EATING IN ESSAOUIRA
Sometimes, when we travel, we can concede a luxury or two. An extra souvenir, a taxi ride instead of a crowded bus, a night out in a fancy pub. Other times, instead, we travel on a tight budget, forced to save up to the last dime. It doesn’t matter much, the important thing is to travel. Whether you we fall in one group or the other, certain needs must be catered for. Eating is one of them. This is the aim of this post; I want to offer you three different meal options when eating in Essaouira: three options according to the size of your pocket.
One: DOWN THE ROADS OF THE MEDINA
Type of Food: Local Moroccan – Budget: $
If you don’t care much about fancy decorations or having a pile of napkins. If different chairs is a vision you can live with, go for it. Get lost down the tight roads of the Medina, the tiniest and most improbable ones. The ones your instincts would tell you to keep away from. There’s nothing to fear and lots as a reward! Moroccan women help with the household budget, every single midday! They do so opening the home kitchens and setting some tables simply on the street. Small gas stoves next to their windows with brownish boiling tajine clay dishes. Or even rustic barbecues with fresh fish on top. You choose! Everything is quick and fresh. Made on the spot; fair and convenient, perfect to try the local traditions.
Two: RIADS WITH A RESTAURANT: PASTA BALADIN
Type of Food: Italian – Budget: $ to $$
We have already talked about how much we loved the riad we stayed at in Essaouira. Such a charming place made us utterly curious about their restaurant. So, why not trying it? After all, if you travel with Italian kids, sooner or later, they will be asking for pasta.
We chose a table on the street, at the Pasta Baladin for dinner. The atmosphere is informal yet they pay extra attention to details. Candles, wood and the same good taste that distinguish the riad.
Dishes are good, several kinds of pasta (even gluten-free) and a good choice of sauces. Remember that Essaouira is a port, so go for seafood on your spaghetti. So tasty!
Three: SOPHISTICATION WITH A TWIST: CARAVANE CAFÉ
Type of Food: Moroccan, International, Fusion – Budget: $$ to $$$
Suggested as a fun place to try, with a premium choice of dishes. Besides, it promised some magic for our kids. Sill doubtful about it, we decided to give it a try. Magic sounded like a good option for a night in town.
The atmosphere at the Caravane Art Café is something you do not expect. It surprises you, you might even think you are entering some European restaurant with Moroccan accents. Dishes have names with Asiatic influence but they also offer several options for kids.
The food is delicious, tastes combine perfectly and arrive with some drama on the plate. Drinks and desserts are also a place for creativity. This proposal stimulates your senses… all of them.
The night at the Caravane also includes live music and traditional dancers. Once children have eaten their food, a magician comes to your table and surprises them. A great night, our boys adored it (look at their faces on the photos!).
All in all, nothing was that expensive. Being four of us, we spent less than ten euros in the first “home-like” restaurant. The bill was about twenty-five for the Baladin. Fifty euros at the Caravane. All fair prices for what we got.