In general many people buy goods from local Chinese owned shops and stores. At the Chinese shops you can purchase cleaning liquids and materials, bathroom items, clothes, packet, tinned, bottled food and drinks, electrical goods, some furniture which are all imported from China. The quality and standard of some goods may be poor but the price is usually cheap compared to other shops that import goods from other countries such as Italy, Portugal, Brazil, UK and the Canaries. Items imported from China may not meet European safety standards. There are larger stores and supermarkets on the main island of Santiago and a few others that may be worth checking out on Sal Vicente, Sal and Boavista. More stores will open on the main islands over the coming years as the islands develop for tourism.
There is local produce including some salads, vegetables, fruit and goats cheese which may be transported from one island to another. There is also a Cape Verde wine produced on the island of Fogo.
As Cape Verde is a set of islands in the Atlantic, the main source of food comes from the sea. Fresh fish is caught and sold to restaurants and locals and visitors can buy fish at a reasonable price. When there are fewer fish caught, the price will increase.
Mostly, everything has to be imported so the cost of certain items or goods for the home, food, clothes is higher especially if for example it has been imported from Europe or Brazil etc. Items such as sun creams can be over twice the price if purchased in some hotels or resorts.
You won't get a great range of large clothes sizes for women and the better shops may be limited to certain items.
There are pharmacies on the islands where you can purchase medicines etc.
African shops are in abundance in tourist areas. Street sellers may approach you about buying sunglasses, hats or other items.
If you are staying away from the tourist areas and shops you may need a taxi to go and do your shopping.
Wash all fruits and salads purchased in shops, if using tap water initially to wash lettuce you may want to swill it with bottled water before eating.
Buying frozen meats from small shops following power cuts, may need re-considering if shops do not have generators and meats have been defrosted and then