Welcome to your complete guide to supermarkets in Portugal. Whether you're a long-time resident or a newcomer, understanding the best places to shop for groceries is key to settling in. We'll cover everything from the biggest chains to operating hours and online options. Let's dive in!
Portuguese Supermarkets: Variety and Convenience
Portugal is home to a variety of supermarkets, known as 'supermercados', providing a range of options for shoppers. The largest chains include Pingo Doce, Pão de Açúcar, Minipreço, SPAR, Continente, Lidl, Intermarché, and Apolonia Supermercados. Each one offers a unique shopping experience and product range, catering to different needs and preferences【7†source】.
As the largest supermarket chain in Portugal, Pingo Doce operates more than 400 stores nationwide. The brand stands out for its focus on healthy food options. Pingo Doce supermarket was established in 1979 and has grown to become one of Portugal's most well-known grocery stores, with more than 300 locations throughout the nation. As a result of Pingo Doce's widespread popularity in Portugal, you may find one in almost any neighborhood. Pingo Doce has medium-quality products, and their prices aren't as low as Lidl's.
Pão de Açúcar
Pão de Açúcar is part of the French group, Auchan, and is known for its large stores. However, note that the brand names Jumbo and Pão de Açúcar are being phased out in favor of the Auchan brand.
With over 534 stores in Portugal, Minipreço, which translates to "mini price", is a popular discount supermarket. Originally part of the French company Carrefour, it's now owned by the Spanish chain Dia.
SPAR, a Western European supermarket chain, has over 130 stores around Portugal. It tends to be a bit pricier compared to other supermarkets.
Intermarché is a long-standing supermarket brand in Portugal and Europe. There are about 200 Intermarché stores around Portugal. Intermarché is a French supermarket chain with a number of stores in Portugal. The company was founded in 1969 and now operates over 50 stores in the country. They offer fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, dairy products, bakery items, household goods, and more. Intermarché is known for its competitive prices and loyalty program, which offers discounts and special promotions to members. Intermarché isn't your cheapest option, however, the quality is pretty good.
Popular in the Algarve region, Apolonia Supermercados is known for its personal and unforgettable customer experience. There are three stores located in Almancil, Lagoa, and Galé.
Founded in 1985, Continente operates 519 shops around Portugal, including the Madeira and Azores islands. The Portuguese grocery store chain Continente belongs to the Sonae Group. It has been around since 1979 and now has over 400 locations.
Supermarkets on the continent provide a vast assortment of foodstuffs, including fresh vegetables, meats, dairy products, pastry items, household goods, and much more. There are also clothing sections and pharmacies in the stores.
People like the Continente loyalty program because it gives its members discounts and sales that only they can get. Private-label food, home goods, and toiletries are also widely available in the shops.
Overall, Continente is one of the best places to shop in Portugal because it has a wide range of items at reasonable prices and is easy to get to.
The Lidl grocery store chain from Germany is very popular in Portugal. It was founded in the 1930s, and there are currently more than 200 stores spread around the nation. Lidl sells a wide variety of commodities, including fresh produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, home items, and more. Lidl is worldwide known for giving customers exceptional value for their money. Online shoppers in Portugal may order from Lidl and have their items delivered right to their doors. Lidl has taken steps to limit food waste to protect the environment, such as using recycled materials in packaging and offering paper bags to consumers instead of plastic ones.
Portugal is home to a number of Aldi budget supermarkets. The business was established in 1913 and today has more than 50 outlets around the nation. They provide the same selection of goods as other supermarkets, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, and seafood. Aldi also provides home delivery and online shopping alternatives, and people often cite their very low pricing and unexpectedly high food quality as reasons to purchase there.
Auchan is a French multinational retailer that runs a network of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and other retail establishments under the Auchan brand. Auchan manages a network of supermarkets and hypermarkets throughout Portugal. These shops provide a broad variety of things, such as home items, apparel, electronics, and fresh and packaged meals. Portugal's Auchan supermarkets are renowned for their low costs and large product assortment. The business prioritises customer service and strives to provide its customers with a convenient and delightful shopping experience. From Monday through Saturday, Auchan's shops in Portugal normally are open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm; certain stores may have less hours on Sunday or may be closed on Sunday. Auchan offers excellent value for money.
El Corte Ingles
In Spain, El Corte Inglés department stores sell a wide range of goods, such as clothes, electronics, furniture, and food. The store is usually big and in a busy area, so people can shop easily. High-quality goods and unique items that can't be bought anywhere else make up for the higher prices compared to other Portuguese businesses. Below ground level is where you'll find the grocery.
Operating Hours of Portuguese Supermarkets
Most supermarkets in Portugal operate between 8am to 8pm daily, with some opening or closing a bit earlier or later depending on the location. The good news is, most do not close at lunchtime and during the weekends. Continente stores differ from the rest because they are usually open until late (either 11pm or midnight)【8†source】.
Online Grocery Shopping in Portugal
Yes, you can shop online in Portugal! Some of the large supermarkets, such as Jumbo, Intermarché, and Continente, offer online shopping options for everything from fresh produce to toys and clothes. However, keep in mind that you'll need to register first. Most companies will deliver to your location at a time chosen by you, and payment can be made online or at the time of delivery. Note that Pingo Doce and Lidl currently do not offer home delivery services【9†source】.
Sustainability in Portuguese Supermarkets
Portugal is taking strong steps against plastic bag usage. Over the past few years, plastic bag usage in Portuguese stores and supermarkets has dropped by more than 90% due to the introduction of a tax on their use. So don't forget to bring your reusable shopping bags!【10†source】.
Finding International Food in Portugal
If you're missing food from home, don't worry. Most large supermarkets in Portugal have an "international" section with food products typical of other countries. You can also find international grocery shops around Portugal such as Flavers – International Flavours Shop in Lisbon, GB Store in Cascais, Overseas – Iceland in Albufeira, and Glood Estoril in Estoril【11†source】.
Vegan Options in Portuguese Supermarkets
Veganism may be a fairly new concept in Portugal, but every large supermarket around the country offers vegan options. There is an increasing variety of plant-based products available, ranging from fresh produce to packaged goods, making it easier to maintain a vegan diet while in Portugal【12†source】【98†source】.
So there you have it - your comprehensive guide to supermarkets in Portugal! Happy shopping!
When choosing the best supermarket in Portugal, it's important to consider a few factors such as location, selection, prices, quality, and customer service. Increasingly, people are also looking for supermarkets that offer online shopping and delivery.
We have done the research so that you don't have to.
Which is the best supermarket in Portugal?
It is difficult to determine which supermarket is the "best" one in Portugal, as the best choice will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
It is a good idea to research different supermarkets and compare their offerings to find the one that best meets your needs. You may want to consider visiting several supermarkets and comparing prices and products to find the best value for your money.
If we had to choose, we would go for Lidl or Auchan. Lidl offers incredible value for money and surprisingly high-quality food. Auchan is the best option if you're looking for consistently higher-quality products at reasonable prices.
Most popular supermarkets in Portugal
This chart is based on Google searches. According to google these are the most popular supermarkets in Portugal. There are lots of ways to measure this. Some people would say that we should measure the largest supermarkets with the most number of stores. However, online shopping is more popular than ever, so we think this is a great way to measure which supermarkets are trending and what is most popular with online shoppers.
Supermarket opening times in Portugal
In general, supermarkets in Portugal are usually open:
- From Monday to Friday, most supermarkets are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Some stores may have shorter hours on Mondays and Fridays, usually closing at 8 or 9 p.m.
- Most supermarkets are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Some stores may have longer hours, staying open until 9:00 pm.
- On Sunday, many supermarkets are closed, but stores in big cities and tourist areas may be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's important to note that these hours may change depending on the store and location, and some stores may have different hours on holidays.
Before heading out, it's a good idea to check the store's hours.
Asian supermarkets in Portugal
A small number of Asian supermarkets exist in Portugal. Most of the time, these stores sell a variety of Asian goods, such as ingredients for Asian dishes, household items, and other things. Larger cities in Portugal, such as Lisbon and Porto, contain Asian grocery stores. These supermarkets are owned and operated by Asian immigrant groups, and they often sell ready-made food to take away
Specialty and organic supermarkets in Portugal
There are a number of specialty and organic supermarkets in Portugal, including:
- BioCantinho: A chain of organic supermarkets that offer a wide range of organic products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, dairy, and more.
- Natura: Offers natural and organic products, including food, household items, and personal care products.
- Ekoland: A chain of supermarkets that offer a wide range of organic and natural products, including fresh produce, meats, dairy, and more.
- Ecogrão: Specialize in organic and sustainable products, including food, household items, and personal care products.
It's important to remember that these stores may not be in all parts of Portugal, and the specialty and organic products they sell may depend on the store and where it is.
The best Portugal markets
There are many markets in Portugal that offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, dairy products, baked goods, clothing, and more. Some of the best markets in Portugal, organized by popularity, are:
- Mercado da Ribeira: Located in Lisbon
- Mercado Municipal de Loulé: Located in the Algarve region
- Mercado de Santarém: Located in the city of Santarém
- Mercado do Bolhão: Located in Porto
- Mercado da Baixa: Located in the city of Portimão
Overall, these markets offer a wide range of products and are worth visiting for their unique atmosphere and selection of goods and foods. If you want to know more about markets in Lisbon check our article here.
Convenience stores in Portugal
Convenience stores, also called corner stores or corner shops, are small stores that sell a few essential items like snacks, drinks, and small groceries. They are usually open for long hours and are meant to be convenient for people who need to make quick purchases without going to a larger supermarket. In Portugal, there are several convenience stores:
- Minipreço: A chain of discount convenience stores. This one is also known as Dia Supermarkets.
- Intermarché Contact
- Pão de Açúcar Express
Liquor stores in Portugal
Alcoholic beverages are only typically sold at designated establishments called "adega" or "casa de bebidas" in Portugal, where the government regulates their sale. These businesses are allowed to sell wine, beer, spirits, and other alcoholic drinks. Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas (Central de Bebidas), which is owned by the government, is in charge of making, distributing, and selling alcoholic drinks in Portugal.
Adega Cooperativa is the name of a chain of liquor stores run by Central de Bebidas that offers a variety of alcoholic beverages, including Portuguese wines, beers, and spirits. These shops are supplemented by Portuguese independent liquor stores that sell a variety of alcoholic beverages. Typically open from Monday through Saturday, these businesses' hours might change based on the particular location and store.
Some businesses could open later on Fridays or close on Sundays. It's crucial to remember that selling alcohol to minors in Portugal is prohibited.
Food delivery services in Portugal
Some popular food delivery services in Portugal include:
- Uber Eats: We all know UberEats, a
- Glovo: Glovo is like Deliveroo in the UK.
- Bold Food: A cheap alternative to Uber eats, same restaurants and options, they also do Bold a private taxi alternative like Uber.
- Just Eat: Delivery service that allows you to order from a wide range of restaurants and have the food delivered to you.
- Takeaway: Food delivery to you for all the above. Personally, I have never tried it.
Overall, there are many food delivery services available in Portugal, offering a convenient way to have your favorite meals delivered to your doorstep.
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