Casablanca Restaurants

We were only in Casablanca for forty-eight hours, but during that time, I learned that the city is chaotic and too large for me, but that they have some excellent restaurants. In the short time, we were there, we visited the famous Rick’s Café, a Spanish Restaurant called Casa Jose Gauthier and La Taverna du Dauphin.

We had incredible meals in each of them for not a lot of money. In Tangier, many restaurants have the same “family outing” menu which offers pizza, pasta, some Moroccan dishes, and sandwiches.

There are a handful of restaurants that offer seafood, international cuisine, or Moroccan and sell alcohol. These can be much more expensive and fewer to chose from. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the Casablanca metropolis.

Rick’s Café who got its fame from the 1942 film, Casablanca, opened in Casablanca since 2004. It is designed to recreate Rick’s Café bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the film. The restaurant is in a large villa with the piano bar located on the first floor.

The menu is upscale and varied, and I had a goat cheese and fig salad and Ben had a shrimp and avocado salad lamb shank tagine.

Casa Jose Gauthier serves a large variety of Spanish food. We ordered from their tapas menu. We had a large variety of foods including manchego cheese, marinated anchovies, fish eggs, salad and octopus with a bottle of wine.

The crowning glory of these three restaurants, in my opinion, was at La Taverna du Dauphin. We started our meal with Daklha oysters, which are like biting into the sea. I had never had them before coming to Morocco and they set a new standard on oysters. They were served on the half shell with lemon.

We also split a delicious salad of chicory and blue cheese with a delicious vinaigrette. For my entrée, I had pan-seared scallops with a creamy risotto and my husband chose a mixed grilled platter.

Seared Scallops Rick's Cafe Casablanca
Seared Scallops Rick’s Cafe Casablanca

All of these meals were in the $20-$30 range per person including alcohol.

I have to return to Casablanca soon to pick up my passport. I will definitely make time to enjoy another wonderful meal!

La Table du Marche’-Tanja Marina Bay

The restaurant La Table du Marche’ is a fabulous new restaurant located on Tanja Marina Bay. It is pricier than most places in Tangier, but the food, service, location, and atmosphere make it worth it. They have one menu whether lunch or dinner that serves something for everyone.

The restaurant opened in May with the opening of the Tanja Marina Bay facility.

The cuisine is international but there is a section for Moroccan cuisine as well. They serve fresh fish, grilled meats, pasta, and risotto. Our selections today were a tomato and mozzarella salad. It had fresh and sundried tomatoes with a pesto sauce. It was delicious.

I ordered a pasta dish with mushrooms and smoked turkey pancetta. It was a generous, rich, sultry dish that reminded me of autumn.
My husband ordered the fish of the day, which turned out to be grilled swordfish with tomato chutney and a side of mixed vegetables. We shared a bottle of white wine from Morocco, which was excellent.

This restaurant is also affiliated with the less pricey one next door, La Boutique. It makes the fresh bread that they serve in La Table with roasted garlic butter and a black olive tapenade. It is incredible.

The restaurant is located at the end of the end of the pier, which gives a nice view of the municipal beach and the Gulf of Tangier. There is one located in Marrakesh and in St. Tropez.

The décor inside is very modern with all glass windows to take in the incredible views. We went for lunch but I can’t wait to go some evening after dark to take in the beautiful Tangier skyline with all the lights flickering on the sea.

Sushi Box and Other Ethnic Restaurants

There are quite a number of ethnic restaurants in Tangier, although many of them are not very good. It is interesting to eat Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Indian food in countries outside of their origin. I’ve eaten them in the United States and in Italy, but not in the original origin, so who’s to say whether they are authentic or not. I only know if I like them or if they are similar to what I have eaten in other places.

I’ve read that it is common for ethnic restaurants to adapt their food and menus to the locals. I’ve seen this happen in Italy when I ordered what should have been a spicy Chinese dish only to find it not so spicy at all. (Italians do not eat very spicy food). I also saw menus for McDonald’s (please excuse this example) change to fit Italian taste with pancetta instead of bacon and here in Morocco where they do not have bacon on the menu at all.

When you are vacationing, it is rarely important to check out ethnic restaurants because you are eager to eat food from the place that you are visiting. When you live in a place, it’s different. Sometimes you just want a taste of home or a different taste entirely.
I sorely miss Mexican food and have not found it here in Tangier. They have Chinese, Japanese, Thai, French, Spanish, Indian, and Lebanese. Still, there is a good selection. One of the best places that I’ve found so far is Sushi Box.

Sushi Box is located on rue Ibn Alhaytem Tangier, Morocco. This is a chain, so they also have locations in Casablanca and Rabat. They use the freshest fish and have a very extended menu. There are tiny jars of pickled ginger on the table along with wasabi, so you can eat all that you want.

The prices are in line with other sushi places I have eaten, although that is on the expensive side for Morocco. I think it’s worth it though. The only thing lacking is the sake, which I sorely missed. You can check out their menu at the Casablanca website by clicking here.

They also do home delivery. Yay!

The Asilah Mural and Art Festival 2018

Since 1978, the medina walls of Asilah turn into an art gallery with colorful murals painted on the walls during July and August. It was the idea of two artist friends who wanted to transform the decaying and deteriorating alleyways. Now it has turned into a month-long arts festival.

The Centre de Hassan II Recontres is where lectures are held for artists, writers, and musicians during the festival. Throughout the medina, you will find artists working or evidence of their finished products. There are street musicians as well playing throughout and wanting to get you involved with playing an instrument or dancing.

The usually peaceful medina is alive with activity. There are always many stores here with unusual gift items of handmade shoes, jewelry, candles, baskets, and more.

This year Asilah will celebrate its 40th year of the festival, which turns its wall into the backdrop for an art gallery. Events take place throughout July and August. We visited recently and found some lovely new murals. In June, we saw them painting the walls white to provide a nice new canvas for the artists.

This sleepy little town becomes fully awake in these summer months. As you approach the Portuguese walled medina, the beaches are full. Restaurant on the beach serve fresh seafood and horse and buggies carry visitors through the streets.

Vendors sell peanuts harvested from around the local area and the sea breezes give relief to the hot Moroccan sun.

There are restaurants available at any price point. On the lower end we like Yali, and on the pricier side (and you can buy alcohol) Casa Pepe.

To hear the music and see the wonderful new contemporary frescoes on the walls of the medina visit Asilah during July and August. Shopping is great here with goods and prices that you won’t find in many other places in Morocco.

The New Tanja Marina Bay

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.

Tanja Marina Bay
Tanja Marina Bay

Tanja Marina Bay
Tanja Marina Bay

Tanja Marina Bay
Tanja Marina Bay

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.

Swimming at Camping Miramonte, Tangier

When we lived in Italy, we had access to public swimming pools as well as private ones. We could go there for a day to cool off and relax. Now that it’s getting warmer in Tangier, we wanted to see what was available. Our first discovery was a huge success.

Camping Miramonte is located in Marshan, not too far from Café Hafa and the Palais Marshan. We took a petit taxi from Centreville for a cost of about $1.50 for both of us. It did take a little while to find someone willing to go there. The hill up is quite steep, scarily so. It’s definitely not walkable for me.

When we arrived at the gate, we paid 100 dhm per person for an entrance ticket That’s equivalent to about $10.20. We arrive at 11:00 a.m. The posted opening time is 10 a.m. It’s a short walk to the pool entrance. There are no changing rooms. This motel and campground pool is simply open to the paying public. You can change in the bathroom, but I recommend putting your suit on under your clothes.

There are tables and chairs around the three different pools, which are free seating. If you want a lounger, you have to see one of the attendants and pay 50 dhm for the chair. They bring out a nice padded cover for it. Believe me; it’s worth the extra expense.

There are three pools. The first round one has a variety of depths starting shallow at the edge and getting deeper towards the fountain in the center. There is a baby pool attached to it. When we arrived, there was a group of children, which I thought might be some type of day camp. There were young adults doing games and organizing them.

The second pool has a diving board and is very deep. The third one is deep and small with a wonderful view of the ocean.
You can’t bring food into the pool area from the outside but they have two restaurants on the premises. One is poolside dining and has pizzas and sandwiches at very reasonable prices.

The other is a nice dining room overlooking the sea. They serve the pizzas and sandwiches, but also fish and tajines and meat. These are a little more costly but still very reasonable. We ordered a fried fish plate for two, a Moroccan salad, two bottles of water and coffee and it was less than 300 dhm ($30). There was a lot of food and it was delicious ad a great value.

Camping Miramonte Pool
Camping Miramonte Pool

The day cost about 600 dhm or $30 each. This is a little pricey for Morocco. However, it is a great relaxing day and a clean, beautiful, and calm atmosphere. We will definitely go back!

El Tangerino-Spanish Restaurant in Tangier

El Tangerino is a Spanish restaurant located right on the main drag near the new Port at 186 Avenue Mohamed VI, Tanger 90000. They are opened everyday continuously from 12 noon until 2 a.m., but on Sunday, they close at midnight.

If you are a late diner (after 9 p.m. as most Spanish are) you should make a reservation. The restaurant has a lovely main dining room decorated like the inside of a boat. It is warm and inviting.

The menu is full of Spanish tapas, which could be a meal themselves and tons of fresh fish. They also cook Paella for a minimum of two people. They also have a list of meats including steaks and lamb.

This restaurant serves alcohol and has a nice wine list of Moroccan wines, beer and some mixed drinks. They have a wonderful grappa that we always enjoy at the end of every meal.

We have eaten here many times and always bring our visitors to El Tangerino. The prices are higher than usual for Moroccan restaurants. With an appetizer, two entrees, one dessert to share, a bottle of wine, and two glasses of grappa we spend less than $80, so it really is still a great value.

Tonight’s menu is a tomato and onion salad with tuna, red tuna steak grilled with a sesame seed crust and grilled calamari. Both entrees were served with some mixed sauteed vegetables and a shmear of mashed potatoes. The baguette bread is sliced thin and served with a black olive tapenade and creamy butter. We had a molten lava cake which we ate before I even thought about taking a picture. A bottle of Sarahi Reserve was the perfect accompaniment and afterward, grappa!

The service here is excellent and it’s nice to take a walk along the sea before or after your meal. The smell of the salty sea air fits perfectly with the ambience of the restaurant.

There are dining rooms upstairs, which are more modern, and often there is live music there. We prefer the more intimate setting downstairs, but the view upstairs is nice also.

There is a bar/lounge attached to the side of the restaurant, so you might want to go a little early for a cocktail. You can find the menu by clicking here, and their website here. Don’t miss it when you come to Tangier!

Rif Kebdani Restaurant, Tangier Medina

Rif Kebdani Restaurant is the first restaurant I ate in the first time I visited Tangier. It has a special place in my heart and in my stomach. It’s the kind of place that you can go back to over and over, bring friends and enjoy lunch or dinner with great food, great service, and low prices.

They serve a strictly traditional Moroccan menu and no alcohol. It is very small with a dining room downstairs as well. There are only about ten tables in the main dining room. You get that family owned experience along with the good food and service.

The servings are generous and it’s easy to over order because this menu, as well as most Moroccan menu’s, don’t explain what all comes with the main entrée. If you are with a group of people, I suggest ordering a couple of appetizers or salads to share and then a main dish each.

On their menu, you will find Pastilla, Grilled Fish, Couscous, Beef with Prunes Tagine, Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives, and more. We’ve eaten almost everything on the menu and have never been disappointed. The fish is always fresh and varies depending on what came off the boats that day.

Seafood Soup
Seafood Soup
Moroccan salad
Moroccan salad

Grilled fish
Grilled fish

Rif Kebdani is in the medina at Rue Dar Baroud. It is near the Hotel Continental. It’s open every day of the week for both lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

This restaurant is very popular and highly rated. It is usually not too busy at lunchtime, but around 9 p.m., it can get full. Ramadan begins May 16, but the restaurant will be open during the normal posted hours.

Yali Restaurant, Asilah, Morocco

Fresh fish is abundant in Asilah.  It has become a place that we visit relatively frequently.  We always take visitors there and often we go just to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Asilah is quiet and calm, pretty and relaxing.




When we visit there, we enjoy eating at Yali, which is full of fresh fish.   Yali is located on the East side of the medina, just outside the wall.  The entire street is lined with outdoor cafes that all look the same, so it might be hard to choose one.  Our taxi driver steered us to Yali.  He told us they had the best food and the lowest prices.

They have all types of Moroccan dishes there, but we usually choose the fish.  We sit outdoors just about any time of year, although they do have a small dining room above the actual kitchen.

Moroccan Salad
Moroccan Salad
Harira Soup
Harira Soup
Grilled Calamari
Grilled Calamari
Grilled Mixed Fish
Grilled Mixed Fish

Yali is a simple place, but perfect for lunch.  These photos are representative of just one meal we had there and it cost about $12.  It’s a veritable feast for just a little money.  Try Yali when you visit Asilah.  When you visit us, we will definitely take you there.

Hamadi-Restaurant in Tangier’s Medina

We are having a lot of fun trying the different restaurants around Tangier. I don’t write about them until I’ve visited a couple of times and have a good handle on their food and service. Hamadi, located just outside the medina at rue du Kasbah is one that I don’t hesitate to recommend.

You will find similar Moroccan food on other menus around town, but the atmosphere and service set this restaurant apart. They have a wine list and a wide offering of menu items. The restaurant is quintessentially Moroccan with velvet seats, tiled walls, and sculptured arches. One of the best things is the music. Traditional Moroccan music played on instruments you don’t see everyday completes the scene.

It’s easy to over order in Morocco because the descriptions of the dishes are not very complete. They will usually just say something like “chicken tagine” and when it arrives there will be an abundance of vegetables, bread, and olives.

We ordered two salads, which were enormous and delicious. Either of these could have been shared between two or four people with an entrée. Our entrees were a lamb tagine and a pastilla. A pastilla is a pastry filled with chopped chicken, nuts, raisins, dates, turmeric, coriander and potatoes. It is a savory dish but the outside is sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. It’s delicious!

Pastilla originated in Andalusia. The Andalusians who migrated to Fez have spread the popularity of the dish throughout Morocco and the Maghreb (Algeria and Tunisia).

Hamadi is a very large restaurant and when we have been it has not been crowded, but I suspect once tourist season heats up, it will be. It is definitely more of a tourist experience, but one that you shouldn’t miss.

I didn’t think to make a video of the music because I was too enthralled with them, but I found a nice one on YouTube that you can see .

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