There's no raging nightlife scene in Essaouira, but there are a few select places (most doubling as restaurants) where you can enjoy a drink. For a sunset drink with a view, try the beachfront Le Chalet de la Plage, which has a pretty good wine list that includes a selection from a nearby winery. They usually prefer clients to eat, which can be solved by ordering an appetizer or two. Farther south along the beach is Restaurant de la Baie. One of the more popular watering holes, especially around Gnaoua & World Music Festival time, is within the medina at Alain Fillaud's rooftop Taros, 2 rue Skala (tel. 0524/476407; Overlooking place Moulay Hassan, there are a couple of levels of lounges and tables, and an L-shape bar with overhead gas heaters during the colder months and live music over summer. It can be a bit windswept at times, but there are plenty of protected corners to enjoy your drink. It's also the "in" place for local expats and has a pretty good vibe on Friday and Saturday nights. Taros is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 11pm. Also overlooking place Moulay Hassan is Christina Bataller's Casa Vera (tel. 0524/783105). This lively restaurant-cum-lounge bar offers up a fun mix of tapas and live music inside, and glorious 360-degree views from a rooftop terrace of hot pink cushions scattered over white vinyl lounges shaded by sturdy thatch pergolas. It's open Wednesday to Monday from noon to midnight. Some of the restaurants in the medina that are also good for a drink are Les Chandeliers, a cozy spot, especially upstairs on the mezzanine-level tapas lounge; La Triskalla, where a younger, slightly alternative crowd comes to chill out; and Restaurant Baraka, which often hosts live music on the weekends to accompany its menu of cocktails.

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