The new Tanja Marina Bay opened in early June when the King came to inaugurate the property. It’s magnificent! Although only a handful of restaurants, bars and shops are currently, open. There is work ongoing to open even more.
It’s a nice walk out over the water. Luxury boats line the pier on one side, behind them rises the old medina. From the other side there is a fabulous view of the beach and modern Tangier.
We went early one morning for a walk and breakfast. Venezia Ice has a large restaurant at the very end. We found a table outside by the water and had a fantastic breakfast for less than $10. People were already staking out there spots at the beach and by the time we left, it was getting full.
There are 1400 berths for boats and a yacht club. The marina will cater to professionals and amateur of yachting as well as all types of vacationers and locals. The marina will provide numerous relaxation areas with cafés, cinemas, a convention centre and numerous public spaces distributed throughout the area.
Along the beach side there is the Port de Plaiseur that is teaming with people at all times of the day. Underneath are more shops, bars and clubs, although many of them have not opened yet.
There seems to be something for everyone here and I can’t wait to see how it develops. It’s a beautiful entryway into a beautiful city and country. I can see myself spending a lot of time here year round.
It didn’t take long to identify La Giralda as one of those “go to” places for eating and drinking. There are many reasons it gets high marks. The incredible view is one of the main ones.
La Giralda is located on rue de Pasteur directly overlooking the Terrasse de Paresseux. The large windows open to let in the nice breezes and the cigarette smoke out, gaze on a postcard like vista of palm trees, terraced gardens, and the sea.
The dining room is sumptuously decorated with a beautifully carved ceiling, tapestried curtains, upholstered seats, and columns. You will feel like you are in a place much more expensive than what you will pay for the pleasure of tea, coffee, breakfast or a light lunch here.
The menu is made of up an assortment of breakfast items, crepes (both sweet and savory) and some sandwiches. Tea, coffee, and juices are offered for beverages. You can eat a large brunch for two for less than 10 euro.
I like to order omelets with cheese and mushrooms, toast and coffee. The plate is always decorated with some cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives. Fresh squeezed orange juice accompanies most orders. There are some Moroccan specialties on the breakfast menu such as dried beef with eggs that you should definitely consider.
All types of juice drinks are popular in Morocco. You can usually order whatever combination you like depending on what is in season. For example orange and banana, banana and strawberries, or my favorite, milk, and avocado are all good choices. It sounds peculiar but it’s absolutely delicious.
With the cooler weather, this is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch and we take advantage of it often. The service is splendid and I assure you that you won’t be disappointed on any front. I’ll take you here when you visit Tangier.
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!
Even though I haven’t lived in the United States for eight years, Thanksgiving is the one holiday I always celebrate and this year it was at El Morocco Club restaurant. We’ve celebrated a variety of ways over the years. I returned to the States once to celebrate, we attended a fundraiser dinner for Friends of Florence a couple of years, were invited to friends houses and invited friends to our house.
Since we are new in Tangier, we don’t have a family of friends yet, so decided to treat ourselves to one of the finer restaurants in Tangier. El Morocco Club, which is billed as one of the top restaurants in Tangier, did not disappoint us. In fact, it was just what we needed! While it is more expensive than most restaurants in Tangier, the quality, ambiance, and creativity of the food exceeded the cost.
El Morocco Club is located in the Kasbah on top of the hill of the medina. Interestingly, we can see it just inside the medina walls from our sun porch. We took a taxi, even though it is not too far to walk, but it is all uphill. It made a nice walk home afterward though.
There is a bar in the downstairs that is dimly lit, and intimately decorated. It’s a bit like someone’s living room with a nice bar inside. I had the best martini outside of the USA in eight years. Chilled and shaken to perfection with the right kind of olives inside (without a pit like they serve in Italy)
We arrived an hour before our nine o’clock reservation to unwind and enjoy a drink before dinner. They do serve some food in the bar. There are small plates of tapas to nibble on.
Our bill for the drinks, which cost about $11 each, was taken upstairs to be added to our dinner bill when our table was ready. In the dining room of the restaurant, it is elegant but small. There are only about nine tables and the dining room will seat approximately 50 people. It was full of people on Thanksgiving evening with people from all over the world. Several languages could be heard and fortunately, the waiters spoke most of them. I heard English, Darija, French, Spanish, Polish, and Russian at tables nearby.
The regular menu is delightful with lots of seafood. You can see it here on their website. Most of our selections were off the large offerings on the menu of the day.
The chef offered an amuse bouche of tiny triangle fried pastries filled with a savory cheese. It was definitely a teaser for what was to come.
For my first course, I opted for a half dozen raw oysters. They were served with lemon, crostini, and mignon. They were so fresh they tasted like the ocean. I could have eaten several dozens more! Ben chose a Neapolitan of crab and avocado, which was to die for.
Our main courses were grilled duck breast and lamb confit. The duck breast was served with parsnips and a potato and parsley cake. There was a thick slightly sweet berry tasting sauce (maybe cherries) topping the duck. Ben’s lamb was on the bottom of a layered dish including crispy potato strips, rice, and the lamb. Savory and delicious. Fresh rolls with poppy and sesame seeds accompanied the entrees.
We ordered a bottle of wine from the Meknes region. It was dark and jammy and a perfect fit with lamb and duck.
We pondered over the dessert menu, which looked amazing, but we were just too full to attempt it. Even to share!
The entire bill came to $125, which included the two predinner cocktails. We were very pleasantly surprised.
The El Morocco Club has already entered our top’s list of favorite restaurants. We are looking for other special occasions and friends visits to return. Any excuse will do. If you are visiting Tangier, I recommend that you try it. It’s a touch of Europe, Mediterranean cuisine, located in the beautiful Kasbah of Tangier. The address is Place du Tabor, Kasbah, Tangier. I recommend you make a reservation since the dining area is so small.
In the summer months, the terrace is opened for dining as well. The terrace is also opened during the day for snacks and tea.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, wherever you celebrated it.