I could happily live like this: waking up in the morning in a nicely decorated, bright room
walk down the stairs of a beautiful palace to the dining room, where a yummy breaky is waiting for me
have a walk along the beach
wear my wetsuit, grab my surf board & dive into the waves,
eat, surf again, eat, sleep, repeat…
Where to sleep in Essaouira:
The location was more than perfect as we were in the old city, but really close to the main entrance door so that we could get very quickly to the beach.
Palazzo Desdemona is an old palace from the XVIII century that has been turned into a hotel. Artists like Orson Welles & Rita Hayworth used to stay there.
It’s not the most luxurious riad you can find in Essaouira, but it’s a beautiful place full of charme & history, that is much better in my opinion 🙂
There are a lot of sitting rooms, a nice tea room on the ground floor and rooftop from where you have a nice view of the medina & the clock tower.
Now that we solved the sleeping part, let’s move on to the important things: the food 🙂
Essaouira is a very touristic place and so is also full of “fancy” restaurants offering a European inspired kitchen.
In search of something more authentic, we asked for suggestion to the hotel staff.
When the guys from the surf school suggested the same places, we knew we picked the right ones!
Where to have dinner in Essaouira:
If, like me, you prefer authentic places & local food, I have two gems for you :
- Laayoune : is a tiny restaurants & it’s always full. You may want to arrive early to have a table or prepare to queue (it totally worth it!).
You can chose among all the Moroccan specialities: couscous, tajines…
If I really have to find a less positive thing, desserts weren’t as good as all the rest
Then you can quietly enjoy them in one of the sitting rooms of your riad
We could only eat couscous & pastries cause we were surfing 5 to 6 hours a day – just warning you ;p
- Ramsess : it’s a family restaurant that serves good local food (& wine!). They also play live music.
Nice atmosphere & food was very good.
But, maybe we haven’t been lucky: the service was way too long & the owners weren’t that kind. As several persons suggested the place, I think that we were there on a bad night 😉
Where to have lunch in Essaouira:
- Café Restaurant Ch’rif : this place is behind the beach in the new town. Honestly, seeing the place from the outside, I would have never stopped there. But one day we asked to the guy of the surf place where we could go for lunch not too far & he suggested this place. Let me tell you, I’m so glad we listened to him!
If you’re walking from the medina to the beach, you’ll turn left on first little the street after the oil station.
Either way, the restaurant will be on your left 200-300 m after the beginning of the street. It’s just near a kitesurf school.
Don’t expect anything fancy inside, but super tasty, incredibly inexpensive (at least from a European point of view) local food & local people.
We shared a mixed fruit & an avocado smoothie that were to die for (especially the avocado one!!) & had one of the best tajine we ever had!
I really can’t recommend this place enough!!!
- Fishing port restaurants : I already mention in one of my previous post, the restaurants on the fishing harbor. Just at the entrance of the harbor, there are several restaurants lined up, all serving grilled local fish.
You can see outside the different kind of fishes they have. They’re very simple places, but we found really relaxing sitting there in the sun. Plus, the fish we had was super good, very fresh & perfectly cooked. It came with mixed salad. Price was very reasonable as well. 😉
All the restaurants offer the same kind of food at more or less the same price (price is mentioned outside, if not you may want to check it before), so I cannot really recommend a particular one. We just picked one that was in the sun, feeling bad for the one before it & the one after it because we didn’t sit there…
I still have a couple of nice places to tell you about, more to have a drink & watch the beautiful Essaouira sunset. I’ll tell you about that in the next post 😉
Have you been to Essaouira? Do you know other good places there?