Whether it’s your daily 5 of fruits and veggies, kitchen towels, window cleaner or that incredibly yummy candy bar you love to reward yourself with after a hard day of work – grocery shopping is one of the most important parts of the week.

Vienna offers a lot of different means of procuring all those items you need on a daily basis. These venues range from spectacular food markets to the local Greissler, a small, independent store on the street corner. But the most important, and typically most frequented shops by far are Austria’s biggest supermarket chains and discounters.

Before we introduce you to the best grocery stores for your weekly shop, a word of warning: Austria’s rules concerning shop hours are very strict. Actual opening hours may vary from shop to shop and chain to chain. As a rule of thumb, you can expect grocery stores to be open between 7:30 am and 7 pm on weekdays, and 6 pm on Saturdays. With some notable exceptions (some supermarkets located in railway stations or the airport), shops are closed on Sun- and holidays.


Traditionally, the Austrian supermarkets used to be the places to shop brand products and get in-person service at the meat and bakery counters. Lately, they, too, have chosen to offer lower-cost in-house brands and the typical self-service boxes for bread and baked goods that are typically associated with discounters.

Although supermarkets have started to adopt some “discounter”-strategies, they still sell a wider spectrum of goods and brands. Prices tend to be higher as well.


Billa, the Billig Laden (literally: Inexpensive Store), has been a staple of the Austrian grocery store scene since 1953 and has been part of the Rewe-group since 1996.

Web: Billa
Opening hours (in general): Mon – Fri: 7:40 am – 7:30 pm; Sat: 7:40 am – 6 pm


The Spar (literally: Save) supermarket is basically a chain within a chain. Apart from Spar, there’s also Gourmet Spar, InterSpar, and EuroSpar chains. These mostly differ from each other in terms of floor-space. This means, the biggest difference between Spar and Interspar is the amount of brand variety for any given product. Spar is the one huge supermarket chain that can be found in Vienna that isn’t part of the Rewe-group.

Web: Spar
Opening hours (in general): Mon – Fri: 7:40 am – 7:30 pm; Sat: 7:15 am – 6 pm


Merkur, the third big supermarket chain on the list, is the other grocery shop that’s part of the Rewe-group. The chain has been founded in 1969 by the founder of Billa. It has also gone on and been a member of the Rewe-family since 1996. A staple of any Merkur market is the incorporated café and restaurant. Here you can get good food (check out their midday menu!) for a really great price.

Web: Merkur
Opening hours (in general): Mon – Fri: 7:40 am – 8 pm; Sat: 7:40 am – 6 pm


Discounters used to have a rather bad reputation in Austria. This changed a couple of years ago when they completely rebranded. The updated and modernised store’s looks and the new goods on offer then changed the minds of the population quickly. Discounters used to be primarily known for offering very cheap non-brand goods and regular non-food promotion sales. These days, they also offer a variety of branded products, fresh and local, often organic produce and dairy, as well as freshly baked breads and pastries.


The discounter chain Hofer, also known as Aldi in parts of the German-speaking world, very likely is the most favourite discounter of the Viennese people. Prepare to be amazed by the wide choice of brand names, the freshly baked goods and the company’s own organic brand “Zurück zum Ursprung”.

Web: Hofer
Opening hours (in general): Mon – Fri: 7:40 am – 8 pm; Sat: 7:40 am – 6 pm


Founded in 1973, the German-based discounter chain has a number of venues throughout the city. Penny, too, is a part of the Rewe-group and offers some of the big brands its supermarket-brethren do, too.

Web: Penny
Opening hours (in general): Mon – Fri: 7:40 am – 8 pm; Sat: 7:40 am – 6 pm


The German-based discounter Lidl is the world’s biggest discounter chain if you count by individual venues (11.000 shops in 29 countries). Lidl has first opened its doors in Austria in 1998 and has expanded to account for around 5.5% of all shopping done in the country. In terms of goods you can expect more locally sourced products when it comes to fruit, veggies, dairy, and basically everything that counts as fresh food, and a more German-centric approach when it comes to packaged goods, sweets, herbs and the like.

Web: Lidl
Opening hours (in general): Mon – Fri: 7:40 am – 8 pm; Sat: 7:40 am – 6 pm

Leave a Reply