Korean: 1004 Mart
Good for: Fresh kimchi and banchan, Korean brands of homegoods.
Open Since: 2011
A well stocked, mid-sized grocery store with Korean imports in every imaginable category. There's a few of these around town, with one in Pudong, and two large and small ones just down the street from each other in Minhang, where Koreatown is centered around Hongquan Lu.
Stay loyal to Korea by consuming! Korean imported diapers, feminine products, and household cleaners all on deck. And, some taiyaki -- Japanese pancakes filled with sweet red bean paste. Ah yes, the complicated Korea / Japan relationship. Whatever. Red Bean Fish! WeChat that shit.
Lots of produce, poultry, meats, live seafood and cheap soju here, too. Aside from fridges of pickled everything, shelves of persimmon vinegar and spicy fangbian mian, there are independent vendors within. Those include the aforementioned taiyaki, a sushi bar, plus sticks of fish balls and other assorted mystery food on sticks in hot water, just like Lawson's.
French: Thierry Traiteur
Good For: Homemade cured meats, pâté, and fromage de tête (head cheese)
Open Since: 2010
Knowledgeable French staff running this deli around the corner from Hongmei Lu in Hongqiao. They also act as a small restaurant with rotating plats du jour of hearty French comfort food. They stock a decent selection of cured meats and harder to find cheeses like raclette, occasionally roqueforte, and comté, plus the regulars: camemberte and brie. The butcher chops up beef and lamb, mostly imported from Australia, and Chinese pork tied and ready for roasts. They also have homemade pâtés and rilletes, and a small selection of savory pastries.
Bottles of French wines and olive oils line the walls, and they do some in-house bottling of olive oil with herbs. They offer next-day delivery and catering. And if you'd rather eat rich French food downtown, they stock the 17 year old Jing'an establishment Le Bouchon, and just opened another shop on Wuding Lu by Jiangsu Lu.
Also try: La Parisienne
Taiwanese: Chun Store
Good For: Yu song (fish floss, way tastier than pork floss), organic vegetables, peanut nougat
Open Since: 1993
1993 to infinity, with mad Taiwanese products on deck -- peanut nougat, sachima (like a Rice Krispies treat), and black sesame peanut brittle are all available here. Impressive produce, too. All the vegetables come from an organic farm in Taiwan, and aren't much pricier than the produce at the corner Lianhua. They are grown with no pesticides, GMOs, hormones or chemicals. They also keep organic grains like beans (soy, red, mung, etc.), and white and brown rice. The meat and poultry, however, are local.
If you have a favorite Taiwanese product, they probably have it here. Apple Sidra and Taiwan Beer, including the mango flavor, are stocked in the fridge. They have pre-packaged gifts like High Mountain Tea and pineapple cakes. A freezer holds milky red bean popsicles, Chun brand frozen fish, and, oddly enough, da Marco brand frozen pastas and pizzas.
At this Jing'An location they also have a juice bar and restaurant with terrace seating. Looks like a nice cheap place to eat. Popular Taiwanese street snacks like Hakka BBQ pork, radish cakes, sausages in sticky rice and oyster omelettes all run under 20rmb. They also serve rice and noodle sets averaging out at 30rmb.
Also Try: Bamboo Sprout
Indian: Bhoomi Store
Good For: Frozen paneer, curry powders
Open Since: 2007
Also in Hongqiao, this tiny Indian grocer. Under the fluorescent din are jars of chilis and chutneys, and essential curry pastes and powders. There are bags and boxes of grains, flours, and papadum. And they've got Kingfisher, the Tsingtao of India, cold and ready to drink. Yoga flame!
The freezer holds paratha, similar to a flaky Chinese bing, and paneer, cubes of Indian cottage cheese. Both of these are near impossible to find outside of Taobao.
While the in-store options might be basic for a fully furnished Indian kitchen, they've got friendly service and a very helpful WeChat (ID = Bhoomistore). Their moments feed has holiday well-wishes and pictures of what's new in the store. You can also message them to set up grocery delivery, or to stock something that you can't find anywhere else.
Spanish: La Boqueria
Good For: High-end balsamic vinegar, manchego, and rosemary cheeses
Open Since: 2014
Boutique import shop in Jing'An with sidewalk seating where you can drink wine with cheese. Inside are high-end olive oils and balsamic vinegars, Spanish wines, and a small but decent selection of craft beers and liquor. Imports aren't strictly Spanish ( Hunt's pasta sauce from the U.S. shows up), but what does come from Spain looks high quality.
Ibérico ham is limited, and unfortunately, most of their charcuterie meats come from local brand Yurun. They do keep smoked salmon and scallops on the shell, as well. You probably won't come here to stock your fridge, but the shop is handy for nice wine, rosemary cheese, or a bottle of Fireball. Surely they get a lot of business from expat ghetto San He Hua Yuan just around the corner.
Japanese: Chef's Pantry
Good For: Everything, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Sriracha
Open Since: 2012
Not unlike a City Shop on methamphetamine, Chef's Pantry takes up the whole basement of Nextage mall, down the road from Big E in Pudong. They carry every import and 20 varieties of it. If you need Japanese candy, fish crackers, Sriracha, live sea urchins, mini kegs, organic tampons, and 10 varieties of marshmallows, this is the place. The home goods section in particular is nice, with about five brands of all natural, non-toxic cleaners.
They also have their own liquor store, just after the grocery checkout. Big variety of sakes and shochus here.
Also Try: GL Japan Plaza or Jiu Guang
Good For: High-end olive oil, olives, Greek yogurt
Open Since: 2006
Lots of these blue and white store fronts around Shanghai, plus the supplier's restaurant Greek Taverna. They're the OG Greek import guys in Shanghai and still carry a solid selection of olive oils, liquers, fancy jams and honeys. Their flagship location on Shanxi Nan Lu also has homemade greek yogurt and hummus. There's one olive oil that's 298rmb for 250ml. Precious. But they also sell two-liter cans for cheaper.
In addition to about 828 convenient locations, they also do online delivery and have a taobao shop.
Swedish: Scandic Foods Asia
Good For: Pistonhead beer, caviar, lingonberry jam
Open Since: 2014
These Swedes have been importing since 2006, but the store front has been around less than a year. They're best known as the source behind The Swedish Beer Club parties. So, most of their stock is liquor and beer, but they try to add 20 new import items each year. They've also got some nice granolas, caviar, and lingonberry jam. That's the jam that comes with the meatballs at IKEA, but goes well with other meats too.
There's indoor and outdoor tables, and lots of beer in the fridge, plus a really sweet ayi running the shop. Chill place to drink really cheap, good beer. Online delivery is also available here.
Know of other specialty grocery shops? Throw 'em in the comments