By Todd Blackhurst
New to town? Trying to figure out where to shop for food? Looking for that special item you missing from home?
Where in this city of 2.8 million people and tens of thousands of stores do you go to find it? Shopping can be challenging for those of us trying to prepare food using our traditional western recipies, especially if you don’t know where to begin, but we can help.
Here are some places to help get you started. If you still can’t find what you are looking for? Contact us for help with your shopping list, chances are, we know where to find those items you just can’t get anywhere else or what to substitute if it’s just not here. Once you’ve read through the article, come back and Click Here for the searchable TaichungExpat Map. Just type the name in the search field and you’ll find the location.
Costco – while not exactly the same as the states, you can find many items here that are hard to purchase elsewhere. Hamburger meat, chicken breasts, tortillas – all can be purchased in bulk and are good quality. Some candy and especially seasonal items which you may want to purchase in large quantities. Tortilla chips. These are all things you might put on your shopping list here. If you don’t live near Costco, it’s location is not very convenient so you may want to plan a trip with friends or take a taxi. There is a facebook group where people try to help each other keep track of what is currently in stock.
Finga’s – this Taichung icon has been around for more than 20 years. Not only an importer of some hard to find items, but a world class bakery and a great spot for western comfort food. Do yourself a favor when you are a little homesick and stop in for a meal.
City Super – Definitely a little more expensive that most other shops in town, but this store also carries many items which can’t be found anywhere else. This grocer will almost make you feel like you are back in the states (until you get to the check out stand). City Super is located in the Top City Department Store, Level B2 – underground. Click here for a map. Lots of specialty cheeses, candies and other imported western goods.
Food Materials Mall – This bakery supply store has become a favorite for locals and expats alike, stocking many items that are used in western baking. This store is located in the Beitun district near Morrison Academy and the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball stadium, about a block off of ChongDe Road. It is also one of the few stores that carry Dr. Pepper! This store stocks many items that you might use in western style baking. Some staple foods won’t be packaged or marked like the west, so you might need a translator on your phone or someone to help you locate them your first time around. Sour Cream is usually available here. Both Daisy from the states and a New Zealand variety.
Sheng Hui Grocery – This is another great grocery supply store that stocks a good supply of Western baking materials. It’s located on the west side of town. Also carries Dr. Pepper! Address: 台中市西屯區福順路10號 Phone：04-24635678
Carrefour – located all over the city, each store has an aisle where imported items are stocked. There are items that rotate and items that stay consistently stocked. Check back regularly to see what’s new. Most stores carry a small selection of US beef as well as many items that are useful for cooking and baking.
First Square Filipino Grocery – Down near the train station is the old First Square. On the third floor is a small grocery that sells some interesting items, but also a few hard to find things that can only or rarely be found here, such as gatorade and graham crackers. Also on the first floor at a little shop on the corner you can find some packages of dried coconut (for coconut cream pie, etc.) In addition, on the side of this large building are several other small grocers which sell similar items. This location doesn’t really open up until after lunch most days, so don’t go early expecting to shop. In addition, there are several Filipino grocers near the train station that carry similar items. If you have some time, it’s worth exploring this area.
There are many other local grocery stores (Save N Safe, RT Mart, etc.) as well as the neighborhood fresh markets, that carry a variety of items. Let us help you get acquainted with your neighborhood shopping options and put together an easy way to prepare the foods you enjoy from home. All of these are searchable in google maps or on the Taichung Expat Map.
In order to find these places, open google maps on your computer, find your home and then type one of these names in the search field. You can then save the locations close to you. There might be one closer than you think. Here are the English names – all searchable in google: pxmart, save & safe, carrefour, rt-mart, taiwan fresh supermarket.