There’s something about a farmers’ market. The smell of the earth, the friendly eager sellers, the colorful mounds of fresh fruit and veg, the sounds of inquiries and bartering. It’s like a sensory explosion.
On our little island of Bahrain, we now have three options for farmers’ markets. There’s the Manama Central Market downtown (which you can read about HERE). Starting in December, there’s the seasonal Bahraini Farmers’ Market in Budaiya (which you can read about HERE). And now, there’s a Salmabad Farmers’ Market that seems to have the best of all of them – indoors and year-round.
The Salmabad Farmers’ Market is located in Salmabad, near Zayed Town (kind of in the neighborhood behind Ikea). It is open 6 days a week (closed Sundays) from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
There’s a nice parking lot (this is important – the Budaiya one has horrible parking) and they offer shopping carts to use (you just need to give them your CPR to borrow it).
It is smaller than both of the other markets, but truly how many stalls of cherry tomatoes do you need? But do note that it is identical to all other farmers’ markets in that whatever is fresh is what’s for sale. We bought some delicious grapes last week and were eager to grab some more this time, but no grapes to be found. Maybe they were sold out, or maybe they just weren’t fresh that day. But there’s always something yummy to grab instead.
I found the sellers were completely fine using my reusable mesh bags, as opposed to their plastic ones. They can be a little eager to get your business, but aren’t too pushy.
Many of them have samples out to try - we bought some amazing papaya after tasting a bite. We decided to forego buying the looz, despite repeated claims that they’re “delicious and sweet.” Neither I, nor my four-year-old son, particularly liked them. My four-year-old daughter refused to even try them and just eyed them suspiciously.
They also have eggs, dates, some local cheeses, and plants for sale.
In the middle, there’s a nice little cafe if you need a rest.
It doesn’t have the lovely outdoor feel of the Bahraini Farmers’ Market, nor the vastness or adventure of the Central Market, but for our needs, it’s our current favorite. Check it out and see if it works for you.