Have you ever heard of Merkaza? If you aren’t familiar you definitely should be! Merkaza is one of the largest supermarkets in the Middle East and with 2 stories it is by far the biggest supermarket in Israel.
A few months ago, my then-fiancé (now husband) and I went to explore the store in the hopes of finding some fun new products as we were getting tired of finding the exact same offerings available at every store in Israel. And let’s just say, Merkaza did not disappoint.
Parking is stress-free, as there’s free parking available after the first two hours. Trust me, you’ll want to spend hours exploring Merkaza. With two floors – the lower level housing the grocery store and the upper level featuring a home goods store and a gourmet food court – there’s a lot to see. The food court offers a wide range of eateries, from sushi to pizza to pastries.
The Grocery Store
As soon as you enter the store, you’re greeted with cleanliness, organization, and honestly the size of the store is a bit overwhelming. We visited when the store was adorned with Christmas decorations, which added an extra layer of fun to the experience.They had special holiday sales and dedicated sections for purchasing holiday treats, like a Kinder chocolate section decked out to the brim.
As you make your way through the store, the journey begins in the electronics department, where you’ll find an array of useful gadgets and important car supplies.
Moving on from electronics, you’ll encounter an expansive produce section that’s a sight to behold. The produce is beautifully presented and meticulously organized, and you can feel the freshness in the air. In fact, the produce section alone is larger than most Israeli makolets (small grocery stores).
Prepare to be amazed by the staggering variety of beverages in the store, surpassing anything you’ve ever seen before (and I’m not even talking about the alcohol section yet). The store’s beverage selection is truly absurd, offering a wide array of juice, soda, and seltzer options.
Merkaza offers all the classic products, including the largest soft drinks section we’ve ever seen. Additionally, they have a substantial bulk section for spices and dried fruit, as well as an overwhelming variety of dairy products.
It’s worth noting that not everything in the store is kosher, so keep that in mind before going overboard and loading up your cart if you observe kosher dietary laws.
Now, let’s talk about the best part of the store – the gluten-free section. As someone with celiac disease, I was thrilled by the incredible range of gluten-free products. If I ever lived in the northern part of Israel, I would for sure do my shopping here.
And WOW! The alcohol section is not to be missed. As a wine enthusiast, I was delighted by the extensive selection of not only wines but also liquors and beers. We spent most of our time in this section, with my husband sampling different beers while I indulged in exploring the wine selection. They offer wines from around the world at really reasonable prices. We also grabbed some of our favorite liquors at a fraction of the price we’ve seen elsewhere.
When you tire of shopping, no worries. Just head upstairs to the foodcourt for a gourmet meal or snack. They had an ice cream shop, a brick oven pizza stand, sushi, fried chicken, and a pastry shop! The entire wall of the foodcourt is windows with a beautiful view out to the mountains. Whether you just stop for a coffee or for a full meal- take a few minutes to enjoy the view.
Across the way, there’s a large home goods section complete with a toy department, clothes, home decor, and kitchenware. The prices were surprisingly low and we bought a set of 6 wine glasses for 25 NIS and half a year later not a single glass has broken. And they’re stackable!
So, if you find yourself in the Nof Hagalil area, trust me, a visit to Merkaza is a must. Even my American mom who was visiting at the time was impressed.
Check out my video review of Merkaza on Instagram!