Although Essaouira is on the sea, fish are quite expensive. Fishermen sell their catch through market hall and you can get it cooked in small stands nearby. Prices are clearly marked per weight on the large pricing board at the end of the fish market stalls, but this seems to make little difference to the chances of being hustled. Carefully evaluate how much you are being charged.
A cheaper option is to buy Harira (a spicy soup) for 2-5DH or sandwich (i.e. at Blue fasade for 10-20DH, walking at the street from fish stands to the medina).
There are many reasonable restaurants and cafes on the main streets and squares. Upscale restaurants worth a mention are Taros (2, rue de la Sqala Tel: 044 47 64 07) which combines a French-Moroccan restaurant, a gallery and a terrace bar with live local music and "5" (rue Youssef el fassi) for its elegant ex-pat vibe.
The Fish Market, Essaouira local market. If you are a fish enthusiast, you cannot miss the food in the market. Buy your fish (cheap, shirmps are 50dh/kilo, sardines 5dh/6, etc) take it to the small kitchen / restaurant and let them cook it for you. They add salad, olives and bread for 25dh. Really fun, cheap and good food! (The food here is NOT cheap) buy the fish + 25dh for the baking.
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