Time for a bit vacation and one popular destination is Morocco. There is no craft beer scene but defenitely a beer scene. Worth visiting ! Rabat is known as the administrativ, calm and sleepy capital of Morocco. Everything seems so quiet but its a very social town and people goes out quite often. There are many vibrant and nice bars as well as a bit shady ones. The regular ones are easy to find but this guide will help you find the hidden ones which took years to find. They are called shady, but not shady as in dangerous or creepy, just relative shady to the usual restaurants people visit. Literally shady, because doors and windows often are black and bars are always, almost always inside since its forbidden to serve alcohol in the public. This is just a sample of bars, not all of them. I used to have “shady pub crawls” in Rabat so this is one possible tour! Visit 2-3 bars in central Rabat and then 2-3 in Agdal.
Just walk 200 meter from the train station in Rabat and you are here. The name Terminus, says it all. Its a destination ! Its on the corner and just like many other bars, there are no google info. So aim for Cafe Terminus which is a roof top cafe in the same building.
The entrance is dark and windows hard to see but look out for any door guarded by a door man and you are sure you are on the right path. After that take a 10 min walk to Dalia or any other bar in the area.
Dalia has live music on week ends and is always crowded. So better visit it before 8 pm. But this is a must visit as well, beer and Moroccan music on week ends – what more can you wish? If you are stressed out and need some jazz and proper dining tables to sit down and meet other foreigners, visit Le Bistrot de Pietri and pay double or tripple for a beer instead of like 15 dirhams at Dalia. Live jazz at week ends attracts an older crowd with more expats and tourists. None of them will be observed at Dalia, even if its just 200 m away. These are two different planets.
Then walk further to the classic bar La Reve ( The dream) . But on the way you can have a quick beer at Yucatan which is about 300 m from Dalia. If you didn’t eat something before, have something at fancy Casa Jose Tapas. Cosy place with good sea food. La Reve and many bars listed here have a limited kitchen! You can continue to many places. Just make up your mind if you want more shady bars or try to meet the others from the tourist bus. More expats frequent nearby Ty Potes which can be fully booked on evenings. For the adventurer, visit one of the most shady bars in town, just outside the medina. Look for this door. Its the entrance to the left. Its a small place but serves Stork beer just perfectly cold. Its very close to Restaurant Zerda which also is interesting to visit. Hat off if you find it and make a visit! This is the place where people come to drink.
Otherwise take a taxi to Agdal, its like 20 dirham away . Ask for Le chill or just the Sitel tower which is nearby. Start with some snack and a cold leffe blonde.
This is Le Chill which has Leffe served in proper glasses! The door is black and there are no windows so can be a bit tricky to spot. This is a really good and popular bar where you can eat good and drink. After 8 pm it can be hard to get a table on week ends.
There are plenty of bars in the area and has a younger crowd. If you are a fan of tripadvisor reviews you probably read about Upstairs.
If you want to meet other expats or tourists in Rabat – they will probably be at Upstairs. Goethe 2.0 is also very popular for expats and often full on week ends. But this guide is not for you who want to meet other foreigners. This is for you who are interested in experiencing local culture. But remember its just one part of it. These small bars doesn’t speak for the bigger part, its just one small part of the society that you didn’t expect to experience. Many Moroccan women does not visit these cheap and male dominated bars but more fancy places like, Les Georges, Les Bistrot Pietri and other proper restaurants. Worth mentioning is the hilarious questions on various travel forums where people tells how they brought beer and wine to Morocco because they didn’t believe it existed.
If you are early in Agdal, make a visit to the wine shop Les vignes de Agdal which has a good selection of wines and beers. From le Chill you can walk to Clandestino Bar which is amazingly decorated. Ask for the famous German “Mass” and get one liter of liquid joy. Beer comes with small dishes so give a good tip here. Tipping overall is not expected to be high. But a few dirhams at each place is nice.
After Clandestino you can head to Rockers, a 5 min walk away if you need some Pantera, Metallica or bon jovi to listen to while having leffe or more of the one liter jug filled with beer. The one and only rock music bar in Rabat. Or Le Saxo, a small bar with good service and many people from the neighbourhood. Le Saxo and Rockers are very close to Les Vignes de Agdal as well as to a few more bars and the trendy Le Georges which is more of a dinner place. But they have some French craft beers so make a quick visit at the bar and ask for IPA. Probably its sold out but worth asking.
Rabat has around 20 small bars like that but also many restaurants with Italian, French and International cuisine. So no need to stay thirsty in Rabat.
Good to know that its still a bit taboo to be spotted in a bar for some people so don’t take pictures unless you are very discrete. At regular restaurants you are more than welcome to take selfies and pictures.