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Kuwait - Food shopping

Shoppers are spoilt for choice when shopping for food. The three main vegetable and fish/meat markets located in Shuwaikh, next to Souq Sharq and Al Kout Mall in Fahaheel are excellent sources of fresh ingredients without the supermarket price tags. Fresh fish is available on a daily basis; be sure to get to the fish markets very early (around 7:30am) to choose your ingredients. Your fish will be cleaned and filleted, on request, at no extra charge. Local fish regularly available is hammour (think cob) and zubaidi (think plaice). During the shrimp season which runs from November to March Gulf prawns are available. They are huge and absolutely delicious. From time to time you will see fish such as whole salmon and tuna at the ‘western’ supermarkets.

Every major area (municipality) in Kuwait has its own cooperative (co-op), which is subsidised by the government and sells goods ranging from foodstuffs to toiletries to domestic appliances. Most co-ops are open 24 hours a day and charge slightly less than the private supermarkets. Co-ops are generally surrounded by a number of other businesses including a hardware store, bank, fast food outlet, pharmacy and mobile telephone shop. Major co-ops are located in Fahaheel, Mishref, Rawda, Rumaithiya, Salmiya and Shamiya.

As co-ops tend to be visited by the local Muslim community it is vital that you dress appropriately when shopping. Never wear shorts or short skirts.

In addition most residential areas have a number of corner shops (locally known as ‘bakala’s’) where you can buy the basics including milk, bread, fruit and vegetables.

Private supermarkets are located throughout Kuwait and carry a wide range of foodstuff, much of which is imported for the expatriate market. These supermarkets do charge slightly more than the co-ops but have a far wider range of products.

Speciality shops

Sultan Centre

The Sultan Centre currently has nine supermarkets located throughout Kuwait. The larger branches are in Souq Sharq and Salmiya. Should you live in an area where there is a smaller branch such as Fahaheel or Salwa and you cannot find a product that you know the Sultan Centre carries, speak to the duty manager. They will usually arrange for the missing item to be brought in from one of the larger branches. Western products (mostly American, although British do appear) fill the shelves although, from time to time, stock control seems to be an issue and there will be periods of weeks or months when you cannot find a product that is usually stocked. If you can afford to and it is a product that you use frequently, stock up when it is available.

Although quality varies local fresh produce is much cheaper than that brought in from Europe, America and New Zealand etc. Most imported fruit and vegetables are from Holland. Red meat is imported from Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Opening times are as indicated.

  • Ahmadi
    Tel: + 965 398 9128
    7am – 12am daily
  • Dhajeej (Wholesale)
    Tel: + 965 434 1744
    7am – 1am daily
  • Fahaheel
    Tel: + 965  392 9080
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Jahra (Wholesale)
    Tel: + 965 457 1843
    7am – 1am daily
  • Mangaf (Wholesale)
    Tel: + 965 371 8632
    7am – 1am daily
  • Salmiya
    Tel: + 965 571 6920
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Salwa
    Tel: + 965 565 7198
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Shuwaikh (Wholesale)
    Tel: + 965 484 8554
    7am – 1am daily
  • Souq Sharq
    Tel: + 965 240 8772
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week

City Centre

  • Salmiya
    Block 8, Al Khansa Street
    Tel: + 965 571 2250
    Open 9am – 1am daily
  • Shuwaikh
    Corner of Jahra Road (Rd 80) and the Airport Road (Rd 55)
    Tel: + 965 805 222
    9am – 11pm daily

Speciality Shops

There are an ever-increasing number of speciality shops located throughout Kuwait. They sell produce ranging from bread to Arabic sweets to organic foodstuffs.

Limelight Organic
At the back of ‘Limelight’, Salem Al Mubarak Street, Salmiya
Tel: + 965 571 8537
Opened on 15 December 2004 Bio is a one-stop-shop for all of your organic and macrobiotic requirements. A wide range of ingredients and foodstuffs are available and a specially trained chef prepares dishes on a daily basis. Trained specialists will answer all of your health-related queries.

Bread Talk
Tel: + 965 571 2120
Outlets in Yarmouk at Jelmiya Supermarket, in Salmiya at the Al Bustan Complex and in Mahboula on Arabian Gulf Road (Rd 209). A wide selection of European-style breads and pastries as well as well as delicious loaves of bread including spinach loaves and dill loaves.

Served hot or cold Kunafa is a Middle Eastern dessert to die for. The combination of angel hair pastry, cinnamon, pistachios, butter, sugar and rose water or lemon juice is heavenly. Kanafani serves kunafa in 3 different sizes of pizza-style boxes with little syrup containers.
Different varieties cater to all tastes and, best of all, they deliver!

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