Archives July 2023

15 of the Best Restaurants in Essaouira, Morocco

By the end of our first day, one thing was clear – Essaouira was our favorite city in Morocco. This tiny port town along Morocco’s Atlantic coast charmed us with its well-preserved medina, windy ocean views, and easygoing small-town vibe. It reminded us in many ways of Marrakesh and Tangier, but smaller and more intimate.

Being so close to Marrakech, Essaouira is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco. For such a small town, it’s home to a surprisingly large concentration of restaurants serving a wide variety of food. You’ll find restaurants serving traditional Moroccan food, fresh seafood, and international fare like Italian and Asian food. We even found a place that serves Japanese takoyaki!

Personally, we gravitate towards traditional food and healthier eating options so that’s exactly what you’ll find in this food guide – fifteen of the best restaurants in Essaouira serving wholesome fare and the tastiest Moroccan food.

Bon appetit!


To help with your Essaouira trip planning, we’ve put together links to top-rated hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.


Recommended hotels in the medina, the best area to stay for first-time travelers to Essaouira.

  • Luxury: Riad Chbanate
  • Midrange: Riad Dar Awil
  • Budget: Riad Dar Latifa


  • Sightseeing Tour: Half-Day Old Town Guided Tour
  • Watersports: 2-Hour Surf Lesson
  • Cooking Class: Traditional Family Style Moroccan Cooking Class


  • Travel Insurance (with COVID cover)
  • Marrakech Transfer

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There are so many restaurants to choose from in Essaouira. I’ve divided this guide into two sections – traditional Moroccan restaurants and healthier plant-focused eateries that serve salads and vegetarian/vegan food.

You can click on the links to jump to either section of this Essaouira food guide.


1. Blue Mogador

Blue Mogador is one of about a dozen restaurants in a square just off one of the main avenues (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah) in Essaouira’s medina. It’s a lovely restaurant that serves many traditional Moroccan dishes like couscous, tagine, pastilla, and grilled fish and seafood.

Before they serve your appetizers and entrees, they’ll start you off with some brined olives and fresh bread (like most restaurants in Morocco).

If you enjoy fresh vegetables with your meal, then there’s no better dish to start with than Moroccan salad. It’s a simple but delicious salad made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and herbs in a light vinaigrette dressing.

If you like eggplant, then you’ll definitely want to try the zaalouk as well. It’s a delicious Moroccan side dish or salad made with cooked eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, spices, and olive oil. It’s great with fresh bread and something we enjoyed making ourselves in this Marrakech cooking class.

Being a coastal city, there’s no shortage of fresh seafood in Essaouira. Virtually every traditional restaurant serves sardines, fish, and other types of seafood.

Pictured below is our tasty octopus tagine served in a delicious tomato-based sauce with herbs amd green olives.

Here’s a better look at the octopus. Instead of serving the tentacles whole, they cut them up into these bite-sized pieces.

Fresh fish is abundant in Essaouira but sardines are clearly the most popular. In fact, sardines make up around 62% of Morocco’s fish catch. Morocco processes around 600,000 tonnes of sardines each year, making it the largest exporter of canned sardines in the world.

Fresh sardines are sold at the fish market daily so you’ll find many restaurants in Essaouira serving plates of grilled sardines. Personally, if I could eat just one dish in Essaouira, then it would definitely be grilled sardines. They’re cheap, healthy, plentiful, and just delicious.

We ate at many of the restaurants in this square and Blue Mogador was one of the prettiest. Aside from serving consistently good food, every restaurant offers al fresco dining like this which is one of the reasons why we enjoyed this square so much.

It was hard to get a good picture of the square but this is basically what it looks like. There are a little over a dozen restaurants here, many of which are featured in this Essaouira food guide. We enjoyed this square so much that we wound up visiting half of its restaurants in two weeks.

You can refer to the location map at the bottom of this article to navigate to the square.

Blue Mogador

Address: 75 Derb Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Traditional Moroccan dishes, seafood

2. Restaurant Zaytouna

Zaytouna is another traditional Moroccan restaurant located in the same square as Blue Mogador. They have similar offerings like tagine and couscous but what drew us to this place were their set menus. They offer around six 3-course set menus at different price points, some with exclusively vegetarian options.

I went with the first vegetarian option which came with either tomato or vegetable soup as its first course.

For my second course, I had a choice between vegetarian couscous or vegetable tagine. I went with the latter.

I didn’t have a choice for my third course, which is just fine because these orange slices dusted with cinnamon were the perfect end to my simple but delicious vegetarian Moroccan meal.

At the time of our visit in July 2023, this vegetarian set meal cost just MAD 65.

For my wife’s MAD 80 set meal, she had a choice between Moroccan salad or zaalouk for her first dish. Tough decision but she ultimately went with the former.

This sardine ball tagine was the reason she chose this set menu. Rolled into two-bite balls and served in a bubbling tomato-based sauce, it’s delicious and another great way to enjoy sardines in Morocco.

If sardine tagine isn’t your thing, then you can choose couscous with chicken and vegetables or chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemon as well.

For her third course, she was given the choice between the same orange slices I had or Moroccan mint tea. There’s no better way to end a Moroccan meal than with a warming pot of mint tea!

Zaytouna is located across the courtyard from Blue Mogador.

Restaurant Zaytouna

Address: Place Chrib Atay, 16, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Traditional Moroccan food, set menus

3. La Rose du Sud

La Rose du Sud is the restaurant located right next to Zaytouna. After lunch at Zaytouna, we took a look at their menu and told the owner that we’d be back the next day. Like its neighbor, they offer traditional Moroccan food, seafood, and a few set menus as well.

La Rose du Sud offers around five permanent set menus. On the day of our visit, they were also offering a special set menu that featured whole grilled sea bream. I chose Moroccan salad for my starter.

Here’s a look at my beautifully charred sea bream. As described, locally caught seafood is abundant in Essaouira so you’ll often find whole grilled fish like this one on many restaurant menus.

I was served this bowl of fresh fruit salad for dessert. This set meal was a little more expensive at MAD 85, but absolutely worth it.

My better half went with one of their permanent set menus featuring this beautiful plate of couscous with meat and vegetables. She had Moroccan salad and fruit salad for her first and final courses as well.

La Rose du Sud is a very similar restaurant to Zaytouna so you can choose one or the other if you like. We enjoyed both equally.

La Rose du Sud

Address: G67H+JMC, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Moroccan dishes, set menus

4. Chaabi Chic

Chaabi Chic was one of our favorite restaurants in Essaouira. It’s a hidden gem with a great rooftop terrace, not too far from Essaouira’s ramparts and that famous Game of Thrones filming location. We went here a couple of times to enjoy their food and drink Moroccan tea.

We started lunch here one day with (you guessed it) our favorite salad in Morocco – Moroccan salad! Looking back at these pictures, we must have ordered this at least once every other day.

Can you tell by now what this next dish is? It’s another favorite of ours – zaalouk. We enjoyed zaalouk almost as often as Moroccan salad and this version at Chaabi Chic was one of the most delicious we’ve had so far.

For her entree, my better half had this lovely salad nicoise. It was tasty but for some reason, it wasn’t made with any tuna. Boo!

Grilled chicken brochettes are a common dish in Morocco. On some occasions, you’ll find restaurants serving grilled turkey skewers as well. You don’t see them that often so I always order a plate whenever I spot it on a restaurant’s menu.

Served with some herbed rice and grilled vegetables, these turkey brochettes from Chaabi Chic were tender and super delicious.

You can’t see the ocean from here but the views you get from Chaabi Chic’s rooftop are among the most enjoyable we found in Essaouira. You can see the tops of people’s houses and the seagulls hovering above them. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy a pot of Moroccan tea.

Chaabi Chic is tucked away in a corner in a not-so-busy part of the medina so it can be easy to miss. They serve great food at affordable prices so it’s definitely worth seeking out.

Here’s another look at Chaabi Chic’s terrace. Aside from indoor seating on the second floor, you can choose to sit at one of these clusters of tables on the rooftop. Just be sure to dress warmly because it can get pretty cold and windy up here.

Chaabi Chic

Address: Rue Boutouil, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Turkey brochettes, tagine, couscous

5. Restaurant Sayef

Sayef is another hidden gem and in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in Essaouira. It’s located in a small alley just off the main street so hundreds of people probably walk by without even realizing that it’s there.

Unlike the usual brined olives most restaurants in Essaouira serve you, Sayef starts you off with a tasty olive tapenade that you can enjoy with toasted bread.

Because it gets so windy in Essaouira, I warmed myself with this hearty bowl of harira. It’s a zesty lentil and chickpea soup made with tomatoes, onions, eggs, rice, herbs, and spices. Compared to their other dishes, this was average and probably not something I’d order here again.

Like my wife, I should have stuck with the Moroccan salad! It’s an ever-reliable dish that’s good no matter where you have it.

The harira may have been average but these monkfish brochettes certainly weren’t. Served with grilled potatoes and vegetables, these were tender, flakey, and oh-so delicious.

Fish kebabs are common in Morocco but I haven’t seen them made with monkfish all that often. If you like fish skewers, then you should definitely try this.

Another dish that we didn’t see as often in Essaouira is squid tagine. Perfectly cooked and served with a medley of vegetables and olives, you may want to try this as well if you’re as big a fan of cephalopods as we are.

Essaouira’s main street is always busy but Restaurant Sayef is located through this small alley which is why it’s easy to miss. With all the sights and sounds competing for your attention in Essaouira, many people probably wouldn’t think of walking through here.

Go through the rabbit hole and you’ll find one of the best restaurants in Essaouira waiting for you on the other side.

Here’s a shot of the restaurant’s interior. It’s simple but cozy.

Restaurant Sayef

Address: 12 Rue d’Agadir, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 12NN-10PM, Sat-Thurs / 1:30-10PM, Friday
What They Offer: Monkfish kebabs, tagine, couscous

6. Chez Zak

If you get a hankering for lobster in Essaouira, then Chez Zak is a great place to visit. It’s a small restaurant that specializes in spiny lobster and other seafood dishes like squid, prawn, and fish.

Here’s our delicious grilled lobster served with sauteed vegetables and a lemon butter sauce. At the time of our visit (July 2023), lobsters were priced at MAD 150 per 300 g. Not one of the cheaper meals you’ll have in Essaouira but hey, it’s lobster. Treat yourself!

Chez Zak offers a few fresh fruit juices as well like this refreshing glass of beetroot and orange juice.

There’s Zak himself waiting for us to take our pictures so he could grill up our lobster!

Like many restaurants in Essaouira, Chez Zak offers multiple levels of seating. We always go up to the rooftop if seating is available. At Chez Zak, there’s only one table on the rooftop so arrive early if you can.

This is the view you’ll get if you’re lucky enough to snag the rooftop terrace. It looks like a painting!

Chez Zak

Address: 56 rue elkhabbazine, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, Sat-Wed / 12NN-10:30PM
What They Offer: Lobster, seafood

7. Restaurant Baghdad

A lobster meal doesn’t come cheap but eating at Restaurant Baghdad is a great way to balance your restaurant budget in Essaouira. They serve good food at some of the best prices we’ve seen thus far in Essaouira. The entire meal pictured below, with bottled water, set us back just MAD 91!

Isn’t this salad gorgeous? They call it salade riche (rich salad) and make it with fresh green figs. Baghdad was the only restaurant we found that offered a salad made with figs.

You can’t visit Essaouira without enjoying a grilled sardine feast at least once during your stay. Such a simple but satisfying Mediterranean meal!

Our tasty vegetable tagine to round out a healthy and delicious lunch in Essaouira. Aside from tagines and grilled seafood, Restaurant Baghdad offers Moroccan tacos, brochettes, couscous dishes, and pastillas as well.

Restaurant Baghdad is another gem located just off the main street. It’s situated closer to Bab Doukkala, a more local part of the medina that not as many tourists visit.

This is what Restaurant Baghdad’s interior looks like. We arrived early but the place filled up pretty quickly for lunch. Not surprising considering their excellent food and unbeatable prices.

Restaurant Baghdad

Address: Rue Baghdad n7, 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Grilled seafood, salad, tagine, couscous

8. Restaurant Safran Citron

We prefer traditional restaurants and comfort food to five-star dining but Safran Citron was probably the closest we came to a fine dining experience in Essaouira. It isn’t a fine dining restaurant per se, but they do serve excellent, more well-put-together food in a lovely restaurant setting.

We started our meal at Safran Citron with this bubbling lentil and vegetable tagine. Served in a rich tomato-based sauce, we had lentil dishes often in Morocco but never quite like this. It was delicious and very comforting.

Here’s a look at my beautifully charred sea bream. As described, locally caught seafood is abundant in Essaouira so you’ll often find whole grilled fish like this one on restaurant menus.

This plate of grilled octopus has to be one of the tastiest dishes we’ve enjoyed in Essaouira and Morocco thus far. Perfectly cooked and redolent with the flavors of paprika and garlic, it was sensational and one of the best octopus dishes I’ve had anywhere.

Like every restaurant we visited in Essaouira, all the fish and seafood served at Safran Citron are as fresh as can be.

There was a mix-up with our order so the owner was kind enough to serve us a complimentary pot of tea and these tasty Moroccan pastries. Unless I’m mistaken, the biscotti-like cookie is called fekkas while the ring-shaped pastry is known as kaak d’Essaouira. Merci!

Safran Citron is located just outside the square of restaurants featured many times in this guide.

Isn’t the restaurant’s interior lovely? Safran Citron was hands down the prettiest and most atmospheric traditional restaurant we visited in Essaouira. When I think of Moroccan restaurants, this is exactly what I see!

Restaurant Safran Citron

Address: 12 Rue Laalouj, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11:30AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Grilled seafood, tagine, couscous, brochette


As much as we love meat tagines and Moroccan tacos, we’re middle-aged travelers so eating healthy has become more of a priority for us. Thankfully, people looking for healthier options and plant-based restaurants have lots to look forward to in Essaouira.

9. Mandala Society

There’s no better way to start the healthy eating section of this Essaouira restaurant guide than with Mandala Society, arguably the most popular health-focused restaurant in the city. It’s a modern restaurant that serves an appetizing menu of brunch dishes, salads, and veggie burger options.

How delicious does this vegan buddha bowl look? It’s made with a medley of oven-roasted vegetables served with steamed quinoa, homemade hummus, pumpkin seeds, and argan oil.

Equally delicious was this aubergine mosaic – a tasty dish of oven-baked eggplant slices served with baby onions, garlic confit, homemade cheese, local root vegetables, herbs, and sweet paprika aioli.

Mandala Society offers a few homemade cakes and pastries as well. If you enjoy the sweeter things in life, then you may want to try this guilt-free vegan brownie cake.

Aside from their healthier food options, another thing we loved about Mandala Society was their collection of herbal teas. They have about nine or ten different blends to choose from, like this “Immune System” infusion made with ginger, chamomile, turmeric, and green cardamom.

Mandala Society is located in a prime spot along the main street in Essaouira’s medina. It’s almost always packed at peak meal times so may you may want to go at slightly off-peak hours.

Mandala Society has a restaurant in Marrakech as well, which we’ll be visiting very soon!

Mandala Society

Address: Av. de l’Istiqlal, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Vegan/vegetarian dishes, healthy food

10. Retro Corner

Retro Corner is one of our favourite restaurants in Essaouira. Like Mandala Society, it’s a cute and modern restaurant that serves a variety of healthy and modern Moroccan classics in a prime spot in Essaouira’s medina.

Pictured below is our favorite Moroccan salad plated in a more elegant and striking way.

This is Retro Corner’s version of our favourite Moroccan eggplant dip – zaalouk.

Yes, this quinoa avocado salad was every bit as healthy and delicious as it was beautiful.

Sardine chermoula is one of my wife’s favorite Moroccan street food dishes. We’ve had it many times throughout Morocco but this version at Retro Corner was the best we’ve had thus far. Wow was this good!

Not to be outdone by the sardines, I had the grilled sea bream which was the most delicious preparation of this fish I’ve had anywhere in Morocco. Served with two whole fillets seasoned with a homemade spicy sauce, I’m salivating just looking at this picture right now!

Retro Corner is located just off Av. Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah. It’s a colorful and modern restaurant that’s sure to catch your eye when you pass by. They offer an extensive menu of breakfast platter sets, Moroccan dishes, and comfort food options like burgers, pizza, pasta dishes, and crepes.

Before we were served our food, I found their prices to be a bit on the expensive side. However, they do serve you big portions so you do get what you pay for. Highly recommended!

An inside look at Retro Corner’s cute and colorful interior.

If they’re available, then you may want to sit on one of these counter seats facing the street. Retro Corner is on a busy street so it’s fun to do a little people-watching while enjoying one of your best meals in Essaouira.

Retro Corner

Address: N, 05 rue abdelaziz Al fachtali, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-10PM, Mon-Wed / 9:30AM-10PM, Thurs-Sat (closed Sundays)
What They Offer: Breakfast sets, Morrocan dishes, healthy food, comfort food

11. Azouka Eatery

Azouka Eatery is another restaurant located in that same square previously mentioned in this Essaouira food guide. It’s owned and operated by a lovely young couple who offer brunch dishes and small, healthy tapas-like bites of food.

Pictured below is Azouka’s version of herb tabbouleh, but instead of bulgur, it’s made with broccoli instead. It’s topped with dukkah (nut and spice mixture) and a few slices of nectarine.

You’re probably well-acquianted with this next dish by now. It’s their take on eggplant zaalouk enhanced with garlic oil and black lime. Delicious!

No respectable zaalouk should ever be eaten on its own, so we paired it with a couple of thick slices of their homebaked sourdough rye focaccia.

Azouka Eatery is located on the second floor of the square. If you’re looking for light snacks that are actually good for you, then Azouka Eatery is a great restaurant to visit in Essaouira.

The restaurant has a small shop as well that plays great music and sells a few knick-knacks like ceramics, clothing, and organic food products.

Azouka Eatery

Address: 75 Derb Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-4PM, Tue-Sat (closed Sun-Mon)
What They Offer: Healthy brunch and lunch dishes

12. Le Corail at Latifa

If you’re a vegan, then you have two great restaurants to choose from in that same square as Azouka Eatery and some of the other restaurants on this list. The first is Le Corail Vegan Food, a small restaurant that offers a wealth of fresh juices and Moroccan vegan dishes like veggie burgers, spring rolls, and vegetable tagines.

Unlike the usual brined olives served at almost every Moroccan restaurant, we were given a small plate of sliced bananas dusted with cinnamon.

We shared a plate of our favorite Moroccan salad to kickstart today’s healthy meal.

For my main course, I had this bountiful chickpea and vegetable tagine. Moroccan tagines can sometimes be oily but this one was made with just the right amount of oilve oil. Very healthy indeed!

My better half was craving for food that reminded her of home so she went with this plate of spring rolls stuffed with chickpeas, spinach, and mushroom. It was served with a side of delicious pasta, which was a bonus.

Here’s a sneak peak inside the spring rolls.

We didn’t expect to find vegan food in a small city like Essaouira so Le Corail was a pleasant discovery. They have so many vegetable tagine dishes on their menu! Do pay them a visit if you’re in the mood for something simple and healthy but delicious.

Le Corail at Latifa

Address: BP423 Place Al Khaima, Heb, 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Vegetable tagines, spring rolls, veggie burgers

13. Shyadma’s Vegan Food

Shyadma’s is located just a stone’s throw from Le Corail and offers similar vegan dishes like salads, soups, vegan tagines, and vegetable couscous. It’s run by a lovely Moroccan family where the mother (presumably Syadma) does all the cooking while her young children help with serving the customers.

Similar to Le Corail, they started us off with an appetizer of bananas, apples, and olives.

It was especially windy in Essaouira that day so I wanted to warm up with a bowl of lentil soup. Made from scratch, this was one of the tastiest and most lovingly made bowls of lentil soup I’ve had in Morocco thus far.

Shyadma calls this a warm vegetable salad. It’s basically boiled potatoes served with green bean salad and a zaalouk-like eggplant puree. Simple but hearty and delicious.

Shyadma doesn’t offer nearly as many vegetable tagines as Le Corail but what she does make tastes 100% homemade. What you’re looking at below is her tagine of French green beans with olives and preserved lemons.

When you enjoy a meal at Shyadma’s, it really does feel like you’re sitting down to a homecooked meal in someone’s home. So comforting and delicious, and cheap too. Today’s meal set us back just MAD 80!

Do you see why we enjoyed this square so much? So many tasty restaurants somewhat tucked away and hidden from the most touristy parts of Essaouira.

Shyadma’s Vegan Food

Address: Place El Khayma, Rue Laalouj, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Vegan tagines

14. Picknick Cafe

Picknick Cafe was also one of our favorite restaurants in Essaouira. Similar to Mandala Society or Retro Corner, it’s a cute, well-designed cafe that offers a focused menu of brunch dishes, healthier food options, specialty coffee, juices, and smoothies.

What you’re looking at below is their salmon bowl. It’s a beautiful salad made with a generous amount of grilled salmon, avocado, cucumber, and tomato.

Equally delicious (and Instagram-worthy) was this gorgeous grilled chicken bowl made with marinated chicken breast, grilled vegetables, and tortilla chips.

Picknick Cafe offers water flavored with lemon, mint, and other ingredients as well. This one was infused with the throat-soothing qualities of ginger.

Picknick Cafe is hidden in plain sight, just a few minutes walk from Bab El Mechouar. Soon as you enter the gate, start looking for it on your right side.

Picknick Cafe has a small but lovely and well-put-together interior. If I remember correctly, the description on their menu mentioned that the cafe actually started in Germany before opening this branch in Essaouira.

Here’s my equally lovely and well-put-together wife showing me what she thinks of me on this fine Sunday.

Picknick Cafe

Address: 22 Rue Youssef El Fassi, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-9PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Brunch dishes, salad bowls

15. Koozina

I’ve recommended a few hidden gems in this restaurant guide, but Koozina is probably the best-kept secret in Essaouira.

Koozina isn’t tucked away in some obscure corner in the medina. On the contrary, it’s located in plain sight. It’s situated just outside the medina’s walls, not too far from Bab Marrakech Tower, in an area where many tourists probably wouldn’t go to look for food. You’ll see what I mean later.

Aside from its location, what makes Koozina interesting is that the restaurant doesn’t have a permanent menu. Instead, the lovely owner and chef writes the menu on a chalkboard based on what fresh ingredients are available at the market on that day.

On the day of our visit, we were treated to this earthy and delicious squash and tahini puree.

For our second starter, we went with this bright and sunny cold octopus salad.

I love Moroccan chicken brochettes but this version at Koozina was different from any other I had enjoyed before. They were slathered with a dark, deeply flavorful sauce and served with a side of maaqouda (Maghrebi fritters) and the chef’s very own creation – tomato crumble. Everything on this plate was fantastic.

Note the heart shapes on the chicken skewers. Aren’t they cute?

For our second entree, we went with the stuffed aubergine. They were filled with a tasty mixture of eggplant, ground meat, and spices before being topped with microgreens and served with a side salad and that delicious tomato crumble.

You can refer to our location map to navigate to Koozina, but if you walk outside the medina’s perimeter, then you’ll inevitably reach this structure. Koozina is located through here.

Here’s Koozina’s lovely outdoor seating area. Beautiful right? This is easily one of the most pleasant places to enjoy a meal in Essaouira.

This is the chalk menuboard I was telling you about earlier. We arrived early so we got to see the chef write out the day’s offerings.


Address: 44000, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-8PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Farm-to-table daily specials

BONUS: Cafe l’Esprit

As far as I could tell, outside of their specialty coffees, teas, and pastries, this place only offers avocado toast on their menu. They aren’t really a restaurant but Cafe l’Esprit is such a cute cafe that I had to add it to this list.

Located within earshot of the ramparts and ocean, Cafe l’Esprit offers one of the loveliest cafe settings we experienced in Essaouira. We sat outside for some French apple pie and pots of tea while enjoying Essaouira’s famous ocean breeze.

Cafe l’Esprit is a tiny cafe with one or two tables indoors, but the best place to sit is outside against that wall. Some tourists pass here to get to the ramparts so it’s a nice place to sit and people-watch while sipping on hot cups of herbal tea.

Here’s my lovely wife blending in with the patterns and enjoying our last day in Essaouira.

Cafe l’Esprit

Address: In front of Zaouia Sidna Blal, 32 Rue Touahen, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-7PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Avocado toast, pastries, specialty coffee and tea


To help you navigate to these Essaouira restaurants, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.


We focused on traditional Moroccan restaurants and healthy food options in this guide, but if you’re in the mood for delicious pasta and pizza, then you’ll have plenty of restaurants to choose from in Essaouira.

One highly recommended Italian restaurant is Gusto Italia. They’re located near the beach, around a 20-minute walk south of the medina. Its TripAdvisor and Google reviews are gushing so it may be worth the trek just to get a change of scenery from the ancient medina.

As you can see from this list, Essaouira may be small but you won’t have any trouble finding delicious food – both local and international – in this exceedingly charming city.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful time in Morocco’s “windy city” – Essaouira!


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Casablanca Food Guide: 8 of the Best Restaurants in Casablanca, Morocco

I’ll be honest – Casablanca isn’t our favorite city in Morocco. Unlike Marrakech, Fes, or Essaouira, it’s a big modern metropolis that doesn’t have much in the way of tourist attractions. Aside from the Hassan II Mosque, there isn’t as much to see and do there.

But Casablanca’s size does promise one thing – delicious food. We stayed for two weeks on our last trip and found Casablanca to be a sprawling city with pockets of interesting neighborhoods and restaurants offering traditional Moroccan food, international fare, and healthy eating options.

If you’ll be spending a few days in this Moroccan city made famous by its movie namesake, then here are eight restaurants in Casablanca that you may want to check out.


To help with your Casablanca trip-planning, we’ve put together links to recommended hotels, tours, and other travel services here.


Top-rated accommodations in and around Gauthier, one of our favorite neighborhoods in Casablanca.

  • Idou Anfa Hôtel & Spa
  • Yto boutique Hotel
  • StayHere Casablanca Ghautier Apartments


  • Sightseeing Tour: Casablanca City Tour
  • Food Tour: Central Market Food Tour with Tastings and Lunch
  • Day Trip: Chefchaouen Day Trip with Lunch
  • Cooking Classes: Casablanca Cooking Classes


  • Travel Insurance (with COVID cover)
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We love authentic Moroccan food but being middle-aged travelers, healthy eating has become increasingly important to us as well. This Casablanca restaurant guide will give you a good mix of both.


If finding places that serve authentic Moroccan food is important to you, then you may want to check out any of these first four restaurants.

1. Saveurs du Palais

This was one of our favorite restaurants in Casablanca. It’s a traditional Moroccan restaurant that serves authentic and tasty food. From their many Moroccan salads to their wide variety of tagines and traditional Moroccan pastries, everything we had at this restaurant was delicious.

Pictured below is one of our favorite starters – Moroccan salad. It’s a simple and refreshing salad made with chopped fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and herbs.

We had fish or seafood tagine many times in Marrakech and Tangier but we never got to try sardine ball tagine. Thank goodness we got to try it in Casablanca because it’s seriously delicious!

Tagine made with any type of meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetable is one of the tastiest and most traditional Moroccan dishes you can find in this country. We’ve enjoyed every type of tagine thus far but fish ball tagine – especially the ones made with sardine – may be our favorite.

Equally delicious was this tagine chevreau messlala or goat tagine. If you prefer meat to seafood, then you may want to order this.

We’ve eaten at many traditional restaurants in Morocco but Saveurs du Palais offers one of the widest and most interesting selections of tagines we’ve seen so far. They also offer tagines made with beef, beef liver, tripe, beef tongue, pigeon, rabbit, and more.

Tagine is something you definitely need to try at least once in Morocco. In Casablanca, Saveurs du Palais is one of the best places to have it.

We sat at a regular table but if you’d like to have a more Moroccan experience, then perhaps you’d like to sit at one of these couch tables instead.

Saveurs du Palais

Address: 28 Rue Jalal Eddine Sayouti, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-10:30PM, daily
What to Order: Tagine

2. Chez Michel et Hafida (Tasty Fresh Seafood!)

If you’re in the mood for inexpensive but fresh seafood, then this humble restaurant is one of the best places you can go to. It’s located at the central market (marche central) – a cluster of two dozen or so produce shops and restaurants serving fresh fish and other types of seafood.

Sardines are a staple fish in the Moroccan diet and fried or grilled stuffed sardines are among our favorite iterations. They’re typically stuffed with chermoula – a type of North African marinade made with garlic, fresh herbs, spices, olive oil, and lemon juice. It’s delicious and equally popular in the cuisines of neighboring countries like Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.

Many seafood dishes at Chez Michel et Hafida are served with grilled vegetables, potatoes, and a sharp and spicy harissa-based sauce.

If you like mussels, then you definitely need to try this mkela de moules. It’s basically a type of mussel tomato stew served in a shallow pan or pot also known as a mkela (or mkila, mqila). Paired with khobz, it’s absolutely delicious.

No, these aren’t undercooked french fries. What you’re looking at is the most ridiculously tender platter of grilled squid served with roasted vegetables.

Chef Michel et Hafida is one of many seafood restaurants at the central market. Many places here are known for serving delicious food but we chose this place based on the strength of its reviews.

Chez Michel et Hafida

Address: Stall 192, Marche Central, Bd Mohammed V, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-9:30PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Seafood dishes

3. Solamo’s

As described, Hassan II Mosque is the top tourist attraction in Casablanca. You’ll probably find yourself there at some point so it’s good to know which restaurant to visit. Most restaurants in the area weren’t to our liking but thankfully, we found Solamo’s.

Solamo’s is one of those restaurants that serves everything. From breakfast sets to comfort food like Moroccan tacos and traditional dishes like tagine and couscous, they’ll probably have it here.

Brochette is something you’ll find on the menu of many traditional Moroccan restaurants. They make them with different types of meat, poultry, and seafood but if you’re unsure what to get, then you may want to try this brochette mixte. It comes with minced meat, merguez sausage, chicken, and steak along with a side of grilled vegetables and pasta.

I wanted to eat a little healthier today so I went with this tasty plate of grilled salmon with roasted vegetables and herbed rice.

With their diverse menu, Solamo’s isn’t the most traditional restaurant on this list but they do serve good food at affordable prices. Do check them out after visiting Hassan II Mosque.


Address: Bd d’El Hank, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
Operating Hours: 6AM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Breakfast, Moroccan dishes, comfort food

4. Dalia Ricks

Like Solamo’s, Dalia Ricks is another Moroccan restaurant that serves a little bit of everything. You can get breakfast sets and traditional Moroccan dishes like brochette and pastilla but you can also go for comfort food like Moroccan tacos, pizza, and sandwiches.

Many dishes looked appealing to us but because of our gregarious and very persuasive server, we went for the menu of the day which started with these hefty bowls of Moroccan salad.

And the daily special? Fish ball tagine!

Unlike the sardine balls at Saveurs du Palais, I believe these were made with merlan or whiting. They were made with rice and had a softer, fluffier texture than the sardine balls.

Dalia Ricks is located near Beth-El Temple, a Jewish synagogue just off Bd d’Anfa.

Dalia Ricks

Address: Ibnou Hayane, 61 Rue jaber, Bd d’Anfa, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 7AM-11PM, daily
What to Order: Traditional Moroccan food, comfort food


As described, eating healthier has become a priority for us. Thankfully, we found a few delicious health-oriented and plant-based restaurants in Casablanca.

5. Organic Kitchen

Organic Kitchen is one of the best and most popular healthy restaurants you can visit in Casablanca. They offer an extensive and creative menu of healthy dishes in a refined space in the swanky Anfa neighborhood.

Organic Kitchen offers a good selection of vegetarian dishes but they do offer sandwiches, tartines, and salads made with healthier proteins like salmon, white fish, and chicken breast as well.

Pictured below is my incredibly delicious chicken shawarma. It’s made with marinated chicken breast, fresh vegetables, and pumpkin seeds served in an herbed pita wrap. Isn’t it gorgeous?

The chicken shawarma is served with yogurt sauce and a side of vegetables and fries.

I didn’t want the fries so they were kind enough to replace them with more fresh veggies. Merci!

My better half went with the buddha bowl which was made with the tastiest Asian-inspired marinated chicken served with quinoa, beetroot hummus, guacamole, leafy greens, and vegetables. An Organic Kitchen bestseller, the chicken in this salad was amazingly delicious and reminded us of Filipino adobo.

Without question, Organic Kitchen is one of the best restaurants in Casablanca for healthier eating. It’s pricier than some of the other restaurants on this list – around MAD 100-200 per dish – but it’s worth it. We’ll definitely come back on every return trip to Casablanca.

Like their dishes, the restaurant itself is lovely. It just feels good to be here.

Organic Kitchen

Address: 6-8 Rue Ahmed El Mokri, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-10:30PM, Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun)
What to Order: Healthy dishes

6. Niya

If you’re a vegan, then you need to make your way to Niya, a terrific plant-based restaurant in the trendy Gauthier neighborhood of Casablanca. They offer a seasonal menu of creative and delicious vegan dishes in what could well be one of the cutest restaurant spaces in Casablanca.

What you’re looking at below is the salade de kale d’été or summer kale salad. It’s made with kale, marinated chickpeas, nectarine and avocado slices, green beans, red onions, and almonds served with an earthy argan ginger miso sauce.

This fantastic dish is Niya’s version of paella, everyone’s favorite Spanish dish. They call it low-carb paella because it’s made with iodized saffron cauliflower rice instead of Bomba or Calasparra rice. This was my first time trying cauliflower rice and I can proudly call myself a believer! My god was this good.

Aside from cauliflower, this low-carb paella also had peas, broccoli, green beans, roasted red peppers, crispy “chorizo”, and herbed aioli. Delicious!

If you’re in the mood for healthier pasta dishes, then you may want to try this equally delicious pasta alla norma. It’s made with a hefty portion of whole-grain organic penne topped with homemade basil tomato sauce, fried eggplant, and almond ricotta.

Who needs meat when you have healthier alternatives that taste as good as this?

Niya is set in an intimate space that was designed to look like someone’s living room or private library. If I understand correctly, they change their dishes every season so you may want to check out their menu for the latest offerings.

Isn’t the restaurant cute? It felt so cozy in here.


Address: 34 Rue Sebou, Casablanca 20100, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-9:30PM, Tue-Sat / 10AM-5PM, Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Vegan food

7. Khos

If you’re in the mood for great salads and fresh juices, then head on over to Khos – a salad and juice bar that offers healthier sandwiches and desserts as well.

Like any salad bar, you can build your own salad by ingredient but we decided to go with their salad suggestions, starting with this vitaminé e. Hefty and delicious, it’s made with turkey, quinoa, hummus, avocado, broccoli, and cabbage dressed in a pesto parmesan sauce.

They call this one Scandinave. It’s made with smoked salmon, quinoa, arugula, avocado, cucumber, and carrot topped with a creamy yogurt-based dressing.

The glass of juice behind the salad is called antioxydant. It’s a delicious and refreshing blend of beetroot, banana, and orange.

Khos is located in a quiet neighborhood about a 10-15 minute walk east of Arab League Park. It seems to be popular with office workers in the area so you may want to go at slightly off-peak lunch hours to avoid the crowd.

The restaurant’s interior is as clean and appealing as the food they serve.

The Khos maestros adeptly putting our salads together. On our next visit, we’ll try building our salads from scratch.


Address: 44 Rue Annoussour, Casablanca 20140, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-5PM, Sun-Fri (closed Saturdays)
What to Order: Salads, sandwiches, fresh juices

8. Holy Brunch

As their name suggests, this popular restaurant in Gauthier is known for their brunches. It isn’t exactly a health restaurant like the previous three but they do offer a few dishes for people looking to enjoy a healthier meal in Casablanca.

This bright and sunny bowl is called sunny chicken. It’s made with grilled chicken served with brown rice, red cabbage, raisins, pistachios, peanuts, herbs, and fresh vegetables tossed in a Thai citrus sauce.

My better half wanted to go with something a little more indulgent so she went with this trio de tacos. It consists of three pancake tacos stuffed with different fillings like whipped cream, mangoes, apples, bananas, ricotta, walnuts, and speculoos.

We visited Holy Brunch on a Sunday and it was easily the most popular restaurant we went to in Casablanca. Located in trendy Gauthier, it’s a fun restaurant with many sweet and savory options so it wasn’t hard to understand why!

If you’d rather not wait for a table, then you may want to try going on a weekday or at off-peak hours.

Holy Brunch

Address: Angle rue Theophile Gauthier et, Rue Al Bouhtouri, Casablanca 20012, Morocco
Operating Hours: 8AM-7PM, Mon-Fri / 9:30AM-7PM, Sat-Sun
What to Order: Brunch-style dishes


To help guide you to these restaurants in Casablanca, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.


I haven’t seen it but many people from around the world have heard of Casablanca from the Academy-award-winning movie. It’s about an American expat who owns a nightclub and restaurant in Casablanca called “Rick’s Cafe”.

From what I understand, no parts of the movie were actually filmed in Casablanca but there’s a well-known restaurant in the city that’s said to mimic the restaurant from the film. Also called Rick’s Cafe, it isn’t the type of restaurant we look for on trips but fans of the movie may want to check it out.

One restaurant we did want to go to but unfortunately couldn’t – because it was closed for Eid al-Adha –was Asie’tte. It’s primarily a Japanese restaurant but they do serve food from other Asian cuisines like Thai and Chinese. The restaurant has stellar reviews so you may want to check them out if you come down with a craving for Japanese and Asian food.

In any case, that’s about it for our list of some of the best restaurants in Casablanca. If you have anything to add, then please do let us know in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading and have a delicious time in Casablanca! “Here’s looking at you, kid!”


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