Marrakech is the Paris of Morocco. Its lively dining scene makes it a stand out place for foodies. From local fare to the gastronomic table, I will take you on a culinary journey to charming cafes, local Moroccan eats to elegant restaurants. My list of suggested places to dine are bound to excite your palette and make you want to visit Morocco more than once. Chic and savory Moroccan cuisine is now at your fingertips with this 8 Best Restaurants short guide for foodies.
New on the scene is SALT, perfect for those who want to dive deep into Gastro-Moroccan cuisine. The nine-course menu offers exotic flavors and is a new way of cuisine expression for die-hard foodies. Many think Moroccan is all tajines and couscous. Not here! SALT goes the beat with its visiting chef in residency program. The menu serves up dishes such as pickled watermelon with toasted almonds and argan oil, prawn ceviche with Barbara fig dressing, cumin infused carrot bissara with crispy ouarqa, slow cooked lamb’s should with ras el hanout, prunes, apricots and coriander. A journey of exotic flavors will surround you when you dine being served by traditional Moroccan chefs. Located in one of Marrakech’s most beautiful boutique riads, Dar Les Cigognes, this nouvelle chic dining experience is not to be missed. Start with cocktails on the roof terrace or try some local Moroccan wines, Volubilis Cabernet and Medallion white are two that will wet your taste buds and that can be carried over and paired with dinner. Then finish off with one of SALT’S delectable deserts.
Address: Berima Ground Floor، 108 Rue de Berima
The chic place to dine and be seen in Marrakech is NOMAD Cafe. This trendy restaurant has some of the most creative and distinct Moroccan modern dishes on the food scene. Tucked away in the medina, NOMAD café has views of the Rahba Kedima (Spice Market & Local Square). The restaurant has a nice mix of indoor and outdoor dining space with cozy indoor salons, rooftop terraces and a sun terrace as well. NOMAD’s menu items are a creative mix of Moroccan and Western dishes. The shaved cauliflower and fennel salad with fresh herbs and toasted almond is a must for vegetarians. The contemporary take on Moroccan bastilla, filled with spiced vegetables, local goat cheese and caramelized tomato comfit is second to none. Mains range from calamari served in a cumin infused sauce to marinated lamb served with olive and red pepper relish. For desert don’t miss the flourless saffron cake with caramelized orange zest and whipped cream, definitely a must!
Address: Rahba Kadema
Camel burger anyone? Owned by British foodie, Mike Richardson, this eclectic, local café is frequented by Moroccans and expats alike. With delicious fare that has a contemporary touch, the trend setting Café Clock offers Moroccan mint tea and homemade cakes, tasty falafel and hummus salad, almond milkshakes, crunchy salads and it’s star feature, camel burgers and fries. The Clock, as locals call it, also boasts a wonderful cooking school and weekly Hikayat performances, the traditional art of storytelling. There are rotating showcases of local Moroccan painters, calligraphers and graffiti artists. This café does a fabulous job in making sure your stomach is full while sharing the artisanal heritage of Marrakech.
Address: Derb Chtouka Phone: +212- 524378367
Amal Women’s Training Center & Restaurant
A non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women has made its way to the Marrakech food scene. Amal “hope” in Arabic lives up to its name fully. Established by Nora Fitzgerald, Amal was conceived to train and serve underprivileged Moroccan women. The restaurant menu changes daily and offers a mix of traditional Moroccan and fusion dishes. Moroccan salads, briouattes, tagines, liver with pureed potatoes and fish dishes are just some of the dishes on their menu. Amal offers traditional couscous on Fridays, the day of prayer. Diners are seated in the outdoor garden or interior salon. Amal has made name for itself for being socially conscious and supporting women. Eating here is an ideal way to support women and include socially responsible travel in your journey.
Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed
A hidden jewel located down a windy alley, just around the corner from the Dar Si Said Museum is the restaurant, La Famille. This unassuming eatery is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday brunch. Spread out on one of their wood tables and lean in to read your favorite magazine while you dine on their meat-free meals. On the menu, grilled vegetables plates, Moroccan couscous with cranberries and apricots, salads, flat breads and frothy cappuccinos. Surrounded by a rustic and charming Mediterranean garden diners can eat at tables or on low lounge chairs. La Famille also has a tiny boutique with local designers featured.
Address: 42 Riad Zitoun Jdid
Chez Lamine, Mustapha
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the Marrakech souks is the place to go for meat eaters. Owner Mustapha is a legend in the Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna Food stalls. Wander down Djemma El Fna to Mechoui alley and you will find a stall lined with sheep’s heads and Tangia pots. Mustapha’s recommendation, the top specialty, is called a Tangia Marrakchia, which is slow cooked lamb in an earthen jar. The Tangia is cooked over night (24 hours) inside a local hammam (bathhouse). The process allows the succulent juices to culminate at the bottom of the earthen pot. Also known for the best mechoui (whole roasted lamb) in town, this local eatery is filled with Moroccan families, regulars and travelers alike. Mustapha has a sister branch located in the popular, new town of Gueliz where visitors can sit street side and mingle with the locals.
Address: Souk Ablouh, 18-26 | Guéliz Rue Ibn Aicha N°26
La Crêperie de Marrakech
If galettes and pancakes are what you fancy then don’t miss the Le Crêperie in Marrakech’s garden district, Gueliz. This is Breton gastronomy at its best. Offering a delicious selection of crepes, buckwheat and wheat pancakes topped with your favorite sweet, savory or tangy ingredient. Prepared daily by the chef and owner, Laurent from Breton and Touria, this tiny café is a true gem. The crepes have fresh, local farm to table ingredients. Tastefully made with richness diners can enjoy a dark chocolate crepe, Roquefort or Chorizo, honey, goat cheese and spinach or butter-sugar and Nutella to the subtle variation of Suzette with oranges. There are even options for a full menu that includes a side salad for those who want some greens along with their savory meal. The décor is also as lively as the cuisine with the resident Parrot who is there to greet those arriving and the collectors’ wall of Breton sardine boxes. Perfect for those with a sweet and spicy tooth on a sunny or even a cold winter day.
Address: Rue du Capitaine Arrigui
Phone: +212 661433272
If your inner compass calls for a day of R&R and International dining then make your way to Le Jardin for a late afternoon lunch. The Muezzin’s call is a far cry away from the oasis of calm at Le Jardin. This trendy restaurant is located in a garden setting offers fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers, tajines, couscous and a short wine list. A must try is their spiced Moroccan coffee or Avocado shake. What awaits you is a magnificent courtyard where you can lounge that is covered with emerald green Moroccan zellij tile, dry tolerant plants, hanging banana trees, birds and botanic flowers. It is the equivalent of dining at an arboretum. Outside dining is available on the terrace or ground floor where turtles scurry their way. Organic produce is sold downstairs in a small nook while the upstairs hosts the main boutique of French-Algerian fashion designer and tastemaker, Norya Ayon.
Address: 32 Route Sidi Abdelaziz
Phone: +212 5243-78295