Entertainment in Casablanca


Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants in Casablanca


Home > Expat Guides > Africa > Morocco > Casablanca

Update 10/01/2012

Moroccan cuisine is one of the highlights of the culture with restaurant choices ranging from French cuisine to Vietnamese. There are unique fine dining facilities and many street food options.

Drink

Tap water is not potable to most foreigners in Morocco. Bottled water is plentiful and cheap. Moroccans are constantly drinking orange juice and mint tea to re-hydrate.

Tea - Mint tea is offered at most shops and offices. This can be a way to lure shoppers, but it is not mandatory to buy if you have tea.

Coffee - Cafes are a male dominated institution. Fresh cappuccino, espresso, and coffee are served anywhere at any time.

Alcohol

Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, but it is not without alcohol. Drinking is disapproved in public places and especially near a mosque, but alcohol is available in restaurants, liquor stores, bars, supermarkets, clubs, hotels and discos. Legal restrictions can be strict as driving under the influence is illegal even if you only drank one beer.

Beer - The beers most served are Spéciale Flag (pilsner), Stork (light lager), and the more expensive Casablanca Beer (lager). Heineken is the most readily available imported beer. An average .5 L costs between 1-3 USD.

Wine - Morocco was an important exporter of wine in the colonial era before 1956. The country is now experiencing a revival and expansion of the wine industry as it has the best natural potential for producing quality wines in the region. Common wines from the area include Chellah AOG, Zemmour AOG, Zaër AOG, Zenatta AOG, Sahel AOG.

Liquor - Morocco imports all kinds of alcohol. There is also a local judeo-berber vodka, with mild anise flavor, brewed from figs.

Liquor Laws

A royal decree from 1967 forbids the sale of alcohol to Muslims, which constitute 98 percent of Morocco's population. Liquor stores and restaurants officially may only sell booze to foreigners, but this law is rarely enforced.

There is no legal drinking age, though there is a rarely enforced purchasing age of 16.

Eat

Eating is a social ritual and shared meals are a fundamental part of home life in Morocco. Moroccan cuisine is reputed as some of the best in the world. It has been enhanced by the country's colonial and Arabic influences. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to find authentic Moroccan food in restaurants. As people can make that food at home, most restaurants focus on international fare, such as Chinese, Indian and French cuisine.

Spices frequently used include cayenne, saffron, chilies, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin, paprika, and black pepper. A blend specific to Morocco is ras el hanout, which is a mixture of between 10 and 30 spices. Every spice shop sells it's own unique mix.

Moroccan Specials

  • Couscoussiére - Couscous is steamed in a colander-like dish. It is a staple food for most Moroccans and a well-known dish. It is served as an accompaniment to stews or mixed with meat and vegetables and presented as a main course. Almost all Moroccan restaurants uphold the tradition of serving couscous on Fridays.
  • Tagine - Spicy stew of meat and vegetables that is simmered for hours in a conical clay pot. There are many variations of this dish including chicken tagine with lemon and olives, honey-sweetened lamb or beef, fish or prawn tagine in a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Kaliya - A Berber contribution of lamb, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion and served with couscous or bread.
  • Pastilla - A popular delicacy made by layering thin pieces of flakey dough between sweet, spiced meat filling (lamb, chicken, and pigeon) and layers of almond-paste filling. The dough is wrapped into a plate-sized pastry that is baked and coated with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Harira - Also known by it's French name, "soupe marocaine"), this is a delicious soup made from lentils, chick peas, lamb stock, tomatoes and vegetables.
  • Bissara Thick soup made from split peas and olive oil found near markets and in medinas in the mornings.

Vegetarian Specials & Dining

Many of the staples of Moroccan cuisine are vegetarian and there are vegetarian restaurants to choose from. Most riads serve Moroccan crepes/pancakes for breakfast (just flour, oil and water), or local bread, fresh fruit, jams, fresh orange juice and coffee or mint tea. Couscous is a staple of the diet and may be cooked in animal-based broth so check before dining.

The site, VegGuide, has restaurant listings for cities around the world. EasyExpat's FAQ section also has a helpful article on vegetarian dining.

Thai Gardens
Address: Ave de la Côte d'Emeraude Anfa
Tel.: 022 797579
Price: About Dh250
Excellent Thai cuisine with innovative vegetarian options.

Golden China
Address: 2 Rue el-Oraïbi Jilali City Centre
Tel.: 522 273526
The top Chinese restaurant with many excellent choice for vegetarians.

Tipping

Tipping standards vary widely in Morocco. Most Moroccans usually just round up, leaving a few dirhams on a 150 dirhams dinner bill. Like many things in Africa, more is expected from foreigners. A service charge of 10 percent is often included in the bill.

Cafes

Many cafes offer great petit déjeuner breakfast deals which include tea or coffee, orange juice (jus d'Orange) and a croissant or bread with marmalade from Dh 10.

Fast Food

There are many options for inexpensive meals on the go in Morocco. Rotisserie chicken with fries and salad are served for around Dh 20; sandwiches from Dh 10; a variety of nuts, steamed broad beans and BBQ corn cobs.

Restaurants

http://www.bestrestaurantsmaroc.com/en/recherche/city/casablanca.htmlBest Restaurants Maroc offers a guide to the restaurants in Morocco.

La Maison Bleue, La Mamorenia, Le Dauphin, Le Retro, La Fibule and Millenium Viet

Rick's Cafe
The cinematic classic, "Casablanca", was set within the iconic Rick's Cafe and this newer establishment embodies it. Encompassing a bar, lounge and restaurant, it is run by a former American diplomat. There is an in-house pianist, a Sunday jazz session, wi-fi access and souvenir T-shirts. Reservations are recommended and there is a dress code.

La Sqala
Fountains and gardens create a relaxed ambience in this 1769 restaurant in the Old Medina.

La Bodega
This raucous Spanish tapa bar and restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 12:00 until 1:00. Upstairs, the house band plays Spanish flamenco to rock and roll. Downstairs, a disco is up all night.

Le Balcon 33
Address: 33 Blvd de la Corniche
Le Balcon 33 appeals to the younger locals of Casablanca.

A Ma Bretagne
Address: Sidi Abderrahman, Blvd de la Corniche
Tel: 022 362112
Price: meals around Dh500
Panoramic views of the Casablanca sea with master French chef André Halbert.

Asia Garden
Address: 26, rue Ahmed El Mokri, Casablanca
This venue in Casablanca offers delightful Asian cuisine and a glassed-in kitchen to watch the chefs at work.

Basmane
Address: Angle bd Ocèan Atlantique et bd de la Corniche, Casablanca
Typically Moroccan décor and cuisine. Local sounds of the gimbri lute and the tbal drum are played.

Le Firdaous
Address: 160, av des Forces Armées Royales, Casablanca
Moroccan traditional cuisine is given a modern twist.

India Palace
Address: 23, rue Ahmed El Mokri, Casablanca
India is embodied in this Casablanca restaurant.

Ocean View Cabestan
Address: 90, Boulevard de la Corniche
An iconic restaurant for over 40 years, recent renovations have reinvigorated this location. Stylish service is offered with magnificent views of the Atlantic.

Ostréa
Address: Port de pêche, Casablanca
A landmark of the Casablanca fishing port, it was opened in 1993 by an oyster farmer and offers a wonderful selection of seafood.

La Scuderia
Address: Avenue de la côte d'Emeraude
Fine Italian cuisine makes this spot a destination.




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