Top 5 Places to Eat In Marrakech
Finding good tasting, local food is always a highlight of exploring a new city for me. But in Marrakech, the whole experience was taken to a whole new level because you literally have to search for some of these restaurants in the craziness that is the medina. With that said, it makes the experience so much more rewarding when you do make it there and get to eat a great meal. These are the restaurants that we took our foodie friends to and would happily go back to at the drop of a hat.
Most of these places are a bit more expensive in Morocco prices, but luckily compared to American or European prices they are pretty average and probably even more affordable when you consider the quality of food you're getting.
#1 La Famille
I was wandering through the medina one day with the girls and happened to look through an unassuming looking doorway and saw a lovely looking scene which I assumed (correctly) was a restaurant. Because I love finding secret things I had to step in and check it out. I found out that it is a vegetarian restaurant that is only open from noon to three and because of this limited schedule you need a reservation. I made one then and there for when our friends Antonio & Heather came to town.
To be honest I was a little skeptical about the whole vegetarian thing but went in with high hopes. Not only was the food fresh and beautifully plated it was probably some of the best food I have ever eaten. Their menu is very small but everything on it was excellent. When we heard that the menu changes every day based on what is fresh at the market, we made reservations for a couple days later to come back. Because I was so impressed by how much depth and complexity their dishes had, I even bought the cookbook which was a first for me.
One of the coolest things is that if you happen to walk by when the restaurant is closed, there is just a plain black metal door and no sign. I feel like we really did find a gem! La Famille
NoMad is one I had read about before visiting so I was excited when I stumbled upon it one day near one of my favorite shopping squares in the souks. I made a mental note about where it was and was actually able to find it again fairly easily to make reservations. We chose to do the 9pm dinner service (they have a 7pm option as well). I would say the food is best described as modern Moroccan food.
Between all of us, we easily tried half the menu (and probably 90% of the desserts) and all thought that the food was true to the flavors of the region but nicely elevated to feel like luxury dining. I don't remember the exact dishes we had for our main dishes but I distinctly remember the green beans stealing the show. As far as desserts go, the Berber sorbet is something I wish I had the recipe for.
If you are in town make sure to get your reservations in early so you don't miss out on this great little spot. Also check out their instagram @nomadmarrakech because it is gorgeous! NOMAD
#3 Cafe Kif Kif
This place is right across from the Koutubia Mosque and probably gets a good deal of their guests from the tourists walking back to their hotels. We originally went there because they were open late and had really good reviews on TripAdvisor. It turns out they have a really great burger seasoned with Moroccan spices (if you don't want to eat another Tagine, ever again) and a couple really cute terraces to eat on. But the real star of this place is the nutella pastillas, they are like little, warm, exploding pockets of chocolate, served with a side of ice cream. Win. Cafe Kif Kif
After we spent a few hours at Le Jardin Marjorelles we were ready to eat but with the girls napping we weren't quite ready to ride in a carriage back to the medina so we decided to find something close by and ended up being pleasantly surprised by how good the food was.
The patio looked nice but was really full so we slipped into what looked like the gift shop that had a few tables. It was perfect. We had a long lunch and sat talking and resting for a good long while before heading back. The lunch was good but they happened to have some of the highest rated desserts in Marrakech on TripAdvisor so make sure to grab some ice cream or treats before heading out. Kaowa
Started by a Lebanese couple, that moved to Morocco from Vienna about a year and a half ago this place serves understated, elegant food with a more Middle Eastern flair. We actually ended up eating here with a really cool couple we met on the bus back from Essaouira. The decor feels like you could easily stay and visit comfortably for a few hours and the food was amazing! I particularly like the cliche-barak - a beef ravioli seasoned with middle eastern spices served in a cilantro yogurt sauce. The fromage briouates and rose lemonade were also delightful. Naranj
There are a couple other places we loved for specific things;
Oriental Legend - a little artisan ice cream shop right off the square has some amazing flavors for a great price. Try the dark chocolate with 27 spices or the raspberry rose.
Cafe Guerab - This little cafe is close to the square but a bit hidden, great for coffee and a snack. We liked stopping here to work for a bit on one of the terraces. They had good wifi and plenty of available plugs
Have you been to Marrakech? Did your favorites make our list? Do you have any great spots to add?