Did you arrive in Morocco and find yourself in the middle of Ramadan? Or wanted to see what it is about?
Ramadan is the biggest event in the Islamic calendar, but the situation varies between countries, just as it does for Christmas.
So what is Ramadan?

It is a month of daytime fasting. During the evening, people get together with their families and friends around the table. It is a spiritual time, and many people use the requirements of the fast to detox from smoking and alcohol. They also abstain from sex during the daytime hours.

But as a visitor, this can be challenging to manage. What does this mean for the visitor? The biggest impact is that Moroccans fast food & water during daylight hours only. It is actually illegal for an adult Moroccan to eat in public during the day or even drink water. Due to this, most restaurants and cafés are closed throughout the day.
But a bit of forward planning about where to eat should solve this. There will still be a few places open in the tourist zones. Just be aware that the options can change year by year.
Here are 5 ways Ramadan may impact on you, and how to manage them in Tangier.

1 – Cafes, Tea and Coffee

Big Tourist Hotels:
These drinks will usually continue to be available for tourists and foreigners, especially for their guests, including the bars

The Medina:
In Petit Socco square in the middle of the medina, Café Central, and Café Tingis should be open. They have breakfast til just after midday, tagines and some other options. Places offering food will usually have a tagine dish on display on a front table to let you know. But with so many places closed, allow for the fact that they will be far more crowded than usual.

The Boulevard:
In Petit Socco square in the middle of the medina, Café Central, and Café Tingis should be open. They have breakfast til just after midday, tagines and some other options. Places offering food will usually have a tagine dish on display on a front table to let you know. But with so many places closed, allow for the fact that they will be far more crowded than usual.

The Boulevard:
From Gran Cafe de Paris head along The Boulevard past the canons and towards Hotel Rembrandt. On your left you will pass Cafe Metropole. It is open in the daytime.
If you continue past Hotel Rembrandt where The Boulevard bends towards La Grande Poste,  on your left you will pass a big opening to a plaza with bright orange on the front advertising a Marjane supermarket downstairs – Acima.


On the far side of the plaza entrance on the corner is Cafe Comedia, open and usable for working.
Downtown is just a little further, on the next corner along The Boulevard.
Alma Kitchen and Coffee can be found on google maps. Keep walking along The Boulevard past La Grande Poste to the UN Square or Place des Nations (in French). You will find the cafe around to the left facing onto the square.
To be respectful, sit inside to eat and drink.

2 – Restaurants

There are also a few restaurants open through the day through Ramadan. They are typically ones which cater to the foreigners in Tangier.
Abou Tayssir, The Syrian is an excellent little restaurant on Rue d’Italie (the steep street which runs up to the Kasbah) and is usually open through the day in Ramadan. It’s opposite Cine Alcazar, with excellent food that is well-priced.
Anji:- This is a Chinese restaurant popular with the local Chinese and foreigners. It is open during the day in Ramadan, and serves alcohol. It is on the Corniche facing the beach, opposite Hotel Miramar.
Indian Spice:- A new and excellent Indian restaurant just behind Roxie Cafe, which is on Google maps. Take the street on the left of Roxie – it’s just a few shops along.
La Cocina:- A nice little bar-restaurant, open through the day both as a restaurant and a bar. It’s near the bottom of the medina. From Café California (google maps) head away from the medina. It’s amongst the cafes along the waterfront there.
Casa d’Italia:- This is a rather nice Italian restaurant including pasta and pizza and other Italian dishes, very popular with local expats. And it serves alcohol. It is on google maps, not far from the medina and Iberia roundabout.
Hatanaka’s Japanese:- From the top of Rue d’Italie go right through the gate, into the medina and towards the kasbah (castle). On the corner opposite the new jail museum, this little Japanese restaurant is open from midday to 7pm.
Riad Mokhtar:- A classier hotel with a nice restaurant and rooftop bar. Near the top of the steep street (Rue d’Italie) which runs up to the Kasbah, there’s a small lane to your left just past the pharmacy with the big green door, opposite a little carpark. Riad Mokhtar is at the end of it.
Villa Mabrouk:- Also a very classy restaurant,  and ex-home of Yvea Saint Laurent, go up to the too of Rue d’Italie and keep going towards Hafa – it’s on the next corner.
Casa Agustin: This is a new one in Acima Plaza near Comedia. It used to be Concierto, open for Ramadan.
Casa d’Espana:- Near Hotel Rembrandt on the Boulevard, it’s on the small street which runs to your left behind the Boulevard. There is a big Spanish flag on a board above it.
MacDonalds:- Places like MacDonalds and Burger King are generally open through the day. There are two MacDonalds – one near the train station on the beach, and one a block from the Rembrandt Hotel.
Mesana: Not open in the day, but from 7pm on the Corniche just past the train station, this lovely Spanish restaurant serves alcohol.

3 – Experience a Ramadan breakfast or F’tour

If you’re lucky someone may invite you to join them. But there are some ways you can enjoy Ramadan f’tour even if not.
Cafés like Comedia and Downtown offer f’tour. Head there before dusk so you’re ready for it. There will be ads on their windows.
Keep an eye out and you might see Moroccans having f’tour at certain cafés. You can join them doing that.

You could also get food from takeaways as they open up just before dusk, and turn it into a picnic.
The cafés will set up before dusk so they are ready to open after dark, but the waiters will have their f’tour before there will be service. In Morocco it is perfectly fine to take food to a café to eat it, as long as you buy a drink.
It becomes very quiet and peaceful from dusk while everyone is eating. Then gradually, re-energised, people will come out to enjoy the night. Many places are open at night much later than usual. It is always busy along The Boulevard from Café de Paris, and along the Corniche next to the water.

4 – Alcohol

If you enjoy drinking, it may be worth stocking up on alcohol before Ramadan starts. All night clubs and bottle shops will close just before Ramadan until after Eid at the end of Ramadan.
But don’t despair. As a foreigner, you will get access to hotel bars. There are some restaurants open and selling, as listed above. And in Tangier, bottle shop and delicatessen Casa Pepe is always open, until about 5.30pm this year. It is on the small street between Hotel Rembrandt and MacDonalds.
If you have the ‘wrong’ passport, or an Islamic name, you may be able to find a nice foreigner who may be willing to run the errand for you.

5 – Time and Business Hours

For Ramadan, clocks will turn back an hour beginning on the weekend before, to make the days easier to get through. If you have a flight, make sure of your time.
Businesses generally start later, and their hours will be shorter. Tours will mostly run as normal, but check to make sure not to miss out.
At dusk, taxis will drop to zero, so if you need to get somewhere, get there before dusk, or wait. 

Also be mindful that later in the day people are getting very tired and sluggish from their fasting. Be respectful and patient with them. Judgement can also be off, and tempers short with the low blood sugar levels. We’ve all been in the hungry space. While normally I have found Moroccans to be very aware drivers, you should take extra care on the streets, especially after about 2pm.

The streets are calm and empty from sunset for an hour or two, then gradually everyone comes out again bringing a nice buzz. Shops open up again and stay open longer. There is plenty going on along The Boulevard, and the Corniche along the beach
With a bit of meal and restaurant planning, try a f’tour, picnic at a café, and Ramadan can be fun. Enjoy the evening buzz.

Written by OzzyHopper