Where to Eat in Essaouira | Our Favorite Dining Spots

Renowned for its traditional Moroccan cuisine and abundance of seafood dishes, the city of Essaouira is a culinary haven waiting to be explored. Indulge in the flavors of this charming coastal town with our curated list of top dining spots and hidden gems…

Fresh seafood and fish near the port

Essaouira is renowned for its charming blue boats and the fresh seafood they bring to the docks. For those who relish delightful seafood dishes, dining at one of the stands near the port or fish market is an experience that cannot be missed!

Port de pêche d'Essaouira
Essaouira Fishing Port

Freshly arrived, local fishermen sell their daily catches at the fish market; sardines, sea bream, sea bass, calamari, shrimp, crabs, and more are displayed on colorful stalls. Visitors can handpick their desired piece and have the sellers prepare it to be enjoyed on the spot, whether at a seaside bistro by the harbor or near the fish market. Grilled, fried, or baked, the fish and seafood are savored while observing the fishermen in action in a warm and authentic atmosphere.

Port de pêche d'Essaouira
Fish stands next to the fishing port

➜ Eating near the port or fish market is usually more cost-effective than dining in restaurants. However, it’s important to negotiate the price of the fish and the cooking method before placing an order, as prices may vary depending on the type and size of the fish chosen.

Marché aux poissons, Essaouira
Essaouira Fish Market

Couscous and street food in the Medina

Within the Medina, riads, and restaurants offer a plethora of Moroccan specialties. The options are endless, from couscous to tajines, a traditional Moroccan dish cooked in terracotta pots. Savor the flavors of chicken, lamb, vegetables, prunes, or dried fruits. Depending on the chosen venue, whether a restaurant or a street food stall, the price of these dishes can range from 30 to 150 Dhs.

➜ In Moroccan tradition, couscous is typically served on Fridays, the day of prayer, as the main dish for lunch. Therefore, Moroccans opt for lighter meals like salads, skewers, fish dishes, or tajines in the evening. While it is possible to find restaurants that offer couscous for dinner, it should be noted that this is primarily to cater to tourists who crave couscous at any time of the day.

In the bustling souks, street food stands offer an array of delectable delights at incredibly affordable prices. From succulent meat skewers to savory fish sandwiches and from fluffy Moroccan pancakes to heavenly pastries like gazelle horns, chebakias, briouats, and beghrirs, there is an abundance of culinary treasures to be found in countless street food stands and pastry shops throughout the Medina.

Favorite Places

The Ocean Vagabond

The Ocean Vagabond is a popular destination in Essaouira, loved by tourists and watersport enthusiasts. It seamlessly combines a café-restaurant and a beach club on the Corniche. The ambiance is effortlessly cool and laid-back, perfectly reflecting the vibe of its clientele, who come to reserve kiteboarding and windsurfing lessons and equipment rentals from the surf shop. Packed with charm, it’s no wonder that the Ocean Vagabond has become a well-known spot in Essaouira.

The menu offers a diverse selection of international cuisine and delicious Moroccan specialties. Each dish is prepared using fresh ingredients and served generously. You’ll be spoiled for choice, from salads and sandwiches to pasta, burgers, and grilled delicacies 😋

Helpful information

  • The Ocean Vagabond is located on Boulevard Mohamed V in Essaouira.
  • The Ocean Vagabond is open year-round, 7 days a week. Breakfast is served from 9:30 am to 12 pm, and lunch from 12 pm to 5 pm. Closing time is 6 pm (7 pm during the summer) from Sunday to Thursday evenings. The restaurant opens every Friday and Saturday evening as a tapas bar.
  • Breakfast starts from 100 Dhs (9€), and à la carte dishes start from 60 Dhs (5.5€).

The Caravane Café

This former riad combines an art gallery, tea room, and restaurant in a series of vibrant, private lounges spread across two floors. Each salon boasts unique decor, yet all open onto the central patio, where live concerts and traditional performances occur.

Equally vibrant, the menu takes you on a journey, blending traditional dishes with flavors worldwide.

Helpful information

  • The Caravane Café is located 2 Rue Qadi Ayad, in the Medina of Essaouira.
  • Dishes start from 140 Dhs.

La Mouette et les Dromadaires

Just minutes away from the small village of Sidi Kaouki, La Mouette et les Dromadaires is a hidden gem that beckons you to disconnect and lose yourself in the breathtaking ocean view before you.

The restaurant is open to the public for brunch (from 10 am to 12 pm), lunch (from 12 pm to 5 pm), and happy hour (from 5 pm to 8 pm).

For lunch, enjoy a delightful à la carte menu featuring an array of fresh starters (think tartars, salads, Dakhla oysters, and garden-fresh sea urchins). Indulge in perfectly grilled fish, succulent entrecôte, and homemade sweet treats. Every dish is crafted with fresh ingredients and delicately prepared based on market inspiration. It’s a truly delicious experience that will leave you wanting more 😋

We indulge in a tapas extravaganza for the appetizer, combining them to suit our preferences – in sets of 6 or 12. While waiting to be served, we enjoy a game of pétanque and admire the enchanting sunset on the deserted beach. It’s truly magical 🤩

Helpful information

  • La Mouette et les Dromadaires is located on Sidi Kaouki Beach, Forêt Dunes Sud – Douar Tighanimine. Just before reaching the village of Sidi Kaouki, follow the sign indicating the restaurant to the right. Considering the condition of the road, it’s best not to be in a hurry 😂
  • For lunch reservations, it is recommended to call +212678449212.
    Enjoy the option of pre-ordering lobster or langoustine 24 hours in advance.
  • Fish starting from 130 Dhs, appetizers from 40 Dhs, and homemade desserts starting from 40 Dhs are available.
La Mouette et les Dromadaires
Sunset at La Mouette et les Dromadaires

Other noteworthy addresses to remember…

  • La Coupole Essaouira combines French and Moroccan cuisines, showcasing the best Mediterranean flavors. With a beautiful terrace overlooking Essaouira Beach, it’s a culinary experience like no other.
  • Les Terrasses by Taros offers a unique concept combining the best coffee, dining, and a lively bar on the renowned Place Moulay Hassan. Relax on the terrace, offering a stunning view of Essaouira’s beach and fishing port. As the sun sets, this serene café morphs into a vibrant lounge, hosting various musical acts, from live bands to gnaoua formations and DJs. If you plan on visiting on a Saturday night, arriving early will secure you the perfect spot to enjoy the evening!
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