Are you planning a trip to Essaouira and wondering where to eat? Look no further than this guide to the best restaurants in Essaouira. From authentic Japanese ramen to fresh seafood and Italian delicacies, this list has something for everyone. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for a fine dining experience, this is one of the best places to visit in Morocco to eat your heart out.
I spent two weeks eating my way through this charming seaside town, and I can confidently say these are the best places to eat in Essaouira for Moroccan food and beyond.
12 Best Restaurants in Essaouira: The Ultimate Foodie Guide
This list is about to make your stomach seriously growl. Here are the best restaurants in Essaouira offering a little bit of everything.
For the meal of a lifetime, and definitely the best restaurant in Essaouira, you have to hit Silvestro’s. This amazing place serves up all of the Italian delicacies you can imagine, each better than the next – take it from someone who’s had them all.
Fresh caprese salad and eggplant parm to start, heaping portions of spaghetti a la vongole, rich bolognese, osso bucco that melts in your mouth, and wood fired pizzas made by the Italian owner himself. Finish the meal with profiteroles dripping in more melted chocolate than you can imagine and the last sip of a fine Italian red.
Can you taste it already? Make a reservation ahead of time because the homestyle interior packs up fast.
2. Ruly’s Ramen Shop
Ruly’s Ramen Shop is an unexpected treat for an authentic Japanese meal. Tucked away on a side street in the medina, a sweet Japanese couple serves ramen with one of the best views in all of Essaouira. While there are a few tables downstairs, the real treat is the cozy upstairs room, where you can sit on tatami mats and watch the waves crash against the rocks below. I swear, this is one of the best things to do in Essaouira.
They serve a handful of Japanese appetizers and bowls of soup, with set menus that come with a salad, rice, drink, and delicious ramen for 150 dirhams. With two days’ notice, they’ll even select fresh fish from the market and make a custom sushi meal.
Surprisingly, one of the best restaurants in Essaouira is such a well kept secret. Umia is easy to miss, but it would be a pity if you did, considering the food is simply divine. It’s far from Moroccan, but it’s fine dining at its best.
We ate here for Christmas Eve and had a feast with a gigantic lobster roll, buttery clams in a wine sauce, and squid stuffed with risotto. Not to mention the best french toast I’ve ever had, smothered in caramel for dessert.
The use of local ingredients is ingenious, and the wine list is top notch — props to the chef, owners, and whole crew. This is definitely one of the places to eat in Essaouira. Be sure to book ahead because they get can get full!
4. Le Sirocco
Le Sirocco is a great restaurant to try if you’re looking for a mix of Moroccan and French cuisine. The menu features everything from tajine and couscous to steak and pasta. The dining room is cozy, and there’s live music every night, making it the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing dinner.
I took my friend here for her birthday dinner and had the special of the day, which was a filet with morel sauce. The mushrooms come from the mountains once and year, and we happened to be in luck! Everything was wonderful.
5. Brunch & Co
If you’re craving a hearty mid morning meal, Brunch & Co is one of the best restaurants in Essaouira. It serves up all the classics (sans bacon) like avocado toast, a smoked salmon benedict, and Nutella pancakes, with tall coffees and fresh juices. However, the true value is in the breakfast sets, inspired by different cultures, where you get a little bit of everything, including drinks.
Another draw to Brunch & Co is it has one of the top locations. It’s smack in the center of the medina, and at around 11 am, the sun blasts the cat-filled terrace for ideal brunch weather.
6. Ocean Vagabond
For a perfect beachfront lunch, head to Ocean Vagabond, one of the most popular restaurants in Essaouira. This spot has a great atmosphere, with a laid-back vibe and views of the ocean. You can watch the surfers and camels from your table or lounge on one of the comfortable beach chairs with a mint tea in hand.
The menu has tons of options like salads, pizzas and meat skewers. Ocean Vagabond also serves alcohol if you feel like having a drink. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable, considering the location and quality of the food. Overall, this is definitely one of the best restaurants in Essaouira.
7. Salut Maroc
Salut Maroc is a vibrant, upscale restaurant in Essaouira with the best terrace in town. The entire top patio is decked out in technicolor tiles, offering sweeping ocean views to enjoy at sunset with live music and custom craft cocktails. The picture perfect setting is complemented by exquisite decor and excellent food.
The swanky Mediterranian vibes are complete with raffia umbrellas and a thatched roof bar, plenty of seafood offerings, and friendly staff. Try the succulent sea bass or the zingy paella. To start, you can’t go wrong with the generous portion of crab tartare.
8. Chez Zak
Chez Zak where to eat in Essaouira for crayfish. Not the tiny little buggers, but the big old lobster-looking crustacean. The owner gets them delivered daily by his fisherman family and then grills them up with lots of herbs. The crayfish are served with salad and potatoes for a full meal that can’t be beaten.
Chez Zak also has other seafood options (I had delicious jumbo prawns) and classic Moroccan dishes like couscous and tajines for a budget price.
The restaurant is tucked away in a little square with a small terrace and a few seats outside.
9. Chez Omar
Chez Omar is right next to Chez Zak and is one of the best restaurants in Essaouira for Morrocan food on a budget. It’s no frills but yummy and cheap, with everything from couscous to tajines to pastillas and salads. There are tables outside, and a full meal for two people should cost you less than $10 USD (or 100 dirhams).
10. Taraa Cafe
Taraa Cafe is another one of the best restaurants in Essaouira for a low priced but high quality meal. The staff are super sweet, and the food is excellent, so make a beeline for this place instead of another restaurant in the square.
Taraa serves all the Moroccan classics, and I can confidently say that the chicken tajine was one of the best I’ve had in Morocco. Using fresh ingredients from the local market, with some options like pasta for picky eaters, too, this is a solid option in terms of the best restaurants in Essaouira.
11. Mandala Society
If you’re looking for a healthy meal or a vegetarian option, Mandala Society is a great choice. This cozy cafe serves up fresh fare that’s a welcome change if you’re over Moroccan food.
They serve all the classic dishes like avocado toast, chia pudding, and Icelandic oat pancakes paired with fresh juices and specialty drinks. Since the best time to visit Essaouira is in the summer, head to Mandala to cool down with smoothies. For traditionalists, there are options like a breakfast burger and even a bagel. Lunch brings with it a spread of nutritious dishes like Buddha bowls, quinoa chickpeas, and fish and chips.
Mandala’s decor is bohemian and inviting, with plenty of plants and colorful textiles. There are even a couple of seats out front to enjoy the bustle of the main street. This is, without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in Essaouira.
I was really surprised to see that Mamalova made it on the New York Times for 36 Hours in Essaouira since it’s one of the newer spots on the scene. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s the best restaurant in Essaouira, it’s certainly worth checking out, especially for breakfast on the terrace.
With one of the highest rooftops in the medina, Mamalova offers expansive views of all of Essaouira. It’s dressed to the nines with custom tiling, painted tables, and many cozy nooks to curl up in, creating a unique aesthetic. The food is pretty overpriced (70 dirhams for three bite sized pieces of french toast), but breakfast is decent value with a huge spread of eggs, Moroccan breads, condiments, fresh juice, and hot drinks.