Quick Guide to Convenience Stores
A firm favorite with ex-pats looking for Western comforts, AP Mart is deceptively well-stocked with a huge selection of jars, tins, and dry goods, hard-to-find vinegars and oils, cheeses, butter, deli meats and baking products. There’s also a surprising selection of speciality foods (are you really missing your pink Himalayan rock salt?). Wine and Prosecco can be a little expensive but a number of hard-to-find grape varieties and blends complement a strong selection of Australian beers and ales. Conveniently located right next to a number of cash machines.
Add: 501 Hai Ba Trung; Phone: +84 (0) 235 221 2186 / +84 (0) 982 503 508; Opening hours: 7.30am-10.30pm
Wine lovers rejoice! Air-conditioned, Red Apron stocks over 1000 wines, including magnums and champagnes and a range of vintages and varieties including some that wouldn’t look out of place in a Michelin-star restaurant. Recommendations are on offer in excellent English, wine tastings at local galleries explore the shop’s range and pre-chilled wines can be had before heading to the beach. Prices are clearly labelled and start at a very reasonable level. Premium glassware, corkscrews and bottle stoppers are also on hand. (Technically a wine shop and not one of the convenience stores, really bad wine elsewhere merits its inclusion on this list!)
Add: 185 Ly Thuong Kiet; Tel: +84 (0)235 3917 070; Opening hours: 8am-12pm and 1.30pm-6.30pm
A cheap, one-stop shop sits just across the road from Red Apron. Open much later, Bich Thuy has a great range of wine, spirits and soft drinks. Just as impressive is their selection of Monin syrups, if you fancy flavoring your coffees or cocktails. They have rare ales, stouts and ciders, so if there’s something you’re craving from home it’s likely to be here, and they even have a choice of cigars. Beware though, the assortment of fresh produce is relatively small, comprising mostly yoghurts and sliced cheeses. Their cosmetics aisle has an impressive variety and it’s an excellent store for parents, with a huge area devoted to diapers, formula and baby-related goods.
Add: 318 Ly Thuong Kiet; Tel: +84 (0)235 382 0899; Opening hours: 7.30am-10.30pm
A huge frozen selection leads the way at Hang Nga – one of the most reasonably priced convenience stores. Covering pretty much all household needs, if you’re looking to stock up on ready meals or stuff to just stick in the oven, this is definitely the place to go – in particular frozen French fries and breaded mozzarella sticks will appeal for a sense of home. Located directly opposite the Tiger Market, there are also pre-packaged fruit and vegetables if you’re not in the mood for bartering.
Add: 81 Nguyen Dinh Chieu; Tel: +84 (0)235 391 7210; Opening hours: 9am-6pm
Michael Mini Mart
Whilst Michael Mini Mart is a little messy, and it’s not clear where the shop ends and the store-room starts, the staff are helpful and smiley. A big selection of household goods and cleaning products complements everything parents would need – including a bright display of toys and candy. There’s a section dedicated to baking and dry ingredients, but some bags of sugar and flour are unlabeled, so make sure to check if you’re not certain. Oh, and there’s a tempting Haagen Dazs fridge, so be warned!
Add: 36 Thai Phien; Opening hours: 9am-9pm
Offering air-conditioning and a big range of necessities, A Mart is relatively similar to a Western mini-mart. There’s a big selection of toiletries and soft drinks and, although the food section covers mostly snacks and pot noodles, tricky-to-locate items like padlocks, corkscrews, and brand-name batteries are on show. The wine selection is large but only covers a small range of grape varieties (the usual suspects – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon). The prices are clearly labelled but slightly higher than their competing convenience stores.
Add: 676 Hai Ba Trung; Phone: 0235 626 0168; Opening hours: 7.30am-10.30pm
Located on a busy intersection, just opposite Kimmy’s Tailors, Mini Mart has the added bonus of a Banh Mi stand outside. Lacking much in the way of fresh produce, there are plenty of dry ingredients and snacks to keep you going. The main appeal is the enormous booze selection, offering local and foreign spirits in lots of different sized bottles: ideal if you’re searching for a crucial cocktail ingredient.
Add: 716 Hai Ba Trung; Phone +84 90 555 97 60; Opening hours: 9am-11pm
A Mart & More
As with their sister shops elsewhere in town, these offerings from the A Mart group have cornered the market in stocking Western goods at similar prices you’d find back home, with the added bonus of gorgeous architecture. As far as convenience stores go, they make the best of the small spaces, tucking away harder to find essentials like batteries and padlocks. Bear in mind, though, that the Old Town stores only have a tiny corner of the fridge dedicated to fresh goods, so look elsewhere for cheese and meats.
Add: 140 Nguyen Truong To, 64 Le Loi, 128 Tran Phu, 59 Nguyen Phuc Chu, 27 Cua Dai, 321 An Bang; Phone: +84 235 3915868; Opening hours: 7.30am-10.30pm
Trung Van is an excellent liquor store in the Old Town making a half-hearted effort to stock toiletries and Western food stuffs. Some quite unusual grape varieties and premium Argentinean wineries are on offer, but if you’re looking for something in particular you may have to rummage a little – the wine racks are not always organized logically. A large selection of both mid-range and premium spirits are available and if you’re desperate for wine but on a tight budget, some Chilean wines start at only 150,000 vnd. Prices clearly labeled.
Add: 49 Le Loi; Phone: 02353910105; Opening hours: 12pm-9pm
Ms Vy's Kitchen & Deli
Ms Vy’s Deli is predominantly an upmarket restaurant/bar but inside, spectacularly presented, is a broad selection of deli fare, international sauces, oils, and tinned delicacies. Catering for a healthy, trendy audience, you can find pulses and grains like quinoa as well as dried fruits and superfoods too, along with an excellent range of herbs and spices, both fresh and dried. These premium products have prices to match however, in some cases exceeding those most expats would pay at home.
Add: 41 Nguyen Phuc Chu; Phone: 0235 3959 222; Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Halfway between the Old Town and Cua Dai Beach sits Dingo Deli, a founding deli cum cafe cum bakery cum restaurant that is still the king of establishments for many Westerners. The deli has a wondrous range of salamis, hams, olives, dips, condiments and cheeses. This is complemented with a gourmet range of frozen meats and specialist household shelf items. Meanwhile, the bakery produces a unique range of breads, bagels, muffins, pastries, pies and cakes. Dingo Deli is unmatched for diversity and quality anywhere in Hoi An. Delivery service available.
Add: 277 Cua Dai; Phone: +84 (0)70 600 9300; Opening Hours: 7.30am to 9.30pm 7 days
Located right next to the Backpackers Hostel, MiniMart clearly knows its market, with late opening hours and loud club music playing. They have friendly staff and a strong selection of Western goods, both in terms of toiletries and snacks. The booze selection covers all bases, with German beers, alcopops, local booze and sake available. There’s nothing in the way of fresh goods – the fridge is stocked exclusively with lager – but they excel themselves in the snack and pot noodle department.
Add: 246 Cua Dai; Phone: 0935050105; Opening hours: 8.30am-Midnight
Trai Cay Sach
The closest thing we’ve found to a Western health food store, stocking fresh and dried fruit, teas, seeds and nuts, as well as some speciality ‘superfoods’ like matcha powder and chia. Trai Cay Sach smells great and the produce all looks fresh, but the stacks of polystyrene cartons outside look disorganised, and the shop seems somewhat overstaffed which can be intimidating. A nice touch is the cute pallet seating outside, complete with cushions in the shape of fruit slices. This is a good option for fresh produce without having to tackle the markets.
Add: 540 Cua Dai; Phone: +84 90 198 28 82; Opening hours: 8.30am-10pm
Located just past the bridge on Cua Dai, this A Mart is very much the black sheep of the A Mart family. Whilst it boasts a massive range of sunscreens and toiletries, there’s a sense of half-heartedness about the rest of the produce; many items have not been restocked or only have one product left on the shelf. The back wall is taken up by an empty freezer, and opposite the till stands an enormous wine rack with no bottles. If you’re in desperate need of snacks or bathroom products, their long opening hours are a bonus, but expect lackluster staff and one of the most perplexingly bereft convenience stores around. Beware, looks like it’s about to close.
Add: 27 Cua Dai; Phone: +84 235 3864 066; Opening hours: 7am to 10.30pm
Blu Mini Mart
Blu Mart – a bar cum Greek diner cum convenience store – is certainly a ‘jack of all trades’. Sun cream, beach toys and plastic ponchos indicate a tourist orientation that is complemented with plenty of snacks to keep you going when heading to the beach. The enormous spirits selection – enough to rival a cocktail bar – is a huge plus but the toiletry range is a little limited as is the fresh food and cooking ingredients selection. A small selection of pastas and sauces provides the only cupboard-offering and the dairy fridge sticks to the basics. Best for party goers and tourists.
Add: Hai Ba Trung; Phone: +84 90 591 41 02; Opening hours: 9am-10pm
A glamorous new kid on the block, aBa Mart claims to have ‘Western goods at local prices’ and it’s no idle boast – many items were at least two-thirds cheaper than local competitors. Strengths include air-con, clearly marked prices, a great selection of imported lagers and ales, foreign foods like oats, olives and pestos and many products that aren’t available elsewhere – towels, cosmetics, adaptors. An ice-cream bar and freshly brewed coffee are in the wind and there are plans to offer fast food. The staff all speak excellent English and an ATM will be installed soon.
Add: End of Hai Ba Trung, An Bang; Phone: 0931991012; Opening hours: 8am-9pm