Shopping Warsaw style

At Gilly’s request for a taste of Warsaw shopping, I’ve started embarrassing J by photographing in supermarkets. We do most of our shopping at Biedronka, a Polish chain where everything is extraordinarily cheap, with a shop conveniently close to the preschool. So every morning after we drop off the twins, we do a quick whizz around to top up on necessities: bread (if you’re lucky just out of the oven), orange juice, soy milk, and vegetables. At the moments Biedronka is featuring Italian food on the vast panels outside the shop. Polish chains have good names – Biedronka means ladybird, and the name of another chain, Żabka, means frog.

Shopping is no longer daunting – when I first came here I’d  drip buckets of sweat at the checkout and fumble drobna, the small coins that are much sought after. Now I just hold out a handful without shame and let the checkout person do the sums. 

Our other major supermarket is Carrefour over the river at Praga. It’s an international chain with very attractive big bags (although on our last shop hey’d replaced fruit and vegetable images with far less attractive Star Wars ones, and we haven’t seen the variety on offer in 2012 again). There we can buy everything: pyjamas, toasters, wooden spoons, garden pots and soil, coats, and of course a vast array of food: bread, fish, sausages, cheese, frozen pierogis, frozen vegetables, as well as the usual tins and jars and packets and fresh vegetables.

And to finish off the Carrefour experience, there’s this!

Then there are the stalls. Just downstairs is a van selling, at the moment, strawberries, cabbages, radishes, tomatoes and apples. I buy a kilo of strawberries at a time for 7PLN or $2.33AUD. Across the road is another stall selling flowers and one selling shoelaces and shoe inserts, and every morning a man wheels five or six big bags of clothing and sets up his stall near the strawberry man. Yesterday J bought plaits of garlic from an old lady on the footpath selling only garlic.

Again inspired by Gilly, I checked out a list of Warsaw markets, and I’ll be exploring some of them soon.

About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in photos, shopping and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Shopping Warsaw style

  1. Sue says:

    I enjoyed this glimpse of shopping….and the loo signs were a hoot!


  2. desleyjane says:

    Oh that bread looks sooo delicious. Yum! And how funny is the toilet sign?! Love it.


  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Brilliant signage, made me laugh out loud. I’ll take the seedy bread please, always my favourite, but it all looks lush. I’d love the stalls, but it would take me a while to use that much garlic. What ate the blue flowers behind the garlic, grape hyacinths?I’m jealous of your cheap strawberries, they’re still very expensive here and imported so no much flavour, so I’ll wait until June for some.
    Thanks for showing me shopping Polska style, I love it, oh and send J my apologies! x:-)x


    • I want to photograph stalls, but I’m incompetent to ask – yet! Today I have to top up my phone – that’s challenge enough. Whereas with the strawberries I just point and say “Kilo, proszę.”

      We use a lot of garlic – goes in soups and veggie brews and salad dressing – and it’s not strong. The placemat is a cheapie from Carrefour: it makes a good background for food photography. I’d say grape hyacinths too, but I wouldn’t guarantee their anatomical correctness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lucid Gypsy says:

        I can still speak and understand some French, can work out bits of Italian and Spanish, but Polish – a totally different ball game. I don’t know how I’d navigate around or find anything to buy, I have total admiration for you!


  4. Rosemary Barnard says:

    Shopping for food in Warsaw must be a delight. That bread looks delicious, and there is so much other variety. I will forgive them their sausages. I am in a minority there, with any pork products right off the menu. It is good that J can get what he needs for a vegan diet. As for the toilet sign, maybe the security person thought you were laughing at Poles or their supermarket. I think the sign is hilarious and states clearly what we have all felt from time to time: desperation. I hope they don’t have the queues to go along with the desperation. Poles are good at explicit signage. Remember that one with a peeing dog you photographed on an earlier trip to Warsaw?


    • Maja’ll eat your share of the sausages! As for dunny queues, I’ve never had to stand in one, despite the general paucity, and as you can see there’s no one hording in at 9.30 on a Saturday morning. The bread is pretty spectacular isn’t it? Although I sometimes long for a Helga’s sandwich.


      • Rosemary Barnard says:

        Maja is most welcome to scoff my share of sausages. Does she also like makrel? As I wrote that post I was thinking of Central Station in Sydney, where there are always queues for the Ladies’ loos, even if you sprint from the barrier to get there before the hordes. A bit of a problem if you need to catch a connecting train with little time to spare. So yes, the signage was hilarious but oh so true for travellers at Central Station. The stalls are very good value, especially during the berry season, seemingly everywhere one goes in Europe during spring and summer. I had wonderful strawberries in Prague and Paris. Buy up big and keep enjoying.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. pommepal says:

    I really enjoy going around supermarkets in different countries. It can be a bit intimidating but at least in a supermarket you don’t have to ask, just pick out what you want. It is all so colourful and I chuckled at the sign “smaki” I assume it means bread!!! and no mistaking the “dunny”…


    • You absolutely don’t have to ask, just know the protocols. Although when J bought scooters for the kids he had to assemble them and there were bits missing: he managed to sort it out amidst much sweating and angst. I was in another city 300 kilometres away.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great snaps of the food- commercial quality. The loo sign made me laugh


Please talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s