Whether you are a newbie expat or a local, most likely you spend a few hours at least shopping for goods and necessities at a local Jeddah grocery store. From toiletries to food items, you can buy them all at a small sidewalk store or at the spacious and modern supermarkets. Here are some tips for your weekly shopping trip to the Jeddah marketplace and malls.
There are Western-style grocery stores in Jeddah where you can find a wide variety of staples and imported products. They can be good one-stop shops for your weekly shopping. They are certainly popular choices for shoppers in a hurry to find everything they need under one roof and parking space is always convenient at these places. However, if you are one who values freshness and familiarity, you may still want to venture at the local stores and even at the fish market occasionally.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are always available in Jeddah all year round as imported goods from all over the world are here so you can always find your favorite produce at any time you want. You can find your fruits and vegetables from three (3) sources: the supermarket, the fruit and vegetable market and your local corner fruit and vegetable store. The supermarket is considered to be the most convenient where goods are clean and almost every variety is available. The fruit and vegetable market also known as Halaga is located at the eastern side of the city. It is an array of open-air stalls and a good choice for buying the freshest produce there is in Jeddah. Prices at these stalls are also generally cheaper than those in the supermarket. Local corner fruit and vegetable stores are found in every neighbourhood. They also offer fruits of good quality (usually better than in supermarkets), although their selection may be limited.
Buying at local grocers can be convenient especially when you are in the middle of preparing a meal and you run out of an essential ingredient. Develop a friendly relationship with your local vendor and you will benefit from choice fruits and vegetables at a lower price.
Meat and Poultry
The supermarket can be a reliable source of good meat. Meat from various countries are available so you can shop around depending on your preference. Butcher shops around town provide good and fresh meat and poultry daily. Tony G in Albadriah Center and le boucherat in Abdulmagsood Khoja Street are famous for their high-quality imported meat such as steaks, ribs and hot dogs.
Get to know the butcher as the meat that you will have solely depends on him. Exchange pleasantries with him, tip him and later get his phone number to order goods in advance.
Fish and Seafood
Visiting Jeddah Fish Market (Bangala) is a must for fish lovers. It is located in Al-Bagdadiyah, Al-Gharbiyah. Be early for the best catch fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster. Cleaning and filet services of your selection are provided by the vendors especially for their frequent costumers. Most supermarkets in Jeddah have fresh fish section. Although the proce of fish in the supermarket is higher compared to the fish market, it is a convenient place to shop. The Saudi Fish Company is good source of fresh fish from the fish market. They also have stalls in most supermarkets.
Bread and Bakeries
There are many gourmet bakeries all over Jeddah. Large grocery stores also have bakeries. Manuel is famous its very good bread. Refaat at Quraysh Street is considered to be among the best Middle Eastern Bakeries in Jeddah. Danube allows you to choose from its wide variety of breads. For fancy breads, Paul, Voila, Delifrance and the French Corner are recommended as they have some of the best baguettes, brioche, sourdough, and ciabatta around.
Most of the large grocery stores around Jeddah have dedicated sections for organic fruits and vegetables. You may also visit Abazeer for a wider selection of organic meat and produce. Organic packaged food such as rice, sauce, canned vegetables and grains are also available at Manuel and Danube.
Abazeer has opened an outlet at Sultan Street, next to Marble Slab.
Prepared and Frozen Food
Jeddah grocery stores also sell prepared meals on the go. Try from these preparations to find your favourite. Recommended freshly baked goods are manageesh, sandwiches, and a variety of baked sambosa. Also try their quiches and baked treats for high-quality quick meals. If you prefer to keep frozen meals in case of emergency, you can choose from a variety of trusted brands. Larger supermarkets also have salad bars for quick and healthy meal.
For the health and weight conscious, diet foods are available in most large supermarkets. Danube offers the biggest selection of diet food.