So, you are probably either living in Portugal or travelling in Portugal on a budget and looking to stock up. But which Portuguese supermarket should you use? My favourites are Continente Bom Dia and Pingo Doce. You will be pleased to know that there is a good variety of cheap Portuguese supermarkets in most main towns and cities. Here’s my guide to supermarkets in Portugal…
Shopping at a Portuguese Supermarket
Most supermarkets in Portugal will accept card – especially Multibanco cards which is the Portuguese banking system. Most have a bakery where you will need to put your individual breads and pastries into a small bag.
At the checkout you might get asked ‘voce quer uma bolsa/sac’ which is ‘do you want a bag?’ and so you can answer sim/nao for yes/no.
You may also be asked for your NIF – O que é um Contribuinte? You will only have this if you are resident in Portugal. So as a tourist or if you are here temporarily you may not have one.
Popular Portuguese Supermarkets
Continente is one of the largest and most popular supermarket chains in Portugal. It used to be part owned by the French Supermarket chain Carrefour and now is owned by Sonae Distribuição. The Continente ‘Bom Dia’ are the smaller and more Urban stores that you find in the city centres such as the one in Saldanha in Lisbon. Continente Modelo are the massive hypermarkets that you usually have to drive to.
Pingo Doce is one of the most popular supermarkets in Portugal with over 400 stores. It belongs to the Portuguese company Jerónimo Martins. Pingo Doce has a good selection of pastries and bakery items. In Lisbon, there is a decent Pingo Doce at Cais do Sodre train station. It’s slogan is ‘sabe bem pagar tao pouco’ which means ‘it feels good to pay little!’
Minipreço is a discount supermarket chain in Portugal, part of the Spanish Dia (also formerly owned by the French supermarket company Carrefour). The accent under the ç makes it soft so it is actually prounced as if it is written minipresso. There are around 620 Minipreço stores in Portugal.
Aldi and Lidl
If you are coming to Portugal from the UK then you will be happy to know that there will be some familiar supermarkets to you – Aldi and Lidl. Both are extremely good value. In Lidl you can pick up pastries for less than €1 and they are good quality. In Lisbon, there is an Aldi in Sete Rios station so you can pick up what you need for your travels.