I am in love with the Ripe Middle East.
A company composed of weekly organic food and craft markets, a stand alone shop, and online delivery service, it is so wonderfully pleasant.
When I first moved to Dubai, I thought I was destined to a life of wilted lettuce and other subpar produce that didn’t taste as it should (completely dramatic, I know).
Ripe Market – Za’abeel Park
And then, on one sunny Saturday afternoon, my friend introduced me to to the Ripe Food & Craft Market at Za’abeel Park in Dubai.
First of all, it was probably one of my first weekend excursions beyond the mall, but it was so wonderful…frozen yogurt, great coffee, a salad box… what more could a vegetable-loving woman want!
Ripe Market – Times Square Centre
And, as the temperatures rose, the Ripe Food & Craft Market migrated to Times Square Centre off of Sheikh Zayed. I could still get my fresh kale and broccolini from friendly faces, and now, in air-conditioned pleasantness.
Ripe Market – Al Barsha Pond Park
This year, I discovered that Ripe also has an evening market, just minutes from where I live. This Ripe Night Market runs every Saturday, from 4pm to 9pm at Al Barsha Pond Park, and it is wonderful.
First of all, the produce is great. Fresh tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, kale, apples, passionfruit. You can also purchase things like free range eggs, almond milk, honey. It’s a good idea to get there closer to 4pm if you want a full selection of what the market has to offer (the kale and herbs tend to run out!).
There are many food options to choose from – but my favourites include:
The Coconut Man
Get a fresh coconut for a refreshing treat.
An east African grill restaurant located in Karama, with a stall at the market. Try the spicy mogo (deep fried cassava) and the chicken pili-pili.
The grilled corn with miso butter is delicious. I’ve also heard the short-rib rolls are wonderful!
Try the empanadas – you won’t regret it!
If you’re into homemade fashions and jewelry, there are a few stalls with some lovely and original items. (To be honest though, I’m less excited about this aspect, than I am the food.)
The Ripe Farm Shop
If you require your produce in between a visit to the market, you can visit the Ripe Farm Shop near the crossroad of Al Manara and Al Wasl. It’s quite small, but has absolutely everything you need, coupled with very friendly and helpful service.
You can also order online from the shop (just make sure you consider the delivery schedules when placing you order). Again, the staff are so helpful, and if they happen to not have an item that you’ve ordered for delivery, they’re sure to provide you wish a cash refund and handwritten note explaining the absence.
Have you visited any of the Ripe Markets? What are your favourite farmer’s markets, in Dubai, or elsewhere?