When I first settled into my apartment in BA my first thought was, “Ok, so where is the Wal-Mart?” And the answer I received was “There is none.” because stores are more separated here. There’s a bakery for bread products, a Butcher shop for meats, a different store for cheeses and wines, vegetable stand if you need vegetables, and the list goes.
Recently I’ve discovered that my answer of “There is none” isn’t entirely true.
While Wal-Mart type stores aren’t very popular here, though they do exist (there are Wal-Marts here as well) there is one store I’ve found that has been the most accessible and comparable to Wal-Mart. It’s name is Coto. It’s an absolutely gigantic store that has everything from groceries to make up to computers. Meanwhile, these store really aren’t very common so they’re not super convenient to go to all the time.
Here ARE the stores you’ll need for your basic everyday items.
There’s a wide array of grocery stores that will be great for your everyday food needs. They sell everything standard that one would expect a grocery store to have: fruits, vegetables, pastas, and meats. Your standard grocery store. Some of the chains here are Dia, Carrefour, Jumbo and Disco, just to name a few.
This is where you can get shampoo and conditioner, contact solution and other bathroom items like that. Or, behind the counter they have painkillers, antibiotics, allergy pills or something for any other sort of ailment you may have.
The most popular Farmacias are ones called Farmacity. They’re everywhere and they’re very convenient. This chain of stores is the largest and in general is going to have the widest range of options for your pharmaceutical needs.
As the name implies these are the vegetable stores. They also have a bigger selection than the fruits and vegetables you get at the grocery store and sometimes they’re higher quality so it’s usually preferable. And they’re all over the place. Sometimes it’s nice to pass them on the way to school and pick up an apple to start your day.
I really only go for the facturas. I actually buy bread from the grocery store usually. But they have a wide variety of all bread products from sweets to rolls to cakes. Pretty much any bread you might need would be at a pandería.
These are little grocery stores. They don’t have a wide variety variety of selection and in general they’re going to be for little things that you forgot to pick up. I usually only go to these for wine, in general I use the grocery store.
This is the place where you can buy tools, screws or whatever you need to build stuff. They have light bulbs, flashlights, wire, even mops. Any sort of household type items.
Shops for ice cream. I’m sure you´ll become familiar with these here.
The name is misleading here. They aren’t a library (that’s called a bibliotecha). It’s where you would get office supplies stuff. Pencils, erasers, tape, that sort of thing.
Coffee shops. They´re good for breakfast and a facturas.
This is anything you´ll need for a party. They have balloons, decorations, costumes, cake decorations, things that will make your place pretty for a party.
These are only just a few, but it will give you a place on where to start to look for things when you get here.