I seem to spend half my life in supermarkets in Thailand. Not because I want to but because so many of them have poor quality merchandise, ‘fresh’ vegetables that are so old they’re brown and rotting, high prices, low stock of imported western items and, in a couple of cases, are some of the grubbiest supermarkets I’ve ever seen anywhere. At half my visits to a supermarket in Thailand, I end up having to go on somewhere else to get the rest of my grocery shopping, as the supermarket I was just at was a) out of stock of half of what I needed or b) their ‘fresh’ produce was so old, it was about to grow legs and walk away of its own accord.
That’s why, after months of going from supermarket to supermarket in Bangkok trying to find anything that was at typical American or European standard, from now on, the only two supermarkets I will shop at here are Foodland and Gourmet Market. Why? Because these two are the absolute best supermarket chains in Thailand.
Foodland – I love Foodland. Their branches are clean, well taken care of, staffed with friendly, helpful and knowledgeable people, their prices are good (often cheaper than Tesco Lotus and Big C) and their produce is always, always, always fresh.
Add onto that, a superb meat, chicken and seafood department, their wonderful Took Lae Dee restaurants (their American breakfast is a must eat for any farang in Bangkok) and a killer selection of imported western goods and, honestly, if Foodland ever built a branch up near where I live (Central Ladprao – Major Ratchayothin – please, please, please, Foodland, build a branch – we’re dying up here for just one good supermarket), I’d be in there every day.
Gourmet Market – Seriously, what can you say about Gourmet Market except this is how every Thai supermarket should be.
Spotlessly clean, lovely staff, an absolutely enormous selection of products, fresh, fresh, fresh fruit and veggies, lots of specialty stalls selling delicious things, the best cheese selection in Thailand, a great pet shop, and an absolutely stellar salad bar.
Prices are slightly higher than other places, so I don’t buy everything here, but in the last few months (since Carrefour closed up shop in Thailand) I do 50% of my shop here every day and the other at Foodland.
Foodland and Gourmet Market really do kick ass. Every other Thai supermarket’s, that is.
As for the other Thais supermarkets – seriously, I’m amazed you have any customers left.