Cafe Hafa is a magical place located on the cliffs of Tangier overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. We like to go there at almost any time of day, but particularly for lunch. Sunset is a very popular time, so if you decide to go there then, go at least an hour before sunset and earlier if it is on a weekend. Cafe Hafa is a popular place for locals as well as tourists.
They serve mint tea all day and in tall glasses with lots of fresh mint and sugar. We order Fava Bean soup, which comes with a loaf of crusty bread and a bowl of olives. Spicy harissa is on the side for those who like a little heat. Dip the crusty bread in the thick soup and feel the comfort of simple food in an enchanted place.
The café opened in 1921 and after almost 100 years of existence, it is a landmark place to visit in Tangier. It is characteristically styled with mosaic tables and a tiered whitewashed terrace that cascades down to the sea. Everyone can see the glorious views. Trees and flowering shrubs grow throughout the terraced space giving shade, privacy, and a tropical feel.
Cruise ships, freighters, fishing boats and sailors all pass by this busy canal on their way to someplace exotic. The coast of Spain is visible on a clear day, and ferries shuttle visitors and workers back and forth hourly.
An inspiration for artists of all types, this café was a hangout for Paul and Jane Bowles, William S. Burroughs, The Beatles, Jami Hendrix, Sean Connery, and The Rolling Stones.
Café Hafa is not easy to find, but hop in any petite taxi and say “Café Hafa, Marshan” and they will take you there. Once you exit the taxi, look for the small alley sized street where people are exiting and walk down it. You will find Café Hafa marked with a white arch, seaside. Enjoy!