Need a break from Fez? Feel like a night out in the wild town of Meknes? Then go prepared with a little local knowledge. With the kind permission of our fellow blogger Taamarbuuta, we bring you her: Meknes Bar Report.
On the LP Thorntree, people are always asking about where they can get a drink in this city or that city...I can honestly tell you I've only drunk once in Fez (at the Palais Jamai, hello 55dh Heineken!), and in Marrakesh have always preferred to purchase my own wine and take it to wherever I'm staying. Rabat is dead after 10 pm, and I don't set foot in Casa unless I have to. But Meknes, ah Meknes! For such a two-horse town, you'd be surprised at the great number of drinking holes.
My personal favorite is Novelty. For those of you who've been to Morocco, I'm sure you're all too familiar with the big ugly bars with perhaps an Amstel sign and pastel-painted door out front; the kind no woman in her right mind would ever set foot inside. Novelty used to be one of these; somehow and for no known reasons, an older Italian man bought it out and fixed it up with some nice woodwork, good food, TAPAS, cheap prices, and get this - draught beer! It's quite lovely, I feel totally comfortable there with Hamza or alone, and I've never gotten sick from the food. Additionally, they stay open quite late and they have Corona for less than 50dh - a rarity in this country. (Rue de Paris, Hamrya)
A next good bet, though pricey, is the classy Le Pub. All sorts of rumours have flown about this place, but I have confirmed not one of them. There's a bar upstairs with a nice restaurant (which serves real STEAK!) and a rousing bar downstairs with a house band. They also serve prawn crackers. I take all visiting foreigners to this place. Try the lasagna, the steak, or the crab ravioli, and please...have a cognac, just because you can (Allal ben Abdellah, Hamrya)
Hotel Rif is another favorite, perhaps because their shisha is cheap and so are their beers. Usually live music, plenty of snacks going around (including CHEESE), and lovely seating. Kind of sketchy, but what bar in Morocco isn't? (Antisirabe, Hamrya)
Other good bets:
Hotel de Nice - tiny bar, good snacks, no hassle, cheapish beer.
Zaki Hotel - Would be more highly recommended if it weren't so far; plus, the bar is overpriced and somewhat boring.
Hotel Ibis - only if you're jonesing for a panini with your beer.
Hotel Transatlantique - Only in summer, when there's a fantastic medina view served up with your 50dh Heiny.
Hotel Malta- the bar's too loud but it's got some of the cleanest bathrooms in the city!