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Shop Like A Local: The Best Supermarkets in Vietnam

Posted by vietlongadmin on June 2, 2023

Grocery shopping in Vietnam is a unique experience that offers a delightful blend of traditional and modern shopping options. From bustling open-air markets to sleek, contemporary supermarkets, there is something for everyone in Vietnam’s diverse food retail landscape.

This article will guide you through the different types of grocery stores and supermarkets in Vietnam and provide some tips on how to make the most of your shopping experience.

So, whether you’re a seasoned visitor or a first-timer, get ready to explore the vibrant world of Vietnamese grocery shopping!

Traditional Markets: A Taste of Authentic Vietnam

For a truly immersive Vietnamese shopping experience, you must visit one of the many traditional markets dotted throughout the country. 

These markets, known as “chợ” in Vietnamese, are bustling hubs of activity where you can find everything from fresh produce to household items. Here, you’ll discover various fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood, often sourced from local farmers and fishermen.

One of Vietnam’s most famous traditional markets is the Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. This market has been operating since the 17th century and offers an incredible array of food, textiles, and souvenirs. 

Other popular traditional markets include Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi and Hoi An Central Market in the charming town of Hoi An.

While shopping at traditional markets, feel free to haggle for a better price, as bargaining is expected and even considered part of the social interaction. Also, bring cash, as credit cards are rarely accepted in these markets.

Mini-Marts: Convenient Stops for Essentials

Vietnam has plenty of mini-marts and convenience stores for those who prefer a more familiar shopping experience. 

These small shops, such as VinMart+, Circle K, and FamilyMart, can be found on almost every street corner in major cities. They offer limited products, including snacks, beverages, toiletries, and basic household items. 

Although they may have a different variety than supermarkets or traditional markets, mini-marts are perfect for grabbing essentials or satisfying late-night cravings.

Supermarkets: The Best of Both Worlds

Vietnam’s supermarkets are the way to go if you’re looking for a one-stop shopping experience with a wider variety of products. 

These stores combine elements of traditional markets with the convenience of modern grocery stores. Some of Vietnam’s most popular supermarket chains are Co.opmart, Lotte Mart, AEON, and Big C.

Supermarkets in Vietnam offer a vast selection of local and imported products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, dairy products, and an extensive range of packaged and processed foods. 

Most supermarkets also have a bakery and a prepared food section, where delicious Vietnamese dishes like banh mi, pho, and spring rolls are found.

One of the unique aspects of Vietnamese supermarkets is the live seafood section, where you can choose from an array of fish, shrimp, and other seafood that are still swimming in tanks. Once you’ve selected, the staff will prepare the seafood for you to take home and cook.

Shopping Tips for a Seamless Experience

To make the most of your grocery shopping experience in Vietnam, keep these tips in mind:

  • Bring your reusable bags, as plastic bags are often charged for or not provided.
  • Shop early in the morning for the freshest produce and the best deals at traditional markets.
  • Be prepared to pay in cash, especially at traditional markets and smaller stores. Larger supermarkets and mini-marts may accept credit cards.
  • If you’re looking for imported products, head to supermarkets in expat-friendly neighborhoods or larger malls to find a wider selection.
  • Remember to sample local delicacies while you shop, as many markets and supermarkets offer delicious street food and prepared dishes.


Vietnam’s grocery shopping landscape offers a fascinating mix of traditional and modern options. From the lively atmosphere of traditional markets to the convenience and variety of supermarkets, there’s something for everyone. 

So, whether you’re a long-time resident or a new visitor, take the chance to explore the unique world of Vietnamese grocery stores and supermarkets. Happy shopping!

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