Morocco's third-largest city tends to go overlooked, and it certainly isn't shouted about as a culinary hotspot. Even getting here – with limited flight connections and rail services – requires some effort. And once you're inside the largest medina in Africa, a colossal walled labyrinth of around ten thousand lanes, things get even trickier.
It's a far cry from ever-popular Marrakesh, whose main square and souks, packed with snake charmers, fortune tellers and acrobats, have become a movie set of tourist-orientated camera-ready experiences.
Get hungry in Marrakesh and there’s a whole host of restaurants that crowd the Jemaa el Fna, many dishing up the same tick-box menu of tagine or pizza. Not so in Fez, where finding a good place to eat is both the challenge and the charm; book a restaurant here and someone will have to pick you up to guide you there.
In the medina street food oscillates between the bizarre and the delicious. Snails prodded with safety pins sit alongside mysterious vats of meat wedged in what resembles a yellowish, greasy lard. Tempting bowls of glistening fat olives accompany piles of sticky dates.
With a local little knowledge, or some luck, you can stumble upon candlelit riad courtyards, quirky cafés tucked down nameless alleyways and creative restaurants that are cleverly blending traditional and new styles.