From early December to early April the Budaiya Farmers Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings. However, if you don’t like crowds, try to get there before 9:00 a.m., when the rest of Bahrain shows up.
It takes place at the Budaiya Botanical Gardens, at the intersection of Budaiya Highway and Janabiya Highway (you can see my post about visiting the gardens on non-farmers-market days here).
We have been hearing about the farmers market since we arrived but it’s taken us a while to get our act together to go check it out on an early Saturday morning. Overall, the market has an astounding assortment of locally-grown vegetables at excellent prices. Personally, I was amazed at the huge array of peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
There are also beautiful potted flowers, plants and some vegetables (I’m already regretting I didn’t grab armfuls of the cherry tomato plants for 1BD each). There are not many fruits available, however, there are booths that sell dates, local honey, crepes, coffee and tea. If you explore a little farther, there are other areas where there are stalls selling artwork and food.
The vendors were all very friendly and eager to share tastes (the lemon cucumbers were a hit even with the kids) or tell us what radish is in Arabic (figen, sounds like pigeon) or even point to a palm tree three feet away to explain what he was selling. Honestly, I’m still not sure what it was but my husband said it tasted, "kind of bitter, but not overly bitter." Yum.
It is advisable to bring your own wagon, cart or stroller to help carry all your goodies. You can also bring your own bags to not add to the plastic mass. However, if you forget your wheeling apparatus, they do have rolling carts you can borrow while you’re shopping (bring your CPR).
Parking is a bit of a pain, I’m not going to lie. If you can grab parking on the street do so. There are some spots along the road, some in some sandy lots around and I have other friends who just park in the neighborhood across the street and walk in. It is easier if you get there closer to 8:00 a.m., but either way, just plan to spend some time driving around before you actually get to taste your own lemon cukes. So, see you there next Saturday, I'll be the one hoarding the tomato plants.