Belgium is a food lover’s dream. Beyond the famous waffles and chocolates, there’s a hidden gem you should explore: local supermarkets. These places aren’t just for groceries; they’re treasure chests filled with Belgian goodies you can take home as delicious souvenirs. Let’s dive into some top Belgian supermarkets that will spice up your trip.
Delhaize – Belgian Flavor Galore
Delhaize, a beloved Belgian supermarket chain, is a must-visit for any traveler in Belgium. As you step in, you’ll be greeted by a wide selection of Belgian chocolates, from classic brands to artisanal creations.
Recommended to Visit – Delhaize Hopland
The Delhaize store on Meir Street in Antwerp (Delhaize Hopland) is a particularly charming location.
It is located under Stadsfeestzaal, a beautiful and elegant shopping mall, on the most active shopping street. Don’t forget to explore the extensive Belgian beer aisle, where you can find both well-known brands and hidden gems. Delhaize offers a glimpse into the heart of Belgian culinary culture.
Delhaize Supermarket Group operates a variety of store formats to cater to the diverse shopping preferences and needs of consumers. Here’s a breakdown of the different types:
- Delhaize… traditional, full-scale supermarkets
- Proxy Delhaize…small stores primarily designed for quick and convenient shopping in urban areas
- AD Delhaize… stores that are larger than Proxy Delhaize outlets but smaller than general delhaize stores
- Louis Delhaize …various store formats, ranging from smaller convenience stores to larger supermarkets.
CRU : Where Quality Reigns
CRU is a supermarket chain in Belgium renowned for its emphasis on high-quality, locally-sourced products. From farm-fresh vegetables to handcrafted cheeses and cured meats, CRU showcases the best of Belgian cuisine. It’s an ideal place to immerse yourself in the essence of Belgium’s food heritage.
Recommended to Visit – CRU Groenplaats
The CRU store on Groenplaats in Antwerp is a food lover’s paradise. Here, you can discover a selection of fresh, organic, and artisanal products. It is located in the most easy-to-access area of Antwerp city so you can visit anytime you want.
Colruyt – Budget-Friendly Shopping
If you’re a budget-conscious traveler, Colruyt is your go-to supermarket. Known for its competitive prices and vast product selection, Colruyt allows you to explore Belgian flavors without breaking the bank. Look for deals on chocolates, biscuits, and beers to stock up on affordable souvenirs.
Carrefour – Convenience Meets Variety
Carrefour, a global supermarket giant, has a strong presence in Belgium. Their stores offer a wide range of products, making it convenient for travelers to find essentials and local delicacies under one roof. Carrefour often features seasonal Belgian specialties, so keep an eye out for limited-edition treats during your visit.
The Barn Bio Market – Organic Delights
The Barn Bio Market is a haven for health-conscious travelers seeking organic and eco-friendly products. This supermarket offers a wide array of organic Belgian goodies, from fresh produce to pantry staples. Discover the unique taste of locally-sourced, sustainable treats.
Marché Bio des Tanneurs – A Farmers’ Market Experience
For an authentic Belgian farmers’ market experience, head to Marché Bio des Tanneurs in Brussels. This open-air market features a vibrant atmosphere with stalls brimming with fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and handmade chocolates. Engage with local farmers and artisans while indulging in the flavors of Belgium.
Bio-Planet – Sustainable Shopping
Bio-Planet, a part of the Colruyt Group, specializes in organic and sustainable products. It’s an ideal stop for eco-conscious travelers looking to purchase organic Belgian chocolates, snacks, and ethically-sourced goods.
SPAR – Your Neighborhood Supermarket
SPAR is a well-known international supermarket chain with numerous outlets in Belgium. It’s an excellent choice for travelers seeking convenience and a wide variety of Belgian products. Explore their aisles to discover local chocolates, beers, and more.
Things to Know Before Shopping
Weekend Closures: Some supermarkets, especially on Sundays, may have limited operating hours or be closed entirely. It’s a good idea to check the store’s schedule in advance to avoid inconvenience.
Shopping Bags: In Belgium, you often need to bring your own shopping bags or pay extra for them. So, consider carrying reusable bags to save money and reduce waste.
Currency and Payment: Belgian supermarkets mostly accept the Euro (€). Ensure you have some cash or a credit card that works in Europe for your purchases. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases or at stores with a minimum card limit.
Food Regulations: Before buying food items to take back to your home country, check your country’s regulations. Certain food products may have restrictions or require declarations at customs.
Language: While many supermarkets have signs in multiple languages, it can be helpful to know some basic French or Dutch phrases for easier communication.
Sales Tax: Prices in Belgium usually include VAT (Value Added Tax), which is typically around 21%. You won’t need to calculate or add tax separately.
Product Labels: Pay attention to product labels, especially if you have dietary restrictions or allergies. Ingredients and nutritional information are clearly displayed.