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15 of the Best Restaurants in Essaouira, Morocco

By the end of our first day, one thing was clear – Essaouira was our favorite city in Morocco. This tiny port town along Morocco’s Atlantic coast charmed us with its well-preserved medina, windy ocean views, and easygoing small-town vibe. It reminded us in many ways of Marrakesh and Tangier, but smaller and more intimate.

Being so close to Marrakech, Essaouira is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco. For such a small town, it’s home to a surprisingly large concentration of restaurants serving a wide variety of food. You’ll find restaurants serving traditional Moroccan food, fresh seafood, and international fare like Italian and Asian food. We even found a place that serves Japanese takoyaki!

Personally, we gravitate towards traditional food and healthier eating options so that’s exactly what you’ll find in this food guide – fifteen of the best restaurants in Essaouira serving wholesome fare and the tastiest Moroccan food.

Bon appetit!


To help with your Essaouira trip planning, we’ve put together links to top-rated hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.


Recommended hotels in the medina, the best area to stay for first-time travelers to Essaouira.



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Moroccan dishes at restaurants in Essaouira, Morocco


There are so many restaurants to choose from in Essaouira. I’ve divided this guide into two sections – traditional Moroccan restaurants and healthier plant-focused eateries that serve salads and vegetarian/vegan food.

You can click on the links to jump to either section of this Essaouira food guide.


1. Blue Mogador

Blue Mogador is one of about a dozen restaurants in a square just off one of the main avenues (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah) in Essaouira’s medina. It’s a lovely restaurant that serves many traditional Moroccan dishes like couscous, tagine, pastilla, and grilled fish and seafood.

Before they serve your appetizers and entrees, they’ll start you off with some brined olives and fresh bread (like most restaurants in Morocco).

Olives at a restaurant in Essaouira

If you enjoy fresh vegetables with your meal, then there’s no better dish to start with than Moroccan salad. It’s a simple but delicious salad made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and herbs in a light vinaigrette dressing.

Moroccan salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

If you like eggplant, then you’ll definitely want to try the zaalouk as well. It’s a delicious Moroccan side dish or salad made with cooked eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, spices, and olive oil. It’s great with fresh bread and something we enjoyed making ourselves in this Marrakech cooking class.

Zaalouk at a restaurant in Essaouira

Being a coastal city, there’s no shortage of fresh seafood in Essaouira. Virtually every traditional restaurant serves sardines, fish, and other types of seafood.

Pictured below is our tasty octopus tagine served in a delicious tomato-based sauce with herbs amd green olives.

Octopus tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

Here’s a better look at the octopus. Instead of serving the tentacles whole, they cut them up into these bite-sized pieces.

Octopus tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

Fresh fish is abundant in Essaouira but sardines are clearly the most popular. In fact, sardines make up around 62% of Morocco’s fish catch. Morocco processes around 600,000 tonnes of sardines each year, making it the largest exporter of canned sardines in the world.

Fresh sardines are sold at the fish market daily so you’ll find many restaurants in Essaouira serving plates of grilled sardines. Personally, if I could eat just one dish in Essaouira, then it would definitely be grilled sardines. They’re cheap, healthy, plentiful, and just delicious.

Grilled sardines at a restaurant in Essaouira

We ate at many of the restaurants in this square and Blue Mogador was one of the prettiest. Aside from serving consistently good food, every restaurant offers al fresco dining like this which is one of the reasons why we enjoyed this square so much.

Blue Mogador restaurant

It was hard to get a good picture of the square but this is basically what it looks like. There are a little over a dozen restaurants here, many of which are featured in this Essaouira food guide. We enjoyed this square so much that we wound up visiting half of its restaurants in two weeks.

You can refer to the location map at the bottom of this article to navigate to the square.

Blue Mogador restaurant

Blue Mogador

Address: 75 Derb Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Traditional Moroccan dishes, seafood

2. Restaurant Zaytouna

Zaytouna is another traditional Moroccan restaurant located in the same square as Blue Mogador. They have similar offerings like tagine and couscous but what drew us to this place were their set menus. They offer around six 3-course set menus at different price points, some with exclusively vegetarian options.

I went with the first vegetarian option which came with either tomato or vegetable soup as its first course.

Vegetable soup at a restaurant in Essaouira

For my second course, I had a choice between vegetarian couscous or vegetable tagine. I went with the latter.

Vegetable tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

I didn’t have a choice for my third course, which is just fine because these orange slices dusted with cinnamon were the perfect end to my simple but delicious vegetarian Moroccan meal.

At the time of our visit in July 2023, this vegetarian set meal cost just MAD 65.

Orange slices at a restaurant in Essaouira

For my wife’s MAD 80 set meal, she had a choice between Moroccan salad or zaalouk for her first dish. Tough decision but she ultimately went with the former.

Moroccan salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

This sardine ball tagine was the reason she chose this set menu. Rolled into two-bite balls and served in a bubbling tomato-based sauce, it’s delicious and another great way to enjoy sardines in Morocco.

If sardine tagine isn’t your thing, then you can choose couscous with chicken and vegetables or chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemon as well.

Sardine ball tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

For her third course, she was given the choice between the same orange slices I had or Moroccan mint tea. There’s no better way to end a Moroccan meal than with a warming pot of mint tea!

Moroccan tea at a restaurant in Essaouira

Zaytouna is located across the courtyard from Blue Mogador.

Restaurant Zaytouna in Essaouira

Restaurant Zaytouna

Address: Place Chrib Atay, 16, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Traditional Moroccan food, set menus

3. La Rose du Sud

La Rose du Sud is the restaurant located right next to Zaytouna. After lunch at Zaytouna, we took a look at their menu and told the owner that we’d be back the next day. Like its neighbor, they offer traditional Moroccan food, seafood, and a few set menus as well.

La Rose du Sud offers around five permanent set menus. On the day of our visit, they were also offering a special set menu that featured whole grilled sea bream. I chose Moroccan salad for my starter.

Moroccan salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

Here’s a look at my beautifully charred sea bream. As described, locally caught seafood is abundant in Essaouira so you’ll often find whole grilled fish like this one on many restaurant menus.

Grilled fish at a restaurant in Essaouira

I was served this bowl of fresh fruit salad for dessert. This set meal was a little more expensive at MAD 85, but absolutely worth it.

Fruit salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

My better half went with one of their permanent set menus featuring this beautiful plate of couscous with meat and vegetables. She had Moroccan salad and fruit salad for her first and final courses as well.

Lamb couscous at a restaurant in Essaouira

La Rose du Sud is a very similar restaurant to Zaytouna so you can choose one or the other if you like. We enjoyed both equally.

La Rose du Sud restaurant

La Rose du Sud

Address: G67H+JMC, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Moroccan dishes, set menus

4. Chaabi Chic

Chaabi Chic was one of our favorite restaurants in Essaouira. It’s a hidden gem with a great rooftop terrace, not too far from Essaouira’s ramparts and that famous Game of Thrones filming location. We went here a couple of times to enjoy their food and drink Moroccan tea.

We started lunch here one day with (you guessed it) our favorite salad in Morocco – Moroccan salad! Looking back at these pictures, we must have ordered this at least once every other day.

Moroccan salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

Can you tell by now what this next dish is? It’s another favorite of ours – zaalouk. We enjoyed zaalouk almost as often as Moroccan salad and this version at Chaabi Chic was one of the most delicious we’ve had so far.

Zaalouk at a restaurant in Essaouira

For her entree, my better half had this lovely salad nicoise. It was tasty but for some reason, it wasn’t made with any tuna. Boo!

Nicoise salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

Grilled chicken brochettes are a common dish in Morocco. On some occasions, you’ll find restaurants serving grilled turkey skewers as well. You don’t see them that often so I always order a plate whenever I spot it on a restaurant’s menu.

Served with some herbed rice and grilled vegetables, these turkey brochettes from Chaabi Chic were tender and super delicious.

Chicken brochette at a restaurant in Essaouira

You can’t see the ocean from here but the views you get from Chaabi Chic’s rooftop are among the most enjoyable we found in Essaouira. You can see the tops of people’s houses and the seagulls hovering above them. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy a pot of Moroccan tea.

Moroccan tea at a restaurant in Essaouira

Chaabi Chic is tucked away in a corner in a not-so-busy part of the medina so it can be easy to miss. They serve great food at affordable prices so it’s definitely worth seeking out.

Chaabi Chic restaurant

Here’s another look at Chaabi Chic’s terrace. Aside from indoor seating on the second floor, you can choose to sit at one of these clusters of tables on the rooftop. Just be sure to dress warmly because it can get pretty cold and windy up here.

Rooftop seating at Chaabi Chic restaurant

Chaabi Chic

Address: Rue Boutouil, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Turkey brochettes, tagine, couscous

5. Restaurant Sayef

Sayef is another hidden gem and in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in Essaouira. It’s located in a small alley just off the main street so hundreds of people probably walk by without even realizing that it’s there.

Unlike the usual brined olives most restaurants in Essaouira serve you, Sayef starts you off with a tasty olive tapenade that you can enjoy with toasted bread.

Olive tapenade at a restaurant in Essaouira

Because it gets so windy in Essaouira, I warmed myself with this hearty bowl of harira. It’s a zesty lentil and chickpea soup made with tomatoes, onions, eggs, rice, herbs, and spices. Compared to their other dishes, this was average and probably not something I’d order here again.

Harira at a restaurant in Essaouira

Like my wife, I should have stuck with the Moroccan salad! It’s an ever-reliable dish that’s good no matter where you have it.

Moroccan salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

The harira may have been average but these monkfish brochettes certainly weren’t. Served with grilled potatoes and vegetables, these were tender, flakey, and oh-so delicious.

Fish kebabs are common in Morocco but I haven’t seen them made with monkfish all that often. If you like fish skewers, then you should definitely try this.

Monkfish brochette at a restaurant in Essaouira

Another dish that we didn’t see as often in Essaouira is squid tagine. Perfectly cooked and served with a medley of vegetables and olives, you may want to try this as well if you’re as big a fan of cephalopods as we are.

Squid tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

Essaouira’s main street is always busy but Restaurant Sayef is located through this small alley which is why it’s easy to miss. With all the sights and sounds competing for your attention in Essaouira, many people probably wouldn’t think of walking through here.

Alleyway entrance to Restaurant Sayef

Go through the rabbit hole and you’ll find one of the best restaurants in Essaouira waiting for you on the other side.

Entrance to Restaurant Sayef

Here’s a shot of the restaurant’s interior. It’s simple but cozy.

Restaurant Sayef interior

Restaurant Sayef

Address: 12 Rue d’Agadir, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 12NN-10PM, Sat-Thurs / 1:30-10PM, Friday
What They Offer: Monkfish kebabs, tagine, couscous

6. Chez Zak

If you get a hankering for lobster in Essaouira, then Chez Zak is a great place to visit. It’s a small restaurant that specializes in spiny lobster and other seafood dishes like squid, prawn, and fish.

Here’s our delicious grilled lobster served with sauteed vegetables and a lemon butter sauce. At the time of our visit (July 2023), lobsters were priced at MAD 150 per 300 g. Not one of the cheaper meals you’ll have in Essaouira but hey, it’s lobster. Treat yourself!

Grilled lobster at a restaurant in Essaouira

Chez Zak offers a few fresh fruit juices as well like this refreshing glass of beetroot and orange juice.

Beetroot juice at a restaurant in Essaouira

There’s Zak himself waiting for us to take our pictures so he could grill up our lobster!

Entrance to Chez Zak

Like many restaurants in Essaouira, Chez Zak offers multiple levels of seating. We always go up to the rooftop if seating is available. At Chez Zak, there’s only one table on the rooftop so arrive early if you can.

Rooftop seating at Chez Zak

This is the view you’ll get if you’re lucky enough to snag the rooftop terrace. It looks like a painting!

Rooftop view from Chez Zak

Chez Zak

Address: 56 rue elkhabbazine, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, Sat-Wed / 12NN-10:30PM
What They Offer: Lobster, seafood

7. Restaurant Baghdad

A lobster meal doesn’t come cheap but eating at Restaurant Baghdad is a great way to balance your restaurant budget in Essaouira. They serve good food at some of the best prices we’ve seen thus far in Essaouira. The entire meal pictured below, with bottled water, set us back just MAD 91!

Isn’t this salad gorgeous? They call it salade riche (rich salad) and make it with fresh green figs. Baghdad was the only restaurant we found that offered a salad made with figs.

Fig salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

You can’t visit Essaouira without enjoying a grilled sardine feast at least once during your stay. Such a simple but satisfying Mediterranean meal!

Grilled sardines at a restaurant in Essaouira

Our tasty vegetable tagine to round out a healthy and delicious lunch in Essaouira. Aside from tagines and grilled seafood, Restaurant Baghdad offers Moroccan tacos, brochettes, couscous dishes, and pastillas as well.

Vegetable tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

Restaurant Baghdad is another gem located just off the main street. It’s situated closer to Bab Doukkala, a more local part of the medina that not as many tourists visit.

Entrance to Restaurant Baghdad

This is what Restaurant Baghdad’s interior looks like. We arrived early but the place filled up pretty quickly for lunch. Not surprising considering their excellent food and unbeatable prices.

Restaurant Baghdad interior

Restaurant Baghdad

Address: Rue Baghdad n7, 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Grilled seafood, salad, tagine, couscous

8. Restaurant Safran Citron

We prefer traditional restaurants and comfort food to five-star dining but Safran Citron was probably the closest we came to a fine dining experience in Essaouira. It isn’t a fine dining restaurant per se, but they do serve excellent, more well-put-together food in a lovely restaurant setting.

We started our meal at Safran Citron with this bubbling lentil and vegetable tagine. Served in a rich tomato-based sauce, we had lentil dishes often in Morocco but never quite like this. It was delicious and very comforting.

Lentil stew at a restaurant in Essaouira

Here’s a look at my beautifully charred sea bream. As described, locally caught seafood is abundant in Essaouira so you’ll often find whole grilled fish like this one on restaurant menus.

Grilled fish at a restaurant in Essaouira

This plate of grilled octopus has to be one of the tastiest dishes we’ve enjoyed in Essaouira and Morocco thus far. Perfectly cooked and redolent with the flavors of paprika and garlic, it was sensational and one of the best octopus dishes I’ve had anywhere.

Like every restaurant we visited in Essaouira, all the fish and seafood served at Safran Citron are as fresh as can be.

Grilled octopus at a restaurant in Essaouira

There was a mix-up with our order so the owner was kind enough to serve us a complimentary pot of tea and these tasty Moroccan pastries. Unless I’m mistaken, the biscotti-like cookie is called fekkas while the ring-shaped pastry is known as kaak d’Essaouira. Merci!

Moroccan pastries at a restaurant in Essaouira

Safran Citron is located just outside the square of restaurants featured many times in this guide.

Entrance to Restaurant Safran Citron

Isn’t the restaurant’s interior lovely? Safran Citron was hands down the prettiest and most atmospheric traditional restaurant we visited in Essaouira. When I think of Moroccan restaurants, this is exactly what I see!

Restaurant Safran Citron interior

Restaurant Safran Citron

Address: 12 Rue Laalouj, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11:30AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Grilled seafood, tagine, couscous, brochette


As much as we love meat tagines and Moroccan tacos, we’re middle-aged travelers so eating healthy has become more of a priority for us. Thankfully, people looking for healthier options and plant-based restaurants have lots to look forward to in Essaouira.

9. Mandala Society

There’s no better way to start the healthy eating section of this Essaouira restaurant guide than with Mandala Society, arguably the most popular health-focused restaurant in the city. It’s a modern restaurant that serves an appetizing menu of brunch dishes, salads, and veggie burger options.

How delicious does this vegan buddha bowl look? It’s made with a medley of oven-roasted vegetables served with steamed quinoa, homemade hummus, pumpkin seeds, and argan oil.

Buddha bowl a restaurant in Essaouira

Equally delicious was this aubergine mosaic – a tasty dish of oven-baked eggplant slices served with baby onions, garlic confit, homemade cheese, local root vegetables, herbs, and sweet paprika aioli.

Baked eggplant at a restaurant in Essaouira

Mandala Society offers a few homemade cakes and pastries as well. If you enjoy the sweeter things in life, then you may want to try this guilt-free vegan brownie cake.

Chocolate cake at a restaurant in Essaouira

Aside from their healthier food options, another thing we loved about Mandala Society was their collection of herbal teas. They have about nine or ten different blends to choose from, like this “Immune System” infusion made with ginger, chamomile, turmeric, and green cardamom.

Tea at a restaurant in Essaouira

Mandala Society is located in a prime spot along the main street in Essaouira’s medina. It’s almost always packed at peak meal times so may you may want to go at slightly off-peak hours.

Mandala Society restaurant

Mandala Society has a restaurant in Marrakech as well, which we’ll be visiting very soon!

Mandala Society interior

Mandala Society

Address: Av. de l’Istiqlal, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Vegan/vegetarian dishes, healthy food

10. Retro Corner

Retro Corner is one of our favourite restaurants in Essaouira. Like Mandala Society, it’s a cute and modern restaurant that serves a variety of healthy and modern Moroccan classics in a prime spot in Essaouira’s medina.

Pictured below is our favorite Moroccan salad plated in a more elegant and striking way.

Moroccan salad a restaurant in Essaouira

This is Retro Corner’s version of our favourite Moroccan eggplant dip – zaalouk.

Zaalouk at a restaurant in Essaouira

Yes, this quinoa avocado salad was every bit as healthy and delicious as it was beautiful.

Quinoa avocado dish at a restaurant in Essaouira

Sardine chermoula is one of my wife’s favorite Moroccan street food dishes. We’ve had it many times throughout Morocco but this version at Retro Corner was the best we’ve had thus far. Wow was this good!

Stuffed sardines at a restaurant in Essaouira

Not to be outdone by the sardines, I had the grilled sea bream which was the most delicious preparation of this fish I’ve had anywhere in Morocco. Served with two whole fillets seasoned with a homemade spicy sauce, I’m salivating just looking at this picture right now!

Grilled fish at a restaurant in Essaouira

Retro Corner is located just off Av. Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah. It’s a colorful and modern restaurant that’s sure to catch your eye when you pass by. They offer an extensive menu of breakfast platter sets, Moroccan dishes, and comfort food options like burgers, pizza, pasta dishes, and crepes.

Before we were served our food, I found their prices to be a bit on the expensive side. However, they do serve you big portions so you do get what you pay for. Highly recommended!

Retro Corner restaurant

An inside look at Retro Corner’s cute and colorful interior.

Retro Corner restaurant interior

If they’re available, then you may want to sit on one of these counter seats facing the street. Retro Corner is on a busy street so it’s fun to do a little people-watching while enjoying one of your best meals in Essaouira.

Retro Corner counter seating

Retro Corner

Address: N, 05 rue abdelaziz Al fachtali, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-10PM, Mon-Wed / 9:30AM-10PM, Thurs-Sat (closed Sundays)
What They Offer: Breakfast sets, Morrocan dishes, healthy food, comfort food

11. Azouka Eatery

Azouka Eatery is another restaurant located in that same square previously mentioned in this Essaouira food guide. It’s owned and operated by a lovely young couple who offer brunch dishes and small, healthy tapas-like bites of food.

Pictured below is Azouka’s version of herb tabbouleh, but instead of bulgur, it’s made with broccoli instead. It’s topped with dukkah (nut and spice mixture) and a few slices of nectarine.

Tabbouleh a restaurant in Essaouira

You’re probably well-acquianted with this next dish by now. It’s their take on eggplant zaalouk enhanced with garlic oil and black lime. Delicious!

Hummus at a restaurant in Essaouira

No respectable zaalouk should ever be eaten on its own, so we paired it with a couple of thick slices of their homebaked sourdough rye focaccia.

Homebaked bread at a restaurant in Essaouira

Azouka Eatery is located on the second floor of the square. If you’re looking for light snacks that are actually good for you, then Azouka Eatery is a great restaurant to visit in Essaouira.

Azouka Eatery seating

The restaurant has a small shop as well that plays great music and sells a few knick-knacks like ceramics, clothing, and organic food products.

Azouka Eatery shop

Azouka Eatery

Address: 75 Derb Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-4PM, Tue-Sat (closed Sun-Mon)
What They Offer: Healthy brunch and lunch dishes

12. Le Corail at Latifa

If you’re a vegan, then you have two great restaurants to choose from in that same square as Azouka Eatery and some of the other restaurants on this list. The first is Le Corail Vegan Food, a small restaurant that offers a wealth of fresh juices and Moroccan vegan dishes like veggie burgers, spring rolls, and vegetable tagines.

Unlike the usual brined olives served at almost every Moroccan restaurant, we were given a small plate of sliced bananas dusted with cinnamon.

Bananas a restaurant in Essaouira

We shared a plate of our favorite Moroccan salad to kickstart today’s healthy meal.

Salad at a restaurant in Essaouira

For my main course, I had this bountiful chickpea and vegetable tagine. Moroccan tagines can sometimes be oily but this one was made with just the right amount of oilve oil. Very healthy indeed!

Vegetable tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

My better half was craving for food that reminded her of home so she went with this plate of spring rolls stuffed with chickpeas, spinach, and mushroom. It was served with a side of delicious pasta, which was a bonus.

Vegetable spring rolls at a restaurant in Essaouira

Here’s a sneak peak inside the spring rolls.

Vegetable spring rolls at a restaurant in Essaouira

We didn’t expect to find vegan food in a small city like Essaouira so Le Corail was a pleasant discovery. They have so many vegetable tagine dishes on their menu! Do pay them a visit if you’re in the mood for something simple and healthy but delicious.

Le Corail at Latifa restaurant seating

Le Corail at Latifa

Address: BP423 Place Al Khaima, Heb, 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Vegetable tagines, spring rolls, veggie burgers

13. Shyadma’s Vegan Food

Shyadma’s is located just a stone’s throw from Le Corail and offers similar vegan dishes like salads, soups, vegan tagines, and vegetable couscous. It’s run by a lovely Moroccan family where the mother (presumably Syadma) does all the cooking while her young children help with serving the customers.

Similar to Le Corail, they started us off with an appetizer of bananas, apples, and olives.

Fruit slices a restaurant in Essaouira

It was especially windy in Essaouira that day so I wanted to warm up with a bowl of lentil soup. Made from scratch, this was one of the tastiest and most lovingly made bowls of lentil soup I’ve had in Morocco thus far.

Vegetable soup at a restaurant in Essaouira

Shyadma calls this a warm vegetable salad. It’s basically boiled potatoes served with green bean salad and a zaalouk-like eggplant puree. Simple but hearty and delicious.

Vegetable appetizer at a restaurant in Essaouira

Shyadma doesn’t offer nearly as many vegetable tagines as Le Corail but what she does make tastes 100% homemade. What you’re looking at below is her tagine of French green beans with olives and preserved lemons.

When you enjoy a meal at Shyadma’s, it really does feel like you’re sitting down to a homecooked meal in someone’s home. So comforting and delicious, and cheap too. Today’s meal set us back just MAD 80!

Vegetable tagine at a restaurant in Essaouira

Do you see why we enjoyed this square so much? So many tasty restaurants somewhat tucked away and hidden from the most touristy parts of Essaouira.

Shyadma's Vegan Food

Shyadma’s Vegan Food

Address: Place El Khayma, Rue Laalouj, Essaouira, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Vegan tagines

14. Picknick Cafe

Picknick Cafe was also one of our favorite restaurants in Essaouira. Similar to Mandala Society or Retro Corner, it’s a cute, well-designed cafe that offers a focused menu of brunch dishes, healthier food options, specialty coffee, juices, and smoothies.

What you’re looking at below is their salmon bowl. It’s a beautiful salad made with a generous amount of grilled salmon, avocado, cucumber, and tomato.

Salmon salad a restaurant in Essaouira

Equally delicious (and Instagram-worthy) was this gorgeous grilled chicken bowl made with marinated chicken breast, grilled vegetables, and tortilla chips.

Grilled chicken salad a restaurant in Essaouira

Picknick Cafe offers water flavored with lemon, mint, and other ingredients as well. This one was infused with the throat-soothing qualities of ginger.

Ginger mint water a restaurant in Essaouira

Picknick Cafe is hidden in plain sight, just a few minutes walk from Bab El Mechouar. Soon as you enter the gate, start looking for it on your right side.

Picknick Cafe outdoor seating

Picknick Cafe has a small but lovely and well-put-together interior. If I remember correctly, the description on their menu mentioned that the cafe actually started in Germany before opening this branch in Essaouira.

Here’s my equally lovely and well-put-together wife showing me what she thinks of me on this fine Sunday.

Picknick Cafe indoor seating

Picknick Cafe

Address: 22 Rue Youssef El Fassi, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-9PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Brunch dishes, salad bowls

15. Koozina

I’ve recommended a few hidden gems in this restaurant guide, but Koozina is probably the best-kept secret in Essaouira.

Koozina isn’t tucked away in some obscure corner in the medina. On the contrary, it’s located in plain sight. It’s situated just outside the medina’s walls, not too far from Bab Marrakech Tower, in an area where many tourists probably wouldn’t go to look for food. You’ll see what I mean later.

Aside from its location, what makes Koozina interesting is that the restaurant doesn’t have a permanent menu. Instead, the lovely owner and chef writes the menu on a chalkboard based on what fresh ingredients are available at the market on that day.

On the day of our visit, we were treated to this earthy and delicious squash and tahini puree.

Pumpkin puree a restaurant in Essaouira

For our second starter, we went with this bright and sunny cold octopus salad.

Octopus salad a restaurant in Essaouira

I love Moroccan chicken brochettes but this version at Koozina was different from any other I had enjoyed before. They were slathered with a dark, deeply flavorful sauce and served with a side of maaqouda (Maghrebi fritters) and the chef’s very own creation – tomato crumble. Everything on this plate was fantastic.

Note the heart shapes on the chicken skewers. Aren’t they cute?

Chicken brochette a restaurant in Essaouira

For our second entree, we went with the stuffed aubergine. They were filled with a tasty mixture of eggplant, ground meat, and spices before being topped with microgreens and served with a side salad and that delicious tomato crumble.

Stuffed eggplant at a restaurant in Essaouira

You can refer to our location map to navigate to Koozina, but if you walk outside the medina’s perimeter, then you’ll inevitably reach this structure. Koozina is located through here.

Entrance to Koozina restaurant

Here’s Koozina’s lovely outdoor seating area. Beautiful right? This is easily one of the most pleasant places to enjoy a meal in Essaouira.

Koozina restaurant seating

This is the chalk menuboard I was telling you about earlier. We arrived early so we got to see the chef write out the day’s offerings.

Koozina restaurant menuboard


Address: 44000, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-8PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Farm-to-table daily specials

BONUS: Cafe l’Esprit

As far as I could tell, outside of their specialty coffees, teas, and pastries, this place only offers avocado toast on their menu. They aren’t really a restaurant but Cafe l’Esprit is such a cute cafe that I had to add it to this list.

Located within earshot of the ramparts and ocean, Cafe l’Esprit offers one of the loveliest cafe settings we experienced in Essaouira. We sat outside for some French apple pie and pots of tea while enjoying Essaouira’s famous ocean breeze.

Apple pie at a cafe in Essaouira

Cafe l’Esprit is a tiny cafe with one or two tables indoors, but the best place to sit is outside against that wall. Some tourists pass here to get to the ramparts so it’s a nice place to sit and people-watch while sipping on hot cups of herbal tea.

Cafe l'Esprit in Essaouira

Here’s my lovely wife blending in with the patterns and enjoying our last day in Essaouira.

Renee at Cafe l'Esprit

Cafe l’Esprit

Address: In front of Zaouia Sidna Blal, 32 Rue Touahen, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-7PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Avocado toast, pastries, specialty coffee and tea


To help you navigate to these Essaouira restaurants, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.

Map with pins


We focused on traditional Moroccan restaurants and healthy food options in this guide, but if you’re in the mood for delicious pasta and pizza, then you’ll have plenty of restaurants to choose from in Essaouira.

One highly recommended Italian restaurant is Gusto Italia. They’re located near the beach, around a 20-minute walk south of the medina. Its TripAdvisor and Google reviews are gushing so it may be worth the trek just to get a change of scenery from the ancient medina.

As you can see from this list, Essaouira may be small but you won’t have any trouble finding delicious food – both local and international – in this exceedingly charming city.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful time in Morocco’s “windy city” – Essaouira!


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