Supermarkets are found in every Madrid neighborhood. The supermarkets sell food, toiletries, and cleaning products. However, you probably will not be able to find other types of products such as towels, electronics, etc. In general, you will find a range of supermarket chains in Madrid, like Mercadona, AlCampo, SuperCor, Día, Lidl, Carrefour, Eroski, etc. Each supermarket varies in price, selection, and quality. You will need to explore your neighborhood to find which is closest to you and which you would prefer to do your regular shopping.
Useful things to remember when food shopping include: Bring your own plastic or reusable bags. Most supermarkets are closed on Sundays. Milk and eggs are not in the refrigerated section of the store.
El Corte Inglés is one of Spain’s biggest department stores (sort of like Macy’s). Here you can find nearly everything you could need, from clothes to electronic devices to food. They have a wider selection of health food/dietary restriction items. Although, the prices are quite expensive, so keep that in mind when doing your shopping at El Corte Inglés.
A Farmácia is the only place you can purchase medication. You will be able to find a local pharmacy in all neighborhoods throughout Madrid. Pharmacies are marked by a green cross that is often lit up and flashing. There are pharmacies which open until late or even 24 hours a day which are called farmacias de guardia.
One typical and special thing about Spain and Madrid are its markets with all kinds of fresh foods. There are several traditional markets where you can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, cheese etc. You can find these in your neighborhood although some popular ones are Antón Martín, San Antón, San Miguel, La Paz, and Los Mostenses.
Chinos are another great resource for everything else you may need during your stay in Madrid. Chino shops are located on almost every corner of Madrid. They are your typical convenience stores that are packed with all sorts of things at cheap prices: school supplies, toys, games, electronics, kitchen stuff, picture frames, fabric, yarn, light bulbs, glue, hair ties, umbrellas, maps, etc. There are also alimentaciones, which are small shops that have food and drinks (kind of like what you’d find on the shelves in an American gas station). The reason you might buy something there instead of in a grocery store is because they’re open later during the weekdays, and on Sundays.