Saturday mornings by 8:30 I am on the bus to the Lagos market. Weekend kickoffs end early Friday night, my fat garlicy green olives (they are so addicting I am considering an olive 12 step program) are waiting. I can party any night of the week, my life is very flexible but market day is not.
The market is chaotic, after seven months of careful shopping; here are a few tips for navigating the Lagos Saturday Market.
- There are 2 sides to the market divided by a concrete wall. The roof side has the best mushrooms, almonds, cilantro. The other side has a tarp roof and it has the best little yellow sweet potatoes and my beloved olives. This side also has whom I like to think of as the “man who overcharges” or “MWO”, check prices.
- The best mushrooms are gone by 9:00 am.
- Bring a sturdy bag for purchases. The best look is a woven straw bag, it looks lovely with veggies and flowers poking out of it. It screams I am European! I really, really want one but it just isn’t practical for the dragging things on and off the bus.
- Don’t let the old ladies push you around, they look sweet but they are tough as nails. Stand your ground.
- If there are lots of Portuguese at the stand, it is probably a good one.
- If you have issues with crowds, don’t go to shop, just stand on the outside and look in. If you want to shop anyway, take your meds before you go.
- The homemade cakes, candies and other treats can bust your budget but are worth it once in a while.
- Learn how to say numbers in Portuguese for buying and asking for how many and how much you want. Or have a piece of paper and a pen to write numbers.
- If you are visiting, this is the place to buy great gifts like local honey, home made soaps, bath products and candies. You won’t find better anywhere in Lagos.
- Don’t buy too much, Saturday will come again in six days and you don’t want to waste your lovely fruit and veg.
- Best tip. Eat something before you go or you will just buy everything in the market.
When you plan your trip to Lagos, keep Saturday morning open for the market, bring your camera and a sturdy bag. Later at the beach you will be picnicking on the freshest of whatever is in season (right now the cherries are delish) and have award-winning photos to post.
And when you go to the beach, don’t forget to bring your winecicles.