2 Ukrainian supermarket chains are represented in 0dessa - Tavria-V, & 0bzhora (literally = glutton...)
Both are laid out like typical supermarkets, but it can be quite confusing to find what you want, because Ukraine has so many foods that are unfamiliar here, & those that are familiar are often packaged completely differently to in the west...
(E.g; ice cream, which is very popular here & eaten all year round, comes in a plastic wrap that looks like a Dutch cheese...)
But what I found most frustrating is that all groceries that are better than bottom of the range, have packaging written in Cyrillic italics - I can read printed Cyrillic, but italics are something else - it makes shopping feel like a test to join MI6!
The different alphabet makes shopping in Ukraine a real challenge, though the low prices of home made goods is the reward, but be aware, anything imported will be at least as much, if not more, than the same product in UK...
What to buy: Roshen is Ukraine's own chocolate brand & it's as good as any I've tasted - Swiss/Belgian style quality, for a fraction of the price - try the varieties with almonds, or hazelnuts...
Chernigivs'kye lager is available in various quantities up to 5l - it's the standard supermarket beer of Ukraine, & a product of the country, though there's nothing distinctively 'Ukrainian' about it, tastewise, just that it's very cheap & drinkable, (& some say, the least likely to cause -ve after effects...)
Ukrainian bread is both very tasty & mostly very cheap, although some of the dark & special flavour varieties, such as sunflower or rye, are quite a lot more than a standard loaf, which will be just as good as homemade...
If you visit the supermarket early, it's possible to buy it still warm, which is particularly good as some breads have tasty fillings, such as cabbage & onion, so are a breakfast & full meal in themselves...
Ukrainians are very fond of sweet things, such as ice cream & confectionary, & supermarkets carry all sorts of cakes & biscuits, packaged in clingfilm on a polystyrene tray. There are many names for these unique treats, with flavours I've never tasted anywhere else...
In the summer, Jaffa oranges are available as big as grapefruits, full of juice & taste...
What to pay: 0bzhora open 24 hours & almost all their stock is electronically tagged, consequently, Tavria-V will probably have the lowest prices...
Well, I guess it all depends what you are looking to buy, but it was rather difficult for me to find stores I like. There are some well known brands, but clothes are much more expensive than elsewhere. Some items are even 70%-80% more expensive, but on average, one should expect not more than 30% premium. There is also an unbelievable amount of ‘fake’ clothes, but you do not have to be extra careful, as it couldn’t be any more obvious. Shops are also packed with glittery, plastic pieces, so if you like such style, there is a big choice. Also, if you like 20cm platforms + heels, Odessa is a right place for you. On the other hand, do not expect to find much of what you could wear on a cocktail party or in Cote D’azur. It’s full of kitsch, but Ukrainian ladies are proud of it
shopping in Odesa will satisfy the most demanding shopoholic, who wishes to "burn" her (better his :) credit card. One will be amazed by the number of boutiques, with expensive brand shoes and purses, lingerie and accessories, etc. and then seeing these things on Ukrainian ladies :) yes, they like to dress up with chic.
the bottom line is: you will not fail to impress your Ukrainian girlfriend, if you take her shopping ;)
any bookstore of the city
What to buy: They say a book is the best present.
So if you'd like to get some more information on Odessa with nice pictures, don't miss a fine photo album.
It describes the city and its sites on its 256 pages, has three different cover designs and inscriptions to pictures in Russian and in English.
It also contains rare retro pictures of Odessa.
The book has also an autograph from Mikhail Zhvanetsky - King of Humor.
What to pay: 70 UAH
Gallery is the name of this flower passage.
It offers you fresh flowers round the clock, service of experienced florists and designers.
What to buy: You can find over 150 kinds of room plants and accessories, souvenirs.
What to pay: from 50 to 200 UAH.
The traditional Pasasj shopping centre is beautiful but offers a limited choice of shops, while the bigger and flashy Evropa and Afina (=Athens or Athena) malls are sort of soulless and rather expensive for ukrainian standards.
A huge market where you can get by number 4 bus or marshrootka of the same number. It's situated a bit outside Odessa but doesn't take long to get there, not more than 30 minutes from almost the centre of the city. It works from early morning till 2pm or so.
What to buy: You can find almost everything there - men and women clothes, shoes, bags, parfumes etc. And the choice is quite big. Prices are much cheaper compared to the ones in the shops.
What to pay: you can buy a nice pair of shous for somethink like 50$ and a pair of fashionable jeans for 40$, but there are things there much cheaper than that. Enjoy!;-) because they sell pretty the same in shops but 2-3 times more expensive.
If you want to taste and/or buy good Ukrainian wine (what is not that easy to find), go to the cellar at Ekaterinenskaya Square of the Massandra winery. This winery was found more than 100 years ago by the Tsar and has its winery and its vineyards on the Crimean.
I tasted some dry wines, but they were very average. The specialities are the sweet wines, which they sell - for European standards - at quite a low price.
The Souvenir Market with a crowd of artists and craftsmen demonstrating their works is situated right here. Prices are really low, and some items are gorgeous. Bargains are common. Don’t miss it if you want to get originally Odessan souvenirs.