Chicago - When visiting Fez, there is nothing better than exploring it like a local! They know where to go, what to eat, and where get the best desserts and milkshakes in town. Many stereotypical Fassi families still consider eating out as a cultural “taboo.”
Chicago – When visiting Fez, there is nothing better than exploring it like a local! They know where to go, what to eat, and where get the best desserts and milkshakes in town. Many stereotypical Fassi families still consider eating out as a cultural “taboo.”
Many avoid eating street food for fear of negatively reflecting on their family—or their “Hdaga,” a Moroccan cultural concept specifically geared towards women. It entails certain cultural norms including, but not limited to cooking, cleaning and decorating…basically being the best at keeping one’s home and family.
Nevertheless, the younger generation has defied this set of norms, and has grown up eating in the street from shops, street carts, and historic local restaurants. Morocco’s street food is one of the best in the world—the aromas, tastes, and colors of the various street food dishes makes you anxious to try everything, and to live the full Moroccan experience.
In this list, I describe the best sanitary, delicious, and affordable places to eat in Fez. Whether you are deep in the old Medina, by the Fez train station, or around Mohammed V Avenue, I will guide you through the best local street food joints in Fez, where locals munch on some of the best food that Fez has to offer.
From breakfast to street soup carts, to late night Kabobs and Sandwiches, this list will give you a truly authentic taste of Fez.
Fez Vegan Fava Bean Soup – Bisara
Jaame3 Moul “Bisara”: This restaurant is one of the local favorites, serving the traditional “Bisara”—Moroccan fava bean soup. This shop has stood in the same spot for more than a century.
The story goes that the current owners’ grandfather, who opened the shop in the 1900’s, took a bag of fava beans with him on the pilgrimage. He cracked barley with the beans on the pilgrimage, and served the soup free of charge to his fellow pilgrims in exchange for blessings.
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For five generations, the shop has been standing at top of Talaa Lakbira Street by the historic Bab Boujloud. The owner still slow-cooks the breakfast soup in the same way: overnight on a traditional, wood-burning stove to serve it to his clients who arrive for the soup at dawn, just like his grandfather had done many years before.
The winter is the most popular time for the traditional soup, and sometimes if you arrive later than 9:00 A.M the delicious bean soup will already be sold out. For generations, Jaame3’s Bisara has been the perfect destination for thousands of Fassi’s, and everyone from the nearby Berber villagers, to wealthy merchants, workers, and travelers from around the world. The tiny shop accommodates about 8 people with 10 others scattered around the tiny step door.
In Morocco, Bisara soup is a favorite among mountain people and it is also a popular soup in the north near the Riff Mountains. The soup is cooked on wood overnight with garlic, cumin and olive oil for seasoning. It is usually served with bread and extra olive oil, cumin and red-hot peppers for those who like a little more spice. Many bring fresh mint tea bags, or spiced pickled green olives from the nearby shops to accompany their bowl of Bisara.
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Jamme3’s reputation extends past the walls of the historic old Fez Medina to the entire country, as travelers and merchants take bowl’s of Bisara on the road across Morocco as far as Ouarzazate, in the middle of the Moroccan Sahara Desert.
Fez Best Desserts, Fresh Juices, Milkshakes and pastries: Haj Abdullah Belmelih “Mamou”
Since 1941, Haj Mamou has been making and serving the best juices and milkshakes within the walls of the Fez Medina. Every time he greets you with his lovely smile, he proudly displays the pictures of the three Kings he has lived and worked under in the main wall of his shop.
For generations, Haj Mamou’s has been a hallmark of Rue Boutouil, located near the famous Moulay Idriss Mausoleum. Haj Mamou’s natural fresh desserts, fruit juices, and milkshakes include flavors like almond, raisin, banana, and avocado.
In addition, Haj Mamou serves some traditional Moroccan desserts and pastries to accompany your drink. While you are waiting for your drink, El Haj Mamou will usually offer you a sample taste of other drinks that he prepares, or a selection of delicious Fez sweets such as Kaab Ghazal, an almond filled cookie.
I have have vivid memories of drinking those milkshakes with a signature bowl of ice cream—a tradition that distinguishes Haj Mamou’s shakes and juices, and makes them especially memorable and unique. If you find yourself near Moulay Idriss Mausoleum next time you visit Fez, stop by Haj Mamou for some of the best desserts in Fez, and some of the best and natural milkshakes this imperial city has to offer.