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The Gargaresh shopping strip offers a good selection of favourite stores.  These stores attract expats from the surrounding areas of Siraj and Janzour as well as those living off Gargaresh.

For residents on the other side of town, a trip into Tripoli's one and only mall would perhaps be the best bet. The Souk Atalat Aljaded (New Tuesday Market), covers four floors. It houses a number of retail clothing and electrical stores, but more importantly, a large supermarket which sports a gluten free section.  You will also find a greengrocer, and a bakery.

For fresh produce there is the fish market in town, local butchers who will grind pure beef before your very eyes, and of course the delights of the Friday market's fruit and vegetable stalls.

For fresh dairy products, go to the dairy on Gargaresh Road. It is situated between the Regatta entrance and the roundabout. Leaving Regatta, turn right and go past the car workshops and cafe. You will see green railings on your right and this is the dairy. They sell fresh milk in sealed plastic bags (you have to get the knack of snipping the corners then decanting the milk into a jug), ricotta cheese, yoghourt and thick cream. if you are not partial to the taste of long life milk, you may wish to buy your milk there and keep it in the freezer.  However, once opened it has a very short life. Another alternative is the Italian long life milk which is now available and has a similar taste to fresh milk.

The best time to go to the dairy is late afternoon. There is always a queue; if there is no queue, it's not open!  However, women don't have to queue - they are ushered right to the counter!

Insider’s tip: Al Aruba, commonly known by expats as ‘The Welcome Store’, are known to stock certain products craved by expats and often not found anywhere else.  Al Aruba is a double fronted, split level store, of moderate proportions, however it stocks a large variety of dry goods.  They also sell a good selection of dairy products and fresh cakes. 

To list a few of the coveted treats; Haribo marshmallows, Quaker's quick oats, Heinz Ketchup, Heinz Baked Beans, Weetabix, Oreos, Cathedral & Pilgrim's Choice Cheese, Mr Kipling Fruity Pies, Oxo stock cubes, Dorset Muesli, and Alpine Muesli products.  Al Aruba is one of the few stores open on Friday mornings.

Al Aruba can be found on the left on Gargaresh, a few blocks after the blue Maritime building, on the same side, heading towards town.

Palm City definitely stocks the largest range of western food not available in Libya elsewhere.  The range of brands are similar to those found in Malta.  The supermarket is very clean and well set out.  A butcher, delicatessen and bakery can be found instore.  Also sold are a small selection of English books and cook books, celebration cards and homewares. ,

Palm City supermarket is now open seven days a week.  Saturday to Thursday from 10.00 to 21.00.  Friday from 10.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 21.00.

If buying frozen food, check the expiry dates. We have heard of some that expired before the shop opened! Let's hope it's just a blip for an otherwise well-run shop.

If you don’t live in Palm City yourself, call ahead to arrange access.  +218 856 7447

Lotes Marketing is a large supermarket which opened in early summer 2010. If you face the New China Restaurant (near Cacao), Lotes is a short distance to your left. The name is in big red letters on the metallic grey wall, so is very easy to spot. While they have nothing particularly unusual, they are open from 8 a.m. right through till 2 a.m. next day (or so they say). The shop is clean and well organized and apart from the basics, it sells loose pulses and nuts as well as some useful toiletries. The assistants are friendly and helpful.

Korean and Asian food store - Janzour.

New to Janzour is a foodstore that specializes in Korean and Asian Food and is represented by the international company  QSK Foodstuff Trading L.L.C. that has branches in UAE, Oman, Iran, Tunisia  and now Libya. If you are into Asian cuisine then this is the right shop for you.

You can buy laver roasted seaweed, shrimp paste, Korean herbal teas, various chilli and barbeque sauces, soy bean paste and other sauces, dried anchovies and squid,  and many other items. When you enter the shop you’ll see a little podium with deep freezers lined up. Don’t be shy and have a look inside. You’ll find there frozen fish and vegetable dumplings, soy bean pancakes, filleted fish, Japanese and Korean style noodles, and ice creams. There is fresh reddish kimchi in the refrigerated food section.

Most of the products have a description in Korean with a little note in English. Ask Mohamed, the owner, for assistance and he’ll tell you very interesting stuff about the goods. You may find that some of the products are due to expire soon according to the Libyan sticker. Have another look at the original pack and you’ll see the expiry dates are different and actually have a longer period.  Mohamed explains there is some confusion with Libyan regulations at customs clearance.

The shop is located in Janzour, in the area near the garden centre. If you are coming to Janzour from the Tunis road, turn right at the first traffic lights. Pass the first junction, two roundabouts (the second one is next  to the garden centre) and at the third roundabout turn left. (This turn is approximately 1.9 km from Janzour traffic lights.) In about 0.2 km after the turn you will see the shop on your right. It is on the ground floor of a two-storey building and has a little narrow terrace with steps in front of it.

If you get lost, call Mohamed who speaks perfect English.   091 746 1615.

The shop is open daily from10.00 until 21.00. 

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By Emma Parker, Kate Minogue & Bella Kim

Edited Oct 2010