There is so much great food in Tangier to try, but being in a fishing port, and us not being vegetarian, we must try the fish. We are not disappointed. Vegans look away!
The fish market is a two minute walk from the main esplanade. It runs the length of the new city, with entrances to the old medina.
It’s worth a visit, just to see the remarkable food on offer in this bustling market. But not having a kitchen, we don’t need to buy anything here.
The sea front and medina are full of excellent quality restaurants and cafes.
Highly recommended by locals, trip advisor and ourselves are the Restaurant Ahlen and Al Acheb, Medina.
‘Ahlen’ is run by a calm and softly spoken Rashid. His young talented chef prepares a fantastic chicken and vegetable tagine and a delicious plate of three different fish. It comes served with shrimp and home cut ‘frites’. I can’t decide between chicken and sardines, so he offers some sardines for free.
Afterwards, he brings some of the most delicious fig rolls I have ever eaten. He jokes the first is free, if we want more they are very expensive.
Rashid is an excellent host who speaks many languages. He knows many funny stories and promises to help our adventures in Morocco in any way he can. This is a common occurrence in this ultra hospitality based culture.
The following night we dine in the beautifully placed ‘Al Acheb Medina’ at the top of the stepped entrance to the old medina.
The manager is an older Moroccan man with a slow and steady manner. He speaks Arabic and French. Although we speak only English, he explains the food on offer.
A set menu of four courses, starting with warming thick fish and potato soup. This is followed by shrimp in a Moroccan spiced spinach. Both come with the popular round, flat bread (khob) which we adore.
Oh my goodness, the shrimp is so good it melts in the mouth.
The main is a choice of Sole, Turbort or Loupe. We choose the Sole and Turbot, on his recommendation, which arrives perfectly cooked.
Dessert is a spiced sweet barley with fruit. Most remarkable is the fruity cacao and date ‘smoothie’. It is a thick brown mixture, which looks a bit dodgy, but is actually delicious.
Al Achad was a feast for all the senses, its lovely old style decor and excellent bay view made for a perfect Tangier evening.
A Quick Bite.
There are times when sitting and taking in the scenery is great. Other times, a quick bite on the move is what you need. Tangier provides this, as most of Morocco does, with street food vendors and ‘hole in the wall’ snack cafes.
Sweet sticky pastries, savory chicken, chickpeas, pastilla or escargot (snails in a dark broth) I have not braved that, yet. They are all cheap and tasty.
Pastilla is a weird one, it looks like a tasty sweet treat, dusted with sugar and cinnamon, but filled with chicken or fish and a nutty paste.
Our favorite lunch moments are sampling the local ‘Harira soup’ or a ‘Poulet sandwich. Check out our Harira recipe here.
The poulet sandwich comes as a half or whole khob filled with chawarma spiced chicken, chips, salad and cheese. You can have hot sauce on request. Cheap, filling and delicious.
For the best chicken sandwich in Tangier go to ‘Ray Charlies’ on the small square (Petit Socco).
Tangerines in Tangier.
A post about food in Tangier would not be complete without a mention of oranges, more specifically, tangerines.
Everywhere you go orange and mandarin trees grow in the parks, along the street and wild across the country. The scent of neroli, orange blossom, is striking in the spring time and a walk through the parks, abundant with orange trees, is a delight for the senses.
The delightful blossom can be purchased in the markets alongside rose petals.
A perfect compliment to the ever present fig and olive trees, mandarins, are of course, known as tangerines.
This comes directly from the northernmost port of Tanger, where tangerines grow aplenty. It is said that the residents of Tanger, were called Tangerines in the past.
Freshly squeezed orange juice is always on the menu of cafes, restaurants and street traders. It comes freshly squeezed on its own, or as base for a delicious mix of fruit juices. My new favorite smoothie is orange and avocado.
The oranges and tangerines here in Morocco are so fresh and full of juice, oranges in England are bitter dry things in comparison.