Moroccan food isn’t just tagines and cous cous, which to be honest is all I really had thought about trying before we arrived, but there is so much else on offer. We found there were many fusion menus and there is a massive french influence. One thing was apparent – all the food was vibrant and full of flavour.
There are so many options for food in Marrakech so I thought I’d share my Top 5 places to eat in Marrakech. This is totally based on my recent visit and I definitely need to go back and try even more of the food! We were only there for 4 days so that’s 8 meals (minus breakfast) so I really tried to bring you home as much of the best as possible!
Top 5 Restaurants in Marrakech
1) For the best tasting beef tangia: Souk Kafe
This was a recommendation from a twitter shout out before I went and I am SO HAPPY we went to the Souk Kafe. This was probably the best traditional moroccan dish of our trip. We ordered the beef tangia and beef tagine (we’d be chicken’d and lamb’d out), it was so good we came back for lunch on our last day. Tangia is a Marrakech original. Just like tagines, the name refers to the dish and the vessel it is prepared in. The beef was in small pieces with onion which seemed to melt into the sauce. The flavours were just incredible – cumin, saffron, turmeric, ginger. I could eat this 100 times over.
The Souk Kafe is situated within the Medina opposite the popular Le Jardin and has a great little roof terrace. The menu is traditional and very good value (one of the cheapest meals we had in Marrakech). The staff are great and you can order beer here.
2) For the special treat yo’self meal: El Fenn
El Fenn is a beautiful Riad located on the medina walls and it’s actually where we stayed for 3 nights of our trip – you can see how stunning it is here. Our flight arrived at 7pm so we decided to eat here on our first night. You do not need to be a guest to eat here. The menu is fusion and offers some great twists on Moroccan classics.
We thoroughly enjoyed the prawn ravioli and mille-feuille of tomato, mozzarella, pesto & parmesan to start. For mains it was a hard choice – we nearly ordered the langoustine linguine and new potato, pea & artichoke tagine with pearl barley. However we kept it traditional and went for quail, almond and prune and lamb, pea and artichoke tagines. Although quail is a little fussy to eat with the bones it was delicious and rich. We enjoyed the little twist of the lamb classic. There are great french inspired desserts on offer too – the lemon granita was a wonderfully refreshing way to end the meal.
During the summer months the restaurant resides on the roof terrace where you can enjoy a view of the Koutoubia. On colder nights there is a restaurant within the Riad – just look at that incredible room!
3) For the best french cuisine: Le Grand Café de la Poste
Firstly, let me apologise for the photos – it was very dark where we were sat! Le Grand Café de la Poste is located in the heart of Gueliz, an area in great contrast to the medina. We didn’t really take to all of the Nouvelle area in Marrakech, but Gueliz is pretty cool and full of great places to eat and drink. Full of locals and expats you should book a table out on the terrace, there is a great buzz out there. You can also enjoy just a drink here and it would a great place to start your evening.
The menu is french with a touch of Mediterranean and we started with salmon tartare and a calamari and caramelised pear salad. Both dishes came beautifully presented (sorry for the dark photos, it doesn’t do it justice!). The salmon rich, citrusy and the salad was light and a great pairing of flavours. Definitely going to recreate the squid and pear combo at home! We both ordered the grilled côte de bœuf because, well steak. Just look how big it was – that was for one!! To finish we shared a mini selection of desserts. The tiramisu and creme brûlée were very good. All in all a great meal in a rather wonderful colonial setting.
4) For the best secret garden: Le Jardin
Le Jardin is definitely an oasis within the medina! I know everyone says to eat here, but it really is beautiful and is a great spot to escape the heat. You can eat over three floors, from the court yard to the roof terrace. This place is like a maze and is large but always feels nicely busy. The menu offers Moroccan dishes such as pigeon pie and tagines together with French options like chicken caesar salad, burgers and pasta gratin.
Again we may have eaten here twice because it was such a relaxing place to sit for a while and enjoy the lush greenery and basically just chill after lots of walking. The lemon chicken tagine is very good here. We also tried the chicken club sandwich which came served in 4 mini pitta and it was more of a corination chicken type filling. Even though it wasn’t quite what we were expecting it was really tasty! Would order it again. Also note its licensed to serve alcohol (not everywhere within the medina is).
5) For the best laid-back modern vibe with live music: Kechmara
Kechmara is located in the cool Gueliz. There is a wicked roof top bar here where we enjoyed a great lunch, but we came back here on the last night of our whole trip as they had live jazz. We especially noticed on Friday when we returned for the music there was a hip and creative crowd there. It was fun and they serve great cocktails! If you want to come for a music night definitely book.
A mainly french menu with some asian influences in the mains, there are lots of great salad options and also a tapas menu. The burgers are good but the chips are amazing. The perfect crisp/fluffy ratio! When we returned for dinner we ordered the tomato and mozzarella which was distinctly average, but the salmon and potato salad was wonderful. This could have been a main itself: there were thick cuts of smoked salmon on top of a dill potato salad. Really enjoyable. A crab linguine followed which was full of crab meat and nice and zingy. We sat and finished our bottle of wine listening to the live jazz. A perfect way to end our week in Morocco.
Another place of note that we didn’t eat in but enjoyed some snacks: Nomad.
From the same people at Le Jardin, Nomad is a modern Moroccan eatery and rooftop cocktail bar located within the medina. The decor is sleek and very Scandi-chic compared to the usual Moroccan style. The menu is very modern. We just snacked on courgette and feta fritters which were crispy, soft, and minty. Just lovely. But the rest of the menu looks so inviting and I will definitely go straight here on my next visit to Marrakech.
These were our Top 5 restaurants in Marrakech. But I felt we only touched the surface of places to eat! Some others that were on our list but we didn’t make it to were: Al Fassia, Maison MK, Le Maison Arabe and Latitude 31.
Where are your favourite places to eat in Marrakech?