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MY Beginner’s Guide for FOOD Shopping

Hey there! I’ve noticed a lot of new followers lately, so welcome! I’m glad you’re here. I started blogging in 2012, to document my journey of living abroad. Despite occasional attempts to focus on specific subject matters over the years, I always come back to the personal blog format: I write about myself and the stuff I think is worth sharing. I thought it would be fun to reflect on this crazy journey by re-posting some of my favorite posts over the years. I hope you enjoy.

Of all the emails I receive from readers, the number one question I always get is where to buy food. I promise, there’s food on the Island! You just have to know where to look.  

Originally posted August 19, 2013

Let’s talk FOOD!

For me, this was the real challenge! Every time I tried making one of my favorite dishes, I would end up going to 3-5 grocery stores in search of the needed ingredients. After almost two years, I’m still surprised at what will prove to become the new hard to find ingredient for a recipe. Just a few weeks ago I couldn’t find tomato soup. I found tomato bisque, cream of tomato, tomato with basil, but no plain old tomato soup! Crazy indeed.

Gateway
131 Des Voeux Road, (between Sheung Wan and Central, one block west of the esculator)
+852 2545 0338      Daily Hours: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Free on Island delivery for purchases over HK$850

Gateway is kind of like a teeny tiny Costco. It’s a family owed American grocery store that has been serving Hong Kong for over 20 years.  Beyond a strange smell and annoying humming sound coming from the fluorescent lighting, you will find GRAPE JELLY!!!!! After a few minutes of running amok with complete excitement and disbelief, don’t be surprised or embarrassed if you notice a little pee stain on your pants. It is a normal reaction.  Gateway recently joined Instagram, so you can now see new products as they arrive!

Found it at Gateway:
Tide detergent
Paper Towels
Pine Sol cleaner
Welch’s grape jelly (big score!)
Corn Bread mixes
Aluminum foil
Jiff peanut butter (life has been restored!)
Uncle Ben’s cream of wheat
Canned black beans
Frito-Lay products (manufactured in America, not Vietnam)
Nabisco Wheat Thins
A&W Root Beer
Kitchen sized trash bags
Deodorant

 

A&M Grocery
38-48 Queen’s Road Central, Central
+852 2548 8280     Daily Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm

Free on Island delivery for purchases over HK$800

I discovered A&M long before Gateway, in fact I witnessed their grand opening! Like Gateway, they only have non-refrigerated products. And like Gateway, every visit you will find something new. A&M and Gateway offer similar items, but both also offer items the other doesn’t have. A&M has your cereal addiction covered with a huge assortment along with a good selection of American spices, marinades and condiments. A&M also carries boxed Rice-A-Roni mixes, Velveeta Mac and Cheese and all those other unhealthy, highly beloved American staples!

Found it at A&M:
Rotel (!!!!!!!!!)
Hershey’s products (manufactured in America, not China)
Oven Cleaner

They also have your baking needs covered…
American Sugar (big score!)
Powdered Sugar
Brown Sugar
Spray Pam

 

Oliver’s
2/F, Prince’s Building, 33 Queens Road, Central
Daily Hours: 8:30am – 8:00pm
Free on Island Delivery for purchases over HK$500

Oliver’s is just like any basic grocery store in the states, but it’s considered high-end shopping for Hong Kong. Most of the time, I find more items on my list at Oliver’s than any other grocery store in Hong Kong. They also have the best rotisserie chicken in HK and at the lowest price in town.

Found it at Oliver’s:
Ready made pie crust and canned pie filling (don’t judge!)
Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls and biscuits (Admit it… you’ve been looking for these!)
Dean and Deluca coffee beans
Starbucks coffee beans
Imported meats and poultry (unlike Wellcome or Park-N-Shop, this meat and poultry will never be found left in the heat on the sidewalk growing salmonella before making it’s way inside)
Corn tortillas

 

Well, there you have it … my favorite hard to find grocery stores for those hard to find items. As for the easy to find stores… Wellcome and Park-N-Shop are also good options, but only for packaged foods. I don’t find their produce very tasty and their meat and poultry scares me. I have also noticed Wellcome and Park-N-Shop offer a much broader assortment online than in-store, so definitely check out their online home delivery services. Great in the basement of Pacific Place Mall is another great option for hard to find items, but hauling groceries through a mall and having to stand in a very long taxi queue isn’t exactly fun. City Super is okay, but it’s not very Western infused. And for whatever the reason, the IFC City Super location is always full of tourist and shopping is much like walking the sidewalks in Causeway Bay… packed with people that have absolutely nothing better to do than to slightly move.

Welcome to Hong Kong.

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