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One of the most overlooked tourist attractions in Alsace (and the rest of France) are French supermarkets...
I have lived here for a looong time and the differences still amaze me. Sure...you can find the basic items like milk, butter, juice, etc, but there are a lot of things you won't find...
And more importantly there are things you aren't looking for that...maybe you should try out!
French grocery stores are a great way to taste what it's like to "be French"
Hi, I'm Suzele and I'm here to help you create a more interesting, one of a kind trip to Alsace France. There is a lot of useful information that you can use to plan your trip yourself... or... I can do ALL the work for you on a private tour made just for you!
First off, there are a few different sizes of French supermarkets in Alsace...
Small Grocery Stores in France
If you're in a village or in the center of a bigger city, they will be small, but surprisingly they will have almost everything the big ones have where food is concerned except for maybe for the butcher counter or fish counter.
Fresh produce, frozen foods, canned and boxed foods, etc.. What is nice about these stores is that you can usually walk to them. They often don't have any parking so all the better.
Medium sized Grocery Stores in France
You'll find French supermarkets like these just outside of medium sized and bigger cities or in shopping zones.
You might be lucky enough to be close enough to walk to one, but more than likely you'll have to drive or take a bus.
These stores have a selection of pretty much everything you need to live in France. Clothing, kitchen stuff, household repair, things for your car, a butcher counter, a fish counter sometimes, prepared foods, etc. They may even have books and toys.
Large Grocery Stores in France
You won't find too many of this size of French grocery store. You'll only find them outside of larger cities in shopping zones.
If they don't have it, it will not be easy to find elsewhere. Clothing, books, magazines, electronics, appliances, kitchen stuff, household stuff, some furniture plus a bigger fresh produce section, frozen foods, prepared foods, a butcher and fish counter, prepared foods, etc...
You will need a car or a lot of patience sorting out how to get there by bus.
Opening Hours of Supermarkets in Alsace
Alsace is a bit different than other regions of France as most French people will tell you. Almost all stores open around 8:30am and close around 7 or 8pm. All of them are closed on Sundays.
Smaller grocery stores close around 12pm and reopen at 2pm. This is also true for most smaller stores.
One of the reasons is that many schools (especially elementary schools) don't have a cafeteria so the children come home to eat. Small grocery stores are usually run by the owners, so they close up to go home and feed their children.
Generally the rule is: the smaller the store, the more restricted the opening hours.
Bigger stores are open during lunch usually but they will usually close at 7pm.
On Sundays if you are desperate, you will sometimes find tiny ethnic grocery stores that are usually open. In touristy areas you sometimes find little supermarkets open. Your best bet is to go in the morning.
Grocery Bags in France
In Alsace and the rest of France as well, you have to bring your own grocery bags or buy one at the store.
Personally I always keep a few of them in the car. Sometimes they are really cute and could make an interesting souvenir...
You are also expected to bag your own groceries...
You won't find much of a difference in the different supermarket chains in France. They all have basically the same things and their prices are about the same.
The supermarket chains listed have all sizes of stores.
There are discount supermarkets in Alsace but they tend to be small and they don't quite carry everything although they usually have most everything food wise.
Grocery Store Chains
Discount Grocery Store Chains
Your Travel French Food Dictionary
Alsatian Specialties in Restaurants
French Restaurant Food in Alsace
Alsatian Christmas Cookies: Wihnachts Bredele
Your Alsatian Food Questions Answered
So now that I've peaked your interest, what have you discovered in a French grocery store or food shop in Alsace?
Click below to see what you can find in a French supermarket in Alsace...
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