The legacy of Morocco’s time as a French protectorate is not always great but Au Bonheur Des Dames is a welcome slice of France in Essaouira.
Situated on the sunny and sheltered square which is Place March aux Grains (the former grain market in Essaouira) make sure that you get a seat at Au Bonheur Des Dames tables rather than one of the adjoining mediocre cafes. You must order one of the freshly squeezed juices which come in ever conceivable flavour combination.
Whatever you order it is served with a green salad served French style unadorned save for a light coating of vinaigrette. Bruschetta of fresh tomato, rich goats cheese and a zesty olive tapenade is simple but satisfying. The Croque Monsieur tastes a little strange given that it uses Moroccan flat bread but the combination of gooey melted cheese and salty ham is superb
Buy some more time in the sunshine by ordering a pot of tea. If you are sick of Morocco’s ubiquitous mint tea (although I personally could not get enough of it) Aux Bonheur Dames offers over fifty different varieties of tea. Tres bien.
Details: Place Marche Aux Grains, Essaouira, Morocco (Ph +212 (0) 24 47 59 68)