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Old 16.04.2010, 15:08
 
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Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

Hi

We will shortly be relocating to Lugano, and I have been reading lots of threads that say that you can get a better choice of groceries, at a better price, if you go across the border into France or Germany to do the weekly shop. I was wondering if the same is true of going into Italy from Ticino.

So, does anyone have any supermarket/ shop recommendations? Are there any places that offer the same sort of choice and quality for food as say, Marks and Spencer? I love their pre-prepared salads and ready meals, but I'm pretty sure I will not find their equivalent anywhere, either in Italy or Switzerland!!

Does everyone shop at Migros? Is there an online grocery delivery service?
I'm desperate to maintain the same lazy lifestyle that I have in the UK!!!

Thanks!
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Old 16.04.2010, 16:20
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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Is there an online grocery delivery service?
I'm desperate to maintain the same lazy lifestyle that I have in the UK!!!
Long thread here: Online grocery delivery.
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Old 16.04.2010, 19:43
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

I don't think you will find anything like M&S here in Switzerland - I'm sorry!! In fact I think it's difficult to find one place for all our shopping.

We use Manor for bread and fresh fruit/veg, Migros for frozen stuff, yoghurts and pastries, COOP for their meat/organic chickens, Aldi for their low prices on a lot of basic items and then we go across the border once a month for the wider selection of pasta, cheese, ham/salami and sauces.

Bennett, IPER and COOP are the most popular supermarkets across the border i Italy. Prices are a bit lower especially if you do the tax refund. Remember the limits

Only Migros do home deliveries in Ticino - last time I looked they only delivered once a week.
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Old 16.04.2010, 19:56
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

It is definetely worth to shop around in italy, check out the weekly markets too.

Also the restaurants are far much better and cheaper. But make sure you park in a place where it is 100% legal, don`t park in front of the guardia di finanzia bulding, they don`t have enough parking space for their staff and tow away any car if they can find a reason.
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Old 16.04.2010, 21:30
 
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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I don't think you will find anything like M&S here in Switzerland - I'm sorry!! In fact I think it's difficult to find one place for all our shopping.

Bennett, IPER and COOP are the most popular supermarkets across the border i Italy. Prices are a bit lower especially if you do the tax refund. Remember the limits

Only Migros do home deliveries in Ticino - last time I looked they only delivered once a week.
Thanks so much, this is all extremely useful, I will certainly check out all the stores. It sounds like food shopping could become a full time occupation, with so many places to go to get the best of various items. I am really going to have to brush up on my cooking skills too with the lack of M&S style ready meals, this is no bad thing though I guess! It is such a shame that the limits for bringing food in duty-free are so low on things like meat - only 500g! that is not even enough for a decent burger! Hmmm. If you go shopping in Italy can you bring a separate bag of stuff to declare at customs if you want to bring more than is allowed within the limit? ie, a bag with say, a few kilos of meat and then all other items within the 300 limit together. I reckon the answer to this question is on another thread, but I thought I would be cheeky and ask anyway.
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Old 16.04.2010, 21:33
 
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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It is definetely worth to shop around in italy, check out the weekly markets too.
Thanks Tom, any weekly markets that you particularly recommend, or any shops you prefer across the border?
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Old 16.04.2010, 22:22
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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Thanks so much, this is all extremely useful, I will certainly check out all the stores. It sounds like food shopping could become a full time occupation, with so many places to go to get the best of various items. I am really going to have to brush up on my cooking skills too with the lack of M&S style ready meals, this is no bad thing though I guess! It is such a shame that the limits for bringing food in duty-free are so low on things like meat - only 500g! that is not even enough for a decent burger! Hmmm. If you go shopping in Italy can you bring a separate bag of stuff to declare at customs if you want to bring more than is allowed within the limit? ie, a bag with say, a few kilos of meat and then all other items within the 300 limit together. I reckon the answer to this question is on another thread, but I thought I would be cheeky and ask anyway.
I'm not sure I understand the question An alternative could be the wholesalers of fish and meat who also sell to the general public might be worth checking out


- Suttero-Ticino (wholesale meat), via al Fiume, 6930 Bedano www.suttero.ch

- Mercato del Pesce (wholesale fish) via Cadepiano 6, 6916 Grancia, 091 993 32 42

- Spaccio Ittico (wholesale fish) via del Piano 12, Pambio Noranco, 091 980 94 30
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Old 17.04.2010, 11:10
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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Thanks so much, this is all extremely useful, I will certainly check out all the stores. It sounds like food shopping could become a full time occupation, with so many places to go to get the best of various items. I am really going to have to brush up on my cooking skills too with the lack of M&S style ready meals, this is no bad thing though I guess! It is such a shame that the limits for bringing food in duty-free are so low on things like meat - only 500g! that is not even enough for a decent burger! Hmmm. If you go shopping in Italy can you bring a separate bag of stuff to declare at customs if you want to bring more than is allowed within the limit? ie, a bag with say, a few kilos of meat and then all other items within the 300 limit together. I reckon the answer to this question is on another thread, but I thought I would be cheeky and ask anyway.
I don't know what M&S style means, but Migros and Coop offer quite good ready meals of many kinds. Quite to the contrary, there is a commercial partnership between M&S and Migros, and the M&S food sector even was started by Migros specialists contracted out to M&S.

In regard to prices in Ticino and Lombardy (Lombardia) you have to be careful. Many things are more expensive in Italy than in the Ticino, while many other things are far cheaper than in the Ticino. This for centuries was the reason why smuggling in Ticino "employed" thousands of people.
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Old 18.04.2010, 21:59
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

I lived in the UK 8 years ago so correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember M&S for pretty good curry dishes, high quality canapees and other finger food and excellent houmus - none of which I would be able to find here in Migros or COOP in Ticino.
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Old 18.04.2010, 23:35
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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I lived in the UK 8 years ago so correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember M&S for pretty good curry dishes, high quality canapees and other finger food and excellent houmus - none of which I would be able to find here in Migros or COOP in Ticino.
You ARE wrong as you apparently think that co-ordinated purchasing leads to the same products offered to the clientele. And you ARE wrong in so far as Canapees have been a traditional thing in Swiss households since the early 1960ies. Hoummous was not on demand locally here in Switzerland until a few years ago, but now you in the Zurich area can get it in Migros and Coop all over the place. Migros some three years ago started to have some very good curry dishes including a very nice Lamb Vindaloo on offer. The recipe is from an Indian restaurant (King's Kurry) in Zurich .

And you may realize that Migros Türk also was started by Migros folks, and amazingly enough, Migros Türk has some very nice Turkish wines in its assortment !
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Old 19.04.2010, 23:44
 
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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I'm not sure I understand the question
Sorry I just read back my question, and it wasn't clear at all!

I get the impression that there is a 300 euro limit to the amount of stuff you can take through customs duty-free, but within that 300 euro limit you are only able to take certain maximum quantities of particular items, for instance, you could only take up to 500g of meat... I was wondering if you could put all your shopping costing up to 300 euros together, and not pay any duty on this, but then also take in a load of meat for instance, and declare it at customs and only pay duty on this.

Ergh - I do seem to have lost the ability to express myself clearly- I blame it on the lack of sleep caused by my newborn baby.

Anyway I can't thank you enough for all the useful info on the various shops, which I am sure will be immensely useful as a starting point for choosing where I will find the sorts of food I like.
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Old 19.04.2010, 23:54
 
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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I lived in the UK 8 years ago so correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember M&S for pretty good curry dishes, high quality canapees and other finger food and excellent houmus - none of which I would be able to find here in Migros or COOP in Ticino.

M&S generally has very good quality food. Their ready meals are not full of additives and other nasties, so are largely guilt-free convenience foods. They do lovely pre-prepared salads, and bags containing really great selections of fresh vegetables that you can just chuck in the microwave (brilliant for kids). Their ready-made curries are lovely, so are their range of fresh meats all pre-marinaded and 'dressed' so you can just chuck in the oven. You have remembered correctly that they do great canapes and houmous too. In fact I use all their canapes anytime I have a party!! I am the biggest fan of their food!!!! Totally going to miss it when we move!
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Old 20.04.2010, 08:22
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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I get the impression that there is a 300 euro limit to the amount of stuff you can take through customs duty-free, but within that 300 euro limit you are only able to take certain maximum quantities of particular items, for instance, you could only take up to 500g of meat... I was wondering if you could put all your shopping costing up to 300 euros together, and not pay any duty on this, but then also take in a load of meat for instance, and declare it at customs and only pay duty on this.
The absolute limits are in weight for meat and fruit, in volume for alcohol and then, only then, in value for your total shop.

In realistic terms, they police only meat and booze. Certain types of meat have lower restrictions - either check the web or ask them for the leaflet on the way through.

Places to shop....
- Market. There is a kick-ass market in Ponte Tresa with local fresh produce being available
- Supermarkets. Bennet on the outskirts of Como is nice but the border at Chiasso will stack up now, especially at the weekend. iPer at Varese is a better bet as the border is usually less used.

Variety in Italian supermarkets is better. Your mileage on price may vary - you'll see Lugano Sud/Grancia being full of Italians at the weekend doing their shopping.....there's a reason for that

We tend to do the full shop in Varese and then local produce/small shopping in Lugano.

It also helps to keep your receipt for your shopping out when you're crossing the border - but I can't remember the last time I got a hard time. I even came across last week slightly over the value limit but declaring it and they decided that the paperwork would not be worth it
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Old 20.04.2010, 22:18
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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You ARE wrong as you apparently think that co-ordinated purchasing leads to the same products offered to the clientele. And you ARE wrong in so far as Canapees have been a traditional thing in Swiss households since the early 1960ies. Hoummous was not on demand locally here in Switzerland until a few years ago, but now you in the Zurich area can get it in Migros and Coop all over the place. Migros some three years ago started to have some very good curry dishes including a very nice Lamb Vindaloo on offer. The recipe is from an Indian restaurant (King's Kurry) in Zurich .

And you may realize that Migros Türk also was started by Migros folks, and amazingly enough, Migros Türk has some very nice Turkish wines in its assortment !
I guess it's all down to personal preferences/taste and perhaps the fact that COOP/Migros don't always carry the same products here in Ticino as in the German part of Switzerland.

We do have a good selection of fruit and veg - very nice bread (which I would not find in the UK ) super milk products - and lots of Italian inspired products - so overall I'm not complaining
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Old 20.04.2010, 22:49
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

But Boxman. Can you find a ready meal Lasagna just accross the border as good as M&S?
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Old 21.04.2010, 01:54
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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M&S generally has very good quality food. Their ready meals are not full of additives and other nasties, so are largely guilt-free convenience foods. They do lovely pre-prepared salads, and bags containing really great selections of fresh vegetables that you can just chuck in the microwave (brilliant for kids). Their ready-made curries are lovely, so are their range of fresh meats all pre-marinaded and 'dressed' so you can just chuck in the oven. You have remembered correctly that they do great canapes and houmous too. In fact I use all their canapes anytime I have a party!! I am the biggest fan of their food!!!! Totally going to miss it when we move!
M&S did NOT have any foodstuffs for ages, until the moment when the got into the beforementioned partnership with Migros. Migros then established the food department of M&S

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I guess it's all down to personal preferences/taste and perhaps the fact that COOP/Migros don't always carry the same products here in Ticino as in the German part of Switzerland.

We do have a good selection of fruit and veg - very nice bread (which I would not find in the UK ) super milk products - and lots of Italian inspired products - so overall I'm not complaining

Coop and Migros in Ticinco have to adapt to the fact to be in "Swiss Lombardia" and a different culture, and so of course DO try to adapt

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Old 21.04.2010, 02:13
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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But Boxman. Can you find a ready meal Lasagna just accross the border as good as M&S?
They SHOULD find something at least as good as M&S in both Ticino and Lombardia
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Old 21.04.2010, 07:16
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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But Boxman. Can you find a ready meal Lasagna just accross the border as good as M&S?
no - but you might find an authentic Harry Ramsden Fish and Chips microwave meal
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Old 21.04.2010, 09:06
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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But Boxman. Can you find a ready meal Lasagna just accross the border as good as M&S?
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no - but you might find an authentic Harry Ramsden Fish and Chips microwave meal
Why the ridicule?
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Old 21.04.2010, 11:46
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Re: Ticino grocery shopping- do you do it in Switz or is it worth going to Italy?

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Why the ridicule?
Irony, I think I'd call it. Ready meals (once called TV Dinners) are not as popular in Italian culture as they might well be in that of Anglophobes
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