Living in Huaqiao: Cooking your own Food (Guest Post)

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Written by Olivia Hall, this chapter of the KCIS Survival Guide. This guide was sent to all new teachers coming to teach at the Kang Chiao International School in Huaqiao.

Where and how to buy your own groceries, cooking utensils and supplies:

Local Supermarkets:

E Mart:

Where: Lu Di Da Dao

What: Wide range of basic household supplies and groceries including fruit, veggies, snacks, meat and some dairy.

Wet Market:

Where: W Ring Road, off Lu Di Da Dao, close to the school (near colorful apartments).

What: Fresh fruit, veggies and meat in an open style market.

RT Mart:

Where: Anting Mall

What: Larger version of E Mart with a little more variety including meat and dairy products.


Where: Take the metro to Malu station then take any bus a couple of stops. The signs are blue and yellow!

What: Similar to E Mart and RT Mart, with a few more imported goods.

City Shop:

Where: Take the metro to Nanxiang Mall

What: Similar to Metro with even more imported items.

Shanghai Supermarkets


Where: Zhongshan Park Metro station in the B1 level of the ‘Cloud Nine’ Mall.

What: Originating in France, you can now find Carrefour around the world. Its basically a western supermarket. You can pick up your tobacco sauce or a selection of cheeses.

Avocado Lady:

Where:274 Wulumuqi Lu, near the Changsu Lu metro station.

What: Fresh produce and lots of imported items. There’s almost a cult following among foreigners in Shanghai for the Avocado Lady!

Online Options



What: Online grocery store that delivers to KCISEC.

Kate and Kimi:


What: Online Shanghai based grocery store. Also delivers to the school.

Furniture and Houseware

E Mart, RT Mart and Metro all have basic housing essentials such as duvets, pillows, cutlery and cleaning products. For further specialty items try:


Where: Exit 7, Shanghai Indoor Stadium (Shanghai Gymnasium on Google maps). Follow Coaxi Road under the elevated road 100m.

What: House hold goods galore.

HCE Hotel & Catering Equipment:

Where : 345 Aomen Road Changshou Lu metro station

What: This store is open to the public but actually supplies all of the restaurants and hotels in Shanghai with their cooking supplies and tableware. If you’re a banking fan, you can get anything from muffin tins to pots you could cook a buffalo in.



What: Online EVERYTHING store but advertising is by private sellers so you deal with different people and companies for each purchase you make. You’ll need a Chinese speaker to help you out!


What: Similar to Taobao but the closest distribution center is actually in Huaqiao; you’ll see employees commuting to work on their scooters in the mornings. You can buy all sorts on here including pianos!

Strawberries: The Light at the End of the Long Winter Tunnel

Let’s be honest, winter is pretty long and brutal here! Last year we worked from October to February with next to no holidays and it was rough! Luckily, we have a solid week off for Christmas this year. Strawberry season is also something to look forward to during the dark days of winter! From March onward you’ll find no shortage of farm fold out (especially in front of E-mart) with baskets of fresh strawberries ready to sell!


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