Fun fact: I am known as the snack queen to all my closest friends.

No matter where I am (at the airport, on the beach, or at home), I always have an abundance of snacks around me.

The reason behind my snacking addiction?

It’s an edible momento.

Each time I open a treat from a far-flung destination, it transports me back to that trip.

Supermarkets are the most underrated local experience you can do when traveling domestically or internationally. If you still need to get on team supermarket, here are all the reasons you should add one to your next itinerary.

Why Should You Visit a Local Supermarket on Your Next Trip?

You’ll Get A Sense of The Local Culture

Stop at a local grocery store in between your guided tours and museum explorations.


It’s not as “boring” as it seems.

As you wander between the aisles stocked with familiar and unfamiliar treats, it gives you an immersive experience of the local culture.

Because let’s face it.

Most locals aren’t lining up to visit the Belem Tower in Lisbon or shuffle through the bustling Pena Palace in Sintra.

If you want a “slice of life” moment and the opportunity to pretend your trip doesn’t have a time limit, the grocery store aisles are one of the best places to experience a destination’s culture authentically.

You Can Discover New Foods and Drinks

As the snack queen, my favorite part of visiting a new destination is discovering local foods and drinks that I can’t find back home.

My go-to grocery store stash? Snacks!

Especially chips in all sorts of delicious and exciting new flavors. Give me a bag of each, please and thank you.

Then there are the local cheeses and fruits.


A trip to France isn’t complete without feasting on camembert topped with fig jam inside a freshly baked baguette.

Then there is southern Italy’s famous mozzarella. Made traditionally from Italian buffalo’s milk by the pasta filata method, it’s miles away from the mozzarella you buy back home in the States. 

If you’ve ever been to Bali, you’ve probably tried dragon fruit and the smelliest (but somehow edible) durian. These fruits aren’t typically available in your average grocery store back home and are a real treat while exploring the Island of the Gods.

You Can Find Better Souvenirs

I don’t know about you, but fridge magnets as souvenirs are low-effort and overdone.

Unless the person you’re buying a magnet for is a collector, most of your family and friends probably aren’t excited about receiving one as a gift.

Go beyond the traditional magnet or knick-knacks and bring home snacks to try with your loved ones. It’s an excellent way to share your travel experience beyond Instagram photos and let everyone “taste” your vacation, literally.

Peruse the grocery store aisles and stuff your suitcase with local chocolate bars, candies, chips, wine, and artisanal jams.

Basically, anything that customs isn’t going to confiscate (like meat and cheese).

Besides being more delicious than a magnet, shopping at a local grocery store for souvenirs is far less expensive than those tourist trap kiosks or the shops at the airport.

The Best Souvenirs From Local Supermarkets Around the World

Pici pasta from Italy: It’s mostly from Tuscany, but you can pick up dried pici pasta in most supermarkets around the country. It’s not a pasta I often see at home, so I love stocking up when I’m in town.

Honey from Djibouti: An lesser-traveled destination in Africa with a delicious souvenir. The honey is thick, smooth and has hints of smoke and salt.

KitKat flavors from Japan: For chocolate fans, prepare a decent amount of your travel budget for KitKats. Japan’s flavor scene is out of control with variations like red bean paste, Shinshu apple, wasabai, wa-itchigo strawberry, and matcha.

Fleur de sel de Camargue from France: If you’re often in the kitchen cooking up a storm back home, don’t leave France without a few bags of fleur de sel. It’s a must-have for the greatest French chefs. Sprinkle it on top of your salty dishes or chocolates to bring out the flavors.

Bavarian mustard from Germany: One of the best German mustards you can buy at the local supermarket is the Händlmaier Bayerisch Süßer Hausmachsenf. It’s absolutely delicious, and the brand has a tube form, making it easy to pack into your luggage.

Kopi Kintamani from Bali: Balinese coffee has a distinct taste and is worth bringing back home with you. Grown on the slopes of Mount Batur (an active volcano), it’s the perfect grocery store souvenir for the coffee lovers in your life.

Durian chips from Thailand: Avoid putting the stinky durian fruit in your luggage and bring back the strange fruit in its chip form. You can find this unusual snack in supermarkets like 7-Eleven, but grab a few more Thai snacks while you are there. Some of my favorites are exotic-flavored potato chips like Thai fish curry!

Exploring grocery stores is simply the best! What’s your favorite edible souvenir from your travels?