Tangier food tour: A delicious introduction to Moroccan cuisine

Half a day wandering and nibbling Tangier and its medina gave us a delicious understanding of Moroccan food and culture

Day Number 511: Private city tour in Tangier, Morocco!

Moroccans take great pride in their food, and with good reason. Throughout history, Moroccans have evolved their food traditions from cultural influences throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. No small part of our desire to travel Morocco was to get to know the country’s food better. So, during our first stop in Morocco, we booked a half-day trip on a Tangier food tour, which we completed full of knowledge, a broadened view of Moroccan culture, and of course, delicious Moroccan food.

“The kids were open-minded, engaged, and curious throughout this long day of walking, talking, and nibbling.”

Book the same private Tangier food tour we took

Why did we want to take a food tour of Tangier, Morocco?

Food drives so much of our travel choices, and it’s our favorite way to learn about places and cultures. Moroccans take great pride in their food and hospitality. A food tour would give us and the kids not only an introduction to everyday Moroccan food, but insight into the country’s diverse culture and history.

Was our Tangier food tour guide friendly?

Our guide, Hamid, was friendly, and he was delightful with the kids. He especially chatted with Connor as we wandered the city on foot. Hamid has traveled internationally extensively, so he also had understandings of what North American and European travelers might want to know about Moroccan food and culture. He was easy to talk with, helped us with our fledgling Arabic, and paced our Tangier food tour so well for us as a family.

Did we have to contend with lots of sales pitches?

Were there sales pitches and visits to shops? It’s not uncommon for tours in Morocco to include visits to shops. It’s a typical part of the culture, and guides typically receive a finder’s fee or commission.

When possible, it helps to set expectations up front so you have the experience you want. For example, if there is something you are looking for, it’s useful to let your guide know. They may very well know an excellent place, and there’s never an obligation for you to buy anything you don’t want to.

In our case, Hamid knew we weren’t big shoppers, and he told us there were two places he would take us to.

The first was a large, bright, clean shop full of Moroccan crafts and furniture. The proprietor was relaxed, and understood that we wouldn’t be buying anything. He instead clued us in about different pieces, craftsmanship, and where items were made. I very much appreciated that the proprietor didn’t pressure us at all, and instead encouraged us, and especially encouraged the children, to examine everything from furniture to ornamental knives, and now and again he shared details about the craftsmanship and origin.

The second shop specialized in herbs and spices. A man led us through a short presentation about different concoctions for food, beauty, and wellness. Again, there was no pressure. If anything, this was a good place for us to visit. I’d been wanting to get some spice blends for cooking, and we left with an excellent all-purpose spice blend, plus a pack of powder for making harissa, a spicy, pepper-based paste common in northern African countries.

Our family friendly Tangier food tour, from Morocco’s cafes to street markets to the medina

Our meeting point with Hamid was a small, cannon-lined clifftop plaza that overlooked the sea. He talked with us about what to expect (including how he would take care of paying for things, since we had already paid for our tour), where we would go, and how we would break up the day. And then we were off on our Tangier food tour:

🥄 Breakfast at a nearby local cafe: sesame flatbreads, crepes, soft cheeses, olives, atay (Moroccan mint green tea), and amlou, a Moroccan almond butter mixed with honey and argan oil.

🥄 A street market. A couple of days a week, Berber people come into the city and set up a street market of produce, meat, cheeses, and more.

🥄 B’ssara. A hot, hearty start to the day! B’ssara is a soup made of pureed beans. Hamid took us down a neighborhood side street near the Berber market. Inside a small two-room cafe, the cook has been making b’ssara for over 25 years. We sampled both broad bean and split pea styles.

🥄 Olives! An olive vendor bagged up assortments of olives, tied the bag, and chucked them to each waiting customer—including Anthony.

🥄 Caliente: This common street snack (Hamid called it “Moroccan pizza”) is a slice of eggy Spanish tortilla cut from a disc the size of a bike tire.

🥄 Smoothies: Fruit juice and smoothie stalls abound, and Morocco is renowned for its fruit. We sampled orange juice, pomegranate juice, and a mixed fruit (which was the family fave).

And our finale?

🥄 Lunch. At a restaurant tucked into the medina, we dined on olives, marinated beets, flatbreads, atay, and two tagines, one with beef and one with chicken, and both chock full of couscous, chickpeas, squash, carrots, and onions.

Our favorite part of our Tangier food tour

As much as we loved the food, our favorite part of the tour was how much it inspired both kids to be open to new foods.

The kids were open-minded, engaged, and curious throughout this long day of walking, talking, and nibbling. They asked Hamid questions and were willing to try anything.

Now, as we continue our travels through Morocco, we understand the food better. That in turn has opened us up all the more to the country and helped us learn even more about such an amazing place.

Should you take a food tour in Morocco?

We took our food tour in Tangier since it was our first stop during 6 weeks in Morocco. Wherever you visit in Morocco, odds are you’ll find a food tour that fits your tastes too.

We definitely recommend our food tour with Hamid, and below is a link you can use if you would like to book the same tour. Should you take a food tour in Morocco? We suggest you do. Morocco takes great pride in its food. Eating local food puts you in touch with the country’s culture and people, and sets you up for more food fun throughout your time in this incredible country.

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About the author
Anthony St. Clair
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.

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