Supermarkets & Grocery Stores

Supermarkets and grocery stores in Portugal

Navigating the aisles of a new country’s supermarkets and grocery stores can be a journey filled with discovery and sometimes a bit of confusion. In Portugal, where the culture is rich and the food is a reflection of its diverse history and landscape, shopping for groceries isn’t just about restocking your pantry; it’s about immersing yourself in the local way of life. This guide is designed to be your compass through the vibrant world of Portuguese supermarkets and grocery stores, offering insights and tips to make your shopping experience as enriching and enjoyable as possible. Whether you’re an expat adjusting to life in Portugal or a local looking to explore beyond your regular shopping routine, our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive view of where and how to shop for the best Portugal has to offer. Crafted with expertise and a deep love for Portuguese culture, this guide is your first step towards shopping like a local.

Understanding Portugal’s Supermarket Landscape

Supermarkets in Portugal vary, offering a range of shopping experiences from sprawling hypermarkets to quaint local grocers. Major chains like Continente, Pingo Doce, and Lidl sit alongside traditional markets and specialty stores, each catering to different tastes and preferences.

Portugal’s supermarkets are more than just places to buy food; they are integral to the community’s daily life, reflecting the Portuguese values of quality, family, and tradition. The country has embraced the convenience of large retail chains without losing the charm and personal touch of local markets and shops. This section dives into the essence of grocery shopping in Portugal, providing a snapshot of the market’s dynamics, including the rise of organic and local produce, the availability of international goods, and the balance between tradition and modernity.

Top Supermarkets and Grocery Chains in Portugal


  • Overview: Continente stands as the largest Portuguese supermarket chain, boasting a widespread presence throughout mainland Portugal and extending its reach to Madeira and São Miguel in the Azores. Known for its vast product range, Continente is a one-stop shop for groceries, household items, and more.
  • Unique Features: Continente distinguishes itself with comprehensive delivery services covering all of mainland Portugal, making it an ideal choice for convenient online grocery shopping.
  • Accessibility: Store locator and opening hours can be found on For those inclined towards online shopping, Continente offers a user-friendly platform at, available in Portuguese.
Continente Shops
Continente has 369 stores in Portugal

Pingo Doce

  • Overview: Pingo Doce, a significant player in the Portuguese supermarket sector, operates stores throughout mainland Portugal and Madeira. Its stores range from compact city center locations offering daily essentials to larger hypermarkets featuring appliances and electronics.
  • Unique Features: Pingo Doce is praised for its quality produce and essentials, catering to all shopping needs under one roof. Its larger stores provide an extensive selection, including household appliances and electronics.
  • Accessibility: For store locations and hours, visit Online shopping is facilitated through Mercadão, available in Portuguese, whilst is about instore offers and promotions.
Pingo Doce Shops
Pingo Doce has 486 stores in Portugal


  • Overview: Formerly known as Jumbo, Auchan is a key supermarket chain in Portugal, featuring both small stores in city centers and larger hypermarkets on town outskirts. Auchan is a go-to for groceries as well as electronics and appliances.
  • Unique Features: The larger Auchan stores are particularly notable for their extensive range of electronic goods and appliances, catering to more than just your grocery needs.
  • Accessibility: Store information and opening times can be found at Auchan also offers an online shopping platform at, available in Portuguese.


  • Overview: With a slightly smaller footprint than Continente and Pingo Doce, Intermarché still maintains a significant presence across mainland Portugal. It stands out with its additional services, including petrol stations and camping spots for caravans.
  • Unique Features: Intermarché is recognized for its commitment to offering convenience beyond groceries, providing customers with integrated services for a seamless shopping experience.
  • Accessibility: For details on store locations and opening hours, visit Online shopping options are available.


  • Overview: A well-known name across Europe, Lidl is celebrated for its high-quality products at competitive low prices, albeit with a limited selection. Its stores are a common sight in Portugal, appealing to those who value quality and affordability.
  • Unique Features: Lidl’s approach to retail, focusing on simplicity and quality, has garnered a dedicated customer base. Its weekly themed promotions offer a taste of products from around the world.
  • Accessibility: Lidl operates a no-frills, in-store shopping experience. For store locations and hours, check out Online shopping is not available.
Lidl Store in Santarem Portugal
Lidl store located in Santarem Portugal.


  • Overview: Similar to Lidl, Aldi prioritizes quality, affordability, and a straightforward shopping experience. Customers often have a strong preference between the two, with Aldi winning many over with its focus on value for money.
  • Unique Features: Aldi’s commitment to quality at affordable prices, coupled with its minimalistic store layout, ensures a focused and efficient shopping experience.
  • Accessibility: Aldi’s presence in Portugal is robust, with detailed store information available at Like Lidl, Aldi does not offer online shopping.


  • Overview: Originating from Spain, Mercadona is rapidly expanding its footprint in Portugal, currently concentrated in Northern Portugal. Its growth signals an increasing presence that may soon reach further south.
  • Unique Features: Mercadona is known for its quality Spanish products, offering a variety of goods that cater to both local tastes and those seeking a touch of Spain.
  • Accessibility: Store locations and hours can be found at Online shopping is not currently an option.


  • Overview: Minipreço is a prominent supermarket chain in Portugal, part of the Dia Group, a Spanish international supermarket chain. Known for its compact, convenient store format, Minipreço operates extensively across Portugal, making it a familiar sight in both urban and suburban areas. The chain is especially popular among those looking for affordability without compromising on quality.
  • Unique Features: Minipreço stands out for its commitment to offering competitive prices across a wide range of products, from fresh produce and bakery items to household goods and personal care products. The stores are designed to facilitate a quick and efficient shopping experience, catering to the daily needs of the local community. Additionally, Minipreço frequently runs promotional campaigns, providing even more value to its customers.
  • Private Label Products: One of the key strengths of Minipreço is its extensive selection of private label products, which are known for their quality and affordability. These products offer an excellent alternative to brand-name goods, covering everything from pantry staples to specialty items.
  • Club Minipreço: Minipreço offers a loyalty program, Club Minipreço, which allows customers to access exclusive discounts, promotions, and personalized offers. Membership is free and can lead to significant savings over time.
  • Accessibility: Minipreço stores are conveniently located throughout Portugal, from city centers to more rural areas. For specific locations and opening hours, customers can visit Minipreç Online shopping is available.
Minipreco grocery store Portugal

Smaller Supermarkets and International Options

Smaller Chains: Portugal also hosts smaller supermarket chains like Spar, prevalent in cities and sometimes in small towns. These stores offer convenience and a curated selection of products.

International Supermarkets: For those seeking international products, specialized supermarkets cater to various cuisines and preferences, addressing the gap in mainstream supermarket offerings.

  • Mercado Asiático de Lisboa: Known for its extensive selection of Asian products, from fresh produce to snacks and spices.
  • Supermercado Oriental: R. da Palma 41, Martim Moniz, Alfama sells a variety of products suitable for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines.
  • Brazilian Supermarkets: With a significant Brazilian community in Portugal, numerous Brazilian supermarkets are available, particularly in Lisbon and Porto, such as Mercado Brasil Tropical, catering to the tastes of the Brazilian expat community.
  • American Store in Lisbon: Specializes in American products, offering snacks, candies, cereals, and more for those missing American flavors.

You can use a site like Yelp to help find international supermarkets and independent stores.

Oriental Supermarket Lisbon

Organic and Natural Product Stores in Portugal

Portugal’s interest in healthy living and sustainable practices is on the rise, leading to an increase in stores specializing in organic and natural products. Here’s a guide to some of the top organic stores and chains you’ll find across the country:

  • Celeiro: A leading name in the organic retail sector, Celeiro boasts a comprehensive selection of organic foods, dietary supplements, natural beauty products, and eco-friendly household items. With locations in major cities such as Lisbon and Porto, Celeiro is a go-to for health-conscious shoppers. Explore more at their website: Celeiro.
  • Go Natural: This chain stands out for its commitment to organic and natural products, offering everything from organic produce to health and wellness items. Go Natural stores can be found in Lisbon and Cascais, catering to a health-oriented clientele. Visit their website: Go Natural.
  • Brio: As an organic supermarket chain, Brio offers a wide array of organic foods and eco-friendly products. Shoppers in Lisbon and Porto can enjoy their extensive selection. For more information, check out: Brio.
  • Natur House: Specializing in health and wellness, Natur House provides a range of organic products, including dietary supplements and organic foods, to support a healthy lifestyle. Discover more at: Natur House.
  • Bioforma: With a focus on natural and organic products, Bioforma caters to those seeking supplements, organic foods, and natural beauty products, available in several cities across Portugal. Learn more at: Bioforma.
  • Mercearia Bio: This quaint grocery store in Lisbon is dedicated to organic and biodynamic products, offering a curated selection of organic foods and pantry essentials. Visit their website: Mercearia Bio.

Embracing Veganism in Portugal – Vegan Grocery Shopping

Portugal’s culinary landscape is evolving, with a growing emphasis on plant-based diets and sustainable eating habits. This shift is evident in the increasing availability of vegan food options across the country, catering to both locals and visitors who follow a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan-Friendly Supermarkets and Health Stores

Many supermarkets and health food stores in Portugal now boast a wide selection of vegan products. From dairy-free cheeses and plant-based milks to vegan meats and cruelty-free cosmetics.

If you compare the availability of vegan products available in Continente with a UK supermarket like Sainsbury’s then you will be spoilt for choice and in for a real treat.

Most of the stores mentioned in the above section sell Vegan products
Just in case that you were not aware the word for “vegan” in Portuguese is “vegano” for masculine and “vegana” for feminine.

Vegan Shopping Grocery Store

Shopping Smart: Tips and Tricks For the Grocery Store

Shopping in Portugal can be a delightful experience if you know how to navigate it. Here are some expert tips to enhance your grocery shopping:

  • Best Shopping Times: Avoid the rush by shopping during weekday mornings or early afternoons. Weekends and evenings can be particularly busy.
  • Understanding Labels: Look for labels such as “Produto de Portugal” for locally sourced items. Familiarize yourself with Portuguese terms for organic (biológico), gluten-free (sem glúten), and vegan (vegano) products.
  • Loyalty Programs: Many supermarkets offer loyalty cards that provide discounts and access to exclusive deals. Signing up can lead to significant savings over time.
  • Seasonal Shopping: Portugal is blessed with a variety of seasonal produce. Shopping seasonally not only ensures the freshest produce but also the best prices.
  • Discount Days and Coupons: Keep an eye out for flyers and apps from supermarkets advertising their promo days and coupons. Pingo Doce’s “Dia de Desconto” is particularly famous for its across-the-board discounts.

Armed with these insights, you’re now ready to explore the supermarkets and grocery stores of Portugal with confidence. Whether you’re planning your weekly shop or searching for special ingredients to cook a traditional Portuguese meal, knowing how to shop smart can make all the difference.

Regional Shopping Guide

Navigating the diverse landscape of Portugal’s supermarkets and grocery stores can differ significantly from region to region. Each area has its own unique offerings, local favorites, and hidden gems that cater to the tastes and needs of its residents. This guide provides a detailed look into what to expect in the major regions of Portugal, ensuring you find the best places to shop, no matter where you are.

Lisbon: The capital city boasts a vibrant mix of traditional markets, like Mercado de Campo de Ourique and Mercado da Ribeira, alongside international chains such as Auchan and El Corte Inglés, offering gourmet international products. For those seeking organic and health-focused options, Celeiro and BioMundo are must-visits.

Porto: Known for its rich culinary scene, Porto offers a variety of shopping experiences, from the historic Mercado do Bolhão to modern supermarkets like Continente Bom Dia and Pingo Doce. Specialty stores, such as Mercearia do Bolhão, provide local delicacies and fine foods.

Algarve: Catering to a mix of locals and expats, the Algarve region features supermarkets like Apolónia and Iceland Overseas for British expats craving goods from home. Traditional markets, such as the Loulé Market, offer fresh, local produce and seafood.

Madeira and Azores: These islands offer a unique shopping experience with local chains like Pingo Doce and Continente Modelo. The focus here is on local products, including fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables that showcase the islands’ rich agricultural heritage.

Supermarket Etiquette in a grocery store

Supermarket Etiquette and Language Tips in Portugal

Navigating supermarkets in a new country can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the local language and customs. Here’s a guide to help you shop like a local in Portugal, including etiquette tips and useful Portuguese phrases for a smoother shopping experience.

Supermarket Etiquette in Portugal:

  1. Bring Your Own Bags (BYOB): It’s common practice in Portugal to bring your own shopping bags to the supermarket. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it also saves you from having to purchase bags at the checkout. Reusable bags are widely available and often sold at the supermarket if you forget to bring your own.
  2. Weigh Your Own Produce: In many Portuguese supermarkets, you’re expected to weigh your own fruits and vegetables and print out the price label before heading to the checkout. Look for the digital scales in the produce section, select the corresponding item number, and place the sticker on your bag.
  3. Queue Etiquette: Patience is key when waiting in line at the checkout. It’s common for cashiers to engage in brief conversations with customers, and rushing this process is frowned upon. Respect the queue and wait your turn.
  4. Payment Preferences: While credit and debit cards are widely accepted, some smaller supermarkets or rural areas may prefer cash. Always have a small amount of cash on hand just in case.
  5. Respect Opening Hours: Supermarket hours can vary, especially in smaller towns or rural areas. It’s common for stores to close for lunch in more traditional locales, so plan your shopping trips accordingly.

Useful Portuguese Phrases for Shopping At Grocery Stores:

  • Hello/Good morning/Good afternoon: Olá/Bom dia/Boa tarde
  • Do you have…?: Tem…?
  • Where can I find…?: Onde posso encontrar…?
  • How much is this?: Quanto custa isto?
  • I would like…: Eu gostaria de…
  • Thank you: Obrigado(a) (use “obrigado” if you’re male and “obrigada” if you’re female)
  • Excuse me (to get past or get attention): Com licença
  • Can I pay with a card?: Posso pagar com cartão?
  • Is this on sale?: Isto está em promoção?

Remember, a smile and a polite “obrigado” go a long way in making your shopping experience pleasant. Don’t be afraid to use these phrases, as most Portuguese appreciate any effort to speak their language. Happy shopping!

Sustainable Shopping in Portugal

As awareness and demand for sustainable living grow, many supermarkets and grocery stores in Portugal are stepping up to meet the challenge. This section highlights how shoppers can make environmentally friendly choices and which stores are leading the way in sustainability.

Organic and Local: Look for stores like BioMundo and Celeiro, which focus on organic, local, and sustainably sourced products. Many traditional markets also offer locally grown produce that supports small farmers and reduces carbon footprint.

Zero Waste: A rising trend in Portugal, zero-waste shops such as Maria Granel in Lisbon offer bulk products, allowing customers to buy exactly what they need and reduce packaging waste. Supermarkets are increasingly offering loose produce and recyclable packaging options.

Eco-Friendly Products: Chains like Continente and Pingo Doce are expanding their range of eco-friendly products, including household cleaners, personal care items, and reusable alternatives to single-use plastics.

Sustainable Practices: Learn about the sustainability initiatives of various stores, such as energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration, solar panels, and waste reduction programs. This information can often be found on their websites or in-store signage.

The Future of Grocery Shopping in Portugal

The landscape of grocery shopping in Portugal is evolving, with technology and consumer preferences driving significant changes. This section explores emerging trends and what shoppers can expect in the future.

Online Shopping and Delivery Services: The convenience of online grocery shopping is on the rise in Portugal, with many supermarkets offering delivery and click-and-collect services. Platforms like Mercadão and Glovo are expanding options for consumers, bringing groceries from their favorite stores right to their doorstep.

Technological Innovations: Supermarkets are adopting new technologies to enhance the shopping experience. From self-checkout kiosks to mobile apps that offer personalized discounts, the future of shopping is becoming more efficient and tailored to individual needs.

Focus on Health and Wellness: As consumers become more health-conscious, supermarkets are responding by expanding their ranges of organic, gluten-free, and plant-based products. Wellness centers and in-store nutritionists are becoming more common, providing shoppers with expert guidance.

Community and Experience: Supermarkets are increasingly becoming community hubs, offering cooking classes, tasting events, and spaces for socializing. This trend towards experiential retail reflects a desire to connect with food on a deeper level, turning grocery shopping from a chore into a pleasure.

Online shopping in Portugal

Online Shopping Guide for Portugal

With the rise of digital convenience, online grocery shopping in Portugal has become increasingly popular, offering a great alternative for those who prefer to avoid in-store shopping or simply enjoy the convenience of home delivery. Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating online supermarket shopping in Portugal, ensuring you can stock your pantry with ease.

Choosing an Online Supermarket:

  • Major Chains: Most of Portugal’s major supermarket chains, such as Continente, Pingo Doce, and Auchan, offer online shopping with home delivery or click-and-collect options. Each has a website and often a mobile app.
  • Specialty Stores: For international or specialty items, look for online stores that cater to specific cuisines or dietary needs. These might include organic, vegan, or international food stores.

Setting Up Your Account:

  1. Registration: You’ll typically need to create an account on the supermarket’s website or app. This involves providing some personal information, including your address and contact details.
  2. Language Options: While not all websites offer an English version, navigating them can be relatively straightforward. Look for language settings or use a browser translation feature if needed.

Please be aware that all Online Supermarkets require you to have a “Portuguese” phone number which you need to enter at time of order.

Placing Your Order:

  1. Browse and Select: Just like in-store, you can browse through categories or use the search function to find specific items. Add your desired products to the cart.
  2. Check Availability: Some items may have limited availability based on your location. Ensure your selected items are deliverable to your address.
  3. Delivery Slots: Choose a delivery time that suits you. Slots can fill up quickly, especially during busy periods, so it’s wise to book in advance.
  4. Payment: Online supermarkets usually accept various payment methods, including credit/debit cards and sometimes bank transfers. Payment is secure, and you’ll receive confirmation once your order is placed.

Tips for a Smooth Online Shopping Experience:

  • Early Booking: Reserve your delivery slot early, especially before weekends or public holidays.
  • Promotions and Discounts: Look out for online-exclusive deals or use loyalty points to save on your orders.
  • Minimum Spend: Be aware of the minimum spend for delivery and delivery fees. Sometimes, ordering more can qualify you for free delivery.
  • Substitution Preferences: If an item is unavailable, stores may offer substitutes. You can usually specify your preferences for substitutions at checkout.

Useful Phrases for Online Shopping:

  • Delivery Address (Morada de entrega): Where you want your groceries delivered.
  • Substitute Products (Produtos de substituição): Options if your chosen item is unavailable.
  • Delivery Slot (Janela de entrega): The time frame you select for delivery.
  • Order Confirmation (Confirmação de encomenda): The final step that confirms your order has been placed.

By following this guide, you can enjoy the convenience of online grocery shopping in Portugal, making it easier to manage your time and still enjoy a wide range of products from the comfort of your home.

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