Grocery stores provide windows into the local culture and are, of course, wonderful places to stock up on regional foods for picnics and snacks, as well as to score take-home souvenirs. Travellers will find ample options throughout central London, from elite department store food halls to everyday chains—check out our cheat sheet for tips on where to go and what you’ll find.
Where to Splurge
Harrods Food Hall: An anchor tenant of upscale Knightsbridge for more than 150 years, the world-famous Harrods department store still offers one of London’s most exclusive shopping experiences—and food halls. Here visitors will find plenty of temptation in the hall’s bounty of baked goods, charcuterie, seafood, cheeses, cakes, caviar, and more. Premium wines and Champagne are plentiful, as well, along with Harrods’ “luxury hampers,” perfect for a fancy feast in Hyde Park.
Selfridges: Second only to Harrods in size (though not necessarily in stature), Selfridges’ own food hall is just as wondrous. From its oyster and Champagne bar to a chocolate library stocked with more than 400 different chocolate bars, this is another foodie paradise. Shop for wines, oils, biscuits, tapenades, and other premium packaged goods, too.
Fortnum & Mason: Last but certainly not least, this classic luxury department store at Piccadilly Circus features a spectacular lower-ground food hall that rivals those at Harrods and Selfridges. F&M’s own line of premium jams, spreads, and sauces make for great gifts.
Where to Save
Of the UK’s numerous grocery chains, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco are generally the best of the bunch—arguably in that order—and the most prevalent in central London. Pop in to any of them for grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, sides, and snacks at fairly reasonable prices. It’s easy to spend an hour or more browsing the large branches.