If you’re looking for 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 orgasm, love spicy meat, fluffy bread, and sweet sticky pastries Morocco will undoubtedly meet your expectations.
Having lived in Casablanca for almost a year, I’ve got a collection of spots which offer mouth-watering, pocket-friendly cuisine. Here are my “must-visit” places and specialties to taste once you’re in Casablanca. Ready?
One of my favorite bars 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 less than 30 dhs 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.
HIT A MAHLABA
Mahlaba is simply a milk bar or a juice bar. Be sure to try jus d’avocat fruit sec. It’s a rich, creamy smoothie with blended avocado, almonds, milk, sugar and dried fruits. A sightseeing tour in the city will help you work off any added calories! The price varies from 8 to 18 dirhams. Mahlaba is seen from afar, typically a small shop with fresh fruits and photos all over.
|pineapple-milk smoothie from a mahlaba
WANNA SOMETHING HEAVIER ?
If you want to feel stuffed
go for a msmen
with la vache qui rit
is a kind of a layered
, square-shaped pancake
, but trust me, it is much heavier than the pancakes you know from Europe or the United States. It is usually eaten with honey, rich argan oil, or creamy cheese. These are perfect for breakfast. If you get two pieces of msmen
you’ll be full 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 on what you desire to put inside
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 the cleanest place to be, 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.
SWEET & MEAT? WHY NOT!
Bastilla, are served in several sizes, typically either a round stuffed round pastry or a smaller triangle stuffed with meat and sugar. Moroccans love mixing sweet and savory foods. If you like such mixes go for it! They cost around 15 dirhams and you can find them in most restaurants, as well as some patisseries and mahlabas. In the evening elderly women sit on the street and sell them.
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 gnerally cheap here (except fr the imported ones). One additional tip on eating in Casablanca – and around Morocco – avoid tourist places. In luxury restaurants you can pay several times more for a simple tajine!
If you like fish you should definitely go to the little fish bar next to the port. It’s just next to the big (and expensive) restaurant near train station “Casa Port”. You can have eggs with shrimps or a mix of strange kinds of fish from the Atlantic. Yummmmm! Prices range from 20 to 50 dhs per meal.
Pack your suitcase and get ready for your food tour in Casablanca!I organize also FOOD TOURS. If you wish to know more details please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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article originally written for www.journeybeyondtravel.com and edited for Bewildered in Morocco purposes.