QUINTESSENTIALLY MOROCCO

A Traveler’s Guide: Where to Eat, Where to Shop and What to See

Where to Eat in Marrakech, Medina

Travel Exploration’s Recommendations & Reviews of the Best Places to Dine in Marrakech.



Moroccan cuisine is the culinary star of North Africa. Imperial and trade influence has been filtered and blended into Morocco’s culture. Being at the crossroads of many civilizations, the cuisine of Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences.

LE MARRAKECHI

A majestic Moroccan restaurant that overlooks Djemaa El Fna Square is the best place to eat if you want a full view of the Djemma. Le Marrakechi has reasonably priced Moroccan cuisine for the large portions they provide and boasts and atmosphere that is filled with charm. The service is spectacular as is the bellydancing show that is gratis to all those who come.



Address: 52, rue des Banques, just off Djemâa El Fna, Marrakesh


Phone: +212- 524-44-33-77
 Price



DAR EL YACOUT

This is the place to go for Palace style dining. Ignore the fact it is a tourist haunt and enjoy a full evening starting with drinks on the roof, appetizers served around one of the many grand fireplaces, before you descend to one of the glass walled dining rooms over- looking the pool courtyard. You’ll be seated along a banquette with a 5′ diameter table which will be piled with an astounding amount of food while being entertained by traditional Moroccan music. This place is all about the architectural wow factor.



Address: 79 rue Sidi Ahmed Soussi, Arset Ihiri


Phone: +212-524-38-29-29

LE TOBSIL

This restaurant whose name means “plate” in Arabic serves some of the best food in the medina. In typical Marrakech fashion, the food at Le Tobsil just keeps on coming, course after course after course. But far from being a test of endurance, the experience is more like unwrapping presents at Christmas: You can’t wait to see what’s next. Aperitifs are followed by a swarm of vegetarian meze dishes, a flaky pastilla, a tajine, and a couscous dish. Finally, fruit is served accompanied by pastries and tea or coffee. The setting is equally rich: a gorgeous old house deep in the Medina where guests are seated on two levels around a courtyard and entertained by Gnawa musicians.


Address: 22 Derb Moulay Abdallah Ben Hessaien


Phone: +212 24 44 40 52

LE FONDOUK

Tucked away in a hidden backstreet of the medina’s less touristy northern district is one of our favourite restaurants in Marrakech. With an air of mystery, cloaked Moroccan men guide you down a narrow, winding and dusty alley and inside a secret door, where a stylish sanctuary will be revealed as you step inside this modern reinterpretation of an ancient travelers inn. Set within a dramatic multi-level dining space with soaring high ceilings, enjoy a quiet aperitif in their cozy lounge bar, savour the prime people-watching balcony views from the first floor tables overlooking a giant wrought-iron candelabra, or retreat to the rooftop terrace for romantic alfresco dining. After dinner, sink into one of the plush purple-hued lounges for a cocktail or a glass of local Moroccan wine. The split Franco-Moroccan menu is accomplished, where we prefer the Moroccan menu with a delicious selection of spicy soups, tagines, couscous and delicious baked pastillas.

Address: 55 Soukd Hal Fassi


Phone: +212-524-378-190

LE COMPTOIR DARNA

A hot sport for pre- or after dinner drinks- and dinner. It has both an upper level and lower level Soho style bar and a simply arresting belly dancing show, compliments of the owners. It is a favorite stop for Marrakech Film Festival luminaries and has extremely delicious cuisine that mélanges French- Moroccan style. 




Address: Avenue Echouhada
(Hivernage/ Gueliz)


Phone: +212-524-383-836 


LE TANJA

Le Tanja is a stylish brassarie in the old medina and has excellent tajines, couscous and fish dishes. The serene, elegant rooftop terrace with beautiful rose-filled fountain is a great place to relax at sunset with views over the ancient alleyways.


Address: 14 Derb J’did Hay Essalam


Phone: +212-24-383-836


LA MAISON ARABE

Originally a restaurant dating back to the 1940s, and now a hotel, this is still a quiet, grown-up spot for lunch or dinner: excellent stock-drenched couscous, tender tagines, fresh juices and fantastic coffee. Get a table in the courtyard or in the little ante-room for lunch and in the Moroccan restaurant for dinner. Dinner is accompanied by Arab-Andalusian music player on the lute and the guitar. Le Maison Arabe also boasts another restaurant called Saveurs d’Ailleurs which offers world cuisine in an intimate environment, with walls covered in ‘Havana’ colored leather panels, which evoke the 1930’s and colonial African feel. One can savour exotic dishes, as well as delicious Asian-influenced tapas here.


Address: 1 Derb Assehbe, Bab Doukkala


Phone: +212-524-387-010 


DAR MOHA

Dar Moha is a restored riad that has been offering one of Marrakech’s most distinguished dining experiences for more than 10 years. It is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. The interior rooms are elegantly furnished with antique Asian art and furniture. The back garden is where you’ll want to be. Ten-meter-high walls, painted in Majorelle Garden blue, surround a central swimming pool. Candlelit tables, covered with rose petals, are spread around the pool, shaded by a garden of giant umbrella trees, banana palms, and bougainvillea. Live Gnaoua and Andalusian music complete the ambience.Then there’s the food. Chef Mohammed (Moha) Fedal offers a delicious set menu of what can only be described as nouvelle Marocain. Familiar dishes have been given a distinctive twist, such as the beef tagine with figs and walnuts cooked with cinnamon and argan oil, and a vegetable couscous topped with caramelized pumpkin and raisins


Address: 81 Rue Dar el-Bacha


Phone: +212-544-386-400 


THE EARTH CAFE

The Earth Cafe is the first vegetarian, vegan cafe in Marrakech located in an old traditional Riad just a few food steps away from Djemaa El Fna Square. It offers good quality vegan food and a culinary style that mixes fresh and natural ingredients. The staff and owner are extremely friendly and the service is good. The vegan spring rolls have a reputation for being top notch and the portions are of good size. The perfect home grown, home cooked, organic food in the heart of the “red hamra” city.

Address: N2 Derb, Zawak, Riad Zitoun Kedim

Phone: +212-661-289-402
Price

CAFE ARABE

This stylish cafe/lounge bar/restaurant has been carving its own niche within the medina. The Italian owners have come up with a menu (in English) of both Italian and Moroccan classics that includes ricotta and spinach cannelloni and couscous aux sept légumes (seven vegetables). Those looking for coffee and cake can choose from a delectable selection of homemade tarts and cakes; from a meringue and cream pavlova with strawberries to a pear and chocolate cake. The staff is young and friendly, and the background lounge music fits the bill perfectly. An open courtyard with citrus trees provides shade for the lunch crowd; in the evening fairy lights create romance.

Address: 184 rue Mouassine 


Phone: +212- 524-429-728

CAFE DES EPICES

Café des Épices is now obligatory stop for anyone in need of a light lunch and the Terrace repeats the formula with laidback seating in open-sided booths, cool music and big views.There is a new Franco-Moroccan dining menu. Specialties include salads and grilled meat and fish, and  there is always a range of fresh juices – orange, of course, all year round, and whatever else is in season. Young expats not normally seen on this side of town can be found lounging on the banquettes, while an increasing number of foreigners in search of a quiet moment in the souk are making their way up the stairs to this rooftop hide-away.

Address: 15 Souk Cherifia, Sidi Abdelaziz


Phone: 212-524-37-59-004

RIAD MONCEAU

The designer Isabelle Aubry has made this little Arab-Andalusia architectural jewel situated just 100 meters from the Djemaa El Fna Square in Marrakech a highly exclusive place, combining an attentive, warm welcome with refined Moroccan gastronomic cuisine. An ideal address for a romantic dinner in the privacy of the dining-room or on the patio by the swimming pool. The discovery menu changes everyday depending on what’s available at the local market.

Address: 7/8 Derb Chaaabane, Riad Zitoune Lakdim


Phone: +212-524-439-646

Alecia Cohen

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