Essaouira is my favorite city in Morocco. This relaxed coastal surfers paradise is a great place to shop and eat out. Don’t be afraid of eating a little Western food every now and again as a traveler – it is better than getting sick! Three people in our youth hostel ate some street food and then all ended up with severe sickness. We went for budget or mid-range cafes and restaurants and thankfully stayed healthy. Eating out every day for lunch and dinner, I still spent less than £100 in 10 days in Morocco on food and drinks. So in today’s blog, I am going to introduce you to the best restaurants in Essaouira.
Disclosure: templeseeker.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.co.uk, Get your Guide and other affiliated sites. Affiliate links may be used in this article on ‘the best restaurants in Essaouira, but they do not impact on the price that you pay and they do help me to get this information to you for free.
(Prices on this blog are the pre-covid price and so please bare in mind that the prices may have increased since).
Best Restaurants in Essaouira
Some of my favourite restaurants in Essaouira include Gnawa Blues cafe, Retro Corner and El Minzah. Please note that the below are not in any ranking order – just a selection of my favourite five that you must try while you are there!
#1 4 Saisons de Mogador
This little gem in Essaouira was my favorite out of all the Essaouira restaurants that we visited. It combines Moroccan and Western food and is just what you need when traveling. The first two nights we shared a large pizza one between two and it was the perfect food to settle our stomachs after the Tichka Pass! This is the winding mountain road that takes you from Marrakech to Ouarzazate – the gateway to the desert.
The Moroccan Harira soup is just 10 Dirham and is enough for a light lunch. That works out at about 50p and you will get bread and olives!
The couscous and tagines are generous portions and very reasonably priced.
There is a wonderful selection of desserts. Please note that where it says fruit juice on the menu, it actually means milkshake! I highly recommend the banana.
OMG – You must try the Chocolate and Banana crepes! HEAVEN! At just 25 Dirhams, that’s only about £1.60
The setting of the 4 Saisons de Mogador is chilled out and authentically Moroccan. If you want inside seating, go upstairs to the first level for a red theme and the second level for a purple theme. There are toilets right at the top.
Price range: Soups 10-20 Dirham, 30-100 Dirhams for a main, deserts around 30-50 Dirham, drinks around 20-30 Dirham.
#2 Gnawa Blues Cafe
Gnawa Blues restaurant has inside and outside seating areas. Inside it is small with just 6 tables, but it is clean and has a traditional, cozy feel with the zingy lime green decor. The name Gnawa Blues comes from the traditional Moroccan music Gnawa. The owner is extremely friendly and speaks English well.
The menu contained the classic Moroccan salads and tagines. We asked for an omelet, which wasn’t on the menu, but he made us one anyway!
Price range: 30-100 Dirhams for a main
#3 El Minzah Restaurant
For the more upmarket of Essaouira restaurants, you should definitely visit El Minzah. It’s on the same street as Gnawa Blues cafe. The setting is luxurious and spacious with Moroccan plants and lamps.
At Minzah, I highly recommend the chicken couscous and also fish soup. Fish soup is a specialty of this Essaouira coastal town and costs 50 Dirham at Minzah (around £3.50).
Be aware that the lunchtime menu outside changes to a more expensive evening menu at around 3 pm. If you don’t want this, just refer to the outside prices, or ask for a small (petit) size.
Price range: Fish Soup 60 Dirham, mains 130-175 Dirham. Drinks 30-50 Dirham
#4 Retro Corner
If you are vegan or vegetarian, then Retro Corner is my top pick for you! They do an amazing veggie brunch, which I highly recommend. They have a Hipster retro theme with a varied and colourful menu. As you can eat your fill for under £10, the prices are extremely reasonable.
Follow them on Instagram here.
Price range: Mains between 70-130 Dirhams
#5 Restaurant Khmissa
This narrow hidden restaurant is possibly one of the smallest I’ve ever eaten in! Although there is just a small seating area, this restaurant is excellent value with some tasty Moroccan classics on offer including my favourite – the Tajine de poulet au tfaya (chicken tagine with raisins and caremelised onions). You will get a classic Moroccan feel – the walls are lined with Moroccan plates and art. When you visit, you will be greeted by the hosts and receive a friendly and personalised service. Due to its size, Khmissa is best for couples or small groups of 3-4 people, and I would recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Price range: Approx 70-80 Dirhams (soup) and 80-120 Dirhams for mains (salads, cous cous and tagines).
Which Essaouira restaurants do you recommend?
Further Reading on Morocco
If you enjoyed this article on the best restaurants in Essaouira, you might also like to read about
- Things to do in Essaouira
- Camel Trekking Morocco
- What is a Good Itinerary for 10 Days in Morocco?
- What to Pack for Morocco