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 only spent less than £100 in 10 days in Morocco on food and drink.
Here are my top 3 Essaouira restaurants – 4 Saisons de Mogador, Gnawa Blues Cafe, and El Minzah.
My Top 3 Essaouira Restaurants
#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!
The Moroccan Harira soup is just 8 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: Soup 8 Dirham, 25-80 Dirhams for a main, deserts around 25-30 Dirham, drinks around 15 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: 25-80 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 50 Dirham, couscous 120-150 Dirham. Drinks 20-30 Dirham.
Which Essaouira restaurants do you recommend?