We have talked about the pros and cons of living in London where I talked about life, jobs, cost of living so this is an extension to that. I am going to introduce you to list of supermarkets in London. From the cheapest supermarket in London to someone what luxury and popular London grocery chains you are likely to come across when you visit.
In my post on how to save money when visiting London, I also talked about why you should consider buying food from grocery stores in order to save money. So, you happen to be staying in one of the London self-catering hotels or apartments in London, this post should also be very handy.
Whether you visiting London as a student, moving to London, or doing the whole touristy thing, supermarkets not only offer access or your groceries but they also do meal deals for lunch which are filling and a lot cheaper than dining at a restaurant. Below is a guide on all main grocery stores in London. Beyond this you will also find the local Traveling through London, you are sure to come across hundreds of grocery stores or supermarkets that cater to local communities. For example, you will find Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Moroccan, Arabic, Nigerian supermarkets in many areas of London that are populated with people from those countries or ethnic groups.
I hope at all of these because sometimes if you are looking for spices or ingredients for certain dishes, Tescos, or Sainburys and stores like that just won’t cut it!
London Supermarkets And Grocery Chains
Grocery shopping in London is made easy because you have large grocery chains all over London and many of them like Tescos will also have smalls stores called metros and express stores. While these will still offer value, their prices for food will be a few pennies more expensive to compensate for the fact that they are in the inner city or central parts of town, where I guess business rates and rents might contribute for the slightly higher prices compared to the large supermarket store prices. Below are the smallest and biggest supermarkets in London. Whatever areas in London you choose to stay, you will likely see many of these grocery stores.
Waitrose and Partners have branches in London, and they work with sustainable producers of all the fresh foods. You can get groceries, products for your pets, and gardens. Cook up a storm with the recipes available on the site. From making cupcakes to some complicated dishes, Waitrose online has all these in-store.
The grocery chain exports fresh produce to over 60 countries and has developed products to offer everything from frozen foods to soft drinks and wines. The brand is a popular choice for the locals, too, since the store offers home delivery of the products, making it one of the most reliable names in the business right now. The store also provides kitchen and dining supplies, along with baby essentials and beauty and lifestyle products. Compared to all the supermarkets, Waitrose is usually more expensive but amazing quality in everything the do and sell.
A familiar brand of supermarket or grocery store in London offering the best of foods and drinks is Co-op. Members own the brand, and hence, it is more affordable and made keeping in mind the buyers’ affordability range. The foods you can find range from the staples for non-vegetarians, vegans, and vegetarians alike. They also offer recipes and ingredients to help in cooking and putting together meals.
They also offer ‘ready in 30 minutes or less’ options available for those quick bites and snack-loving public. This is not just a grocery supermarket offering foods, they also catering to the ‘spirited’ needs, you can get red wine, white wine, whiskey, vodka, gin, liqueur, champagnes, sparkling waters, and fortified ones. Partnering with stores across London and beyond the Co-op store they also offer free home delivery. The store offers reasonably priced food for your daily hunger pangs in a variety of prices.
It unlikely you will travel through the UK or London and not come across this supermarket giant. The chain of these popular outlets has been a must-visit by all the locals and tourists alike. Originally, from Germany, there are around 800 stores in the entire UK and 88 in London alone. From the unique logo of yellow and blue to the store’s stocking its line of products, you come across many firsts in this.
You can get freshly baked rolls and buns in the Lidl’s very own bakery section. Lidl is among the few cheapest supermarkets in London, offering amazing discounts on really quality foods from around the world. Yes, you can get everything from Italian pasta and sauces freshly caught and frozen seafood. I just love their baked pastries. Delicious!
- Whole Foods
The American brand of Whole Foods had already set up 500 stores in North America and by 2019, has over 7 stores in the UK. The best aspect of this brand is its special Pizza Bar segment, where you get an assortment of special ingredients. Check out the Taqueria for its Mexican special items on sale. Get freshly ground coffee beans in the Coffee Bar, and self-serving Mochi ice cream in the Mochi Bar.
Health-conscious people can look forward to the healthy fresh fruit juices in the separate Juice Bar. The stores have in-store experts to help you pick the stuff necessary for the baking and fish recipes. Get the finest wines, beer, and spirits flowing here. While, products may be of high quality and mostly organic, expect to pay a heft price for it.
Another iconic chain of supermarkets in London is Tesco. It recently opened its self-checkout central London outlet in February. The store is close to the hearts of the citizens in the UK. It has branches in popular parts of the city too but many of these are smaller branches called Metro or Tesco Express. All the stores in the Tesco chain are famous for being the vast outlets, but the modern ones have cashless tills and self-service tills for helping the buyers with quick checkout in rush hours.
You can buy anything from groceries to processed foods and more both from the stores offline and online. With over 450,000 employees now, the store has had humble beginnings. Orginally started by Jack Cohen who returned from the war to set up a small stall in East London in 1919 and made a profit of 1 pound on day one on the sales of £4. The first store of Tesco came up in 1929 in Burnt Oak Edgware, North London. The rest, as you know, is history.
Morrisons is a supermarket that also has a well-stocked online hub as you get everything you need from breakfast cereals to processed cans of food. There are additional offers on specific brands and products available from as low as 50 pence. You can find everything from fresh fruit to butchers or fish mongers in some stores.
Asda is also among the cheapest UK Supermarkets. The founders, Peter and Fred Asquith set up the first Asda store in 1920 in Castleford, giving the UK its first self-service supermarket. They sold processed cans of soup, and soon they began offering it at discounted prices to become one of the earliest stores to bring in this concept.
Even today, the brand sells an affordable range of products, from clothes to foods at discounts. They also take care of offering their brands primarily and essentially in almost all categories. From baby care products to farm products, you get all these at reasonable prices from the Asda.
Nisa Stores although note that populated in London, you can still find them in inner suburbs. In a way are now more of a convenience store. You can buy products such as ciders, lagers, and others from major brands. What makes Nisa a great supermarket is that they offer massive discounts.
Londis came up in 1959 as a retail store. The company today has branches across England, Scotland, and Wales. You are sure to come across as many as 2,200 stores here though most of them are small in comparison to the other brands above. These are compact and convenient grocery stores with great potential.
The award-winning own-brand ranges are the specialties across various categories. However, if you want a wider range of products best head to larger grocery supermarkets, like Tesco or Asda.
Most people across the world are now aware of the popularity of Sainsbury. As a supermarket giant, they have ensured that the buyers face no problem in shopping and can get everything under one roof. Even their online store is a great initiative to help the buyers look nowhere else for buying anything and everything from Sainsbury at the best prices.
The brand today has tough challenges in the form of Tesco and Asda, but this is not deterring them from selling groceries, home essentials, and even recipes. The Sainsbury Locals have opened up as a smaller version of these supermarkets. They sell everything a person needs from groceries to cleaning essentials without any problem. In short, the Sainsbury brand is here to stay.
Among independently owned convenience stores is Costcutters. The brand was established in 1986 and had slowly been growing from strength to strength. It started in the UK to grow to Ireland and even as far as Poland. True to its name, the store is famous for being reasonably priced. The brand is associated with partners in the co-operative business sectors and other major stores. They do not have their own brand, but you get to see them everywhere. London has a fair share of convenience or grocery stores.
Aldi is the common brand of two German family-owned discount supermarket chains with over 10,000 stores in 20 countries including of course the UK. Based in Germany, the chain was founded by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946 when they took over their mother’s store in Essen. You can find Aldi dotted around the UK with plenty of stores in and around London. Prices are similar to Lidl but I have found Lidle to be much cheaper.
Where To Get Cheap Groceries In London
If you are new to London, moving to London and looking for the cheapest grocery store in London, you will find this in Lidl and Aldi. They offer amazing value for grocery shopping in London. You can easily get a weekly food shop for £20 compared to Tesco or Sainsburys where the small number of items or food list will be twice as much if not a little be more. So the cheapest grocery store in London is Lidle and Aldi.
Grocery Delivery In London
If you are unable to get to the supermarkets in London, you can also get grocery delivery to your home. Many of the biggest supermarkets in London offer grocery delivery. Below are stories that offer delivery:
- Sainsbury’s – Delivery offered from larger stores and online store
- Tesco – You have to book a slot in advance. Mostly 2 days to 7 days availability.
- ASDA – Similar delivery slots to Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrisons.
- Morrisons – Grocery delivery offered by booking slots online
- Amazon Fresh – Amazon works in partnership with Morrissons to deliver groceries. One of my favourites too as you can have food delivery as quickly as the following morning.
- Ocado – Ocado delivers groceries on behalf of Waitrose and Marks and Spencers who I have not included but they do also offer food. They are on the more expensive side as well.
- Deliveroo – You can not only find takeaway but can also get grocery deliveries within 20 minutes of ordering. Mainly from 8am – 9pm for groceries. Currently, on Co-Op, Nisa, Costcutters and Morrisons are on Deliveroo but with very limited grocery options. Think, basics!
Quick Guide To Food Prices In London
Below is a guide price for some of the staple foods in London.
- Loaf of bread – £1
- Two pints of milk – £0.89
- Instant Coffee – £2.24
- Granulated Sugar – 1kg – £0.69
- Bag of bananas – £1.24
- Meat – Diced beef – £ 2.55
- Fish – Salmon fillets – £3.85
- Bag of potatoes – 2kg – £1.55
- Flour – £2
- Tub of butter – £ 2.20
- Carton of 6 eggs – £0.89
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