Morocco Traveler’s Recommendations of the Best Places to Dine in Marrakech, Gueliz.
Once you pass the traditionally dressed doormen, this place is all-female and is run like a family kitchen. Set up by the well-known Chab family 20 years ago, this popular restaurant is now successfully managed by Myra Chab as a cooperative. A variety of Moroccan dishes are available, including specialties that require a day’s notice such as the dalaa mbakhra (steamed lamb shoulder) and chaâra medfouna (steamed vermicelli garnished with pigeon). The tagines and couscous here go against the grain in both ingredients and size. Chicken with caramelized pumpkin and lamb with eggplant are just two of the 13 tagine choices, and you’re served a portion that you might actually be able to finish. The desserts are delicious, so leave space for some seffa couscous in butter, sugar, milk, and cinnamon.
Address: Aguedal & Gueliz
Phone Aguedal: +212-524-381-138
Phone Gueliz: + 212-524-434-060
Located in the Ville Nouvelle, Gueliz, in Marrakech next to Hotel Diwane, L’Annexe restaurant has all the attractions of a bistro with contemporary style. The owner is always on the premises showing off cuisine from the South of France. This French restaurant is also known for the quality of its beef. With a set lunch menu at a pre-fixed price, reservations are advised. In the evening, the ambience is toned down, lending it towards a romantic tête à tête or dinner with friends.
Address:Rue Moulay Ali
Conveniently located in the new town of Geuliz, this small restaurant – wine bar welcomes you to a modern and friendly atmosphere. Stepping into neutral gray and brown hues with pops of red, the decor blends with the array of casual low and high top tables surrounding a mini wine bar. You can find the daily specials written out on a large chalkboard so don’t expect a menu! Sample one of the set dishes – three Entrees (macaroon salmon tartar), 3 Plats (filet of sole with shrimp ) or three Desserts (including succulent Haka chocolate) and some specialties such as Tournedos Rossini and foie gras La Villa. Call ahead for a reservation as the opening times vary for lunch and dinner.
Address: 185 Avenue Moulay Rachid, Gueliz
Phone: +212-524 43 37 00
LE CHAT QUIT RITL
Le Chat Qui Rit is a popular restaurant, well-known amongst locals. Italian and internationally inspired cuisine in a magical setting makes this a place unlike any other. Its eclectic decor and walls covered in framed posters from around the world, make it a feast for the eyes alone.
Come here for pizza and proper pasta – Al dente, tossed with fresh vegetables and herbs, and drizzled with fruity olive oil. Bernard, the charming chef/owner, comes out to ask about everyone’s pasta – he is that confident in his creations. Seasonal seafood options are also a good choice as they are delivered fresh from the coast daily.
Address: 92, Rue Yougoslavie, Gueliz
Phone: +212-524 43 43 11
LE GRANDE CAFE LA POSTE
This Parisian-style bistro is popular with Marrakchi businessmen and European expats, and is a handy stop-off if you’re shopping in Guéliz. Have a citron pressé, or a café au lait, and muse over how much the old outskirts of Marrakech have changed since the café’s 1920s sorting-office heyday. La Poste was an old colonial hotel located in the heart of the Ville Nouvelle and the owners of this brasserie have kept it’s colonial style decor and atmosphere with comfortable rust colored leather couches, table seating inside and outdoors surrounded by greenery and charming colonial lamps that sit beside each table. Mediterranean chef Cyril Lignac and Moroccan Sana Gamas create a seamless blend of cuisines in signature dishes; roast chicken with wild Berber thyme and olives, and a stellar salad wtih local goat cheese and citrus-herb vinaigrette that are must eats.
Address: Corner of Boulevard El Mansour Eddahbi and Avenue Imam Malik, Guéliz
This up-market Italian restaurant is located in a very fine colonial house, who eclectic style of decoration is the result of owner’s extensive travels. The excellence of the cuisine is equalled by the outgoing staff and the friendly character of the restauranteur himself.
Address: 17 Rue Mohammed el-Bequal
This cozy, chic spot is tucked in a quiet street in the centre of the new city. Entering through an outdoor seating area (weather permitting), the warm staff greet and lead you inside to the cheerful dining room with wood tables and comfy chairs. Accents of red contrast the white walls and a bar rests in the centre of the eating area. Although a small space, the tables are private enough for a romantic dinner and conversation over a glass of wine. Fitting music is played lightly in the background – some nights they even bring in live entertainment. Chez Mado’s menu is based on fish. Popular is the Bar with coarse salt, Jacques Scallops with foie gras, and American Lobster (to name just a few specialties), but one would not be disappointed to try one of their other meat dishes such as beef tenderloin with foie gras.
Address: 22, Rue Moulay Ali, Gueliz
Phone: +212-524 42 19 94
Bo-Zin is the ultimate after-dinner den, a haute couture hang-out just a short taxi ride out of town. Super-smooth, it dishes up spoonfuls of Beluga caviar and tender tagines of camel with truffles in a flame-lit garden. Hungry hepcats sit at low tables dotted with comfy cushions.
Address: Route de l’Ourike
Meaning the last kiss in Italian, L’Ultimo Bacio invites patrons to enjoy a spaghetti dish, pizza, stuffed vegetables with risotto, and more from its rich and flavourful menu. Offering a ‘menu of the day’, specialty dishes can be sampled at a reasonable price. Upon entry, the simple yet stylish decor sets the tone – a long skinny room flanked by wood tables and bright white painted walls opens up at the back to small but more open dining space. Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, reservations are recommended.
Address: Angle Rue Tarik Ibn Ziad et Moulay Ali Guéliz
Phone: +212-661-11 26 09
LA CUISINE DE MONA
Most people don’t come to Morocco to eat Lebanese, but for those tired of the tagine and couscous, La Cuisine de Mona is a gem. Set down a quiet street off the main streets of Gueliz, once you spot a bright green, white and pink painted front with greenery nearly bursting out the front doors – you have arrived. A small outdoor patio space has a couple of tables but you can also go through and eat inside – downstairs or up. Owner and chef Mona is usually there taking your order as well as cooking in the open kitchen and chatting to her guests. The mezze platter (houmous, bab ganousj, falafel,salads and more) is big enough for two to share and gives you a good taste of Lebanese fare. You can also order wine and beer.
Address: Residence Mamoune, 5-115b, Quartier El Ghoul
Phone: +212-618 137 959
For restaurants with dishes diverging from traditional Moroccan cuisine, head to the Ville Nouvelle, where many establishments serve lighter fare. Kechmara offers tasty sandwiches and salads in a sleek white-and-chrome dining room with a rooftop terrace. Live music plays every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, and the restaurant often hosts exhibits of art and photography.
Address: 3 De Rue La Libertie
This traditional Italian restaurant offers excellent food in a warm, Italian atmosphere in a beautiful villa in the heart of Gueliz. This true Italian kitchen is of quality and gastronomy without the high prices. Every past dish is complimented with fresh ingredients and all made the traditional, al dente way. Appetizers such as the fresh, garlic and herb flat bread, brochetta and even their Casanova salad are light and a great starter before your main course. There are a wide range of Moroccan and Italian high-end wines to compliment the meal which can be topped off with a variety of delicious deserts.
Address: 221 Avenue Yacoub Mansour
Located in the Palmeraie of Marrakech, Le Blokk is worth a visit for those looking for nightlife alongside a good meal. The decor is chic, and dishes like duck with balsamic vinegar and lamb with thyme are reasonably priced. The live music, however, takes center stage. Tap your feet while talented singers perform songs from the last 50 years.
Address: Circuit de la Palmeraie, next to Mehdi PalacePalmery
Behind black unassuming shuttered doors, Le Loft opens up into an industrial meets old Africa cozy style bistro with worn wood floors and rattan furniture leading the way into sunken booth seating and thick high top tables with barstool seating in the back. Classic cover songs are played in the background as the soft hum of the extraordinarily large ceiling fans keep the dining room cool. Although it has no open terrace, a small open space in the entrance has an uncovered roof, weather permitting.Serving up simple and fresh fare from sliced salmon appetizers to tender roasted duck and juicy beef burgers as well as a fairly extensive alcoholic drink menu, it is a popular lunch stop as well as a casual night out for dinner for local Marrakchi – don’t be surprised to see waiters being greeted with a hug!
Address: 18, Rue de la Liberté, Guéliz
Phone: +212-524 43 42 16
Le Catanzaro is a traditional Alpine Italian restaurant that is a real institution in Marrakech. It has attracted a large clientele for the past 20 years. Italian specialties and the best contemporary meat dishes in the city can be found here. The atmosphere is typical Italian style and the staff is friendly along with thoughtful waiters that add to an enjoyable dining experience. When looking for a detour from the traditional Moroccan fare on vacation, Le Catanazaro serves as a the perfect choice.
Address: Rue Tarik de Yougoslavie (Gueliz)
CAFE DU LIVRE
This comfortable and hip cafe is tucked away inside a side street of the Ville Nouvelle’s colonial French Quarter in Marrakech. Cafe Du Livre serves a delicious array of Moroccan, American and French foods. The comfortable and inviting atmosphere has seen the likes of several prominent authors who often appear for book signings and talks. Additionally, the shelves are lined with English and French books; classics, novels, books on art, and of course, books about Marrakech.
Address: 44 Rue Tarik Ibn Zaid
JACK IS BACK
Recently reopened and renamed, Jack is Back is the place to be for the hip of Marrakech. Low slung ceilings, dark decor and inspiring quotes give it a cozy air but quirky mobiles hung from the ceiling and a more than large fried egg displayed on a wall give it its edgy feel.
An international menu including starters and desserts gives guests plenty to ponder over. From pizza and pasta to steaks and seafood dishes you won’t go away hungry.
Drinks can be had with dinner or slide over to the cubby corner bar and enjoy the atmosphere
Address: 10 rue Oued el Makhazine, Gueliz
Phone: +212-5 24 43 38 90
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-
Address: Avenue Echouhada (Hivernage/ Gueliz
Jad Mahal is a combination of bar, restaurant and dance complex. Since its opening in December 2003, Jad Mahal has been a hit amongst travelers and hip young Marrakech’s and is a trendy addition to the Marrakech nightlife scene. Located just outside the old city, Jad Mahal boasts and elegant courtyard with two dining rooms, with a blend of Indian and Moroccan Décor.
Address: Fontaine de la Mamounia