Want a taste of Dutch life? Find out more about grocery shopping in the Netherlands with our guide to Dutch supermarkets and grocery stores.
Exploring new grocery stores is undoubtedly one of the most underrated highlights of expat life. There are aisles and aisles of new foods to taste, buy and fall in love with as you adjust to your new life. It's safe to say that it definitely feels less of a hassle than at home.
If you're moving to the Netherlands, you'll be happy to know that Dutch supermarkets don't disappoint. With plenty of fresh produce, international groceries and convenient locations, Dutch supermarkets will keep you and your family looking for more.
To help you get more out of your grocery shopping in the Netherlands, here is our guide to everything you need to know about Dutch supermarkets and grocery stores. This includes information on the following:
- Grocery shopping in the Netherlands
- supermarkets in the Netherlands
- Interesting facts about Dutch supermarkets
- Grocery delivery services in the Netherlands
- Ethnic grocery stores in the Netherlands
- Grocery shopping at Dutch markets
- Specialty shops in the Netherlands
- convenience stores
- Liquor stores in the Netherlands
- Shopping for groceries from your home country
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Grocery shopping in the Netherlands
The local supermarket is probably one of the first places you visit when you first move to the Netherlands. When you step through the door for the first time, you will quickly realize that Dutch supermarkets may not be the same as at home. But don't let that stop you from going wild in the aisles.
Don't feel like going to the supermarket? There are many other options for your groceries. These include local fresh markets, online grocery shopping delivered straight to your door and specialty stores. If you don't feel like cooking at all, you will find a range of restaurants, cafes and snack bars in all major Dutch cities.
supermarkets in the Netherlands
The first thing you will probably notice about Dutch supermarkets is their size, especially if you are traveling from North America or Australia. Dutch supermarkets in big cities tend to be compact, but you'll soon be surprised at how much they can cram onto their shelves.
Because of this, you may not be able to find everything you are looking for. However, the range of products in supermarkets tends to vary, so what you can't find in one you might find in another just around the corner. You should be able to find everything you need in larger supermarkets in the suburbs or out of town.
Supermarkets seem to be more expensive than you are used to, especially for items like fresh meat and fruit and veg. However, the shops are generally well stocked with good quality fresh meat and produce, dried foods and impressive dairy sections. Most also have in-store bakeries. You will also find many offers and discounts in the stores that you can use to earn more money.
Dutch supermarket chains
For a relatively small country, the Netherlands has a wide range of supermarket chains. You'll likely find that you have one or two to choose from in your neighborhood. Sometimes these can even be contradictory. Some of the main chains you will find in Dutch neighborhoods are:
- Albert Heijn:The premium retailer is the largest Dutch chain with almost 1,000 branches and a product range geared towards quality. Get an AH bonus card for discounts. Larger, hypermarket-like stores - called AH XL - can be found in suburbs.
- Jumbo:Albert Heijn's biggest competitor is a bit cheaper on the wallet. Jumbo stores are generally found in residential areas and stock a decent range of fresh and dried goods.
- Plus:The third largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands is a cooperative with over 200 branches. Mainly found in the south of the country, especially in South Holland and North Brabant.
Where to stay in Amsterdam? Find out with our guide
- Buy:The aptly named Coop also started out as a cooperative. There are over 200 Coop branches in the Netherlands, mostly in residential areas. Hypermarket-style supercoop stores are also available.
- dagger:Formerly known as Dirk van den Broek, these well-stocked supermarkets are among the cheapest Dutch supermarkets. The shop windows are easy to spot and are adorned with bright red Dirk flags.
You will probably come across other supermarket chains in the Netherlands. These often change by region and includeVomar,from,Deka market, andHoogvliet.
Discount supermarket chains in the Netherlands
You will also find a number of discounters on the Dutch streets. Many locals shop at both discount and high-end stores, making sure their groceries are a mix of cheaper staples and premium extras. Discounters in the Netherlands include:
- Lidl:The German discounter is one of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands. Most of their no-frills supermarkets also offer discounted non-food items, and many also have in-store bakeries.
- Aldi:Another German import, Aldi, offers a range of basic groceries and household products. Like Lidl, Aldi stores are usually found in residential areas.
Dutch specialty, health and organic supermarkets
If you are looking for something more niche when it comes to grocery shopping, there are also a number of specialty supermarkets in the Netherlands. These offer more premium product ranges, including vegan, organic and gluten-free lines, among others. Some of the better known specialty supermarkets are the following:
- Market:Amsterdam-based marqt is an expat favorite. Expect to pay a bit more for their ethical product line, which includes a wide range of vegan options. Shops can also be found inRotterdam,Haarlem, and The Hague.
- Ecoplaza:Ekoplaza is the largest chain of ethical supermarkets in the Netherlands and offers an organic product line. There are over 70 locations nationwide, and the company is moving toward a plastic-free shopping experience.
Supermarket opening hours
In general, Dutch supermarkets have fairly standardized opening hours. Most open early in the morning (7am or 8am) and close late at night (often around 10pm). Outside of these hours you may still be able to find essentials at your local supermarket as some are open 24 hours.
Some supermarkets, particularly in more rural areas, may have different opening times. This may include earlier closing times and different operating times on Sundays. Check your local store's website listing for more information.
Things you need to know about supermarkets in the Netherlands
As an expat, there are certain things you need to know before you fill your Dutch shopping cart. Here are some of the things you should know:
- There are no shopping bags:Dutch people bring their own shopping bags from home. You should be able to buy bags from the till for a small fee - usually less than €0.50.
- You may not be able to pay by credit card:Yes, you read it right. Some supermarkets - including most Albert Heijn stores - do not accept Visa or Mastercard credit cards. You need cash or a Dutch bank account, which gives you a Maestro or V-Pay card that can be used anywhere.
Do you need to open a Dutch bank account? Find out how in our guide
- You cannot buy spirits:You can buy wine and beer in Dutch supermarkets, but for spirits you have to go to a liquor store. These are often in close proximity. Some supermarkets even have separate liquor stores inside.
- The prices can be rounded up:The Netherlands has phased out the €0.01 and €0.02 coins, which means prices are either rounded up or down at the checkout, often to the benefit of the shop.
- Bottle return:When purchasing certain drinks, you pay a small deposit for the bottle, which is included in the price. Most supermarkets have bottle returns that allow you to collect this deposit.
- Pack it up:Don't expect help packing your groceries at Dutch checkouts. In the Netherlands you have to pack your groceries yourself and it pays to do it quickly.
- Get on the bike:Many Dutch supermarkets don't have parking lots - especially in cities - so most locals walk or cycle around. You have to carry what you buy or equip your bike with panniers.
Grocery delivery services in the Netherlands
If you can't make it to the supermarket in person, or prefer the convenience of home delivery, you're in luck. Many local supermarkets offer home delivery services, including Albert Heijn and Jumbo. There is also a growing number of online-only supermarkets and grocery stores, such as:
Simply shop online and choose your delivery date. However, you may have to pay for the groceries upon delivery, so make sure you have your payment card ready.
There are a number of other delivery options in the Netherlands, including meal kit providers. These companies supply ready meals (meal box) to your door, stocked with seasonally fresh ingredients and recipes to create your own meals at home. Dutch meal kit suppliers include:
If you don't fancy the sounds of cooking, the Dutch are for you. From cozy brown cafes and sidewalk eateries to Michelin-starred restaurants, you'll find dining options for every taste across the country. If you're staying at home, why not take away? Delivery platforms operating in the Netherlands include:
These platforms connect you to your favorite neighborhood takeaways and restaurants. Whether you're feasting with family or dining with friends, all you have to do is sit back and wait for your delivery.
Ethnic grocery stores in the Netherlands
Another option for Dutch grocery shopping are ethnic supermarkets. There are many of these shops in the Netherlands, especially in larger cities with ethnically diverse populations. Many are Turkish supermarkets, but Moroccan, Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese grocery stores can also be found in larger towns.
These shops are often popular with expats as they tend to stock a larger selection of international groceries. This is especially true for herbs and spices, which are often not available in Dutch supermarket chains. These products are generally cheaper at ethnic grocery stores, although you may find a cheaper and more diverse selection of everyday items at chain supermarkets.
Grocery shopping at Dutch markets
Get some fresh air while shopping at your local market. In general, markets in the Netherlands offer good quality fresh produce, although their supply can be limited. Most markets have stalls selling fresh fish, eggs, cheese, fruit and vegetables, as well as dry goods like nuts and other snacks.
Markets are sometimes cheaper than supermarkets and specialty shops. They can also be a great way to snag niche items like certain cheeses and nuts. However, the availability of certain products is not always guaranteed and markets can be very busy, especially in more touristy areas.
Specialty shops in the Netherlands
If supermarkets are a bit impersonal for you, why not head to your local specialty stores instead? These are likely to be more expensive than the supermarket or market stalls, but the quality and choice can often be greater.
Bakeries in the Netherlands may not be as common as in France or Spain, but most neighborhoods have at least one. You'll also find butchers in many local shopping areas, although you might want to brush up on Dutch terms before visiting.
The Dutch are proud of their cheese, which is why you will come across many cheese shops in the Netherlands. Some, especially in the inner cities, cater mainly to tourists, although their cheese is often still of good quality. However, the best cheese shops tend to be located away from the tourist trade, so shop around for the best selection.
Sometimes you just need to get something to eat or drink quickly. In the Netherlands you can do this in one of the many convenience stores in the country. Most are independently owned, but there are a few chains you'll notice if you live in the country:
- Albert Heijn To-Go (commonly found in train stations)
Liquor stores in the Netherlands
Dutch law states that supermarkets are not allowed to sell alcohol with an alcohol content higher than 15%. That means they only sell beer, cider, wine and fortified wine. However, you can still enjoy these gin and tonics at home by heading to the local liquor store.
Most neighborhoods have a liquor store, whether like a national chainCan & canor an independent bottle shop. There is also a growing number of online retailers of beers, wines and spirits, including:
Some supermarkets have in-store liquor stores so do a search online to find the closest one as it may be closer than you think.
Shopping for groceries from your home country
Many expats will miss the food from home. It's a common problem for immigrantsliving abroad, but don't worry because there are shops in the Netherlands that offer just that. In most major Dutch cities you will find international grocery stores selling groceries from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries. You'll find some foods you love even in larger supermarkets.
Looking for a touch of home? Find it in our international grocery store directory
Alternatively, there are online grocery delivery services that cater specifically to expats. Here you will find groceries from home that can be delivered to your new home. Note, however, that the price of these foods is often higher than what you are used to. Also, don't forget that one of the most important parts of expat life is adapting to the local cuisine. So, grab your shopping cart and let your taste buds explore your new home.
What supermarket is from Netherlands? ›
Boni is a Dutch supermarket chain that was founded in 1972 by Gerrit Klaassen as a family business. The name "Boni" comes from the word "bonus" and means "of the good" in Latin. The first store had a discount look and a wide variety of inexpensive products.What is the most popular supermarket in Netherlands? ›
Albert Heijn, the top supermarket
Albert Heijn has its origins in 1887, when a man named Albert Heijn bought a grocery store in Oostzaan. Currently, the number of supermarkets of the Albert Heijn company reaches almost 915, the highest number of stores of all food chains in the Netherlands.
Aldi is one of the leading supermarket chains in the Netherlands. As of 2021, there were nearly 500 Aldi supermarkets in the country.What is Walmart called in Netherlands? ›
Hema. "Amsterdam's equivalent of US' Walmart.Is there Walmart in Netherlands? ›
Dutch law does not allow a retail place to be in an industrial zone. unfortunately not open to everyone. there are big supermarkets but nothing Wallmart like.Is Aldi Dutch or German? ›
Owned by a German company called Albrecht Discounts, ALDI is a discount grocery chain that started in Germany in 1948. Decidedly no frills, the company stocks virtually all house-brand products, all offered at very low prices thanks to exclusive deals with their suppliers, many of which are big-name producers.What is the main supermarket in Amsterdam? ›
The main supermarkets in Amsterdam and the Netherlands are Albert Heijn, Dirk, Aldi, Lidl, Vomar and C1000. As with all supermarkets in Amsterdam, they are much smaller than supermarkets in the rest of the world, mainly due to the lack of space in the city.What are supermarkets called in Amsterdam? ›
Firstly you should know that “supermarket” in Dutch is supermarkt. Simple really! The word for store is winkel. The Netherlands is a small and compact country so you will not find large out-of-town supermarkets or hypermarkets.What is the number 1 grocery store in the world? ›
Walmart is by far the largest and most well-known food retailer in the world, consuming over a fourth of the entire grocery industry's annual sales.Do they have Chick Fil A in the Netherlands? ›
chick-fil-a Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands.
Is there Walgreens in Netherlands? ›
Walgreens Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands - Last Updated December 2022 - Yelp.Can you get peanut butter in the Netherlands? ›
The best known brand for peanut butter in the Netherlands is Calvé. Calvé Pindakaas offers besides the normal, creamy ground peanut butter also peanut butter with nut pieces, extra crunchy, with cocoa nibs and with speculaas cruids.What is the Dutch version of Target? ›
HEMA has also expanded into other countries since the 1990s. Since 2009 HEMA has opened small versions of their stores in railway stations, at Schiphol Airport and in small villages in the Netherlands, as well as their first mini market.Is there a Target in the Netherlands? ›
target Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands.Is there Costco in Netherlands? ›
Costco Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands.Is there Amazon in Netherlands? ›
Dutch customers have their own Amazon experience at Amazon.nl. This includes a new Prime program with fast and free delivery, and entertainment benefits with Prime Video and Prime Gaming.What is the European version of Walmart? ›
Carrefour (Kar-Fewr) is a French “Hyperstore” chain which resembles the American version of Walmart. The first Carrefour appeared in France in 1960; now, Carrefour is the 2nd largest retailer in the world with over 9,500 locations dispersed around Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America.Why do shops close so early in the Netherlands? ›
But the general idea behind it is that people have the right to rest. And while huge chain stores can hire enough staff to work in shifts, smaller family businesses can't do that and they might work too long and it might affect their health.Is Aldi's owned by Trader Joe's? ›
According to Reader's Digest, Trader Joe's founder Joe Coulombe sold his business to Theo Albrecht in 1979, officially making the Albrecht family the proud owners of both prosperous markets. Since Aldi is split into two, per Forbes, Trader Joe's was officially bought by the Aldi Nord branch.Why did Aldi and Trader Joe's split? ›
But back in the 1960s, the brothers argued over whether to sell cigarettes in their stores — and eventually ended up splitting into two independent companies operating within separate geographical areas.
Who owns Trader Joe's? ›Can I drink tap water in Amsterdam? ›
The answer to this question is simple: Yes! Tap water in Amsterdam is clean, safe, and delicious.What is the most popular supermarket in Europe? ›
#1 Grocery Stores In Europe Aren't Even Called “Grocery Stores” Those places to buy European food? They are called markets!What is the number 1 grocery store in America? ›
According to new data from YouGov—a market research and data analytics firm—America's favorite grocery store of the moment is Aldi, which is actually a German chain that has nearly 2,300 locations across the United States.What is the oldest grocery store in the world? ›
Piggly Wiggly was the first self-service grocery store. It was founded on September 6, 1916 (although it did not open until five days later due to delays in construction), at 79 Jefferson Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.Does the Netherlands have Taco Bell? ›
📍 Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda, Amersfoort , Rotterdam, Arnhem.
Is there Wendy's in Netherlands? ›
But that legal case only explains why Wendy's hasn't opened doors in the Benelux region (the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg), not the whole of Europe. U.S. Wendy's did lock down other E.U. trademarks, but other countries seem to have proven their own difficulties.Do you need a prescription in the Netherlands? ›
You can only buy prescription drugs at a pharmacy. Over-the-counter drugs can be bought at chemists and supermarkets without a prescription.Is there Sephora in Netherlands? ›
While this might not seem like a big deal to those of us in the U.S., this causes some issues for customers in the U.K. and the Netherlands, which don't have their own Sephora sites or stores.Does Amsterdam have CVS? ›
There are 14 CVS pharmacies in the Amsterdam area to help you find the medicinal care you need. There are sure to be days when you're running late and can't spend the time to park your car. Luckily, there are 10 drive thru pharmacies in Amsterdam in the city to help you get your meds as quickly as possible.What you Cannot bring to Netherlands? ›
You can never bring the following items into the Netherlands: Narcotics and other illicit drugs, such as hash, cocaine and heroin. Weapons, fake weapons, pepper spray, ammunition and explosives. Endangered plant and animal species.What can you not bring into the Netherlands? ›
- € 10,000 or more worth in cash or securities. ...
- Pets. ...
- Counterfeit articles. ...
- Protected animal and plant species. ...
- Animal products and foodstuffs. ...
- Plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables (phytosanitary products) ...
- Weapons, ammunition and dummy weapons and explosives. ...
Food and Agricultural Products
Declare all agricultural products when entering the U.S. Cheese (only vacuum packed and pasteurized, no cheeses made of raw milk). Most Dutch cheeses like Gouda, Edam and Leerdam are allowed.
The Dutch equivalent for Amazon is Bol.com. Bol.com is the most popular online store in the Netherlands, the store serves 11 million active customers in the Netherlands and Belgium and offers over 23 million items. However recently Amazon started offering a webshop for the Netherlands too.Why is paying for yourself called Dutch? ›
Where does going Dutch come from? Going Dutch means that every person in a group of diners or imbibers pays for their themselves. It's popularly thought the expression originated as a British slur towards the perceived stinginess of Dutch people.What are thrift stores called in the Netherlands? ›
Thrift stores are often called Kringloops here in the Netherlands. They sell a variety of used goods from clothing to furniture.
What is the European equivalent of Target? ›
UK equivalent of Target includes:
Marks & Spencer – Offers high-end food (particularly for entertaining) at higher prices and high-quality clothes at reasonable prices.
Etos. "Etos is a very popular and ubiquitous "drug store" in The Netherlands.Why was Target removed from Canada? ›
Target's entry into the Canadian market in 2013 was its first foray in international expansion. A combination of extensive renovation needs, a flawed merchandising system, tight time frame and inadequate leadership were some of the reasons the big-box retailer decided to close all 133 stores in the country in 2015.Can an American live in the Netherlands? ›
If you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days, you may need a residence permit. In many cases you will also have to apply for a long-stay visa before you travel to the Netherlands. This visa is also called an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV).How many Americans are in the Netherlands? ›
There are an estimated 35,000 Americans living in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is an exhilarating destination for Americans living abroad.Which gas company is from the Netherlands? ›
PJSC LUKOIL has been successfully operating in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, home to one of the world's largest oil and petroleum product trading hub — the Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp region. Today, the Company is one of the leading suppliers of oil and petroleum products to this region.What are top 5 supermarkets in the world? ›
- Walmart. Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas. ...
- Costco Wholesale. Headquarters: Issaquah, Washington. ...
- 7-Eleven. Headquarters: Dallas, Texas. ...
- Kroger. Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio. ...
- Lidl. Headquarters: Neckarsulm, Germany. ...
- Aldi. ...
- Carrefour. ...
Tesco and Sainsbury's had the largest share over the period under consideration, holding 43 percent of the market together as of December 2022. Prior to the popularity of the discounters, the grocery retail market was dominated by the 'big four' supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, and Morrisons.
What oil company is Dutch? ›
Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Dutch Koninklijke Nederlandse Shell NV, unified publicly traded petroleum corporation, one of the largest in the world, engaging in crude oil and natural gas exploration, production, refining, and marketing in more than 90 countries around the globe.Is gas expensive in the Netherlands? ›
Netherlands Gasoline prices, 09-Jan-2023.
|Netherlands Gasoline prices||Litre||Gallon|
Find electric alternatives
Conversely to the US, electricity in the Netherlands is much, much cheaper than gas. So, where you can, use electrical appliances as much as possible. If you have a gas stove, invest in a portable electric stove top.
Kroger is the largest supermarket operator in the U.S., with 420,000 employees and more than 2,700 stores, including Ralphs, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, and King Soopers.What is the oldest grocery store? ›
Doud's Market is the number one specialty food market in Mackinac Island, Michigan, and it also holds the title of the oldest grocery store in America.What grocery store has the highest quality? ›
In Consumer Reports' latest grocery store ratings of 96 chains, five regional grocers shared top marks for customer satisfaction. They are Texas-based Central Market; mid-Atlantic brand Wegmans; Heinen's, located in Ohio and Chicagoland; Southern California-based Gelson's Markets; and Market Basket (Northeast).What is the biggest Dutch company? ›