When it comes to grocery shopping, the competition between various “hyper” markets is so high.
Whether you wish to buy fresh vegetables in quantities from local farms, or your are just looking for a different public shopping experience, the Northern Produce Market would be your favored choice.
The Market is located on the north of Riyadh-Al Muruj Area, and it is occupying the central place of the neighborhood.
It is accessible by car from its North and West entrances, and normally you can find a spot to park you car inside the market without any troubles.
You can use the below link if you want to use it in your google maps app:
The Market is divided into sections/ lanes, each lane is specialized in a specific type of food, Chicken and Fish, Vegetables, Fruits, Meat, and one dedicated lane for dates.
While on the far east side of the market, you will find a perpendicular lane dedicated to farmers weekly market which takes a place each Saturday.
The market has permanent shops that are open daily and one farmers market that takes a place every Saturday.
As mentioned earlier, the market is divided into lanes, each lane contains specialized shops in one type of products. Hence starting from Northern side you find:
1- Chicken shops
There are shops for all local famous producers such as Wataniyah, Alyoum, and Entaj…etc you can buy unfrozen chicken that are brought on the same day from Jeddah or the Eastern coast. Also When I was there i found a shop that have Duck , and Samman (small bird) available. In general, the prices were 25% less than the super market.
2- Fish and Shrimp Market
Here you can choose among various types of fresh sea food, brought from West or East coast.
After you choose the types and amounts of The fish, shrimps, crab…etc you get to select wither you would like to have it fried, grilled, or in the oven with spices for additional 5 riyals, and the process of cleaning and grilling takes 30~45 minutes.
However on weekend, you might need to come early as due to the crowd it might take an hour to get your fish serviced.
Two more things caught my attention (in addition to the luxurious cars parking in front). The first thing was the cleanliness shop-floor, all the workers were wearing hats and some of them with a breathing mask, and all kitchens were either open or protected with glass so you get to see everything inside…
The second thing was the honesty of one of the sellers when he mentioned that the shrimps that are being sold are frozen shrimps, hence its not recommended to freeze it one more time!
3- Dates shops
This is the perfect place to taste and buy dates if you don’t which type of dates you prefer yet.
My favorite type is called Sukary dates which are mostly produced in Qassim Area (Central region). You may also like Saggi dates, or Ajwah dates (black dates) from Madinah as well.
4- Fruits, vegetable and meat market
There are two adjacent lanes. At the entrance, you can find a couple of shops with refrigerated local meat. All packaging is stamped by the health authority. Next to the meat market, you can find the vegetable market.
What caught my attention is the cleanliness of the goods, and how tidy they were kept in order. You can pick to buy the small or the big pack (the large container is of course much cheaper).
Tip: The prices are negotiable when you buy a lot. For example, if a tomato pack is for 15 SAR and Eggplants pack is for 10 SAR, try to get both for 20 SAR.
Weekly Farmers Market (Saturday Market)
Every Saturday morning Farmers from all around the city brings their fresh stuff to sell it here.
The farmers market is located on the east side of the market. It takes place every Saturday morning.
You can find everything: seasonal fruits, vegetables, green leaves, spices, dates, eggs, honey, olive oil… Everything would be at a very affordable price. In general, prices are 25-30% less expensive than the supermarkets.
The market has a traditional style. It is open from the sides. It has with palm trees at the sides, which makes it a bit cooler in summer days.
Trolleys are available, some little kids comes with their fathers (the goods owners) to gain some pocket-money. They go with you and put the stuff you buy on the trolley and pull it around with you. At the end of the tour, you pay what you think it worth (I paid once 10 SAR for 15 minutes tour).
The market was very diverse, and offer a good quality of food, at reasonable prices.
It still need more organization, many areas are under construction. However, this does not affect your shopping experience.
Have you visited the market before? What was the special thing you found about it? please share your experience with us.