A Guide to Marrakesh Morocco’s Food Culture

categories: africa travel

Eating in Marrakesh

Marrakesh is a city that will send senses racing and leave visitors wanting to explore more of the North African region. In particular the oasis of sights and smells that Marrakesh is famous for will delight food lovers. Moroccan cuisine has seen a renaissance recently, with couscous and hummus as popular as ever in the western world. With a local food culture that is renowned throughout the world, and a rising contemporary restaurant scene to sample, there is a lot to explore. Here is a 24 hour guide to the sampling the exotic taste of the Red City:

Breakfast – Orange juice in the Jeema El Fna and crepes in the Souks

With the heat of the day just about to rise, you will want start to your day on the outskirts of the city and move towards the centre of Marrakesh later on. The outskirts of the Medina provide a relaxing vibe to breakfast and early lunches, there is a treasure chest of local cafés and restaurants that excel in breakfast and light lunches.

After breakfast head to the Medina (old town) and experience the vibrancy of Marrakesh. The Jemma El Fna is the living heartbeat of Marrakesh, with the square providing a cultural meeting point for residents and visitors of the city. As the sun rises, the world famous market square becomes a collection of the weird and wonderful; you can expect to find snake charmers and traditional tooth-pullers sharing the square with food stalls and market traders. Whilst observing the square make sure you try the orange juice available during the day, freshly picked oranges provide the perfect refreshment for this time of the day.

Breakfast Highlight – Head to Jardin Majorelle, the gardens of Yves Saint Laurent. The picturesque gardens are a collection of art and flowers,and the tourist hotspot is quieter in the morning. The gardens are perfect for a traditional Moroccan breakfast of crepes and beans.

Lunch – Café Culture in Marrakesh

For light eating during the day, visitors should explore the vibrant local café culture in Marrakesh.  The city seems to be designed for exploring and after meandering through the souks visitors will be thinking the same. Head down the mystical side alleys and discover authentic cafes offering a variety of food. The cuisine available will vary in size and price, so you can enjoy a light meal or simply enjoy a drink.

Café Arabe is the epitome of the café culture in Marrakech, with a roof top terrace providing panoramic views of the surrounding Atlas Mountains and a unique setting for lunch. Enjoy a variety of dishes with Moroccan cuisine and Italian influence on the menu. The quiet and refreshing ambience provides a relaxing atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the Medina.

Lunch Highlight – Enjoy a refreshing mint tea whilst you soak up the atmosphere of bustling Marrakesh below you, and marvel at the imposing Atlas Mountains in the background.

Dinner – The Magic of the Jemma El Fna and Contemporary Marrakesh

As night falls in Marrakech the Jemma El Fna market becomes an open air restaurant and there is an invitation for all. The smoke of grilled meat illuminates the night air and the hustle and bustle Marrakech is renowned for comes to the fore. Within the square there is well over 70 food stalls all vying for your attention, so leave enough room to try many of the dishes on offer. The square can be busy so do not be put off by a long queue for a stall, this is an indication of good food! A must try is a tangine, which is a slow cooked meat stew with vegetables and North African spices.

For a contemporary meal with a Moroccan twist the Abbysin Restaurant within the grounds of the Palais Rhoul Hotel is perfect. This outdoor space is romantically adorned with all white furniture and candles, so it is perfect for couples on holiday in the city. Alternatively, the unique Al Fassia restaurant proudly serves the best in Moroccan food, with fluffy couscous and slow cooked tangines specialities on the menu.

Dinner Highlight – The food stalls in the Jemma El Fna are one of the world’s unique dining experiences and a must visit in Marrakesh. If the aroma doesn’t entice you the market traders will.

Drinks and Snacks – Enjoy Marrakesh at Night

Morocco is a predominantly Islamic region, but has a relaxed attitude towards alcohol consumption for visitors. For those who are looking for a quieter drink and meal, the medina (old town) is a myriad of small bars and restaurants to sample. A little exploration will reward you with a dining experience to enjoy and behold.

If you want a night with a little more excitement then head to Pacha on the outskirts of the city. As part of the world famous Pacha brand it guarantees an exotic night out in Marrakesh. The club comes complete with multiple bars and even a swimming pool! Casino de Marrakesh provides entertainment and refreshment for those wanting to really enjoy 24 hours in Marrakesh.

Drinks Highlight – Head to Kosybar near the Badi Palace for a quiet glass of wine from the owners vineyard, you will also be able to enjoy views of a dimly lit Marrakech.

How To Get There – Marrakesh is less busy in the months of March and April, allowing you to enjoy the city with less tourists and warm weather.

This article was written by Lewis, a travel writer and blogger for lowcostholidays.com, providers of Marrakesh Holidays

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by Lewis White

Lewis White is a travel writer for lowcostholidays.com and has a paticular interest in writing food guides, and articles on alternative travel around destinations. Lewis lists Majorca in Spain, as one of his favourite destinations to travel too because of many holidays as a child there.

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