Global Flavours in Kampala: A Guide to Finding Your Favourite Food Imports
In this guide, we navigate the aisles of both mainstream and smaller markets to compile a list of sought-after import finds, giving you a taste of home in the heart of Uganda.
This week, I’ll be exploring both big and small supermarkets to bring you a list of must-have imported items. Before you rush to the nearest store that stocks Nutella, please note that these special items are often in limited stock and may not always be available. So, if Embassy Supermarket is out of Tapatio spicy sauce, please don’t blame me! This post is simply here to give you hope and a general idea of where to find certain specialty items.
Culinary Adventures in Kampala: Unveiling Specialty Imports
In the heart of Kampala, where the bustling streets and vibrant culture meet, expatriates find joy in discovering treasured bites from home. From elusive cereals to international skincare brands, the city's markets boast an array of imported goods. In this guide, we navigate the aisles of both mainstream and smaller markets to compile a list of sought-after import finds, giving you a taste of home in the heart of Uganda.
Embassy Supermarket: A Nsambya Gem
Location: Nsambya | Store Size: Small
Situated conveniently across from the U.S. Embassy, Embassy Supermarket stands out as a haven for specialty imports. From sparkling water and childhood favourites like Tang drink mix to an array of cheeses, this small-sized store surprises with its curated selection.
Embassy Supermarket indulges those with a sweet tooth with Betty Crocker cake mixes and Hershey's Strawberry Syrup. Spice lovers can find Tapatio hot sauce and crushed red pepper, adding a kick to culinary adventures.
- Sparkling water: Perrier.
- Childhood favourites: Tang drink mix, SnackPack individual pudding snacks, and Mott’s apple sauce.
- Cheese: paneer, feta, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan, cottage cheese.
- Other finds: Betty Crocker cake mixes, Hershey's Strawberry Syrup, Tapatio hot sauce, and crushed red pepper.
Middle East Supermarket: A Bukoto Delight
Location: Bukoto Marigold Height | Store Size: Small
Middle East Supermarket, located in Bukoto Marigold Height Building, is the only supermarket in Kampala that offers a wide range of Middle East foods, sweets, confectionery, and brand chocolate. The store also has a variety of sea food and frozen food, catering to different preferences. Whether you are looking for tang drink mix, snack pack pudding, Hershey’s syrup, or nuts and spices, you will find them at Middle East Supermarket. The store also sells coffee machines, clothing, and drinks of all types. If you are craving a taste of the Middle East, this is the place to go.
Carrefour: A French Touch Location: Oasis Mall | Store Size: Medium
Carrefour, a French supermarket chain, offers a touch of European flair in its Oasis Mall branch. The store features a bakery section with freshly baked breads, croissants, and pastries, as well as a deli counter with cold cuts, cheeses, and salads. The store also has a wide range of imported products, such as French wines, chocolates, jams, and sauces. Carrefour is a great place to find specialty items like truffle oil, balsamic vinegar, and pesto, as well as gluten-free and organic products. The store also has a loyalty programme that rewards customers with discounts and vouchers.
- Bakery: breads, croissants, pastries, cakes, and pies.
- Deli: cold cuts, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
- Other finds: French wines, chocolates, jams, sauces, truffle oil, balsamic vinegar, pesto, gluten-free, and organic products.
Super Supermarket: A Bukoto Pioneer
Location: Bukoto | Store Size: Small
Super Supermarket in Bukoto, though offering fewer imports, deserves mention for its significant contributions. Among its notable accomplishments is being one of the first local shops to carry Ola brand tortilla chips. While their current import selection might be limited, they have been known to carry Corona Extra, a Mexican beer, and Dr. Pepper.
Despite its smaller size, Super Supermarket manages to offer a variety of Dilmah teas, Horlicks and Junior Horlicks, and Crystal Light individual drink packets, catering to different tastes.
- Beverages: Corona Extra (seasonal), Dr. Pepper (seasonal).
- Teas: Dilmah teas, Horlicks, Junior Horlicks.
- Drink Packets: Crystal Light individual drink packets.
Capital Shoppers: A Global Feast
Location: Ntinda | Store Size: Large
Capital Shoppers in Ntinda, akin to Shoprite, offers an extensive selection of imported delights. The cereal section alone boasts a variety of Kellogg’s options, appealing to cereal enthusiasts. From Hershey's Syrup to Nutella, the store is a haven for those seeking global flavours.
Beyond food, Capital Shoppers reveals a surprising array of spirits, including popular choices for cocktail enthusiasts. The liquor section features Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and Jose Cuervo Silver Tequila, adding an extra layer to the global feast.
- Cereal: Kellogg's Special K, All Bran, Crunchy Nut, Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes
- Other Finds: Hershey's Syrup (strawberry, caramel), Dorman's coffee, Nestlé’s Coffee Mate creamer, Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, Lipton tea packets, Nutella
- Spirits: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Jose Cuervo Silver Tequila.
Italian Supermarket: A Diverse Shopping Haven
Location: Muyenga-Tankhill Road | Store Size: Small (food-related)
Game, synonymous with a one-stop-shop experience, surprises with its food section. While not the primary focus, the store manages to offer a selection of quality imports. The beauty and skincare section features renowned brands, maintaining a fresh and organised display.
Beyond skincare, Game excels in baby care, stocking popular brands like Huggies, Pampers, and Johnson & Johnson. The store's miscellaneous section presents treats like Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, Lindt assorted chocolates, and popular snack choices like Fritos chips and Doritos.
- Beauty and Skincare: Clean & Clear, Johnson’s, Garnier, Simple, Ponds, L’Oreal, Nivea, and Clearasil
- Baby Care: Diapers and wipes from Huggies, Pampers, and Johnson & Johnson.
- Other finds: Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, Lindt assorted chocolates, Act 2 theatre-style popcorn, Fritos chips, Doritos, and various Dilmah teas.
A Tapestry of Tastes Unveiled
Embarking on a culinary journey through Kampala's imported food scene reveals a tapestry of tastes that cater to diverse palates. Whether you're seeking nostalgic childhood treats or exploring global skincare brands, the city's supermarkets offer an array of imports to satisfy your cravings. Share your favorite finds and culinary adventures with fellow expats, creating a community bonded by the joy of global flavors in the heart of Uganda.
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