The Best Places to Eat in Marrakech
Traveling to Morocco is an unforgettable experience. To get the most out of the bustling atmosphere of Marrakech, eat where the locals eat. You should know that the food in the colorful markets, street stalls and cafes is not only delicious, but often cheap. In this city every traveler will find something tasty and nourishing that fully satisfies his tastes.
Henna Art Cafe
To get to this beautiful place, you first need to escape the crowded and noisy streets of Jemaa el-Fna and then follow in the direction of the huge blue sign at the Metallurgov Market. Behind the tiny door is a health food eatery. The cafe also has a gift store, an art gallery, a rooftop terrace and a henna art school where visitors can watch artists and even do a drawing on their hand.
The cafe opened two years ago and is run by Rashid Karkosh and American artist Laurie Gordon, a traveler who has been in the country forever since his vacation.
The menu includes vegetarian and vegan dishes such as hummus soup and caramelized pumpkin. Meat lovers can also find something for themselves. They are encouraged to try the chicken Gumbo or the grilled turkey kebab.
The highlight of this place is that on a hot and sunny day, every guest seated on the terrace is offered a funny straw hat.
The Talaa bazaar offers tourists a huge variety of colorful street food outlets. The most popular is the place where the smiling bearded chef, known to all as Monsieur Fromage, cooks. Just say his name and any local will immediately point you in the right direction. In this small establishment, guests are invited to sample several specialties. Monsieur Fromage begins his mornings by grilling bundles of lamb kidney kebabs, and at noon he prepares lamb chops. Both dishes are served with hot tortillas and tea. A portion of kidneys or chops will cost you $2.50. The kiosk usually sells out by 2 p.m. and closes for the rest of the day, so if you want to eat at Monsieur Fromage, you should get there early.
A stone’s throw from Monsieur Fromage in Talaa Bazaar, the tiny Chez Hassan grill offers its visitors a variety of dishes: start with a bowl of harira, a soup made of the famous Moroccan tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon and lentils; don’t turn down a crispy turkey, fish or chicken kebab roasted over charcoal; try the specialty rate au viande hachee, lamb spleen stuffed with liver. It sounds intimidating, but it really is delicious. Main courses start at $3.
In the heart of Medina, near the Marrakech Museum and the fruit and vegetable market, Bakchich is an institution that is among the top eating places not only among tourists but also among locals. You can easily see the chef cooking tajine, a dish of meat and vegetables on a makeshift outdoor stove. Your trip to Morocco should not pass without tasting it.
The institution has only a few tables for visitors on the first floor, but if you go up the stairs, you will find yourself on a small terrace with a stunning view of the city.
In addition to the signature tagines, which start at $2, you can order a dozen dishes, from signature rabbit, meatballs or fish to vegetarian dishes with figs, apricots and almonds.
A huge number of street food stalls are located in a place called Méchoui Alley. This place is not for the squeamish, but the reward for every daredevil is a plate of the most delicious méchoui (roast lamb) of your life. The institution Chez Lamine was opened more than 100 years ago. The first thing the chefs do, starting their work, is to heat a huge underground oven, then lower about 40 carcasses of lamb into it and cook them on coals. At dinner time, the finished meat is taken out of the oven, cut up and served on a piece of parchment. This dish is usually eaten by hand, washed down with hot mint tea. One kilogram of roast lamb costs $16.5, a serving for one person would be about $3.8.
Near the renovated Mellach spice market in Marrakech‘s old Jewish quarter, is Snack Tafrsiwant. The rickety plastic tables and chairs of this thriving street kiosk sit right on the sidewalk, offering an incredible view of the Sidi Hamed El Kamel mosque.
Here you can sample the best Moroccan cuisine, such as tagine, a chicken or lamb that is cooked for several hours in a clay pot with saffron, garlic and preserved lemon, and eaten only with the traditional flatbread, not with rice or potatoes, as well as spicy sardines and koftas.
This charming Italian eatery, located in the quiet neighborhood of Bab Taghzout, is a real find, popular with locals and tourists who are in search of Italian cuisine prepared using Moroccan culinary traditions.
Adriano Pirani, an architect from Bologna, decided to convert a traditional Moroccan palace into a restaurant. The tiled courtyard with fountains, mosaics and lemon trees is perfect for a romantic alfresco dinner.
Once here, be sure to try the spicy carrot veloute with ginger, powdered almonds and lemon zest, the classic spaghetti with local clams or the juicy burger with camel meat and onions with citrus notes. Main courses start at $10.
You won’t miss the giant Earth Cafe sign in the bustling bazaar, which will take you to a rather interesting establishment. The menu of the cafe offers only vegetarian or vegan dishes that are cooked before your eyes in the open kitchen.
Try traditional pastilles, filo cookies filled with pumpkin, spinach and goat cheese, and homemade noodles with seasonal vegetables, coconut garlic, soy sauce and fresh herbs. The cost of a two-course lunch, will be about $15.
Café Le Studio
Studying tips for tourists going on a trip to Marrakech, we can conclude that the Yves Saint Laurent Museum is a must-visit place. After viewing the exhibition, guests can relax and have lunch at the organic cafe that works at the museum. Saint Laurent’s sketches can be seen in the interior design. Bright yellow tables are located near the pool, from which there is a pleasant coolness. Prices here are quite high, so the cost of main dishes starts from $11. This is due not only to the location of the cafe, but also to the fact that organic ingredients are used in the preparation.
Le Petit Cornichon.
The former French colonial quarter of Marrakech in Guéliz differs from the neighboring medieval Medina. Most of the restaurants located here are upmarket and quite expensive. Le Petit Cornichon is an establishment where everyone can try an unusual interpretation of fine French cuisine from the talented young Moroccan chef Manaf El Bloul. He uses only local products, herbs and spices in his work. At lunch, you can fill up on dishes like St. Peter’s Fish with roasted red peppers and zucchini, pea soup with smoked sardines, beef carpaccio with cabbage and sesame, classic tuna tatami with quinoa or ombrine ceviche marinated in matcha tea with orange. Two-course dinners start at $14.50.