Dakar - Post Report Question and Answers

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

You can get everything you need or want in Dakar in the French hypermarkets and local fruit and vegetable markets. Most of the groceries and household supplies are imported from France and Spain, and the quality is very good. There is also a huge variety of local fruit and vegetables, and the seafood is always fresh and delicious. If you really crave American food, there is a small, well-stocked American grocery store in Les Almadies. I personally enjoyed grocery shopping more in Senegal than in the United States. - Jul 2020

Most things are available – it’s just a question of cost. There’s an American store just down the street from the Embassy that sells gems like BBQ sauce and Dr. Pepper. - Dec 2019

nearly everything is available here, but you are paying handsomely for it. I use Amazon/Walmart for most of the dry goods. I buy meats from Casino and for produce there is a fellow that comes to the embassy from the downtown market with produce on Tuesday and Friday. There are plenty of street stalls and of course, Casino, if you don't mind their mark-up. Oh, FRENCH CHEESE and bread, but cheddar is hard to come by. - Dec 2018

The food here is super expensive, think two to three as much as the States. For example, bread can cost about US$8-$10. Fruit, when out of season, seems ridiculous; I just purchased celery for $15. However, if you really want something bad enough you will pay. The tax is 18%. There is an American store here with the comforts of home, food-wise, however it is very expensive. A normal small box of cereal is about $10, meat, which is frozen and imported, is about $12 for two pounds. You will need to get used to paying high prices, don't know why anyone would say its comparable, it doesn't seem that way to me. Eating out is outrageous so I don't do it often. - Dec 2018

Anything you need is available, there are large French and Spanish chain grocery stores. If you buy everything in the supermarket, prices are comparable to the U.S. If you shop in local markets (or have a cook or housekeeper who does), then food prices come down considerably. Dakar isn't cheap, though. - Jun 2017

Dakar is expensive. Almost all fruit and veg are imported, so are pricey. Prices are on par with DC. - Apr 2016

Most stuff is available but will be more expensive than in the U.S. I think the COLA is probably fair. - Aug 2015

Fresh produce is readily available and very cheap, though you would be wise to have your household help shop for it. They can get a better price than the expat price. Meat can be pretty pricey, and the beef is rather tough. It just needs to be cooked a bit longer to make it more tender. Household supplies are readily available though the price will be higher than what you would expect to pay in the U.S. Pretty much everything except for locally grown fruits and veggies are imported. - Aug 2014

Food is expensive. We spend US$400 a week for a family of 3. We also pay less than many because I buy all my vegetables, fruit, seafood, beef and chicken from the local markets which most expats don't do as they find it unclean (not so bad, really!) and intimidating (only in the beginning when you don't know the prices of things and you haven't yet developed your bargaining skills). Two grocery chains - Casino and City Dia - but their products are limited and expensive. However, if you are longing for broccoli or salmon (both imported) Casino will have it - periodically. - Apr 2014

EXPENSIVE. We were shocked by the prices here. Milk comes out to $8/gallon. Chicken is $14+ per pound. Gas is $8/gallon. Bring what you can. Most things are available but are outrageously expensive and sometimes of questionable quality. Shredded mozzarella, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream cannot be found. - Jun 2013

Most stuff is available, but not if you're loyal to a particular brand. Definitely a lot of specific things you have to hunt for a bit more or make yourself (such as corn tortillas). Prices for some stuff can be on the high side --- especially for quality cleaning goods and anything that really only appeals to expats. - Mar 2013

Most things are available, but they can be really expensive. Things that you could find in France might be more reasonable (1-2x DC prices), but things you find only in the U.S. (sliced sandwich meat, sliced loaves of bread) are outrageous. - Oct 2012

Groceries are astronomically expensive as most everything is imported and has an 18% VAT tax. Tuna fish for US$5.00 per can, cereal US$7.00 per box, Chicken Breasts US$9.00 per pound... Local produce is plentiful in the winter months and prices are not fixed at the street stalls. Local fish is also cheap and pretty good. There are an ever-increasing number of Western style grocery chains- Casino, Hypermarche, CityDia, but again, they are very pricy. - Mar 2012

Imported foods from Europe, other African countries and the US are expensive. The only things which are not are local fruits and vegetables. Mangoes are delicious and everywhere.household supplies are also expensive. Be prepared that your shopping basket costs significantly more here. - Aug 2011

Expensive - and a lot of things are not available. As stated above - bring any consumables you are allowed to bring. Fresh produce is readily available and cheaper than at Casino. The meat is often sketch - red meat could be beef or goat. There is a good butcher Chez Gabby - probably the best, safest meat. - Jan 2011

Very, very expensive. Neither everything is imported. You can get cheap fish, bread and peanuts but that is about it. - Feb 2010

Groceries and paper products are pretty expensive - especially Casino. Quite a lot of things are imported. The one exception is probably seafood. Shopping usually involves going to more than one store. - Feb 2010

All is available and all is very costly coming from the US with a weak dollar. Since the franc CFA is pegged to the Euro, coming from Europe, the prices are not as bad. All French brands are here displayed in several Casino supermarkets. - Jan 2010

More expensive than the US. French items are readily available. - May 2009

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