The days of struggling to find decent milk and bread may be over in most Chinese city’s but finding certain imported goods (blue cheese, anyone?) can still be struggle. We’ve put together our list of the best places in Shenzhen to get your import-food fix.
Running in the same vein as Olé (and with the same parent company) Blt has a good selection of imported food, though it can be noticeably more expensive than Sam's Club and Metro. Dubbed a boutique supermarket, Blt is also known for it's fruit and vegetable selection, some of it imported.
One of the most successful foreign supermarkets on the Chinese mainland, the French company has firmly adapted to local tastes, but still has a section dedicated to cheeses, meats, cereals and pasta sauces.
Metro was on the vanguard of wholesalers selling imported goods in China, entering the market in 1996. Metro's stated goal is to cater to restaurants or other bulk buyers, but walk through the store's aisles and you'll find more than a few individual shoppers. You should bring your business card to register a membership at Metro, but we've also heard that saying you 'forgot' your Metro card can work. The German company has a reputation for quality and is favored by many professional chefs in the city.
Specializing in delivering online orders, Nogogo actually has a Nanshan warehouse. What's more, going to the warehouse for your food means a 10 percent discount on your purchase. Check out Nogogo's website for a overview of their offerings, which range from cream cheese to halal food.
Not just what bullfighters scream after being grazed by razor sharp horns, Ole is an important source of imports for Shenzhen foodies. Though a bit on the pricy side, the quality of Ole's bread, milk and meat have secured a dedicated customer base.
A passport, a business card and about RMB200 is enough to get you a year-long membership at Sam's Club, which stocks hard-to-find imports. Food is generally sold in larger quantities than you might snag at your corner store, but we wouldn't quite say it is 'sold in bulk.' At Sam's Club the imported milk is especially reasonably priced, though you may end up with six cartons of it.