Theres a number of cafes around the main square in Essaouira where you might want to sit and people watch - sit in the sun under a shade umbrella and enjoy the great coffee that is to be had in Moroco - I always ask for a noss noss which is 'half half' a bit less milk with a bit more coffee...and usually sold in a regular or large sized glass with several sugar cubes rather than the more European coffee cup with a few sachets of sugar..
Any cafe will be easy enough to get a good coffee from You might be looking for a place for breakfast or more likely a mid morning brunch or coffee and snack stop - normally being in such a prominent spot in the main square the prices might be up a bit but have a look around at the signs and ads in front of each cafe and you will be able to see whats on offer
We chose this cafe as it advertised coffee, orange juice, bread and jam ie a typical continental breakfast for only 25 dirham per person...a good heap of delicious sliced french bread with butter and delicious strawberry jam with great coffee and always excellent orange juice and voila very happily fed - while watching the locals and tourists passing by
Al Vent – Sidi Kauki.
Very fine cooking !
A visit in a new restaurant, Al Vent, situated in Sidi Kauki – a little south of Essaouira – can be recommended.
The kitchen is special – and really good. The owner and “chef”, Victor, has worked with cooking all over the world – and in his restaurant, Al Vent, in Sidi Kauki, he now mixes all this experience, to his own personal style, doing a great work.
Here you can enjoy a special and perfectly prepared meal – with a beautiful view to the sea. You can have a fine wine with the meal if you like.
The prices are very reasonable, concerning the quality - it's not an expensive place to eat.
At the same time you can take the opportunity to have a look at Sidi Kauki – a rather special place, these years developing fast – but still you have got the “old village” atmosphere.
And don’t forget to take a walk in the beach. Just a few minutes walk from the “center” of activities in the village it is still unspoiled, still very much one of Morocco’s famous “wild beaches” (“plages sauvages”).
There is offered horse- and camel- tours along the beach.
A fine combination for a day-trip from Essaouira – you can easily have a grand-taxi or a bus, depart from outside Bab Doukkala.
Favorite Dish: One can choose between different dishes - all I have tasted was perfect, can't tell what is "best". But for instance the salads are wonderful and made with fantasy and care.
This "Mexican" lovely casual dining spot is owned by a British couple- Sharon and Steve- friends of a friend. It was recommended to me by VTer “windcity”. See her tip for more details about the place and the menu.La Cantina is not far from the main square but is just slightly off the beaten track. Walking up all the busy, noisy, Ave sidi Med ben Abdellah -at the very end become very narrow- you are at a very quiet little square and you finally get a feeling of the locals life (see photos). Relax and observe but do not let your food- is delicious- to be cold...
No Alcohol (normal in Morocco…). But they will tell you were to go for a Beer.
you can get a more authentic feel of Morocco than the main, tourist-oriented square. Moroccan food is delicious, but there comes a time in every visitor's trip when you want something a bit different, and that is usually quite hard to find. Here are several vegetarian options, and also such exotic items as hamburger, stuffed jacket potatoes, and chicken curry!
Perched on a cliff top Lawarma offers local and European food, Very tasty and not overpriced for the remote location. The beach at Moulay Bouzerktoun is popular with surfers and can be easily reached by taxi from Essaouira , Sunset is a good time for a drink in the bar.
Favorite Dish: Fresh Fish, afterall it is caught by local fishermen and you can watch the daily catch as it is brought in at the tiny harbour below the restaruant.
Chez Sam is the perfect romantic restaurant. Great seafood, with a wonderful view of the fishing boats coming in and out of the harbour. The set seafood menu, at DH85, is fantastic. Or you can push the boat out and eat lobster. There is a good selection of wine too.
Chez Sam was featured in the Claude Lelouch film, "And Now Ladies and Gentlemen", which premiered at the 2002 Cannes film Festival. I really love this place and would say that if you have only one night in Essaouira, make sure you spend it here.
Either arrive early or make a reservation to get one of the window seats, with a sea view.
Of of the cluster of restaurants on this street, this is the one I returned to. From the outside nothing to distinguish itself from it's neighbours, and the menu is similar. A choice of three fixed price menus and the usual tagines and cous cous choices.
But in my opinion the food was just that little bit better than at the others. I was initially attracted by the calamari tagine (I like a nice cephalpod, and they do expose sloppy cookery)
which was excellent. As was a green salad dressed with argand oil.
On my last visit to Esssaouara I ate here three times: another excellent tagine and a repeat of the squid. didn't dissapoint.
My only complaint is that the service was slow in the extreme---catching a waiter's eye seemed to take hours. But that's just a Moroccan thing, I think. Restaurant waiters are completyly different tp the gallicised efficiency of their oppos in the cafes.
At the harbour in Essaouira you have lot's of little open air places that serves fresh seafood directly by the harbour.
It's a great way to eat well aswell as sucking in some local atmosphere.
To me that was the best place to eat when i was in esssaouira.
Favorite Dish: i love kalemares.
Fanatic is a pleasant restaurant on the beach, outside the medina. The restaurant seemed to be serving a lot of seafood, but we had tagines and they were very good. I had a chicken tagine for 75 DH; my friend had a veggie one for somewhat less.
We arrived in Essaouira just as lunch time was approaching and as soon as we saw the lovely views to be had in the main square, Place Moulay Hassan, we decided that this should be where we ate. We chose La Mouette on the far side of the square to the sea as it had a good selection of lighter dishes and had a table free on the pavement in front. It proved to be a good choice and we had a leisurely lunch in the warm sunshine.
The atmosphere here was very relaxed, a real contrast to meals taken in the frenzy of a very different Moroccan square, Marrakesh’s Djamaa el Fna. Visitors from Europe as well as from closer to home strolled the square, locals paused to chat while shopping or walking their dogs, even the cyclists moved at a more languid pace. The light was perfect for photos, with a slight haze giving a pearly glow to the buildings around the harbour. Musicians were strolling around the square playing and looking for tips. The one in my photo accepted a few dirhams from Chris in return for posing for a picture, but I preferred my own candid shot.
Favorite Dish: We both chose omelettes – cheese for me, mushroom for Chris. These were served with some tasty flat bread. We shared a bottle of sparkling mineral water and I had a mint tea after our meal while Chris went to change some money in the nearby bank. Our bill was a moderate 117 dirhams (less than £9.50).
My first visit to Essaouira I passed by this place, during a day tour from Marrakech, it was pointed out as being one of the places that Jimmi etc stayed at.
I later checked out the web page, and decided that one day I'd return to stay here.
At my recent visit, our guide had booked a restaurant for our evening meal, I was excited to find that it was at this venue.
8 of our group of 16 enjoyed a meal here. We entered through the courtyard- typical Moroccan design of courtyard with fountain, then were shown to the floor below - seated areas in booths- low tables and cushioned seats - comfortable and relaxed.
Apparently there's a roof terrace too.
Alcohol is served- extensive list of beers, wines and spirits, plus soft drinks.
Some black and white framed pics of Jimmi and his contemporaries are displayed on the walls, but it is mainly a traditional Riad style establishment.
Favorite Dish: The menu was quite extensive, with a set menu, plus fish, meat, tagines etc.
I chose a fish dish- not quite sure which fish- the waiter tried to explain -but it was a local white flat fish, with peaches and white port, cream and rice- Mmmmm it was delicious!
A dish of Olives was a yummy appetizer, plus flat bread.
After our meal, one couple left, so we 6 proceeded to demolish a few Flag and Casablanca beers! It was the first time during our tour that we'd had the chance to sit and chat properly, which was a shame, as 2 of the couples were going to stay on in Essaouira, and not continue to Marrakech, for the end of the tour. This was probably my favourite night of the tour.
In my pic is Jacquline (1st Left), who I met on this tour and persuaded her to join VT! She's now VTer Fatepuh!
Great little restaurant with seating indoors and outside.
we found this restaurant, run by what seems to a husband and wife pair, just off one of the main shopping streets. there was nobody there when we got there but it was early in the evening. we were warmly welcomed by the female patron, who is also the chef, who was able to produce a menu in english for us and explain all the dishes.
the menu was small but offered a good variety- fish tagine, john dory fillet, beef brioates (beef and courgette wrapped in filo - really delicious), homemade pasta with a variety of sauce- the dishes we tried were all really good - so good in fact we ended up ordering desert - chocolate tart and plum with almond tart, both really exceptional! total cost was about £24 for 4 of us having a 1.5l water,2 cokes, 2 starters, 4 mains, 2 desserts, and a coffee. perfect portion sizes as well, we were all pleasantly full.
we were served by the male patron, an extremely pleasant man who spoke very good english, french, german and probably several other languages and both he and his wife was very friendly and chatted with us.
the restaurant also has wifi!
the restaurant soon filled up shortly after we ordered- cant say we were surprised , a really delicious dinner with lots of variety, with great service and all for a bargain price.
Favorite Dish: any of the puddings - really hit the spot and lovely big portions......mmmmmm
Moroccan tea - The a la menthe (French) Atay (Arabic), Mint Tea, Moroccan Whisky- all names for the same refreshing beverage, served throughout Morocco-(and beyond!)
Boiling water is poured onto Chinese green tea, fresh spearmint leaves, and sugar - usually lots of! in a traditional styled silver tea pot. (like the one in the photo)
This is then poured, usually from a height, to form bubbles on the surface of the glass or cup.
Often this 1st pouring is returned to the pot, then the pouring is repeated.
I find this drink to be very refreshing- luckily, I like my tea sweet!
For a less sweet drink, the phrase is shwiya sukkar.
Mint tea is usually drunk without a meal.
Mint is considered to be an aid to digestion. I must admit, that it seemed to work, because I had no stomach problems during my 2 visits to Morocco!
Dried mint tea can be purchased from the spice stalls and Berber pharmacies, as well as supermarkets.
You can buy the teapots in the souk, or souvenir shops, varying sizes/ prices.
TIP- look at local hardware shops rather than souvenir stalls - cheaper prices and often a great shopping experience- the stallholders seem to be surprised and happy that you've shopped there. I'll never forget the look on the shopkeepers face when 2 of us foreign females turned up to chose a teapot from his shop, and when we bought one each, he wrapped them so carefully, then came out of his shop to wave us Goodbye!
Beware though, that the handle becomes very hot! I bought one for my mum, and she burnt her fingers- Ooops!
Favorite Dish: The Mint Tea served at this roadside cafe was very refreshing!
This nicely situated restaurant in the fascinating fishing harbour of Essaouira was a complete disappoint to us in food and service.
My wife and I had been there for lunch on 02 March 2009 and this is what happend:
I had asked for a bottle of local white wine and received a rosé, as the white was out. Our neighbour asked for a bottel of red and got the same rosé as the red was also out.
We ordered two grilled Dorade as a main course, one with rice, the other with french fries.
We both got only rice and no potatoes, as they were also out. (no preinformation by the arrogant and incompetent waiter)
The "grilled" Dorade was next to raw, hardly eatable. When I made a negative remark about this fact, the waiter brought automatically the bill which thank God ended this unpleasant experiance.
From Taxi-drivers I learned, that dayvisitors to Essaouira are brought there because of the good bakshish they receive from Le Coquillage.
During all our travel through Marrocco this was the most unpleasant place.
We used to go there because it is just in the middle of Medina, to watch TV, which we didnt understand anyways, and esspecially because of the best fish tajine, which we had in Morocco. Also moroccan salad was delicious. It is owned by a nice family, they were so kind. It pretty cosy restaurant and nice to stay there!
Favorite Dish: Fish tajine and moroccan salad
Is not a restaurant is a Beer- local- drinking place but were to pout it if not in restaurant tips… Not in night life tips because it close early.
A lot of different events just in front of you- at the beach- from live music, sea sports even football… (local).