QUINTESSENTIALLY MOROCCO

A Traveler’s Guide: Where to Eat, Where to Shop and What to See

Where to Eat in Essaouira

Morocco Traveler’s Recommendations of the Best Places to Dine in Meknes.

ELIZER

Elizer, pronounced Elixer is one of Essaourias best restaurants. This 60’s retro style restaurant has a reputation that keeps on moving. With its stylistic modern- Moroccan cuisine and décor, Elixer is sure to leave you with a most memorable dining experience during your stay in Essaouira. The menu consists of everything from a camel tagine to home-made pasta via organic kitchen and the catch of the day. Elizer has a fireplace perfect for winter and a roof terrace for summer. The setting, without denying its Moroccan roots, will carry you to a rare homage to the futuristic designs of the sixties and seventies. Each piece of furniture or decoration has been amorously acquired by Elizir’s owner. 
The Mediterranean cooking you will savour, an assortment of Italian, Moroccan and Spanish influences, served in the cozy atmosphere.

Phone: 212-24-470-21-03

ONE UP

The Former owner of Villa Del’O, Caroline and her Scottish partner have teamed up and created one of Essaouira chicest restaurants with contemporary chic decor and cuisine that well deserves a gold star for this excellent Moroccan table. One Up is a beautiful loft space and also the former British Consultate. The menu is selective offering a combination of French bistro’s best from foie gras to salmon burger. Alike the decor the food is a work of art, made by a French chef with a wonderful twist. Exotic virgin cocktails are complimentary and the services is top notch. This is a relatively new restaurant and on the road to be one of Essaouira’s best. One Up to this new venture.

Address: 1 Rue Laalouj

Phone: 212-24-470-21-03

UMIA

Ideally situated in Scala, the ramparts of Essaouira, Umia serves as the perfect stopover in the medina for lunch or dinner. The owner Bibi lends a hand to create unique dishes using local market products: Olive oils, Argan oil and Goat cheese. Umia’s cuisine can best be defined as a mélange of the large Mediterranean Basin: Greece, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy, but also the international gastronomy with french cuisine, Japanese or Asian. The Menu varies each week. You can anticipate full course size. From fillet of beef in crust of herbs laminated, Papillote of Saint Jacques cremees to the coriander, the tajine of monkfish in the juice of bouillabaisse, the mouse of candied lamb, calamari stuffed with chorizo … It is iimpossible to leave Umia without desert as the Amlou ice cream with molten chocolate cake and thousand sheets pen-caramel salted butter is divine.


Address: 26 rue Scala

O’BLEU MOGADOR
Inspired by the cuisine of the south, Serge Peuzin launches a new challenge with his O’Bleu Mogador. Master Chef since 1997, this chief Marseillais, has always been at the head of institutions of high quality. The culinary influences of Serge Peuzin come from Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and Morocco. An address that he wants cozy and friendly, with a leader who opens in front of you in an open kitchen, a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Bernadette, the wife of Serge, is part of the adventure and it is she who provides the reception of clients, manages the reservations and reign on the service in room. O’Blue Mogador’s, fusion cuisine is surprising and unprecedented – full of flavors and surprises, which often changes and over the seasons, products from the market, of the fishing and the terroir. “Small tajines, casseroles, casseroles and delicacies” are on the list.

Address: 23 Rue Coubhentour


Phone: 212-52-47-83-133

TAROS

A great place for a pre or post dinner drink and to dine with views near to the sea. It caters to an International audience and has a full bar. Taros offers simple yet very tasteful dishes in a nice ambiance. The library of books on art, the small boutique and quality of music make having a meal here one of the perfect experiences for Essaouira.


 Address: Place Moulay Hassan


Phone: 212-524 47 64 07

LE SIROCCO

Le Sirocco is a well-established Franco-Moroccan restaurant in Essaouira. It is a reliable favorite of returning tourists and local expats alike. Prices are a bit higher than most other restaurants in town, but well worth it. The owners are French and the food is simply delicious. Le Sirocco offers the standard Moroccan fare in addition to specialties such as dark chocolate molten cake and excellent fish dishes.

Address: Rue Ibn Roch


Phone: 212-524-472-396


CHEZ SAM

Chez Sam offers stunning views of the sea and is just a ten minute walk towards the end of the seaport in Essaouira.This restaurant offers excellent seafood for the value. They are one of the more reasonably prices seafood restaurants in this seaside artist colony. The staff is very friendly and they offer wine to compliment the variety of kinds of seafood served. Chez Sam has both an upstairs area to dine which enables guests to enjoy the views of the sea.

Address: Au fond du port


Phone: 212-44-47-65-13

CARAVAN CAFE

Hidden down one the many tiny streets in the medina’, Caravan Cafe takes you on a trip around the world with its collection of artwork and piece. A restored Riad, there are tables set in the open courtyard as well as small private rooms surrounding and upstairs for a more intimate dinner. A little bit kitch, a little bit trendy, a little bit of of everything, the ambience is alone is worth a visit! The staff are welcoming and attentive as is the owner who is always there. A local band shows up most nights and you may even see a flame throwing act!
The menu is small but this a great place to enjoy some fusion Moroccan fare with Asian and French influence. Also serving wine and great cocktails, stop by for a drink and one of the delectable house desserts and get lost in another world.

Address: 2 Bis, Rue du Qadi Ayad, Medina

Phone: 212-524 78 31 11

LA CANTINA

Who thought that a British/Mexican restaurant could be found in Morocco, nonetheless a little beach town! Found straight down at the end of the main street in the Mellah of Essaouira’s medina, an unassuming front makes way to a charming eatery. Run by a quirky and friendly Brit couple, wooden and rattan chairs and tables swathed in red and white checked tablecloths make the most homesick traveller feel cozy and at home.
Chili con carne, stuffed baked potato and their “Mex” burgers are served in generous proportions to fill a hungry belly and satisfy tagine weary tastebuds. Boasting the best English tea in Essaouira and tasty desserts like the chocolate cheesecake, come here for a lunch break as it is not open at dinner.

Address: 66 Rue Boutouil, Medina

Phone: 212-524 47 45 15

SILVESTRO
An authentic Italian place owned by a Milano man who is also the chef. Found upstairs on a main street in the medina, classic Italian dishes of handmade pasta, pizza, baked lasagna and fish are prepared fresh and hearty.
The main dining space is small with close set tables, typical Italian decor straight out of an episode of Sopranos and a wine list including some Italian choices, one will easily forget that they are in Morocco. The rooftop terrace gives patrons a view of the medina and a fresh sea breeze that is perfect for a leisurely lunch. Don’t be in a hurry as the service is great and friendly but not quick by any means.


Address: 70, rue Laaloui, Medina

Phone: 212-524-47-35-35


LES 3 PORTES
A tiny,yet charming and easy to find place to dine in Essaouira medina. With a traditional Moroccan menu, you will find spicy Harira soup, sweet lemony chicken tagine and fluffy couscous cooked with locally grown ingredients and served by friendly staff.
American Jazz plays in the background in contrast to traditional Moroccan decor and old photos of the owners family and classics of Essaouira hang comfortably on the walls and banister leading up to an small but cozy alcove for intimate dining. The ground floor seats a maximum of 8 guests around banquette style seating so it is a good idea to book ahead for dinner as it fills up quickly.


Address: 34 rue L’Attarine, Medina

Phone: 212-675 54 87 92

LE TABLE MADADA
Ideally located at the entrance of the medina in Essaouira, La Table Madada is open every evening except Sunday. Set under its magnificent stones arches in an old carob bean ware­house, it offers a “bistro” card with flavours from the ocean and Morocco. On the bar side: cocktails & tapas will spice up your early evening; On the table side: the chef suggestions from the daily catch and market will liven up your taste buds.

Address: 5 rue Youssef Al Fassi

Phone: 212-524 47 55 12


LE MOUETTE ET LES DROMADAIRES
Located in Sidi Kaouki, with stunning views of the Atlantic, this boutique restaurant by the sea offers up a corner of paradise in coastal Essaouira. La Mouette et les Dromadarires (The Seagull and Camels), offers a wide array of seafood options and is the perfect lunch spot on a sunny or wind swept day. Just 30 minutes from Essaouira you can dine on plates of seafood carpaccio, tartar, smoked, crunchy, crispy, or simply grilled seafood on the plancha. For those who prefer the meat, try the grilled lamb chops or salad voile along with a gastronomic terrine. Oysters from Dakhla and fresh lobster are available upon request. The décor features chic Moroccan lounges perfectly situated under a Berber tent and comfortable sofas along with tables and sunbeds. All food is organic. Reservations required in advance. Don’t miss this one!

Address: Plage de Sidi Kaouki

Phone: 212-678449212

Alecia Cohen

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