Casablanca for Foodies

If you’re looking for a paradise for senses, omnipresent scents, loud voices, honking cars, rainbow-colored, aromatic spices and intensive oil perfumes like from the 1000 and One Nights, Morocco is definitely a destination for you. If you’re a foodie seeking culinary ecstasy, love spicy meat, fluffy bread, and sweet sticky pastries Morocco will undoubtedly meet your expectations.

Having lived in Casablanca for over half a year, I’ve got a collection of spots which offer mouth-watering, pocket-friendly cuisine. Here are my “must-visit” places and insight on what to eat in Casablanca.

camel burger

 

EAT CAMEL

One of my favorites is Ibil Snack on Jura Street in the Maarif district. Camel is relatively inexpensive, but it is not the most popular meat. When I first ate it I was sure it was well prepared, spicy beef. How surprised I was to discover it was actually camel’s meat! For 25 dhs (about 2.5 euro) you can eat delicious tajine that comes with home-baked bread, olives in harrisa, and a glass of sweet, mint tea. No forks allowed! Help yourself with bread.

GO TO A MAHLABA

Mahlaba translates loosely to a milk bar or a juice bar. Be sure to try jus d’avocat fruit sec. It’s a rich, creamy smoothie which contains blended avocado, almonds, milk, sugar and mixed dried fruits. A long walk through the city will help you work off any added calories! The price varies from 12 to 16 dirhams. Mahlaba is seen from afar, typically they’re located in a small shop with photos of fruit all over.

GO HEAVIER Avocado Shake

Try msmen with la vache qui rit! Msmen is a kind of a pancake, but trust me, it is much heavier than the pancakes you know from Europe or the United States. It is a layered, square slathered with honey, rich argan oil, or creamy cheese (la vache qui rit). These are perfect for breakfast. If you attempt two msmen and you’ll be stuffed until lunch. You can find them in most bakeries (patisseries) and mahlabas. Don’t forget to grab your mint tea with it! Msmen costs between 2-5 dirhams, depending n what you put inside.

PAPER OR NAPKINS?

Snack shops where you’re offered pieces of paper instead of a napkin generally have good, tasty food that costs between 20-30 dirhams for a meal. Pay attention as you may find they’re not spotless, so perfectionists may be hesitant. These are the perfect example of a Moroccan “hole in the wall” style restaurant. Jura Street in Maarif is full of this type of shop.

Snack shops where you’re offered pieces of paper instead of a napkin generally have good, tasty food that costs between 20-30 dirhams for a meal. Pay attention as you may find they’re not spotless, so perfectionists may be hesitant. These are the perfect example of a Moroccan “hole in the wall” style restaurant. Jura Street in Maarif is full of this type of shop.

bstillaMEAT AND SUGAR? WHY NOT!

Bastilla, are served in several sizes, typically either a round stuffed disc or a smaller triangle that looks like a cookie. In reality, they are a pastry filled with meat, almonds and sugar. Moroccans love mixing sweet and savory foods. If you like over the top mixes go for it! They cost around 15 dirhams and you can find them in most restaurants, as well as some patisseries and mahlabas.

Apart from all the specialties listed above, Morocco is a fruit paradise. You will find a variety of fresh produce at any time of the year. Many farmers sell them on the street or from their cars. Veggies and fruits are cheap here. One additional tip on eating in Casablanca – and around Morocco – avoid tourist places. In luxury restaurants you can pay exponentially more for a simple tajine!

Pack your suitcase and get ready for your food tour in Casablanca! We have plenty of other suggestions of things to see in Casablanca and day trips outside the city.

 Want to know more about Casablanca? Be sure to check out our insider’s guide to Casablanca. We can help you plan your time in the city, as well as craft a personalized itinerary to surrounding cities one one of our customized tours alongside one of our professional, licensed guides.  

Photos from: johnnystiletto, axeltriple, cameronmaddux, iamperegrino

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