Restaurants in Marrakech
A melting pot of cultures, to say that the cuisine of Morocco is eclectic and exciting is an understatement and anyone eating out in Marrakech will learn this fairly quickly. An exotic mix of Arab, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African influences, dining in Marrakech is an unforgettable experience for all five senses.
Spices are a major part of Moroccan cuisine with cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, pepper, coriander and saffron being the most commonly used. One cannot eat out in Marrakech without sampling a Tagine, a traditional lamb or chicken stew, which has been slowly braised in a clay pot resulting in delicately tender meat and an intensely aromatic flavour. Other popular dishes include harira soup, couscous, jaouhara (fried phyllo pastry with cream) and bastilla (phyllo-pastry pie with pigeon, egg and almonds).
Visitors can sample street-side barbeques or dine out in style at upmarket restaurants throughout the city, where palatial-style eateries can be found as well as top-class French, Asian and Italian restaurants. For a truly authentic experience, head to the Medina at sunset and watch as over 100 kitchens and stalls specialising in different dishes are set up in Djemaa el-Fna Square to become one of the world's largest open-air eateries.
One of Marrakech's most popular eateries, this simply furnished Italian restaurant and pizzeria has a wood-burning oven in an open kitchen, filling the air with delicious Italian aromas. Order a Royal pizza, topped with mince, prawns, mushrooms and ham, or pasta in a creamy tomato and vodka sauce, and feel truly 'royal' as a bow-tied waiter caters to every wish. Save room for the tempting tiramisu, or perhaps the home-style apple crumble? Mmm… Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended, alcohol served.
Address: 42 Tarik Ibn Ziyad
Telephone: (0)24 433731
Narwama is an undeniably trendy restaurant, offering a mix of world lounge music in a former UNESCO World Heritage building with a huge central courtyard. This warm and inviting restaurant's name translates to "fire and water" in Arabic, and it serves sumptuous Thai, Moroccan, and Mediterranean dishes. The extensive menu includes nearly 100 dishes. While it's not cheap, there is something for everyone, and the servings are substantial without being too much. Open daily 7pm to 11pm. Reservations recommended, alcohol served.
Address: 30 Koutoubia
Telephone: +(212) 67 250 8700
Cafe du Livre
This bookstore-cum-restaurant has chocolate velvet chairs and comfy loungers; a few strategically placed armchairs entice readers to sit down with coffee and cake, accompanied by free wifi for laptop users. An open kitchen serves salads, soups, sandwiches and burgers, or mushroom risotto and freshly baked cakes. Indulge in brunch-style breakfasts or an afternoon high tea with complimentary brownies. The tapas plates of hummus, tapenade, aubergine d'caviar and pâté are also good. Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 9pm. Alcohol served.
Address: 44 Tarik ben Ziad
Telephone: 0)24 432149
Even with strong competition, this is without a doubt the best patisserie in Marrakech. Although it's only one street back from avenue Mohammed V, only locals seem to know about this little slice of heaven. From freshly baked cookies in glass jars to delicious croissants and tarts, not to mention the bright, colourful and especially creamy gâteaux, this patisserie is too tempting to pass by. With seating both indoors and out, Adamo also offers a choice of coffees, teas, fresh juices, and milkshakes, as well as a tasty selection of ice-creams. Open daily from 7.30am to 1pm and 4pm to 9pm. Closed for 3 weeks mid-July to early August.
Address: 44 Tarik ben Ziad
Telephone: (0)24 439419
This restored riad is a wonderful venue for a romantic dinner. The back garden is the best place to eat, its walls decorated in Majorelle Garden blue and encircling a central swimming pool. Candle-lit tables and rose petals accompany a set menu of nouvelle Marocain; familiar meals with a fresh twist. Try the beef tagine with figs and walnuts, cooked with cinnamon and argan oil. Live yet subtle Gnaoua and Andalusian music completes the ambient scene. Open Tuesday to Sunday 12pm to 3pm, 7.30pm 11pm. Reservations recommended, alcohol served.
Address: 81 Dar el Bacha
Telephone: (0)24 386400
For a taste of Japan in the medina's kasbah, try the Tatchibana (citrus flower) restaurant; peace and tranquillity envelope diners in the restaurant, set down from street level with a curtained entrance. The cuisine is authentic with a pinch of nouvelle. Try the sushi nigiri, tempura and teriyaki or, better still, slivers of duck in green-tea ravioli. The menu changes seasonally and vegetarians are catered for on request. Open daily for lunch and dinner, except Tuesdays (dinner only). Closed mid-September to mid-October. Reservations recommended, alcohol served.
Address: 38 Derb Bab Ksiba
Telephone: (0)24 387171
Cafe des Epices
Café des Épices is great for 'people-watching' and Youness el Ghoul, the owner, obligingly dishes out tasty sandwiches, salads, pastries and information. Spiced teas and coffees round it all off tastefully from the rooftop terrace at sunset. The first-floor chill-out lounge has become a popular spot for local youngsters; the atmosphere is new world, with music to match. Open daily, 8am to 8pm.
Address: Place Rahba Qedima, Medina
Telephone: (0)24 391770
This charming little hacienda is a little off the tourist track but has been popular with locals and visitors alike for many years. There are two dining areas; a tiled patio with wrought-iron chairs, and an indoor area with dark-wood furniture and a warm, homely fireplace. The menu includes the freshest seafood tapas and pastilla, Oualidia oysters and fried fruits de la mer… the list goes on. The reasonably priced lunch menu du jour offers a salad buffet, entrée and dessert. Open daily 12pm to 3pm, 7.30pm to 11pm. Alcohol served.
Address: Rue Ibn Hanbal, Ville Nouvelle
Telephone: (0)44 44 6534
Bistro La Saveur
As far as hotel restaurants go, Bistro La Saveur is a cut above the rest. The menu lists a fantastic selection of French, Italian, and Thai cuisine and the service is outstanding. Meat, pasta and seafood are classically predominant in the French and Italian dishes, and the pizzas are made in the restaurant's wood oven. The duck terrine, with pistachios in mustard sauce, is superb. The Thai menu includes all the quintessential favourites from yellow, red and green curries to noodle or rice stir-fries. The three dining areas are modern and welcoming. Open daily for lunch and dinner, alcohol served.
Address: 12 Loubnane, Ville Nouvelle
Telephone: (0)24 42 2282
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