When dining out in Morocco, Marrakech is foodie heaven – thanks to its charming atmosphere and wide selection of eateries to choose from. From Jemaa el Fna food stalls, bistros and French-inspired cafes in Gueliz, to gourmet palace restaurants in Medina, there is a restaurant to please everyone, no matter what your preference. Despite Morocco being a predominantly Muslim country, there is plenty of opportunities to drink, but if you’re wanting a glass of red in your hotel, be sure to pack a corkscrew in your suitcase.
Amal Women’s Training Centre and Moroccan Restaurant is a non-profit organisation in Marrakesh, that helps disadvantaged women gain work experience by training them in the preparation of Moroccan and international food. The centre was established in 2012 by Nora Belahcen Fitzgerald and each year 30–40 women complete 4-6 months of training, which often leads to them finding relevant employment. An unusual but brilliant idea.
The menu changes daily but there’s always at least a choice of 3 starters, mains and dessert and on Fridays couscous is always the star of the show. Prices are extremely reasonable.
The shaded outside seating area in the garden has a wonderfully quiet and peaceful atmosphere and is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious, extremely reasonably priced meal.
The restaurant now offers cookery classes as well, so why not give it a go?
The Bazaar Café is a five-minute walk from the Jemaa el Fna Square, in Mouassine, one of the oldest and most elegant neighbourhoods of the Medina of Marrakesh. Most of the dining area is on the roof terrace, so you will be able to look down into the charming courtyard below or turn around and admire the skyline of the medina.
The speciality at this café is their large selection of delicious tapas from Morocco, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, and Greece – perfect for sharing. There is also a à la carte menu and a daily special. All ingredients are organic and only locally grown products are used and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
To accompany your meal, you can choose from Moroccan and foreign wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails.
For dessert, you must try the homemade Italian ice-cream with fruit, spices and herbs. Yummy.
Situated in one of the most popular quarters of the Marrakesh medina, the Café Árabe is an attractive, stylish, spacious and colourful riad, very popular with both locals and tourists.
The entrance leads from Rue Mouassine into an open-air courtyard where you can sit and have a delicious meal. There is also a large roof terrace with a lounge-bar furnished with sumptuous sofas and chairs. This is a perfect setting for pre-dinner drinks in surroundings that are modern and sophisticated and have wonderful views over the city. The whole of the café is bathed in beautifully romantic candlelight at night
You can have breakfast, lunch or dinner at Café Arabe. The menu is quite simple with a mixture of Moroccan and Italian dishes such as pasta, soups and salads, all beautifully cooked and presented.
There is also a full bar offering a good selection of wines, spirits, and cocktails.
Café Clock is a unique café, not only does it serve delicious food but it’s the venue for jazz sessions, cookery classes and traditional storytelling performances. You can enjoy a wonderful meal while enjoying the entertainment and soaking up the atmosphere of this truly exceptional place.
Situated in a lovely 250-year-old courtyard house, you can sit inside or on the roof terrace. The food is incredible, you can choose from Camel burgers, tagine, couscous chicken, hummus and many other culinary delights. Desserts include the fantastic date cheesecake – one to die for.
The café holds art exhibitions, has weekly jam sessions where all musicians are welcome, Thursday is storytelling time, the Houariyat ladies entertain the crowds, turning the cafe into a dance floor on Saturdays and a Gnaoua troop brings in a crowd of all ages for a Sunday Sunset Concert. Something for everyone.
Morocco has many cheap, good value for money cafes and restaurants. Whether you want traditional Moroccan food or European cuisine you will have no trouble finding somewhere to eat even if your budget is low.
Some of the restaurants in or near the Marrakesh medina offer incredible value for money. Roti D’or, for example, is an inexpensive and cosy restaurant situated in the medina serving delicious food such as falafel wraps, tagines, enchiladas, and burgers. The food is delicious, the staff friendly, the music enjoyable and the prices cheap. What more could you want?
The Atay Cafe Food is an unusually named restaurant, also in Marrakech Medina. It has a rooftop terrace and serves delectable food such as lemon/saffron chicken and chicken pastilla. The prices are very good and the views from the terrace are lovely.
Located in the centre of the red city, close to Marrakech marina, the restaurant Eveil Des Sens offers its customers a warm and friendly welcome and the chance to dine in a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The restaurant serves honest, good Moroccan food as well as European meals. You can choose from dishes such as tagines, pastilla, pil-pil shrimps, couscous with chicken and vegetables, brochettes (kebabs), pizza, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, and seafood. All meals are served with bread and olives, the portions are very generous and the food is beautifully cooked and presented and very reasonably priced. What more could you ask for?
Now onto the desserts – chocolate mousse, panna cotta, and crème caramel are the restaurant’s most popular sweets. All just melt in the mouth and are absolutely scrumptious.
This restaurant gives extremely good value for money, the service is first-class and the staff very friendly and helpful.
Basic Moroccan meals may begin with a thick soup – most often the spicy, bean and pasta harira. A dish you will find everywhere is Tagine, which is, in essence, a stew, steam-cooked slowly in an earthenware dish with a conical earthenware lid. Typical tagines include lamb or mutton with prunes and almonds and chicken with olives and lemon. Brochettes (small pieces of lamb on a skewer) are also popular as is kefta (minced lamb).
Many restaurants also offer pastilla, a succulent pigeon or chicken pie, prepared with filo pastry dusted with sugar and cinnamon; it is a particular speciality of Fez. Then, of course, there’s couscous the most famous Moroccan dish; Berber in origin, it’s a huge bowl of steamed semolina piled high with vegetables and mutton, chicken, or occasionally fish.
If you’re looking for breakfast, many cafés, offer a breakfast of bread, butter, and jam or maybe an omelette.
Mamma Mia is situated in the heart of the red town in Gueliz. An Italian restaurant and pizzeria offering an extensive menu including, generous bowls of pasta, charcuterie (selection of cold meats) and pizzas with an extensive choice of toppings. The pizzas are cooked in a wood fire oven and are just perfect. You can also have steak or veal escalope as your main meal served with a variety of vegetables.
There is also a large choice of wines, local, international and Italian, to accompany your meal or various beers if you prefer. Cocktails are also available. There is a full bar at the back of the restaurant where smoking is allowed. You cannot smoke in the other areas of the restaurant.
If you decide to visit the Mamma Mia, don’t go before 7 pm on a weeknight as they don’t open until then.
If you want to give your taste buds a rest from all the Moroccan food you have been eating on your holiday, then Roti D’or is the place for you. Hidden away down a relatively quiet, charming, side street of the Marrakesh medina is this wonderful little pavement café serving delicious, non-Moroccan dishes at very reasonable prices.
For a quick lunch break, away from the souks, this is an ideal spot. You can choose from a variety of burgers including the double burger and the Tex-Mex or wraps such as shawarma, falafel, and chicken, all served with a tangy rice salad or salad and fries. There are also vegetarian options. The portions are large, well cooked and presented.
To sum it all up, this café offers delicious food, nice ambience, friendly staff, good music and amazing value.
Zwin Zwin Café is located in the Marrakech medina and you enter via a few steps leading to the cosy interior living room. However, the best place to eat is on the roof topterrace where you will have a panoramic view of the city.
The menu is excellent and offers gourmet salads, large, substantial wraps and a selection of local specialities. There is also always a special dish of the day such as the tagine of swordfish, freshly delivered from Essaouira. The aromatic fish fillet is cooked to perfection and served on a bed of subtly seasoned chermoula sauce accompanied by a warm semolina (pan-fried flatbread).
Now for dessert – the café is renowned for its homemade apple pastilla which is absolutely delicious. Once you have eaten why not sit on the rooftop with a cocktail until sundown and watch the sky change colour?