The best little restaurant in Fez

Thami - the best kept secret in Fez.

The View from Fez team were divided on whether or not to reveal our favourite eating spot in the Fez Medina, but after a lot of discussion a vote was held and those in favour won the day.

Tourists visiting Fez are usually guided to "palace" restaurants where the menu is Moroccan salads, chicken or lamb tagine with couscous followed by fruit and mint tea. For the average visitor, street food is something they approach with undue caution. But we are here to tell you the street food is great.

So where do you go if you want to watch the crowds and enjoy a simple, delicious meal at very reasonable prices and no fuss? The answer is Thami's Restaurant.

At this point we should mention that in the context of Thami, the word "restaurant" should be taken to mean a simple table set on a street corner. In fact, the owner and chef, Thami started off a few years ago with a single table and four chairs. The following year he expanded to six chairs with two tables covered with a single tablecloth and now he has managed to take over another small area of footpath and has a second table with two chairs - such is capitalism.

On our latest visit we noticed that Thami has a gorgeous new red tablecloth and even matching seat covers. A candle twinkled in the neck of a tagine lid - such opulence! There is also a smart new menu in French and English. At the first sign of an approaching tourist, Thami weaves his way through the crowds on the street and presents them with the card. This is hard work, as his strike rate is often as low as one in fifty. Yet when the restaurant is busy, people in the know, find themselves having to nip around to the Batha Hotel to assuage their thirst while waiting for a seat. Once you get a seat you could well find yourself chatting with some of the Medina's most colourful identities - poets, renovators, English teachers and photographers.

Thami is up against stiff competition. To one side of his small hole-in-the-wall kitchen are a row of smart cafes and several terrace restaurants with ambiance much more appealing than a simple table on a busy corner near the Baboujeloud. So why do so many of the expats and Moroccan's regularly visit Thami? The answer is simple. The food is simple, cheap and fresh - and in five years of eating there - nobody has had any need to rush for the immodium! The second reason is Thami himself. He is a really nice person who looks after his regular customers as if they were members of his family.

The one drawback to Thami's is the fact that being located in such a great spot for watching the passing throng some of the locals have taken up almost permanent residence on some of his chairs and often need prying away from them with a crowbar.

We suggest you try the tagine of kefta with egg, the melange and his fish.

Thami's Restaurant is at the very top of the Tala'a Sghira on the corner that turns right to the Baboujeloud and the Tala'a Kbira. He is open for lunch and in the evenings from about 7 onwards. The restaurant is the best kept secret in Fez, so don't tell anyone else, okay?