Morocco for Vegetarians, Your Morocco Tour Guide
Morocco offers plenty of fulfilling options for vegetarian travelers . It has wonderful and abundant fresh vegetables and spices like cumin, saffron cinnamon and paprika and seasonal fruits which you will see piled high in local souks.
For breakfast you will be offered bread with honey and jam and omelettes . You can also try Moroccan pancakes and crepes called malouai with honey which are often served in local cafes.
Lunch is the main meal of the day and everything stops from noon to 3:00 p.m. Restaurants usually begin by serving a salad, which includes an array of vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, radishes, green peppers, beetroot and eggplant, with spices and herbs.
The main course often consists of a tagine or couscous. A tagine is a slow-cooked stew served in an earthen ware pot and funnel shaped cover. Restaurants in the main cities are now more aware of vegetarians and vegetable tangines are usually on the menu, but you need to make sure that they are not using a meat stock. Moroccan traditions do change to accommodate tourists but sometimes you have to make sure your requirements have been fully understood. Carry a phrase book in French and Moroccan Arabic. The same is also true for Morocco’s other favourite dish the couscous. Couscous is semolina grains which are steamed above a pot of boiling vegetables. Pieces of meat are also included so vegetarians have to ensure that there is no meat in the couscous and no meat based stock.
During Ramadan and other special occasions, harira with dates is served to break the fast. This nutritious and delicious soup has a tomato base and is thick with lentils, chickpeas and herbs. Harira is often made with vegetables but you will need to check beforehand with the restaurant to ensure that it is made without meat or meat based broth.
Street food and restaurant appetizers also offer an array of meatless delights including olives and hummus, dried fruits, roasted nuts and b’sarra (white bean soup with olive oil and garlic).
In Marrakech Earth Café is well known as an organic vegetarian and vegan restaurant and it is in the heart of the medina, just off the Jemaa el Fna square. They have six entrees, three of which are vegan at 60 dirhams [about 5 or 6 euros] for huge delicious portions. They also have good fresh juices. Chez Chegrouni also offers good vegetarian fare.
Café des Epices and Terasse des Epices also offer excellent vegetarian meals as does the stylish Le Foundouk restaurant, not far from the Medersa Ben Youssef in the Medina.
Riad 58 Blu is a charming riad which serves excellent vegetarian food to order and is open to non residents . Food needs to be ordered the night before.
Pepe Nero is a high class riad restaurant with an impressive menu of Moroccan and Italian vegetarian dishes which need to be ordered the night before.
Cuisine de Mona‘s serves superb Lebanese food and vegetarian dishes which can be enjoyed in the restaurant or as a take away. The restaurant is on an early turning off the route de Targa just before the three pizza restaurants on the right hand side.
In Essaouira two recommended restaurants are:
Lalla Mira is an organic and ‘eco’ restaurant, hotel and spa.
La Petite Perle, a popular restaurant which serves good vegitarian dishes.
Riad Dar Dmana is inside the medina and serves excellent vegetarian meals to its guests which need to be ordered the night before.
Café Clock has several vegetarian and vegan dishes on its extensive menu and is a great meeting place in Fes for tourists, expats and locals.