Turkish Supermarkets and Grocery Shopping – a Local’s Guide

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In Turkey, there are many places to buy groceries like supermarkets, street markets, and grocery stores.

As a Turkish local, in this article, I will mention the important details you need to know about Turkish supermarkets and where to buy groceries in Turkey. 

Supermarket Chains in Turkey

In a nutshell, there are 6  leading supermarket chains in Turkey. Below you can see their names and price range.

The most popular supermarket chains.

  • Bim  (Budget)
  • A101 (Budget)
  • Şok (Budget)
  • CarrefourSA (Mid-Range)
  • Migros (Mid-Range)
  • Macro Center (Premium)

I usually shop from Migros because I believe their quality is superior to budget supermarket chains.  CarrefourSA is similar to Migros, but they are closing their operations in Turkey.

Macro does not have supermarkets in every major city, but I love to wander in their stores. You will find grocery items and exotic food in their supermarkets.

Bim, A101 are budget stores with limited variety and small supermarkets everywhere. Şok has fewer stores and provides a better shopping experience.

Lastly, we use Getir, Trendyol, and Migros apps to order groceries for our homes when we are not in the mood to go to the supermarket.  You can also check my other guide if you want to buy your groceries online.

I also added Instagram accounts of supermarkets, they are great for following discounts, and by checking them, you can also have an idea of supermarket prices in Turkey.

For more information, click to read my article about ordering groceries online in Turkey.

1. Bim

Bim is a well-known store that is famous for its cheap products. The main goal is to offer products at affordable prices. 

BIM has more than 10.000 stores in Turkey and is the leading supermarket chain.

Bim produces and sells mostly its own brands. Yet, you can also find a limited number of goods from well-known brands.

I sometimes find good deals in their stores and used to love their Turkish desserts. 

You can check their latest deals and information from their official website and Instagram account.

2. A101

A101 is another discount supermarket chain in Turkey, and it is the biggest competitor of Bim with 11.000 stores.

The chain was seen as an imitation of Bim when it started a decade ago, and now it has caught up with Bim with market share and store numbers.

Unlike Bim, in an A101 store, you can find various types of products that are usually well-known brands.

An A100 store usually has more diverse products than a BİM store.

You can check their latest deals and information from their official website and Instagram account.

3. Şok

Şok is one of the most popular discount supermarket chains in Turkey. The journey of Şok began in 1995 and today has 9.523 stores in most major settlements in Turkey.

I like how they revive old Turkish brands like Mis, Piyale, Mintax, Evin, and Amigo.

You can check their latest deals and information from their official website.

4. CarrefourSA

CarrefourSA was a very dominant supermarket chain ten years ago. ,

Initially, it was a joint investment between French Carrefour and one of the biggest Turkish conglomerates, Sabanci Holding. 

Carrefour 812 stores. Carrefour has fewer stores, but their stores are much larger and offer a wider range of products, from groceries to electronic products. 

You can check their latest deals and information from their official website and Instagram account.

5. Migros

Migros is my favorite supermarket, with many formats and sub-branches. These formats are M Migros, MM Migros, MMM Migros, and 5M Migros. The bigger with more Ms are bigger.

There used to be another retail chain Tesco Kipa, yet Tesco sold all its stores to Migros. 

Now, Macro Center, Happy Center, and Kipa have become sub-branches and are operated by Migros under Anadolu Holding.

Migros has more than 2300 stores and is definitely the leader in grocery shopping in Turkey.

You can check their latest deals and information from their official website and Instagram account.

6. Macro Center

Macrocenter is another sub-branch of Migros, and it deserves its own space because it is unique.

Macrocenter is a premium supermarket chain that offers high-quality products. 

The interior design of this supermarket is as good as its products. Macro Center reminds me of Marc&Spencer supermarket chain in the UK.

The brand has 128 stores and targets the upper customer segment.

You can find all kinds of snacks, exotic fruits, vegetables, and many items you would not find in ordinary supermarkets.

You can check their latest deals and information from their official website and Instagram account.

Supermarkets’ Opening and Closing Times

Supermarket opening times are usually from 08.30 to 21.00. Bigger Supermarkets can be open until 24.00, depending on the season. 

In summer, supermarkets usually close at later hours.

Bigger supermarkets offer free sports parking. All the markets provide shopping carts for free and bags for a small charge (2 USD cents at the moment.)

Check my online shopping guides for clothessupermarketselectronicsbooks, and accessories.

Street Markets

As Turkish people are usually very fond of grocery shopping, street markets are a very popular alternative to buying groceries in Turkey. 

Street markets are not permanent and have a designated day of the week. You can pass through the same street every day, it may seem like a regular street, yet one day, it will be full of vendors.

Every neighborhood in Turkey has a local bazaar area or streets that will be a street market on a certain day of the week.

Street markets, besides offering an authentic environment to observe Turkish culture, the groceries are usually fresher and cheaper than in supermarkets.

Also, you can buy accessories, clothes, and bags from these markets. Some of these street markets are also famous for clothes shopping, imitation products, and no-brand textiles.

Suggested Reading – Why are Turkish Towels Unique? Properties of Turkish Towels

Convenience stores (Bakkal or Tekel Bayi)

Most neighborhoods and villages will have convenience stores known locally as  Bakkal. 

These shops are operated independently by locals. 

Most of these stores usually have longer opening hours than the local supermarket, although prices are usually higher.

Bakkal will sell a limited range of essential everyday groceries and may have cigarettes.

Alcohol is widely available and perfectly legal in Turkey.

Alcohol is also sold in various local shops, and you are not limited to supermarkets. Also, there are liquor stores ( Tekel Bayi) that mostly sell alcohol products like wine, beer, raki, and vodka with very limited groceries and snacks.

Although they are authorized to sell alcohol products until 22:00, some of them risk selling at later hours.

Some conservative towns may not have liquor stores, but all have convenience stores (Bakkal).

Please read Do Turkish People Drink Alcohol? Our Laws, History, and Culture to learn more.

What to Buy in a Turkish Supermarket?

I you are like me and love to try new things in every country, here are some recommendations to check out in Turkish Supermarket,

  1. Spices: Turkish cuisine is known for its rich flavors, largely due to the wide variety of spices used. Pick up some unique Turkish spices like pul biber (red pepper flakes), sumac, and nigella seeds to bring these flavors into your own cooking.
  2. Turkish Delight (Lokum): This traditional sweet treat comes in numerous flavors, such as rose, lemon, mint, and pomegranate. You can also find varieties filled with nuts or covered in coconut flakes.
  3. Tea: Turkey is famous for its tea, especially the black tea grown in the Rize region. Pick up a pack to enjoy at home. Also consider apple tea, another local favorite.
  4. Olive Oil and Olives: Turkey is one of the world’s largest producers of olives. Turkish supermarkets often have an impressive variety of olives and high-quality olive oil.
  5. Turkish Cheese: Try some traditional Turkish cheeses like beyaz peynir (white cheese similar to feta), kaşar (a type of aged cheese), and tulum (a special kind of aged cheese).
  6. Baklava: This sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey is a must-try.
  7. Meze Ingredients: Turkish supermarkets are great places to find ingredients for meze, small dishes served before meals. This includes things like stuffed vine leaves, hummus, and various types of dips.
  8. Turkish Wines and Raki: If you enjoy alcoholic beverages, consider trying some Turkish wines, which are gaining international acclaim. Or, for a more traditional experience, try raki, an anise-flavored spirit often enjoyed with meze.

Remember, supermarkets are also excellent places to find unique souvenirs or gifts that are truly Turkish. Enjoy exploring the aisles and discovering new flavors!

Turkish Supermarkets vs European Supermarkets

In general, you can buy similar products in Turkish supermarkets like any European supermarket. 

Yet, some medical supplies, pork products, and alcohol products may not be available in all supermarkets.

BIM, Şok, and A101 do not sell alcohol and have limited self-care products.

CarrefourSA, Migros, and Macro sell a wide range of alcohol and self-care products.

One of the major differences is that you can buy self-care products in Turkish supermarkets but not medical supplies. Medical supplies are only sold in pharmacies.

Also, besides Macro Store and some Migros or Carrefour stores, you will not find pork meat products in Turkey.

Pork products are legal but not consumed by an overwhelming majority of Turkish people. Check my other article if you are looking for pork products in Turkey.

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