Needless to say, I am a fan of … regularity? (It sounds like I should eat some of that Jamie Lee Curtis yogurt, but that’s not what I’m going for here.) When traveling, I love finding “my spot”—the Parisian bakery where I get my morning pain du chocolat, the London corner store where I pick out a new snack in the evening (and try to get whoever is with me to please, pretty please eat those darn Prawn Cocktail chips), or the Brussels waffle house where the eponymous snack is presented with those major (and I mean MAJOR) hunks of sugar already baked in. It occurs to me that all my spots involve food. Huh. Anyway, in Morocco George and I found two such joints that we quickly claimed as our own, and I’m already missing them!
On the train to Fes, George kept telling me about this place he’d read about online called Café Clock. A staple in the Fes café scene, this cozy, three-floored spot is home to a revolving door of expats and hip young Moroccans as well as a fun menu (camel burgers, anyone?) and a robust offering of interesting humanities-style programs that cover everything from traditional storytelling to crash courses in Moroccan culture.
On our first afternoon in Fes I was feeling oh a weeeee bit overwhelmed and George jumped at the opportunity to check out his newest obsession. Before we had time to figure out where were headed, a young guy handing out business cards called to us, “Hey, want to check out Café Clock”? Uh, sure? We followed him down a crazy, twisting alley, and he flung open the door to the café. A bunch of folks ran over to welcome us and tell us about the place and its history, and then told us to go wander around and make ourselves at home. There’s a library, a film screening/lecture room, and—a savior because the router was out at our riad—super fast free wifi. Café Clock was everything it was cracked up to be. In short, it was awesome. Mine mine mine!
Set back from the pulsating and surreal Jemaa el-Fna is Rahba Kedima, a square where women grind spices and merchants sell them from the surrounding stalls. It was enough to make George’s allergies go completely haywire, but we were mesmerized by the scene in front of us.
The perfect spot for people watching and finding some calm amongst the madness turned out to be Café de Epices, another local hipster-meets-expat place. Café de Epices is, oddly enough, also a three-story building, with terraces that look out over "Spice Square," with the city and the High Atlas beyond. In addition to the omnipresent spiced coffees and mint teas of Morocco, the café offered snacks from sandwiches to salads and Nutella crepes to harira. The harira immediately became G’s go-to—whereas my go-to became stealing it from him as soon as it hit the table. We went to the café daily in Marrakech, just to catch a breather from the manic pace of the medina. We must’ve looked a frightful mess—George with bloodshot eyes and me with soup all over my face—but boy were we happy.
What favorite spots have you found in your travels?