There are so many restaurants in Essaouira, it is hard to choose where to eat. After spending a total of almost a month here in the last year and a half, I have my favourite restaurants in Essaouira, that I have eaten at more than once. So, I know they are reliably good.

While I do consider myself a foodie, I do not like to spend a fortune on eating out. So, the restaurants on this list are either budget or medium priced and I would consider the food more on the “home cooked deliciousness” than the “Michelin star level” side of things.

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The best breakfast in Essaouira

Snack Aljazira

The best traditional breakfast in Essaouira, or possibly all of Morocco, is served here, in this rather unimpressive looking café on a street corner just a few minutes walk from the medina. If you didn’t know about it you would just walk right past it. It is always crowded, but we never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table.

What to order?

My personal favourite is the “big platter” breakfast, fresh bread with a selection of olive oil, argan oil, Amlou, honey, preserved butter and black olives. Add bissara, the traditional Moroccan breakfast soup made from beans or omelette with khlia (dried meat) if you are into more hearty breakfasts.

Best breakfast in Essaouira, small dishes with argan oil, olive oil, amlou, honey, butter and olives. Bowl of bissara, bean soup
The breakfast platter and bissara

How much does it cost?

Platter shared between 2 people, bissara, orange juice, coffee and tea around 50-60 MAD.

Where to find it?

The corner of Avenue Princesse Lalla Amina und Avenue Mohammed V.

The best brunch in Essaouira

Mandala

The Mandala is basically where “Bali hipster café meets Morocco”. So if you are looking for an alternative to the traditional Moroccan food, this is the place to go. Located on the main street of the medina, tucked in between souvenir shops and other restaurants it is easy to find by looking out for the old school bicycle in front of their door. They are open from 9:30-17:00, making them a great choice for brunch or lunch.

Breakfast at mandala restaurant in Essaouira, Morocco. Chia with fruit in glass, avocado toast, fresh juice
Breakfast at Mandala

What to order?

That is a tough call, as everything sounds so delicious. I’ve had the “overnight oats” for breakfast, a very healthy and yummy option. For lunch I’ve tried the “Tofu Wok Bowl” and a day special with fish, both were really good.

I also tried myself through the drinks menu and all the fruit juices as well as the coffee are the best I found in Morocco so far.

Mandala

How much does it cost?

As most hipster places it is on the pricier side, but still very reasonable considering everything is fresh and excellent quality. We paid 160 MAD for breakfast for 2 and 280 MAD for lunch for 2 including cake for dessert.

Where to find it?

On the main street through the medina (Avenue de l’Istiqlal) about half way between Bab al Mechouar and Bab Doukkala.

The best dinner in Essaouira (and lunch too)

Chez Fatima

My absolute favourite place to eat at is Chez Fatima, a hole in the wall kinda place close to the Grain Market. It is run by Fatima and her husband, a really lovely couple who greet me with a hug whenever I come to eat there.

The menu seems to change a bit over the year, in the colder months there are tajines and soups on the stove. In summer they serve grilled vegetables, fries and sardine barbeque.

Chez Fatima, best restaurant in Essaouira, outdoor kitchen with tajine
Fatima and her husband

What to order?

I usually show up with a huge bag of fresh fish and prawns from the fish market. Fatima will fry or grill them and serve them with bread, a small Moroccan salad and, of course, fresh mint tea.

grilled Sardines, fried vegetables, fresh mint tea at Chez Fatima in Essaouira Morocco. Best restaurant in Essaouira
Sardine barbeque

How much does it cost?

I pay between 30-50 MAD for preparing my fish, bread, salad and tea. It depends on how much we eat and drink I guess. The prices for tajines etc are also very reasonable around 30-40 MAD.

Where to find it?

Chez Fatima is located right behind the grain market but you will have to walk around the outside. If you come from the main street heading towards Bab Marrakech, you turn left just after the small Bab. Then it is on the right side just before the small alley.

Taverna Bolognese da Maurizio

Another favourite, especially if you are interested in a glass of wine with your dinner. As mentioned before, this is not fine dining, but as Donna Mamma will cook in Italy and you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu.

Tagliatelle al ragu at Taverna da Maurizio in Essaouira, my favourite restaurant in Essaouira, Morocco
Tagliatelle al ragu

What to order?

Maurizio is from Bologna, Italy and accordingly the best thing to order here is the Tagliatelle al Ragu, also known as Pasta Bolognese. That said, the pizza is great too, both in taste and in size, you might want to share between two people. Especially if you want to eat dessert. Which you should! The tiramisu is the best I’ve ever had, including many, many in Italy.

Tiramisu at Maurizio in Essaouira
The best tiramisu ever

How much does it cost?

Dinner for two including desserts and wine ends up around 300-400 MAD depending on the main dish you choose.

Where to find it?

Da Maurizio is located just off the second main street of the medina, Avenue Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah. If you come from the port, it will be on your right-hand side. Look out for an alley with Bob Marley decoration above the entrance, the restaurant is just through there.

Sushi Restaurant Chez Les Frères

When I was in Essaouira recently I was surprised to find a new Sushi restaurant run by a Japanese couple in the medina. They both worked in restaurants in Casablanca and Mohammedia for years before they decided to open their own restaurant in Essaouira.

The restaurant is located in a classic old house in the medina with thick walls and low ceilings. It is decorated with a mix of Moroccan and Japanese elements and very cosy.

Japanese- Moroccan fusion decor

What to order?

I loved the classic sushi options and the gyoza. We were served a small salad and a soup before our main dishes, and both were really nice too.

They also advertise a few Thai and Vietnamese dishes, but I haven’t tried those.

Sushi and gyoza at Chez les freres restaurant in Essaouira
Sushi and gyoza

How much does it cost?

We went twice and paid around 150-200 MAD each time, sharing a few sushi dishes and starters and drinking homemade lemonade or soft drinks.

Where to find it?

Coming from the Skala, head down Rue Laalouj towards the Institut Francais but turn left at the first possibility (Rue Touahen). The restaurant is in the first alley that turns off to the right.

Restaurant Poissons

If you want to have a nice fish fry but don’t want to go pick your own fish at the fish market, this restaurant is a good alternative. It is always busy with locals (which is always a good sign) and it is conveniently close to the beach and the medina.

What to order?

I love the fried soles, but as all the fish is fresh from the day, you can order what you fancy. Choose bread or fries and salad to go with your meal and you’re all set.

Grilled soles, my favourite fish dish

How much does it cost?

I think we paid around 100-150 MAD for the two of us including drinks.

Where to find it?

The restaurant is just around the corner from the breakfast place. It’s the corner of Avenue Princesse Lalla Amina und Rue Charif El Idrissi.

If after all this food you still have room for a little dessert, check out these options. They are of course also great as a snack during the day.

The yummiest dessert in Essaouira

Crepes (and Falafel) across Patisserie Driss

This snack place has great French style crèpes. They are great for a snack during the day when you are exhausted from walking around, or as dessert after lunch or dinner, as it is fairly uncommon for Moroccan restaurants to serve dessert. You can get sweet or savoury ones and my favourite is with Amlou, the Moroccan Nutella. Prices range from 12-25 DH I think and you can find them opposite the Patisserie Driss.

Glacier Chez Said

If you fancy some ice cream, this is one of the places I can recommend. It is just around the corner from Patisserie Driss heading northeast. The selection varies, I loved the melon and peach ones. Not sure about the prices, but it was very affordable.

Cafe Italien Dolcefredo

The main square with the Gelateria

This is a more traditional Italian gelato place, with a great selection. Additionally, they are located on the Place Moulay Hassan with great people watching and if you are lucky awesome live music on the square.

The best drinks in Essaouira

Sugar cane or pomegranate juice on the street

My favourite drinks in Morocco are the fresh fruit juices. Depending on the season, you can find little stalls selling sugar cane or pomegranate juice and they are just the best! Make sure the sugar cane gets mixed with lemon and maybe a little ginger, for additional taste and vitamins. Sugar cane juice is usually cheaper than pomegranate and prices might vary with the season. It should be between 10-20 DH per glass. Location changes throughout the day, just keep your eyes open as you wander around.

Taros

For a fancy drink (meaning alcoholic) with a sunset view head up to the roof top terrace of Taros. They are located on Place Moulay Hassan and offer great views over the ocean and the small islands. Most nights they have live music of various styles. Prices are almost European level, a Gin and Tonic was around 80 DH I think.

Sunset at Taros

M Beach

This one is right on the beach in front of the Hotel Le Medina. The cosy seats on the beach are reserved for hotel guests, but there are plenty of seating options on the boardwalk and inside as well. I have to admit I’ve never had a drink here as they don’t have prices on the menu and fancy places like this are not quite my style. But the views are great, so just go for it!

M Beach is easy to find

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