Beach & Friends, Essaouira

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Beach & Friends, Essaouira

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Review of "Beach & Friends, Essaouira"

published 13/04/2015 | koshkha
Member since : 26/12/2005
Reviews : 1434
Members who trust : 327
About me :
Seems it takes a lot to get many reads these days so be assured that all are appreciated.
Pro Super comfy sofas, nice staff, great pizza
Cons Nothing for us but I can imagine it would get very busy in summer
very helpful

"Becoming Beach Bar Bums"

What's the opposite of a barfly?

It’s really quite hard to imagine two human beings less likely to turn into the kind of people who would hang out at a swanky beach bar than my husband and me. We aren’t bar people, we aren’t normally very beachy people and we certainly aren’t ‘strip off your clothes and toast yourself on a sunbed people’. In short, if you could have gone down the beach looking for two people less likely to become ‘regulars’ at a Moroccan beach bar, you’d probably have picked have tossed up between me and my husband and a couple of women in full hijab.

Holidays change people - clearly.


Essaouira is a beautiful old walled city on the Moroccan coast and it has an absolutely world class sandy beach which lures the adventure water sports set to play in its waters. There’s kite surfing, wind surfing, ordinary surfing and stand up paddle boarding for those who like to get wet - just check the wind speed and pick your ideal way of getting wet. You can also take horse rides on some of the most beautifully kept horses in north Africa, or if you have a desire to remove all the skin from your butt, there are plenty of grumpy looking camels ready to take you for a ride. Those who prefer their transportation to be mechanical can go for quad bike rides or the more traditional who have too many painful memories of camel rides, can resort to the good old fashioned habit of walking.

We were walkers.

In fact we walked up and down the beach every day of our six day holiday. We decided the only way to tackle the issue of eating all those olives and Moroccan bread was to make sure we had a really good long walk and the beach was the best place for that. It’s a fabulous place.

It took us a few days to find Beach & Friends and then we went every day.

Finding Beach & Friends

If you walk away from the town along the main beach, you will eventually come to the stretch of beach where the kite surfers gather when it’s windy. This is also the area where the horses and camels are lying in wait to tempt tourists. Head away from the water and you’ll see a series of buildings. Several are bars, others are water sports centres. Beach & Friends is the first of the buildings.

It looked very trendy. To be honest, far too cool for us but we were thirsty and the sofas looked so inviting. It looked expensive - but fortunately it wasn’t. We found a shady sofa spot and settled in. We ordered two Flag beers, the local generic lager that’s entirely drinkable and costs 30 dirhams for a small bottle. It’s cold, it’s lager, there’s not much more to say.

Beers come with a small dish of olives. In Morocco, most things come with olives and a small saucer to put your stones on.

Making ourselves at home

We took off our shoes and curled up on the sofas, soaking up the sun and relaxing as we listened to the very gentle background music. We looked at the other customers around us. A lot were using the sunbeds, oiling up bodies that all looked better to me when they had more clothes on - but then it doesn’t take me long in an Islamic country to start tutting at the under-dressed tourists. I was once outraged to see a girl in Iran take off her headscarf in a public place. There were plenty of sun umbrellas and the waiters seemed more than happy to keep moving them for people.

The area closest to the beach was the bed zone. Next came our chosen territory - the sofa zone with two enormous horseshoe set ups around giant tables. Then there were the proper ‘grown up tables and chairs zone’ for the folk who ordered proper food. And beyond them, a large interior area for the colder evenings. That was also the access area for the very clean toilets and hand basins.

After a lot of sitting around soaking up the sun, we asked the waiter to bring back the menu and ordered a large ‘Beach & Friends’ pizza - one with prawns and calamari. It was absolutely delicious with a really thin crust, lots of prawns and calamari rings and just the right amount of cheese. One between two was perfect.

Once we’d finished, there was no pressure to move on. Nobody seemed to mind how long we stayed at the beach bar. Nobody ever made us feel like we ought to buy more. Eventually we paid up and left. The beers were 30 dirhams each (about standard in a town with few places selling alcohol) and the pizza was 75 dirhams. Current exchange rates are approximately 14 to the pound.

Back for more

For three consecutive days we broke our walk up the beach with a stop at Beach & Friends. We got a good spot on the sofas under the shade of the fabric awnings each time. Each day we ate the same pizza - sometimes sharing it with a small black and white cat but always enjoying it. The bar has a small hairy short-legged doggy who wanders around like a perfect canine host or hostess, stopping for a fussing from the regulars. Most days we had a beer - or two - sometimes we had a freshly squeezed orange juice.

We don’t tend to go for a lot at lunch time which is why we stuck to sharing a pizza but the menu is really very broad and interesting, with a distinctly international - but not very Moroccan - flavour. Starters include spring rolls (or nems as they’re known in many countries), prawn dumplings or Vietnamese soup. There’s a wide range of salads of many different types but I’m never keen to eat salad in Morocco - even in a nice place like Beach & Friends. They offer a mixed Bento box but like many of the salads, they’re a mix of meat and fish so out of scope for me as a fishitarian

There are a bunch of main courses or ‘plats’ but most are meaty and rather too serious for a lunch time snack but they did include a local tagine, the only local dish on the menu. They also have three pasta dishes, a couple of burgers (served with chips) and a club sandwich.

The staff don’t seem at all bothered if all you want is a drink and there’s a long list of hot and cold, alcoholic and soft drinks. Most of the hot drinks and soft drinks are around 15 to 20 dirhams whilst beers start at 30 and wine at 40 per glass. Cocktails are between 70 and 90 dirhams.

The world comes to Beach & Friends

Lying around on the sofas you will find that entertainment comes to you whether you want it or not. There’s a rather irritating local group of musicians who turn up every couple of hours to play for tips. There’s also a set of acrobats who are really quite impressive and certainly earn their tips to the full. One of the other regulars is the peanut seller, a little old man with a voice like an over-excited parrot who squeaks ‘cacahouette, cacahouette’ over and over again whilst hugging the old men who’ve clearly known him for many years. I honestly thought he was a parrot the first time I heard him - or rather that he had a parrot with him. It was very strange.


We loved this place. It's fair to say that it might be very different in high season than it was the week before Easter and it may well get a lot busier, but for us it was absolutely perfect. Friendly but not pushy, comfy and accommodating with beer and superb pizzas. What's not to love?

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 10/05/2015
    e :o)
  • hiker published 09/05/2015
    Sounds good to me
  • AlexDa published 19/04/2015
    very good.
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Product Information : Beach & Friends, Essaouira

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Listed on Ciao since: 09/04/2015