How to Spend One Night in Casablanca

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Khalil Nemmaoui

Street life Casablanca offers café culture, clubbing and cabaret

Jamal Abdennassar, 37, founder,
 Casablanca Fashion Week
I'd start the evening at La Cigale restaurant-bar, tel: (212-52) 227 6985. Opened in 1914, this place is a timeless hub for artists, actors, musicians and bohemian intelligentsia with a penchant for drawn-out, stoically defended discourses. After a few cold beers and an endless supply of olives, I'd go to dinner and party like a matador at La Corrida, tel: (212-52) 227 8155, a Spanish restaurant and old bullfighter hangout that houses a sprawling collection of photos of Casablanca in its bullfighting days.

El Mejboud Ali, 32, film director
I often begin my evenings with a drink at Vertigo, tel: (212-52) 229 4639, a wine cellar turned bar, but if I'm in need of a breeze, there's no better place than the terrace of Le Cabestan, tel: (212-52) 239 1190, which overlooks the ocean. For satisfying more primal desires, there's La Bavaroise, tel: (212-52) 231 1760, which offers a juicy cut of meat accompanied by a rousing glass of red. Slightly buzzed and with that sated, happy feeling you get after eating a good steak, I might ring up a few friends and suggest a rendezvous at Sky 28, tel: (212-52) 295 8989, where you can gaze at the glittering lights of the city, 28 floors below. If I'm still curious to see what the night holds, I might take one last jaunt along the coast to Balcon 33, tel: (212-52) 222 5698, a beachfront cabaret where traditional music gracefully melds with modern sound.

Michy Mano, 50, composer and poet
Start your evening at a little bar called Mhaya. It has no phone but is easy to find on rue Mohammed-Sidki, in front of the famous Aladdin Shawarma. It's good for watching football and putting back a few beers and free tapas. Then go for a twilight tour of the city's colonial architecture. Casablanca of the 1920s was teeming with European architects who came to make a name for themselves. Their work is most apparent around the outskirts of the Old Medina, where you'll find a mixture of Art Deco and baroque-style buildings. After sundown, head to La Corniche, which in the 1940s and '50s was a hot spot for French globetrotters. Today it's still full of nightlife. I'd end the evening at B Rock at 55 Boulevard de la Corniche. Many bands get their start there. There are friendly jam sessions, and the mike is always open.