If you are here it probably means you have never been to the central fish market in Jeddah. I only knew that it existed a few years ago. When I realized that they sell for half the price of what you get in the supermarkets I decided to become a loyal customer and discover more about it. You also get much fresher merchandise.
The market looks more like a warehouse area but all its buildings are ALL painted sky blue so there is a very little chance for you to miss it during your first-time visit.
You walk in and keep going towards to the direction of the sea until you see a bunch of stalls with stacked fish.
I was told at the restaurant that the fish market itself is open after Fajr early morning prayer) which is around 5 AM until 10 PM in the evening every day including Fridays. The restaurant there is open at 1 PM – 9:30 PM. I was also told at one of the fish stalls that they are open at around 7 – 8 AM until around 4 PM.
Especially if you live far away from the fish market, you’d want to stock up for as long as you can go and you might end up needing more cash (I don’t think they usually take cards – not confirmed). There is however an ATM at the front of the parking area, just off the road.
055 777 5758 ( TBA – this is according to google map)
There are many kinds of fish and it might take you some time to figure out which kind of fish you need to bring back home. Here are just some examples of fish you would find in the fish market but note that there are a lot more.
As far as I know they have kinds of fish like as follows:
- Najil (A kind of groupers) – expensive but I like it it’s close to cod fish
- Shour (Sea bus)
- Harid (Parrotfish)
- Tarabani (Napoleon)
- King Fish
- Milk fish
Other options includes other sea creatures such as Crabs, Caramari and Lobsters. I will go for the lobster next time for sure.
So here is the reference for the price but it varies depending on the supply of the fish around the time you visit. I was told by one of the sellers that June , July and August are the low season of supply hence a tad higher prices. Also, it tends to be a little cheaper if you buy a whole piece of fish and not per kilo.
I will reference to the prices I have experienced as below
- Salmon : 48 SR to 60 SR / kilo
- Hamour : 45 SR to 55 SR / kilo
- Najil : 85 SR to 110 SR / kilo
- Prawns : small 25 SR / kilo, medium 35 SR / kilo, large 45 SR/ kilo, Jumbo 85 SR/ kilo
When Salmon was 60 SR / kilo it was 50 SR / piece and my salmon that day weighed about 6 kilo (includes the head though). For Najil, large ones around 7 kilos and up were sold at 100 SR / kilo for a whole piece and smaller ones below around 7 kilos were 110 SR / kilo for a piece.
All these fish come from several areas of Saudi Arabia, and are most commonly from Yanbu, Tual. Jizan, Yemen and Balad. They often vary in prices depending on where it came from because it affects freshness. The ones from Balad (basically from Jeddah) called “Baladi” are the most fresh.
If you buy a fish per piece and not per kilo you will of course be given the head part too. Well, I’ve never tried myself but everyone there tells me to make soup with it together with some veggies and supposedly it’s very good.
Another thing about this market is that bargaining is accepted. I just heard this from a friend and have not checked with someone there. I normally buy them at the given price and I am still satisfied.
Make sure to ask them to clean the fish you are buying. You might be able to ask the seller to do so on their counter or there is a large section at the back for cleaning as in the second picture below. You’ll pay over the counter with cashiers on and will walk into the cleaning section. There are bunch of cleaning stations with so many men working but usually as you walk in a guy in a shirt who is probably a supervisor there can tell you which station to hand in your fish. Cleaning is about 3 – 5 SR per kilo. I had 2 kilo of prawns and waited about 15 minutes to have it cleaned. It is worth it though.
I had almost 10 Kg of different kinds of fish altogether to carry back to my car parked outside at the parking area and so I did but it might be possible to ask for a trolley or a helping hand. I’ll check next time.
Also, I usually ask the gentleman at the stall to separate the fish in several trays so I can put them in my freezer right away.
Additionally, you can ask them to either cut in slices or file.
Cook your fish
There is a corner where they can cook your fish for you straight away. Its next to the restaurant at the beginning of the fish stalls area. 10 SR / kilo for frying and 15 SR / kilo for grilling. Might be a good idea to have a portion for one meal cooked to save your time and energy back home.
The restaurant is as in the picture below with the sign board. Restaurant’s name is (of no surprise) “central fish market restaurant”. I haven’t double checked but when I asked once before I was told it’s open at 1 PM – 9:30 PM. I bet they use the most fresh fish in town.
There is also a cafeteria at the back of the cleaning area but I did not step in so not sure what exactly they offer.
Moreover, there is a small grocery shop outside of the stalls area selling mostly fruits and veggies along with some shops most probably for fishing tools.
If you are a fan of seafood, you might enjoy Japanese food? As Japanese we eat fish the first thing in the morning. Please check Sushi Restaurants You Don’t Wanna Miss in Jeddah