Finding your taste of home at Geneva’s purveyors of ethnic food & ingredients

ethnic food shopping in geneva

THE diversity of foreign foodstuffs on Swiss and local French supermarket shelves has dramatically increased over the past few decades as has the number of independent suppliers offering high-quality ethnic ingredients from faraway sources.

So an expat desperate for a fix of home needn’t go far to satisfy cravings for a favorite edible or to find the necessary ingredients to whip up a beloved dish in their own kitchens.

ethnic food supply shops in Geneva
Fresh cardamom pods, so often featured in East Indian cuisine.

A taste for something different

In my own case, it’s not so much a hankering for the delicacies of Montreal — bagels, smoked meat, maple syrup, cheesecake, inexpensive blueberries — that send me off an a Sherlockian search for goodies. Rather, it’s the gnawing desire, especially in wintertime, for a good, hot East Indian dish or a spicy Thai curry to warm my insides and challenge my taste buds after months of seasonal European fare.

Of course, the cities and towns around Lake Geneva — Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey, and those of neighboring France — are home to a large number of expats for whom an “ethnic” meal is not a special occasion, but rather a daily occurence and for whom having a ready supply of fresh ‘exotic’ ingredients is not a perk but a necessity.

food store shelves
Popular brands of ethnic foods and ingredients are readily available in mainstream grocery stores like Coop and Migros and the fine food departments of Manor and Globus.

What a relief then that many of the requisite ingredients are readily available in mainstream grocery stores including Coop and Migros, the fine food section of department stores including Manor and Globus and also at local outdoor markets as well as the iconic indoor market La Halle de Rive off Boulevard Helvétique in central Geneva.

Divine market Indian spices
Merchants “La Place aux Epices” sell Asian spices and powders at the Divonne Sunday Market.

But if you prefer to buy your ready-made fresh or frozen ingredients in bulk or to find unique produce or brands unavailable at mainstream outlets, then there are still some (though not as many as there used to be) specialist purveyors in Geneva where you can find what you’re looking for. To get you started, please find below a listing of shops where you can begin your search.

If you can add a name to the list — no matter how small, or where it’s located — please feel free to contact me or add the relevant info in the Comments box below. Many thanks and I hope you find the list helpful.

BTW: For lovers of organic produce follow this link to AngloInfo’s (undated) listing of “bio” farms, bakeries and stores in Geneva, Vaud and neighboring France. The list appears to be accurate, but just to be sure, give a call before venturing out to avoid disappointment.

Asian grocery store Geneva

Asian Food Supplies

Thu Hang Alimentation Asiatique: 52, Rue de Monthoux, 1201 Geneva,
Tel: 022.731.67.93

Dragon Pearl: 1, Rue de Cornavin, 1201 Geneva, Tel: 022.731.16.41

Sunlight Asian Foods: 17, Rue du Bois-du-Lan, 1217 Meyrin, Tel: 022.782.18.46
(On Facebook)

Asia Store: 8, Rue Pradier, 1201 Geneva, Tel: 022.732.28.38

Viet-Thai Shop Sàrl: 18, Rue du Prieuré, 1202 Geneva, Tel: 022.731.22.22

East Indian/Asian Food Supplies

Monsoon Alimentation: 65, Rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, Tel: 022.732.48.58

Madhura Marche: 56, Rue Liotard, 1202 Geneva, Tel: 022. 344.21.20 (On Facebook)

Multibazaar Farooq Zahid (Indian/Pakistani): 12, Rue de Fribourg, 1201 Geneve,
Tel: 022.731.00.00

Uchitomi japanese store Geneva

Japanese Food Supplies

Uchitomi: 13-15 Rue de Ferrier, 1202 Geneva, Tel: 022.731.26.01 (Website) and also a new outlet   (see above photo) as of December 2017 in the modern shopping arcade next to Globus and just opposite Teuscher Chocolates, at 42, Rue de Rhône, 1204 GE. Tel: 022.731.26.46.

Uchino: 45, Rue du Zurich, 1201 Geneva, Tel: 022.731.48.62 (Website)

Lyzamir spice shop Geneva

Middle Eastern/African/South American/Asian Spices, Herbs, Flour, etc.

Lyzamir: 3, Rue des Corps-Saints, 1201 Geneva, Tel: 022.732.53.80

Lebanese Food Supplies/Deli

Good Taste/Goodies Int.: Douane de Ferney/2, chemin sur Grosse, 01210 Ferney-Voltaire, FR, Tel: 0033.(0).450.40.85.10

Lebanese/Iranian/Greek/Turkish Deli food, wine, ingredients

A. Dardashti – Ariana Food Sàrl: located in La Halle de Rive, entrance off
Blvd Helvétique, 1207 Geneva, Tel: 022.736.53.60

Latin/Brazilian/African Food Supplies

Chez Ashanti: 23, Rue de Montchoisy, 1207 Geneva, Tel: 022.735.18.05

Italian deli Geneva

Italian Food Supplies

Saveurs d’Italie: Boulevard du Pont d’Arve 11, 1205 Geneva, Tel: 022.329.31.56

Cavalieri et fils, Tel: 022 736 71 62; and Pascal Traiteur (fresh pasta and supplies), Tel: 022 700 10 30, both at La Halle de Rive, entrance off Blvd Helvétique, 1207 Geneva.

Duchessa Restaurant/Deli-Dry goods store:  (1) Centre i.Life, 8A, Route Suisse, 1163 Etoy, Tel: 021.807.17.27  (Website and on Facebook)

British Food Supplies

Jim’s British Mini-Market: (1) 147, Rue du Mont Rond, Zone de l’Allondon, St. Genis-Pouilly, 01630 France, Tel: +33(0) and (2) 33, Avenue du Mont-Blanc, 1196 Gland, Vaud, Tel: 022.364.18.58 (Website)

Russian Food Supplies

La Berezka, Rue de la Terrassière 48, 1207 Geneva, Tel: 022.810.84.63. (On Facebook)

Spanish food supplies Geneva

Spanish Food Supplies

Egne: Deli-Restaurant-Wine tastings, 12-14 Rue du Cendrier, 1201 Geneva,
Tel: 022.900.14.14 (Website).

American/British/Mexican/Food Supplies

American Market: (1) Rue de Neuchâtel 13, 1201 Geneva, Tel: 022.732.32.00 and
(2) 8, Rue Juste-Olivier, Nyon, Tel: 022.362.49.05 (Website)

Mexican (fresh, handmade) Food Supplies

Los Tacos: 8, Rue Faiencerie, 1227 Carouge, Tel: 022.342.03.03

Swedish Food Supplies

IKEA: Pré-Neuf, 1170 Aubonne, Tel: 0848.801.100 (Website: look under Spécialités Suédeoise ) 

6 responses to “Finding your taste of home at Geneva’s purveyors of ethnic food & ingredients”

  1. My mouth is actually watering after reading this article. And while all the foods sound amazing, right now I have a tremendous desire to follow my nose into a pungent smelling spice shop and exit with all my choices wrapped in small bags. Perfect to make a stomach and heart satisfying meal on a chilly evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You would really enjoy Lyzamir, which has big bags of flour and spices and little exoticisms you cannot find elsewhere. A treasure trove of goodies.


  2. Isn’t it wonderful to find almost everything from around the globe even in little Geneva. So, the only thing to worry about is how cook it up and put it on the plate.


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