A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Eating is probably the most important part of an international students life (except drinking of course) and Leiden has a wide choice of shopping centres conveniently dotted in and around town, but the best place to go grocery shopping may be hard to determine at first. Here at TheLeidener we will break down our favourite choices and hopefully that should give you a better idea of where to buy your grub!
For a link to all the supermarkets in Leiden including opening hours click here
The Dutch choice: Albert Heijn
This is predominantly where the dutch population shops. Slightly more upmarket, with generally higher prices for the same goods found in other supermarkets nearby. The major plus point of the AH is the ‘Bonuskaart’ which allows you to cash in on some of their amazing offers! There are five different Albert Heijns situated around Leiden and they come in many different sizes:
The student choice: Hoogvliet
Not a single international student I’ve ever met has been able to pronounce the name of this supermarket correctly. But this is by far the most common supermarket. It generally has great prices on a range of foods and if you collect 12 receipts you can normally claim some sort of free product – usually fabric softener of some sort (see back of receipt). The branch at Levendaal 20 is quite large and you can generally expect to find everything you need here.
The German choice: Aldi
Aldi, is Aldi. No matter what country you are in, be it England, Germany, or the Netherlands. No one produces dirt cheap food like Aldi does. If your shopping on a budget then Aldi is your place. We should warn you though, the Aldi at Raamsteeg 73-75 is a lifeless place which isn’t very well stocked, but the branch at Stationsplein 220-230 is a lot larger and much nicer to shop at.
The fancy pants choice: Jumbo
A relatively new supermarket in Leiden (Opened in Nov ’11) but its predecessor the Super de Boer was by far the most outrageous supermarket in town. At first glance Jumbo doesn’t seem to be much better but it does seem to have a nice array of good foods (if not a bit extortionately priced). Can be found next door to the Aldi at Stationsweg 44.
The English choice: Tuckerbox
Do you miss Tesco? Pining for Sainsbury’s? This shop situated at Botermarkt 23 stocks mostly English or Australian supermarket goods but charges a premium on their original prices. If you miss home it’s probably worth it, but check out their website in advance. They have a helpful staff who can order in anything they don’t have on their shelves.
The other contenders: Dirk/Digros, Deka
Not popular among internationals and can’t say we’ve shopped their ourselves. You’ll have to find our for yourself!
Jumbo should be the cheapest supermarket where A-mark brands are concerned. They have a policy of lowering their prcies to always be under the regular prices of other supermarkets in the same area. In fact, if you show them that a product is cheaper elsewhere, they immediately lower the price and you get it free (special discounts in other stores don’t count however)
This is definitely an interesting point. Will look into the price reduction thing. Thanks! Saleem.
In my opinion the Digros is a very nice supermarket and my supermarket of choice (for one since they have a liquorstore affiliated with them where I can get my Guinness fix <3). Very large and a lot of variety. Can't compare it to the Hoogvliet though, never shopped there since it's across town from me.
If you like Guinness, try tuckerbox. I’m pretty sure they have a stock of all non-continental european beers. Otherwise for Liquor I highly recommend Gall e Gall. There are a few around town, and they have great prices. Saleem
Speaking of Albert Heijn, also check out this sketch by John Fealy, a comedian who’s been living in Holland for a while.
I love Aldi for their low prices on many of the saelpts that I use! However, I have found that the smaller, ethnic, locally owned grocery stores have the absolute cheapest prices on meat and produce. I have found green peppers for 50 cents a pound and red potatoes for 49 cents a pound. I usually start my shopping at Aldi to get everything on my list that is cheap and available and then move on to the locally owned stores. Finally, I end up at Wal-Mart for the specific items on my list that I can’t get a the smaller stores.
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