For those who missed the Bahrain Farmers Market (see previous post HERE) and feel they have to wait until next December for piles of fresh fruit and veg, look no further than the Manama Central Market.
It’s located behind the Marina Mall in downtown Manama in an unassuming warehouse-like building.
We headed out on an early Saturday morning. We parked at the Marina Mall (see a write up about its play area HERE) and were immediately spotted by the guys with carts. You’ll know them because, a) they’re pulling and pushing empty carts around, and b) they’ll be following you relentlessly.
Just walk around behind the mall, and then dive into the dark recesses of the warehouse across the alley – trust me, it’s fine. You will know you’re there when all your senses tell you there are fresh fruit and veg everywhere.
There doesn’t seem to be any semblance of order, so just start wandering. Ask prices (things are sold by the kilo), compare products, and feel free to say, “I’m just looking.” We brought our own wagon, which was helpful for pulling veg as well as whiney children. We also brought our own mesh bags, which the sellers found quite amusing and we received several “Great for the environment!” comments. You don’t need to bring your own bags (but it is good for the environment) or your own wagon, as I mentioned, there are plenty of guys around with carts willing to follow you and carry your wares all the way back to your car for a tip.
In addition to fresh fruit and veg, there were some potted plants and herbs for sale, an amazing assortment of dried dates and figs from all over, and even some stands selling hot food.
They sell whatever fruits and veg are fresh, so if you come during strawberry season, you’ll be overwhelmed with berries. For us, in April, it was mangos stacked to the ceiling. We ended up with two crates of them for about $10. Yum!
The hours posted are 5:00 AM to 2:30 PM. I’m assuming that’s every day and we were advised to come early to get the good stuff. Though I doubt we’ll be seeing a 5:00 AM arrival, we will definitely be back! Can’t wait for the strawberries!