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Grocery @ Parramatta


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We'll be staying in Parramatta for a month (Jan/Feb 2011) and I'm wondering where are good places to pick up grocery. We've rented a service apartment on Church Street, not far from the Westfield Center. I assume there won't be much in the pantry so I'll need to pick up a few things. I need to just get some basics the first day we arrive (bread, eggs, etc.) and don't want to be driving too far. I'm also looking for a store with good general prices as I have no idea what's cheap and what's expensive in Oz. Is there a place inside or close by Westfield?

We'll venture out further to other stores after the first few days, so if there are specialty places that I should check out, please also share those.

Thanks.

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I'm so glad you found an apartment! Parramatta gets maligned by many, but I think it's a vibrant and exciting place, with a real multicultural mix.

The grocery market in Australia is nearly a duopoly, dominated by Coles and Woolworths. Aldi, Franklins & IGA are more minor players.

Aldi has a policy of pricing being the same in all stores, while pricing

Westfield Parramatta has Coles, Woolworth & and IGA Express. Aldi is just around the corner within walking distance (bring your own bags). There is also a greengrocer, fishmonger and at least one Asian supermarket at Westfield, but I don't do groceries at Parramatta (purely because of logistics issues), so I can't speak to the quality. There used to be a Harris Farm Markets in the Brand Smart Centre on Church Street (nothing seems to survive there long) but it closed this year. However, the Baulkham Hills & Merrylands stores will be within very reasonable driving distance from you.

Tatra Deli on Darcy Street, on the other side of the station from Westfields is a great Polish deli, but there are quite a few arcades on that side of the station, and you will no doubt find plenty of little shops if you do a bit of exploring (although they can also be pretty dusty - it's not all excitement).

There's a weekly farmers market in Parramatta as well. I don't go because it's a bit of a hike (plus parking drama) for us on the weekends, but I've heard good things about it.

If you stay on Church Street and continue South past Westfields, you will come across some Asian grocers, butchers and bakers. If you go to nearby Granville, Harris Park and Auburn you will have access to lots of middle eastern food stores, halal butchers, and the marvellous Abla's Pastries.

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Thanks! It looks like Westfield is where we'll be heading our first day there. That is great since we have to go there for banking and mobile phone anyway.

I'm not sure how far Westfield is from the apartment. If it's close enough, maybe we'll check out the farmers market by foot.

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Aldi has a policy of pricing being the same in all stores, while pricing

Just realised I hadn't finished this sentence!

Aldi has a policy of pricing being the same in all stores, while pricing at Coles, Woolworths, etc tends to change from store to store. It seems that pricing is higher in the inner/trendy suburbs, and cheaper as you go further out, although this is not a hard & fast rule. And go too far out and things start getting pricey again. What's worse is that quality of produce, organisation, etc, varies greatly from store to store. There are a number of locations I no longer go to because of quality issues, like trying to convince me that I should pay $12 for a punnet of mouldy raspberries. Some of this is down to individual store management, I'm sure, but I have been reliably told that stores are tiered, and those on the top tier get the top quality produce, while those lower down the rung get diminishing quality, depending on what's available at any time.

Which is all to say, if you find one Coles or Woolies to be great, you may find the next to be sub-par.

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