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Addresses: Northern Morocco

from my address book for the north of the country:


sleep: Dar Nour. The first and still the best riad in the city. It is like being a privileged guest at one of the city’s most desirable addresses.

shop: Laure Welfling boutique in Kasbah. 3, Place de la Kasba.

shop: Bizaar Tindouf. 64, rue de la Liberté.

or else: Boutique Majid. 66, rue des Chrétiens.

for fish: Saveurs de Poisson. Tiny. 2, Escalier Waller.

family dining: Casa d’Italia, the 50-year-old Italian dining club (it’s private but open to the public). An expat favorite.

books and art but also thé: Libraire Les Insolites.

people watching: Gran Café de Paris, of course.

wi-fi: Cinema Rif, one-time cinema now a refurbished coffeehouse.

read: Mohammed Mrabet.

Orientalism on the canvas: Delacroix and Matisse both painted the city.

excursion: Asilah, an hour south (see below)


stroll: the whitewashed, seaside medina. So quiet you can hear the sea.

join expats for lunch: Casa Garcia. On rue Moulay Hassa Ben el Medi. Call ahead for reservations: (212) 039 41 7465.

look for: Andalusian-style fritura of fresh seafood.

the difference, though: the pureed tomato sauce (with a pinch of cumin) that comes with.

visit: Aplanos Gallery, by the Moroccan-Belgium artist couple Anne-Judith Van Loock and Ahmed Benraadiya.

in winter, drink: mint tea with fresh absinthe leaves and dried rosebuds.

stay: skip the hotels and email Aplanos about the apartment above the gallery in the medina.

worth visiting during: it’s annual art fair. Read this piece in the Guardian for more.

what they’ve been saying for years: “It’s going to become another Essaouira.” Not yet.

colors: white and blue.


stay: Auberge Dardara (outside Chefchaouen), charming rural guesthouse with best kitchen in entire region.

do: the owner can arrange mushroom hunting in the nearby hills.

what to do with the spoils: the chef will cook them up for you back at Dardara. Best are as open-faced omelets with local wild herbs.

also in the kitchen: kid goat tagine.

don’t miss: the lovely terracotta cookware in the local style.


stay: El Reducto. Charming riad. Once the residence of the Grand Vizier of Tetouán. Next to the Royal Palace. 

eat: El Reducto. By far the best restaurant in the city.

order: the stuffed vegetables and the spicy shrimp tagine.

get lost: in the marvelous medina, one of Morocco’s best. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

traditional flavors: couscous with tfaya, a honeyed onion and raisin topping.

a sweet with your mint tea: m’hancha, a sugar-coated serpentine cookie, or gazelle-horn cookies.

for dessert: seffa, sweet couscous and a glass of lben, buttermilk.

another sweet treat: m’halbi, a milky pudding.

nicknames in Arabic: “White Dove” and “Daughter of Granada.”
get the book!

All text and images are ©Jeff Koehler 2007-2009 and cannot be used without his written permission.