Best places to shop groceries before a tour in Mongolia


Top Picks for the Best Places to Shop Groceries Before a Tour in Mongolia

In search of the best places to shop groceries before a tour in Mongolia? This article highlights the most convenient and traveler-friendly grocery spots in Ulaanbaatar, including supermarkets for essentials, markets for local fare, and shops for specialty cuisines—exactly what you need to prep for your Mongolian adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, offers a vibrant shopping scene with affordable supermarkets like Emart Khan Uul, specialty markets such as Saruul, historic shopping like the State Department Store, and high-quality butcher shops including BB Butchery.
  • Tourists can immerse in the local culture through food by stocking up on traditional Mongolian delicacies, and they can support the local economy by purchasing unique crafts and cashmere from local artisans and fair trade stores.
  • Practical shopping tips for tourists include being vigilant of thieves, including essential items like medical kits and personal hygiene products for tours, and exploring the diverse culinary landscape catering to all dietary preferences.

Exploring Ulaanbaatar's Grocery Scene

Variety of groceries in Ulaanbaatar

Imagine stepping into the lively grocery scene of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s bustling capital city. Here, organized supermarkets, traditional ‘zakh’ markets, and eclectic shopping centers coexist, offering a mix of local and international products.

Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, delicious meats, or imported goods, these local market options have got you covered!

Emart Khan Uul

Emart Khan Uul, located in the lively core of Ulaanbaatar city, is a supermarket always teeming with activity. Known for its:

  • Competitive prices
  • Wide range of products
  • Fresh produce
  • Quality meats
  • Imported goods

Emart is where locals and tourists alike flock for their grocery needs. You’ll find it all under one roof.

Emart Khan Uul

Emart distinguishes itself with its consistent pricing. While the cost of some staples, like root vegetables, may vary, you can count on Emart for reliably priced essentials at a good price. Interestingly, over time, potato prices have seen a decrease, making it an economical choice for your carb fix!

Saruul Market

For a taste of Germany in Ulaanbaatar, Saruul Market is your destination. This market is renowned for its German bakery and food market, offering an intriguing blend of local and international products.

German bread and other specialties can be found in Saruul Market

Picture yourself strolling through market aisles, inhaling the fragrance of freshly baked bread, while perusing a variety of goods. From fresh produce to artisanal cheeses and imported delicacies, Saruul Market is your one-stop shop for a unique gastronomic experience!

State Department Store

The State Department Store, colloquially known as ‘ikh delguur’ or ‘big shop,’ is our next destination. This iconic landmark in Ulaanbaatar city offers everything from:

  • clothing
  • electronics
  • food options
  • souvenirs

It’s a shopper’s paradise in this fascinating country, making it a must-visit venue for tourists and a thriving hub for the tourism industry.

Feeling peckish after a shopping spree? Head over to the Empire Food Court on the 7th floor. A variety of Asian and Mongolian cuisine delights await you here. And don’t worry if you can’t read Mongolian. The food court features fancy pictures to guide non-Mongolian speakers to a satisfying meal!

BB Butchery in Rivergarden

Are you a meat lover planning a tour in Mongolia? Don’t miss out on BB Butchery in Rivergarden. This highly recommended butcher shop is known for its quality steaks and other cuts of meat.

Good quality steaks for your cooking on fire on your Mongolia tour

Whether you fancy a hearty BBQ under Mongolia’s starlit sky or just need to stock up on meat for your journey, BB Butchery can fulfill your needs. After all, nothing beats the taste of tender, juicy steak after a day of exploring the stunning landscapes of Mongolia.

Vacuumed steaks from BB Butchery are ideal for a BBQ on your Mongolia Tour

BB Butchery also offers BBQ Sets. We recommend to preorder you preferred selection from the butchery. BB Butchery offers to freeze and pack it in Styrofoam boxes. Idea to pick up and take on your trip.

Another good butchery is the Butchery by Rosewood on the Seoul Street in the city center.

Ayanchin Outfitters

Mongolia is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. And Ayanchin Outfitters in Ulaanbaatar is the perfect place to gear up for your Mongolia trip. They offer a wide selection of outdoor gear, including:

  • Apparel
  • Footwear
  • Camping equipment
  • Hiking gear
  • Backpacks

Before visiting Mongolia, make sure to stop by Ayanchin Outfitters to prepare for your adventure.

All from reputable brands specifically designed for the Mongolian terrain, including those suitable for the Trans Mongolian Railway.

Let’s not forget the unpredictable Mongolian weather. Ayanchin Outfitters prepares travelers for the unpredictable Mongolian weather with:

  • Essential clothing items
  • Robust hiking shoes
  • Sleeping bags tailored to the local climate
  • Protective cases designed to safeguard cameras from the sand in desert environments like the Gobi Desert

So, whether you’re trekking through the hills or exploring the vast desert, Ayanchin Outfitters, a reputable tour company, has got you covered.

Traditional Mongolian Foods to Stock Up On

Traditional Mongolian foods

A trip to Mongolia isn’t complete without savoring the robust flavors of traditional Mongolian cuisine. Delve into the world of Mongolian cuisine, where humble ingredients evolve into comforting meals.

From dried meats known as borts to dairy delights like aaruul, byaslag, eezgii, and tarag, Mongolian food offers a unique culinary adventure. Why not enrich your Mongolian trip by stocking up on these local delicacies? After all, what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than through its food?

Specialty Stores for Unique Finds

Specialty stores in Ulaanbaatar

Shopping in Mongolia extends beyond markets and supermarkets. The city is dotted with specialty stores that offer unique finds. Some of these stores include:

  • 3NOMAD HOUSE, which offers handmade items
  • Altan Khan Gallery, which sells artistic handicrafts
  • Tsagaan Alt Wool Shop, which specializes in woolen products

Each store tells a unique story.

Mongolian Quilting Centre

One such store is the Mongolian Quilting Centre. This remarkable center supports the New Life NGO through the sale of handmade quilts created by local families, including those with low-income. Every quilt tells a story of resilience and craftsmanship, making them ideal souvenirs or gifts.

But that’s not all. The Centre also sells a variety of other handmade products, from warm yak-hair or camel-hair socks to felted trinkets and ornate needlework. Each purchase not only supports local artisans but also brings a touch of Mongolian culture into your home.

Tips for Shopping Like a Local

Now that you know where to shop, let’s delve into some tips to master shopping like a local. Firstly, maintaining vigilance and caution while shopping in central Ulaanbaatar is essential as tourists may occasionally attract thieves.

When it comes to shopping destinations, Sunday Plaza is a local favorite in the city center. This shopping center offers seven floors of diverse products, making it a typical shopping experience in Ulaanbaatar.

Lastly, remember to include a basic medical kit with common travel medications in your shopping list for your tour to address any unforeseen health issues.

Supporting the Local Economy and Environment

Our choices as travelers can significantly influence the local economy and environment. One way to support the local economy is by purchasing cashmere products. Mongolia is world-renowned for its high-quality cashmere, with Gobi Cashmere and Goyo being popular local brands.

Supporting local artisans by shopping at fair trade stores like Mary & Martha Mongolia is another way to make a positive contribution. And let’s not forget about the importance of sustainable consumerism. By choosing to buy organic body products from stores like Lhamour, we can contribute to environmentally conscious consumerism in Mongolia.

Packing and Preparing for Your Tour

Preparing for a Mongolian tour requires thoughtful packing beyond just clothes. Considering Mongolia’s varying accommodation conditions, including toilet paper and baby wipes for personal hygiene in your packing list is a must. Keep in mind, your comfort is paramount!

For a good night’s sleep, don’t forget to pack earplugs and an eye mask, as traditional Mongolian gers may not effectively block out noise and light. For those lengthy van rides or nights spent on wooden beds, a sleeping pad and an inflatable pillow can considerably boost your comfort level.

Dining Out in Ulaanbaatar

Nothing complements a day of exploration better than a hearty meal. Luckily, Ulaanbaatar is home to a variety of restaurants that offer a taste of traditional Mongolian cuisine. From Modern Nomads’ Mongolian barbecue to the Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant’s classic dishes, you’re in for a culinary treat.

What about vegetarians and vegans, you ask? Rest assured, Ulaanbaatar caters to all dietary preferences. Restaurants like Loving Hut and Rock Salt offer a diverse selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, ensuring everyone gets a taste of Mongolia.


So, there you have it! From bustling markets to specialty stores, Ulaanbaatar offers a diverse shopping experience that caters to every traveler. Whether you’re stocking up on traditional Mongolian foods, picking up outdoor gear, or simply dining out, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. So, why not add a dash of Mongolian culture to your next trip? After all, the best way to experience a country is through its local flavors and traditions!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some traditional Mongolian foods to try?

You should try traditional Mongolian foods like borts, aaruul, byaslag, eezgii, and tarag for an authentic taste of Mongolia. Enjoy!

Where can I buy outdoor gear in Ulaanbaatar?

You can buy outdoor gear, including apparel, footwear, and other adventure essentials, at Ayanchin Outfitters in Ulaanbaatar. Happy shopping!

What are some tips for shopping like a local in Ulaanbaatar?

When shopping in Ulaanbaatar, be sure to visit popular spots like Sunday Plaza and always keep a basic medical kit handy during your tour. Happy shopping!

How can I support the local economy and environment in Mongolia?

Support the local economy in Mongolia by purchasing cashmere products and shopping at fair trade stores like Mary & Martha Mongolia. Additionally, you can support the environment by buying organic body products from Lhamour. By doing so, you're giving a direct positive impact on both the economy and the environment in Mongolia.

What should I pack for a tour in Mongolia?

Pack essential hygiene items like toilet paper and baby wipes, along with comfort items such as earplugs, an eye mask, a sleeping pad, and an inflatable pillow for a comfortable tour in Mongolia.

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