There are many supermarket chains in London. There will definitely be one to cater to your needs and taste. Most chains are present in each district with store location being very convenient. Here is a brief description of London’s main supermarket chains, organised from the most upmarket to the least expensive.
Waitrose has the greatest selection of foods from around the world and is known locally as a rather posh supermarket. The store brand label offers high quality products at lower prices than some of the other brands available in the shop. Exotic ready-made pizzas and a wide array of dips are Waitrose highlights. The shop has a minimum online order of £40. Visit http://www.ocado.com for Waitrose home delivery.
Marks & Spencer: http://www.marksandspencer.com
‘M&S’ or ‘Marks and Sparks’, as it’s known to locals, is a London institution. The shops carry everything from groceries to furniture and clothing. M&S, however, is pricey. Fancy packaged salads and ready-made meals can run up to £8 and a medium package of grapes £4. Quality is high and the supermarket chain offers traditional English foods and ethnic varieties. M&S does not deliver groceries but you can order ahead of time and pick up your items in-store.
Tesco is everybody’s supermarket. It is affordable and ubiquitous. The chain carries the Tesco brand, which offers the same quality as major brands at lower cost. Tesco Metro is the shop’s comprehensive chain whilst Tesco Express is the shop’s smaller version located in business and residential centers alike. Tesco Express won’t have the same selection as Tesco Metro but it will definitely have the necessities. Tesco delivers to London addresses for a low fee. Many Tesco stores are open until midnight Monday – Saturday and close earlier on Sundays.
Sainsbury’s is slightly more expensive than Tesco and is probably Tesco’s biggest competitor. Branches are everywhere.
This massive superstore offers bargains and a great selection of foods from around the globe. Some locations even offer petrol, an optician, pharmacy, and photo center. The catch is that Asda locations are predominantly situated outside of central London. Clapham and Old Kent Road are a few of Asda’s locations.
Morrisons/The Co-op: http://www.morrisons.co.uk
Another huge superstore, Morrisons has more locations than Asda. However, as the stores are so big (some offer dry cleaning and car wash!), and since this chain merged with the Co-op, there are no shortage of branches included in central London. Morrisons does not currently deliver.
Budgens is a medium-sized chain that does not deliver groceries in London. Larger branches have a good selection of ethnic foods, including Middle Eastern varieties.
Lidl: : http://www.lidl.co.uk, Aldi: http://uk.aldi.com are international chains offering food at a discounted price. There is no presentation in either of them and items sold depend on what management has negotiated at a certain point in time; so sometimes you can find feta, for example, and sometimes you can’t.
Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list/uk
Whole Foods is an upscale American chain offering a huge selection of organic foods. Ready-made meals including hot and cold meat and vegetarian dishes are also available and popular at Whole Foods. Branches of the outlet in London are situated in Camden, Kensington, Piccadilly, Clapham, and Stoke Newington to name a few. Opening hours vary but the shops generally close before 9:30pm.
Consumables can also be found in large department stores (along with everything else that you need).
Fortnum and Mason: http://www.fortnumandmason.com
Fortnum and Mason, the grocery shop par excellence, opened its doors in 1707. Today the store sells luxury goods and is known as “the” provider for the Queen. The clock above the entrance is famous in its own right. Every hour, four foot high mechanical replicas of the original Mr. Fortnum and Mr. Mason pop out of their niches and bow to each other to the sound of chimes. Address: 181 Piccadilly, London, W1
Harrods has the most magnificent 17-department food halls. The range of food on display is spectacular, however it is also worth paying a visit to the store just to see its W J Neatley’s tiled ceilings above the fish, meat and poultry halls. Address: 87-135 Brompton Road, London, SW1 7XL
John Lewis: http://www.johnlewis.com
John Lewis has built its reputation on having everything you need under one roof, if it exists you will probably find it there, its food branch is Waitrose – see above. Address:Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX
Selfridges may be known for the most varied British food hall in London. Many specialities feature there and it is worth a visit to sample goods such as teas, cheeses, chocolates, biscuits and preserves. Address: Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB