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Supermarkets in London

There are supermarkets on all main London high streets — handy if you don’t have the time or money to eat out in a restaurant or cafe all the time.

Most supermarkets are open 7 days a week. Large branches, including those normally open 24-hours, have reduced opening times on Sundays (typically 10am–4pm).

What to buy at a supermarket

Supermarkets are convenient places to pick up food for lunch or other  snacks and drinks. Most supermarkets stock the following:

  • Ready made sandwiches, rolls and wraps
  • Salad boxes
  • Soft drinks, water & alcoholic drinks
  • Noodle cups
  • Fruit
  • Crisps, nuts and savoury snacks
  • Bread

Supermarket chains

Here’s a quick guide to the major British supermarket chains.

See all central London supermarkets on a map.


Tesco is the UK’s biggest supermarket chain. Their largest supermarkets are ‘Tesco Extra‘ and ‘Tesco Superstore’.

Tesco Express‘ are the small branches which are more like convenience stores. These are everywhere. Prices are 3-4% higher than larger branches.


Sainsbury’s are not far behind Tesco in terms of number of outlets and quality. Large supermarkets are ‘Sainbury’s Superstore’. Medium-sized branches are just ‘Sainsbury’s‘.

Smaller conveniences stores are ‘Sainsbury’s Local‘. Like Tesco Express, these are more expensive than larger branches.

Marks & Spencer

M&S is not a place to do your weekly shopping if you’re on a budget, but it’s  popular at lunchtime with London’s office workers. They stock a huge range of sandwiches, salads, sushi & wraps. Smaller branches are ‘M&S Simply Food‘.


Waitrose is probably the UK’s most expensive supermarket, but the quality is high and buying a ready-meal to cook at home in a microwave or oven is much cheaper than eating out. ‘little Waitrose‘ are their smaller branches. It’s part of the John Lewis group, an iconic British brand famous for its customer service.

The Co-operative Food

The Co-op is the UK’s most ethical supermarket chain. It’s similar to Sainsbury’s and Tesco in terms of price, but most branches are small.


Lidl is one of the cheapest supermarkets in the UK. There is one branch in central London:

Lidl Tottenham Court Rd
145 Tottenham Court Rd
London W1T 7NE
Tube station: Warren St

See a map of all Lidl branches in London.

Other branches easy to get to by public transport from central London are:

Lidl Shepherd’s Bush
W12 Shopping Centre,
Shephrd’s Bush Green,
London W12 8PP
Tube station: Shepherd’s Bush

Lidl Camden
64-70 Camden High St
London NW1 0LT
Tube station: Camden Town/Mornington Crescent

Lidl Stockwell
189 Clapham Rd
London SW9 0QE
Tube station: Stockwell

The Old Kent Rd branch is closer to central London than Stockwell, but it’s not near a tube station.

Lidl Old Kent Rd
2 Massinger St
London SE17 1TY
Tube station: Elephant & Castle then a 15-minute walk or bus 63, 363, 53, 168, 172 or 453.


Aldi is similar to Lidl in terms of price and quality. They don’t have any branches in central London. The closest are:

Aldi Camden
125-133 Camden High St
London, NW1 7JR
Tube station: Camden Town

Aldi Kilburn
142-162 Kilburn High Road
London, NW6 4JD
Tube station: Kilburn Park (then 10 minute walk)
London Overground station: Kilburn (then 6 minute walk)

Sandwich Meal Deals

If you’re on a tight budget, do what Londoners do and buy your lunch in a supermarket — the cheapest places to buy sandwiches, rolls, salads and drinks.

Some supermarkets offer special meal deals: a sandwich, a packet of crisp or fruit and a drink for around £3–£3.99. For a light lunch, cheap sandwiches start at £1 or if you’re really counting the pennies, larger branches have deli counters where you can assemble your own sandwich or roll for less than £1.

Boots, a chain of chemists, also offer sandwich meal deals. As do Greggs, a chain of shops selling sandwiches, hot savouries, cakes and bread.

If you want to eat your food inside, try a branch of Pret a Manger. Be prepared to pay a bit more through.

Cheap soft drinks

Soft drinks are always available near the sandwiches in the chilled cabinet usually near the supermarket entrance. If you’re happy with a room temperature drink, they’re cheaper in the other aisles. This is especially true for water — a 2 litre own-brand bottle costs as little as 18p-50p.

Ready Meals

If you’re staying in an apartment or have self-catering facilities and don’t want to cook, all supermarkets offer a range of ready-made meals to microwave or oven cook at home. The best quality is from M&S, Waitrose and the Tesco Finest range at Tesco.

Meal Deals

Look out for the special dinner for two deals at M&S and Waitrose. For around £12 you get a starter or dessert, a main meal with a side dish for two.