Vienna - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Right now, with the war in Ukraine, we are feeling the cost of inflation. Still, Vienna is affordable and everything is available. You might not get the variety of New York, but it's a lot cheaper and the quality is better overall. - Sep 2022

Excellent quality of produce, dairy, meat, etc. and it's very seasonal. Austrians love celebrating the time of year when asparagus, or chanterelles, baerlauch, etc appear. Fewer convenience foods than in North America (NA). Wine and beer are extremely affordable, but it's worth seeking out some of the fantastic natural wines being produced in Austria (which are still very cheap compared to NA!). Coffee was generally more expensive, though excellent. However, I usually had to go to multiple shops to pick up my staples. I found that my grocery bills averaged out to approximately what I spend at home, with some things being more expensive and others being cheaper. - Sep 2021

Everything you need can be found on the local market. We also had access to the UN international commissary which was helpful. - Feb 2019

Quality is generally excellent, and prices are usually reasonable. Vienna is not as expensive to live as many other EU cities (Paris, London, all of Switzerland). - Jul 2018

Mainstream grocers in the "expat districts" are offering a much wider variety of items than from when we first arrived; there are more specialty markets (Asian, Turkish, Russian, Italian), as well. Compared to Washington, DC the costs are about the same. - Nov 2017

Every 2 blocks there are these small, over-priced grocery stores with limited selections (Spar, Billa, etc.) There are also medium-sized luxury gourmet stores, as well as some cheaper small and larger stores. You just have to find them. Stores close at 6:30PM or maybe later. Only a few really expensive train station stores are open on Sundays. - Jun 2016

Almost everything I need is here and I find I spend about the same as I did in DC. A decent commissary is available for those affiliated with the UN. If you're really compelled to save money you can drive to Hungary (about an hour) and shop at a large Tesco and save about half. - Mar 2015

Great availability, cost is relatively high. - Jul 2014

Some folks complain about the high price of groceries but I've found them to be pretty reasonable. Yes, it's a capital city and it can get expensive, but there are many grocery chains which offer good product choices and a wide range of cost. Your choice. - Mar 2014

Everything is available, for a price! I would say I pay about 30% more for groceries here than in the U.S. which is consistent with the COLA. Some baking items like chocolate chips, baking soda, and vanilla extract can be hard to find. - Aug 2013

Expensive! Crazy expensive! But the quality is generally good. You can find just about anything, but you might have to try more than one small grocery store in the process. There are also some specialty Asian grocery stores. I order some items online just to save money and trouble but I could find them here if I really wanted to. - May 2013

You can get pretty much everything you want here but, again it can get pricey for some of the more exotic things, like maple syrup. Prosi is a great international supermarket that also sells Duncan Heinz cake mixes, chocolate chips and other miscellaneous things that you wouldn't find at a typical grocery store. Julius Meinl is an amazing high end grocery store that also sells some things you wouldn't normally find. Both have their own websites. - Jan 2013

Expensive. If you are affiliated with the UN, you can shop at the commissary, which is cheaper and has a good selection of products from the US. We brought staples from the US in our shipment, which helped defray costs - Aug 2011

Groceries are expensive. Utilize the commissary, especially if you have a family. School lunches are almost unaffordable. - Aug 2011

Expensive! About twice what one would pay in the US. There is a 50-60% COLA for US diplomats. - Aug 2009

Widely available but very expensive. - Aug 2009

Groceries are high, but pretty much everything is available. The Austrians don't dwell as much as we Americans do on variety. Foodwise, they don't do much in the way of beef or lamb. Do try the frozen prepared foods here, they are not like those in the US. Here they are VERY edible as meals. Wine is very reasonably priced, as is beer. - Jul 2009

EXPENSIVE!!!! - May 2008

Well, we're at 80% COLA these days, that should tell you something. For everyday living I find it manageable with the COLA, but travel or touristy things start to look pretty expensive. - Apr 2008

All products are available - you just have to get used to the brands. The cost is higher than in the U.S. - Jan 2008


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