Berlin grocery shopping

2 08 2007

This will probably convince you that I’m a total geek with no life, but one of the things I like most about Berlin is the fabulous experience it offers to the tiny grocery shopper – that’s me.

I don’t think I’d actually been to a grocery in Berlin – when talking about “groceries” I mean supermarkets, usually small, that are selling mostly foods, house cleaning materials, cosmetics, etc.Ulrich receipt.

There are two large supermarket chains to which I’ve been to in Berlin: Caesar and Ulrich. Both felt tom me pretty “homey”, compared to the huge supermarkets I saw in the US. It’s unbelievable how they manage to shove so many products into such (relatively) small places – usually between 100 and 200 square meters, I think.

In general, the products at both the chains mentioned were of good or very good quality. Tasty vegetables and fruits, fine pastries, superb dairy products, all possible kinds of sweets, beverages and canned goods, and hundreds of other products – from washing powders and toothpastes to flowers and vases. Practically anything you can think of, and more.

And what’s better: the prices.

I found most food prices to be up to 30 percent cheaper than in Israel, which is much cheaper than most European countries. For about 20-30 Euros (30-40 bucks), we could buy all things needed for a couple a weekends of gourmet cooking, long bathing, serious laundering and short trips by foot out of our lovely apartment on Wilhelm street, 3 minutes walk from Brandenburg gate.

The supermarkets in the Mitte and Kreutzberg quarters serve mainly tourists, people who work for tourism industry, students and law to middle-class households. You can find in any supermarket the most pricey brands side by side with economy-brands like JA (in Ulrich), which offer excellent products for pennies. Because of the large population of immigrants, there are also many ethnic-brands, which are sometimes of very good quality, and very reasonably priced.

I’ll probably return to this delightful side of Berlin in the future. Meanwhile, remember that: you owe yourself these visits to the supermarkets. They are fun, they inexpensive, and you can find lots of good quality stuff in them, which you might want to take home with you. [Shooky].

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