations, and in city center locations. These stores offer a limited range of goods and are typically more expensive than you might expect from these chains. However, many will also sell fresh foods, including sandwiches, salads, and coffees should you need a quick bite to eat.
Liquor stores in Germany
For most of your alcohol needs, you’ll be able to stick to your local supermarket. These stores offer great discounts on beers and wines, and many of the supermarket’s own-brands are just as good as the global names you might be used to. You’ll also be able to find beer at your local convenience kiosk. However, for a dedicated drink store, you’ll need to head to a Getränkemarkt. Here, you’ll find all sorts of beverages – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – to meet your needs.
There are also a growing number of online stockists of your favorite German beers, as well as wines and spirits from Europe and beyond. Some of the most popular online stores in Germany include:
These online stores can be a great option if you don’t want to venture out into the harsh German winter or if you’re planning a party, as they deliver directly to your door.
Buying groceries from your home country
Missing all your favorite foods from home? Germany is fairly multi-cultural, which means you should be able to find all those much-missed products from around the world. If you’re in the market for North American goods, you’re more likely to come across German attempts at US-style products than the actual thing. However, in larger cities with a dedicated expat population, such as Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich, you may be able to find what you’re looking for with a little research. Alternatively, you can search online for delivery services, such as British Corner Shop, which specializes in goods from the UK.
What is the main grocery store in Germany? ›
The two most popular supermarkets in Germany are Edeka and REWE. Edeka is the biggest supermarket chain in Germany, with over 11.000 stores nationwide. REWE is the second-largest supermarket chain with over 3.600 supermarkets in Germany.How many grocery stores are there in Germany? ›
Number of stores in food retail in Germany from 2006 to 2018.
|Characteristic||Number of stores|
Major Grocery Stores (Real, Rewe, Edeka, Kaufland): These grocery chains most resemble something you'd find in the States or the UK. They are usually large and have (almost) everything you want. Some chains, like Real (ray-all), sell everything from groceries to bicycles to underpants.Is Walmart in Germany? ›
In 2006, Walmart failed in Germany and was forced to withdraw from the country. There are no verified certain reasons why Walmart failed in the German market. But some obvious factors like culture, prices, brands, and organizational practices can be considered.Are groceries cheaper in Germany? ›
Food prices in Germany are generally considered to be quite low, especially compared to those of neighboring countries such as France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, and Belgium, where food is much more expensive.What is Walmart called in Germany? ›
There is no “Walmart of Germany”. The concept does neither work in Germany, nor in many other European countries. The largest supermarket chains are Edeka and Rewe. Both operate own stores, as well as stores owned by individual supermarket owners, and are organized in a kind of cooperative system.What is the most popular store in Germany? ›
|2||Schwarz (Lidl & Kaufland)||45,300|
|4||Aldi (Nord & Süd)||28,600|
But why is it so cheap in Germany? “Because of the supermarket chains like Aldi and Lidl. The Germans invented discount supermarkets,” says Rujović, adding that they have enormous market power, offer lots of products and dictate the prices.How many Walmarts are in Germany? ›
Wal-Mart Germany, with 85 stores and $2.5 billion in sales, is almost a footnote for a company focused on Asia and Latin America.Why is there no Walmart in Germany? ›
While the competitors enjoyed a massive share of the market, Walmart only controlled around 3% of it. Also, Walmart's profit margin in Germany was a measly 1–2%. So instead of waiting and wasting time, Walmart decided to leave Germany in 2006 and passed on its 85 outlets to a local competitor, Metro.
Which country has the most supermarkets? ›
Number of supermarkets of the Auchan Group worldwide in 2021, by country.
|Characteristic||Number of supermarkets|
Groceries cost 36.8% more in America than in Germany on average. One loaf of bread costs $1.62 in Germany and $2.71 in America. One Kg of boneless chicken breast costs $8.36 in Germany but costs $9.21 in America.What is Germany famous for shopping? ›
1. Schildergasse, Cologne. Considered to be the busiest shopping street in Europe, Cologne's Schildergasse has a long history that dates back to ancient Roman times. Today it is amongst the best places for shopping in Germany with major department stores and fashion outlets like Galeria Kaufhof, Zara, H&M, etc.What is the number 1 food in Germany? ›
Sauerbraten is regarded as one Germany's national dishes and there are several regional variations in Franconia, Thuringia, Rhineland, Saarland, Silesia and Swabia. This pot roast takes quite a while to prepare, but the results, often served as Sunday family dinner, are truly worth the work.Is Costco in Germany? ›
Unlike Walmart, Costco adapts to local cultures
In 2006, the Bentonville, Ark. -based retailer suffered an ignominious – not to mention costly – withdrawal from Germany after it couldn't figure out German shopper culture.
This is a review for target stores in Berlin, Germany: "This place is amazing. Huge, clean, well lit, has everything you want, a legit sale section, and the prices are totally decent.What store in Germany is like Walmart? ›
The US-style WalMart (no groceries) stores in Germany are, among others, "toom" - http://www.toom.de and "real,-" - www.real.de.Is it cheaper to live in Germany or USA? ›
Germany vs United States - Cost of Living Comparison.
|🏘️ Family rent||$1340||$2220|
|🍽️ Food expenses||$370||$543|
|🚐 Transport expenses||$114||$98.8|
What Is The Average Wage In Germany? According to Statista, in 2021, the average gross annual salary in Germany was 47.700 euros a year, or 3.975 euros a month. The numbers above are for all of Germany.Which brands are cheap in Germany? ›
- Hessnatur. Category: Basics, denim, underwear, loungewear, activewear, outerwear, sleepwear, shoes, bags, accessories. ...
- Living Crafts. ...
- Bleed Clothing. ...
- Green Shirts. ...
- ARMEDANGELS. ...
- Embassy of Bricks and Logs. ...
- Sense Organics. ...
- Grüne Erde.
Where is Costco in Germany? ›
Costco Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany.What are convenience stores called in Germany? ›
Spätkauf or Späti (German pronunciation: [ʃpeti]) is a type of convenience shop found generally in Germany, particularly in Berlin, which is known to operate late at night.Is there Tesco in Germany? ›
There are no Tescos in Germany because Tesco has not chosen to open a store in Germany. There are Aldis and Lidls in the UK because Aldo and Lidl have chosen to open stores in the UK. Each company made its decision independently of the others.Which brand is famous in Germany? ›
Well-known international brands include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAP, Volkswagen, Audi, Siemens, Allianz, Adidas, Porsche, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank and Bosch. Germany is recognised for its large portion of specialised small and medium enterprises, known as the Mittelstand model.What is Germany mostly famous for? ›
Germany is well known for many things. It has a strong economy, it is the birthplace of classical music and philosophy, it has a rich culture, and it is known for its scenic beauty. Additionally, Germany is known for its engineering and automotive industry, as well as its precision manufacturing.Why salary is low in Germany? ›
Because a salary in Germany comprises more comprehensive social security and health insurance benefits than in most other countries in the world, half of which is paid by the employer so that the acutal cost of employing someone is about 25% higher than their salary.How much money do you need to live comfortably in Germany? ›
On average, to cover your living expenses in Germany you will need around 934 euros per month (around $906 US dollars) or 11,208 euros per year (around $10,876 US dollars). The prices for food, accommodation, bills, clothes and entertainment are basically in line with the EU average.How much is a loaf of bread in Germany? ›
|Expense||Price In Germany (€)||Converted Price (£)|
|Utilities (electricity, heating, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment)||€216.95 per month||£184.38 per month|
|Loaf of bread||€1.23||£1.05|
|Milk (1 litre)||€0.67||£0.57|
|Bottled Water (1.5 litre)||€0.39||£0.33|
The United Kingdom. Walmart retails in the UK as Asda (a company acquired by Walmart in 1999).How many Aldi stores are in Germany? ›
What country has no Walmarts? ›
There are no Wal-Mart stores in the country. There are no Wal-Mart stores in Iran.Does Germany have metro? ›
The U-Bahn or Untergrundbahn is the German version of the metro, subway or “the Tube” (the name is something of a misnomer, however, as many U-Bahn lines actually run above ground). The symbol for the U-Bahn in Germany is typically a white “U” on a blue sign.Which US city has no Walmart? ›
|Plugins||Block | Active|
|Google Analytics||Google Analytics||View Policy|
At the end of their schooling, students usually undergo a cumulative written and oral examination (Abitur in Gymnasien or Abschlussprüfung in Realschulen and Hauptschulen).What is the biggest supermarket in Germany? ›
Here's our handy guide to some of them, and the kinds of products they offer. Edeka is the largest German supermarket chain and has around 4,000 stores nationwide. It is similar to Rewe in its provision of a variety of produce such as fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, tins, jars and dairy products.Which country has most expensive food? ›
Switzerland is the most expensive country to shop for, with an average weekly spend of $48.16.What country pays the most for food? ›
|Rank||Country||Household Income Spent on Food (%)|
Germany - Pizza - price, September 2020.
|Germany - Pizza - price, September 2020|
Whilst there are regional variations in food culture, most German recipes focus heavily on bread, potatoes, and meat, especially pork, as well as plenty of greens such as types of cabbage and kale. Cake, coffee, and beer are all highly popular elements of German cuisine too - which will be good news to most!What is best in Germany to buy? ›
- Christmas ornaments. Germany basically invented the traditional British Christmas (thanks, Queen Victoria!) ...
- A bit of the Berlin Wall. ...
- Ampelmännchen. ...
- Beer steins. ...
- Sauerkraut juice. ...
- Feuerzangebowle set. ...
- Dirndl and/or lederhosen. ...
What is a German breakfast? ›
Answer: Breakfast in Germany is usually with bread rolls or slices of whole wheat or rye bread with any kind of jam or marmalade, nougat cream or with salami, ham or cheese slices. This food is accompanied mostly with a cup of coffee and orange juice.What is the most eaten meat in Germany? ›
Pork, beef, and poultry are the main varieties of meat consumed in Germany, with pork being the most popular. The average person in Germany will consume up to 61 kg (134 lb) of meat in a year. Among poultry, chicken is most common, although duck, goose, and turkey are also enjoyed.Does Germany take US dollars? ›
It is a good idea to take Euro cash along anytime you go on the economy in Germany. Some American-based companies/restaurants take the United States dollar; for example, all McDonald's in Germany take the United States dollar.What is a German dinner? ›
Most people have tried out savory bratwurst, schnitzel, and pretzels. But you can also sample braised cabbage and labskaus. It is true that German cuisine offers a number of potato dishes. German potato salad and fried potato patties are popular options. But you can sample many meat and vegetable dishes.What is the Germany version of Walmart? ›
The US-style WalMart (no groceries) stores in Germany are, among others, "toom" - http://www.toom.de and "real,-" - www.real.de.What is a popular store in Germany? ›
Some of the best stores for shopping in Germany are Aldi Nord, Lidl, Norma, Netto Marken-Discount, and Penny Markt.What is the most popular grocery store in Europe? ›
Target and Monoprix are general purpose mini-dept.Are supermarkets open on Sunday in Germany? ›
In Germany, most businesses are closed on Sundays and on public holidays. Even supermarkets are closed, so people who move to Germany quickly learn to do their grocery shopping in advance.What is the largest grocery store chain in Germany? ›
Edeka: The largest German supermarket chain has almost 6,000 stores, ranging from hypermarket-style to convenience stores.
How can I save money on groceries in Germany? ›
Saving on groceries - weekly offers
One of the best ways to save money on your groceries at essentially any supermarket is to make use of their weekly offers! You will often find these at highlighted areas at the store, but there's usually also a paper and digital list of items that are discounted that week!