The holiday season is the hardest time of year for me as an expat. I start thinking about all the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year festivities and traditions with my family and friends back in the states, get a bit depressed and stress eat all the Christmas cookies. Not good.
Last year my sister flew in for a surprise Christmas miracle, so it was an easier transition for my first Christmas in Vienna. But this year we're staying home and will be starting our own traditions with no visitors from abroad. I am very excited don't get me wrong but it's just hard sometimes. So to compensate for missing some of my people back at home, I'm trying to incorporate some very American things this holiday season. Sweet potato pies, pumpkin chai lattes, excessive Christmas decorations, early onset Christmas music, lots of cookie baking and call me desperate but it's even helpful to have some American treats and sweets hidden in the house for when I start receiving pictures of the Thanksgiving spread from my mom. Cue the tears and sadness.
So here are some of the stores that I've found that have American, British, Japanese, African and Latin goods to make you feel a little less homesick when those pictures and thoughts start rollin' in. These stores have pretty good selections of snacks and food but keep in mind that they are priced at the imported rates. I'm talking like 7 euros for a box of Lucky Charms. But hey, when you need it, you need it!
1. Prosi; Wimbergergasse 5, 1070
This is the biggest and most diverse store, with imported food from Latin America, Mexico, India, Africa, Asia, America, The UK. It's loaded with all the ingredients you can"t find anywhere else, has a unique produce section and has an Indian restaurant attached. It just makes my heart happy.
2. Snack Shop: Liechtensteinstrasse 25, 1090
This place is the mother load for mostly American snacks, hence the name "Snack Shop". If you're missing candy, sodas and drinks, chips, cereals and breakfast foods from the states, then this is your place.
3. Bobby's Foodstore: Schleifmühlgasse 8, 1040
Marmite, Walkers Chips, Cambell's Soup, Poptarts and all things British and American.
4. Casa Mexico; Siebensterngasse 16A, 1070
This is the place to get all the yummy goodness for my Latino and Mexican expat friends. But let's be real- tacos, salsa and queso make everyone feel at home. Also, their piñata, tequila and beer collection is on point, which is always a party.
5. Japan Markt NIPPON YA; Faulmanngasse 5, 1040
I am so grateful I found this store and it's friendly owner, because now I can buy my Japanese rice and shoyu in bulk! Seriously, it's a life saver for me cause you ain't really Asian unless you have a warm pot of rice in your house..at all times. You can also come here to fulfil your kimchi, mochi ice cream and sembei needs. It also has some pretty cool Japanese clothes, interior decoration and paper products if you're into that!
I hope that this helps some of you find some comfort during this holiday season! Or at least that you can finally find some corn tortillas for your canitas for a happy stomach.
Expat friends, help an international-eating-sister out! What stores am I missing out on??
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and happy eating! Celebrate with one another big and loud!