Last Updated: 2023-01-23
Hard is the life of the traveler. It takes a lot of energy to immerse yourself in another culture and explore all the corners that a city has to offer.
So, it’s important to plan for a pit stop along the route. It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone, charging up our batteries while getting to know the local gastronomy.
In Morocco, with so much to explore and one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, this technique is essential.
This is my list of the best restaurants in Tangier. I hope this information will help you get the most out of your visit.
Let’s get started!
Local Cuisine Restaurants
My first suggestion is the Restaurant Darna, especially if you’re partial to home-cooked food. They offer a two-course homecooked meal for 60 dirhams per person that varies from day to day and with the seasons.
An association for single mothers runs this restaurant, so choosing this spot means that you’ll be supporting people who are honestly at a big disadvantage in Moroccan society. In the same building, the single mothers create folk art and crafts to make extra income and can take a selection of educational courses.
Let me give you directions on how to get there, because it’s easy to get lost. From Plaza 9 de Abril, with your back to Cinema Rif, turn left walking along the side of the square and take the first street on the left. After a short uphill walk, there’s a street with shops and a yellow building on the corner where the association is based. The door to the restaurant is through the narrower of the two facades, up a few steps and through a simple door.
Restaurant Communautaire Darna
Rue Jules Cot (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 539-947065
If you prefer a restaurant with more extensive menu options, I recommend my friend Rachid’s place Restaurant Ahlen which is down one of the alleys off of the Petit Socco.
They serve traditional Moroccan cuisine prepared with love at a very reasonable price (you can eat a quite elaborate lunch for 60-80 dirhams). Rachid will make you feel right at home and you’ll probably want to come back another day.
Av. Mokhtar Aherdan nº8 (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 645-007510
Seafood is a must-try in Tangier. The combination of high quality and low prices is unbeatable.
Le Saveur du Poisson is a somewhat expensive restaurant by Moroccan standards (200 dirhams per person), but worth a visit. They specialize in crispy grilled fish served with a delicious deep-red fruit juice that locals typically drink with fish. They also have great appetizers and, for dessert, strawberries with pine nuts and honey.
The portion size is quite generous, so you could always order a meal for one and share it.
Restaurant Saveur de Poisson
Escalier Waller, 2 (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 539-336326
If you’re looking for something cheaper but good quality, try Chez Hassan. This place also is in a great location (the main street of the Casbah).
Hassan says he can guarantee all his seafood is fresh, because he has an agreement with a fishmonger he trusts. He says every day he returns all the seafood he doesn’t sell. Who knows if it’s just one of the half-truths that Moroccan business people often use to promote their products, but I’ve eaten here many times and can personally vouch that the seafood is definitely as fresh as it gets.
The house specialty is a fish tajin with a different variety of fish depending on the season.
Rue de la Kasbah, 8 (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 613-769293
Places for a Snack or Light Meal
Café Central is a great location on the lively Petit Socco plaza and is a nice place to have a cup of coffee or tea with a fresh pastry. It’s a popular spot for visitors and local people watchers alike.
Gran Café Central
Petit Socco (location on Google maps)
If you don’t mind straying from the downtown area, I highly recommend Café Hafa, located near the necropolis. This is one of the most iconic places in Tangier and it’s much more than just a café.
It’s like an amphitheater with the Strait of Gibraltar as the star of the show. It has a series of dining areas that go down a slope where you can sit and enjoy the natural beauty of the Straight and the boats cruising by. On a good day, you can even see the silhouette of the coast of Spain.
The servers have to traverse the stairs up and down the hillside so a relaxed mindset will serve you well here. And patience has its rewards. The mint tea here is one of the best I’ve ever had. Have a cup with some nuts, pastries, briouats or other snacks. Enjoy the wait chatting with friends while you take in the view and the historical importance of this unique location.
Rue Hafa (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 687-562699
Jawda Fruits is a great option for smoothie lovers. They have a large variety of fruits to make smoothies as well as paninis, sweet treats and pastries. But make sure you work up an appetite first because the smoothies come in quite generous portions.
Grand Socco, Pl. du 9 Avril 1947 (location on Google maps)
If you just want a quick snack before you continue exploring, you can try Taj el Amrani for a variety of delicious and reasonably-priced pastries.
Another good option here is to take a mixed box of pastries home as a snack later, as these sweets keep their freshness for a long time.
Boulangerie-Patisserie Taj el Amrani
Rue de la liberté nº53 (location on Google maps)
Outside of the box…
If you’ll be staying for a few days, you’ll probably appreciate restaurants with a unique take on cuisine. The only downside is that the price is more expensive than the previous options.
The Morocco Club has three floors, each with a different atmosphere. The first floor is the restaurant. The rooftop can be reserved for special dinners or banquets and also has terraces with spectacular views onto the medina where you can enjoy a cocktail. The ground floor has a piano bar and becomes a dance club on days when there’s not a show.
The Morocco Club specializes in traditional local fare with a modern twist and impeccable presentation, definitely a unique way to experience Moroccan cuisine. It’s best to make a reservation because this place is quite popular and there are rarely free tables available otherwise.
Place du Tabor, Kasbah (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 539-948139
Near the Boulevard, L’Hexagone is a great restaurant if after a few days in the city you want to try something different. It offers European cuisine and boasts beautiful views of the port. It also has a pool on the ground floor where you can relax and enjoy a cocktail before or after your meal.
The caesar salad with fresh anchovies may not sound attractive, but I highly recommend it. You won’t regret it.
Rue Jabha al Watania, 2 (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 539-937872
Restaurant Hammadi, unlike the previously mentioned options, doesn’t stand out because of its cuisine, but rather because of its unique ambiance. Sumptuous Arab decoration and a house band playing pleasant local music make this place one of a kind in Tangier.
Don’t miss out on the harira. The house recipe includes cinnamon which gives it a special note of warmth.
Rue de la Kasbah, nº 2 (location on Google maps)
Tel: +212 539-934514
I hope you can find your dream dining experience among our suggestions. Please feel free to share any other great places you find in the comments below. Much love and see you in the next post!
If you want to know more about the city, check out our Tangier tourism guide.