I have food allergies.Where can I eat in Essaouira?

Food allergies and intolerances can be a challenge to manage on holiday, but it is possible.

Wheat is seen as a big issue,as the Moroccan staple is bread or couscous (made with wheat semolina) but if those two items are avoided, tajines and couscous toppings can be eaten hassle-free. For information on gluten-free eating in Morocco, read my post here.

For those allergic to nuts,these are normally only used in sweet dishes and cakes, so you’ll need to avoid all the delicious Moroccan pastries. Sorry!

The best thing to do when managing allergies is to frequent restaurants where the chef is present and you can communicate with them in a language you both understand. This means avoiding the tourist-trap tajine restaurants where waiters can be are less well-informed about the menu and cooks are often local women who do not have any contact with customers.

I suggest you try the following restaurants:

La Découverte – owner Frederique is always present, has designed the menu herself and is very aware of allergy and intolerance issues.She strives to work to a slow food, sustainable development philosophy.
– La Triskala – offers a short menu of simple veggie and fish dishes,and it should be easy to figure out the ingredients.
Umia – a popular and more upmarket restaurant, chef Bibi designs the changing menu herself and is always on hand to advise
– Vague Bleue – owner Brahim makes a very simple Italian-based menu which is cheap and delicious and he is usually on hand to recommend a suitable dish

Of the above, if you turned up and they didn’t have something suitable, I am sure that all (except potentially La Triskala) could offer to make something specific for the following day on request.

Some of the crepe restaurants in the medina offer non-wheat options. 

As for a bakery, that’s a harder ask for the wheat-intolerant and gluten-free. I know Patachou in the new town make rye bread (seigle in French) and they might be open to a special order. I don’t suppose they could guarantee that it would be made in a nut and wheat-free environment though….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *