EXPAT VOICES: Readers reveal their favorite grocery stores in Czechia

We polled our readers on where they do their shopping and why, from big chains to smaller markets and delivery services.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 24.11.2023 15:30:00 (updated on 24.11.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Last month, we asked you where you shop for groceries in Czechia – and why. We wanted to know your thoughts on the best place to shop in the country, considering factors such as price, food quality, variety, offers, and more. We also wanted to know whether you shopped online and – if so – which services you used.

Our survey garnered well over 100 responses – from praises to honest putdowns – shining a light on what expats really think about supermarkets in Czechia.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

In Czechia, which supermarket do you shop at most often?

Albert 31 %
Billa 6 %
Coop Discount 1 %
Delmart 2 %
Globus 2 %
Kaufland 9 %
Lidl 22 %
Makro 1 %
Norma 1 %
Penny Market 3 %
PLUS JIP 1 %
Tesco 11 %
Other (please specify in survey) 10 %
294 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

Best grocery stores overall

Albert is the most popular

In terms of the most frequently chosen supermarket to shop in, Albert was the clear winner. People picked Albert mainly for its location (being close to people’s homes) and good prices, with reader Maria saying that the Albert promotional card was also a big benefit. Sanan also said that the store’s loyalty bonuses tempted him to shop there.

Readers Bronwen and Anastasiya also commented that the store’s wide selection of products was a big appeal, with Roxana commending the wide “selection of food for all types of diets.”

“Albert has a variety of items that I am unable to find in other supermarkets… I avoid the chaos of bigger supermarkets, while there I can find what I want. Also, it has a big selection of healthy and high-quality foods.”

Reader Margarita

Most people who selected Albert believed it was the best store to shop in the entire country.

Lidl in second, Billa third

An overwhelming amount of people who mentioned Lidl said that the supermarket was affordable and well-located. Billa was the next most popular supermarket; reader Tanya praised the selection of “great vegetarian, dairy-free and organic products.” 

Numerous readers also mentioned Billa’s affordability and regular discounts. Interestingly, almost all readers who said they shopped in Billa picked the store because of its convenient location.

Tesco, Kaufland round out top contenders

Several people mentioned Tesco: reader Thomas said that the store offers a range of international foods. Another reader also pointed out that Tesco’s Clubcard comes in handy to save money. Its relatively low price and a large selection of foods also made the chain an attractive option. Natalia said she bought groceries from Tesco in the UK before, and so the store’s familiarity swayed her choice.

A large section of people also mentioned that they preferred shopping in Kaufland, mainly due to its size and variety of food offered. “It has a really wide range of options/brands. The quality is good and prices are good in comparison with other supermarkets. Also, the in-app food coupons are the best out of the rest of the supermarkets,” commented reader Laura. 

Another reader, Pavla, said that the fresh fish counter was especially good in Kaufland.

For some, there is no 'best store'

Some readers alluded to the fact that different stores are good for different food and drink items.

"I don't think there is a single best store, each is good for different things such as fresh produce, foreign ingredients, and meat."

Anonymous reader

"No one store is perfect. I shop at House of Julius Meinl Gourmet for product selection and convenience, I shop at Delmart for quality, and I shop at Billa for convenience," said one reader.

Most budget-friendly

We asked readers what they thought was the cheapest supermarket in all of Czechia. An impressive 50 people out of 140 ranked Lidl as the most affordable supermarket. In second place came Penny Market, and in third place was Kaufland. Readers voted Albert as being the fourth cheapest, Billa fifth, and Tesco sixth. 

Stephen says it is important to look out for each supermarket’s special offers to get the best savings, whereas Giovanni candidly believes that “they all mimic each other,” and that all differences in price are barely noticeable. 

Our survey reveals that price, convenience, and food selection are expats’ biggest priorities when choosing a supermarket. Although the “perfect” supermarket may not exist, the wide range of stores in the country means that there is, hopefully, something to suit everyone’s taste.

Makro and Globus good for foreign produce

Makro and Globus got some mentions too. “It has everything I need in one place, including a good selection of foreign things,” said reader Christian about Makro. One reader said they preferred to shop in Globus because of its “expat friendliness” and the fact that staff are “hands-off” due to it being a large store. 

Reader Giovanni says he likes Globus the most because of the shop’s Scan&Go feature, making payment and checkout much faster. Its wide selection of foreign products was also a big plus.

A range of other stores

Reader Casey said that his favorite supermarket had been the British Marks & Spencer chain due to its high-quality dairy and vegetable offerings, although after Brexit the selection of foods shrank drastically. 

Nowadays, he shops at Delmart. Several people mentioned this store due to its good quality and range of fresh fruit and vegetables: French reader Déborah says she goes there because of the wide “selection of French food.” However, people repeatedly pointed out the store’s expensiveness despite its very high quality. 

Reader Chris mentioned he shops at Penny Market due to its cheap prices, too.

Other readers mentioned shopping at Prague 4’s large Asian Sapa Market, and Casey even mentioned his preference for shopping at farmer’s markets to source the freshest possible meats and vegetables.

Best grocery delivery service

Rohlík

Roughly half of all respondents said they often or occasionally do their grocery shopping online. 

By far the most popular online shop was Rohlik – people mainly picked it for its good selection of foods and low costs. “Prices are usually close enough to standard retail shops to not have to worry,” said reader Julien. Iustina says she uses Rohlik due to its “speedy delivery, competitive prices, and variety of products.” 

One person did point out that recently surging delivery costs have put him off online shopping for the foreseeable future.

“It's fast and it has the best customer service – even for foreigners,” said another reader.

Košík also popular

Several people also mentioned using delivery service Košík. “It offers certain foods that are not in regular supermarkets,” says reader Roxana. Paul also said that Košík’s service was “friendly and perfect.” 

A few people said they used Tesco online delivery. Reader Theresa says that it is easy to use the website and app to order food, and Stephen similarly comments that he appreciates Tesco’s “ease of use.” 

“Košík has a variety of items and good offers, delivery is quick, but delivery charges are more than expected."

Reader Avi

Tesco is easy, Wolt has English

Some readers said they use Wolt to buy groceries – one person commented that this is due to its English-friendliness.

Ordering international food

Indian reader Vikram said he uses Swagat.cz to order Indian food, and another reader of the same country said they used Dookan.com.

Buyers' beware

Some readers had bad experiences with Czech supermarkets. One reader said that “staff at Kaufland are not helpful to non-Czech speakers.” Andrew complains that delivery service companies such as Košík do not deliver to his village, and another reader said they even experienced xenophobia at Lidl and Tesco.

Lydia also commented on her general supermarket experience in Czechia, saying that many of the staff – particularly the older generations – could not speak basic English. She therefore had troubles finding some products.

Our survey reveals that price, convenience, and food selection are expats’ biggest priorities when choosing a supermarket. Although the “perfect” supermarket may not exist, the wide range of stores in the country means that there is, hopefully, something to suit everyone’s taste.

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