Local Cuisine, Marrakesh

4 out of 5 stars 109 Reviews

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  • Flying.Scotsman's Profile Photo

    La Maison Arabe Hotel: Mint tea in luxurious suroundings

    by Flying.Scotsman Updated Jan 26, 2010

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    Beautiful surroundings
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    If you find yourself in the Bab Doukkala area, possibly returning from a visit to the Majorelle Gardens, La Maison Arabe Hotel is a perfect place to stop for tea. We had already noted this place as it had been recommended by Vter Sue Stone. Although expensive by Marrakech standards, mint tea for two was only 77 Dirhams (about £6.25 at the time) including service. As well as the tea there was a plate of 10 small cakes. We sat on the terrace by the swimming pool. A very relaxing experience in elegant surroundings.

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    The local eaterie.: Spices Galore.

    by wandabendik Updated Jan 6, 2010

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    People chating whilst waiting for dinner.
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    The Big Square in the City,every evening opens up into a grand eaterie, people congregate around small stalls and rows of tables to eat out in the open air, all the food is cooked freshly in front of you and the aroma is something else.
    Familys enjoy the get togethers with the locals to share some eastern promise.

    Favorite Dish: There was all sorts on the menu, from seafood to kebabs to stews.

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    Argana: Prime location

    by iaint Updated Dec 26, 2009

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    view from

    I went in this place for lunch overlooking the world famous square, with the snow capped Atlas Mountains in the background.

    Had a lamb kebab with french fries - nothing adventurous! The menu looked good, but I just wanted something basic.

    Good service and nice atmosphere. Good for people watching - the goggle eyed touroids!

    109 MAD with a Coke & a coffee.

    Great to be eating on an open air balcony (in a t-shirt) on 24 December!!

    Favorite Dish: Well it has to be the lamb kebab!

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    Riad Les Lauriers Blancs: Home cooking

    by iaint Updated Dec 24, 2009

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    My first night (of my 09 trip) it was pouring with rain (real December weather apparently) so I just ate at my riad.

    3 courses for €22 - probably expensive by local standards but I was happy to have a slow relaxed dinner and not have to wander around in the rain looking for somewhere.

    Soup (almond, I think) then chicken tajine (with lemon) and desert. Wine & beer available. All excellent.

    Favorite Dish: The tajine.

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    ...: Moroccan specialities

    by toonsarah Written Nov 20, 2009

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    Pastille
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    Moroccan cuisine shares many characteristics with others of the region and of the Arab world in general, but there are also some distinctive dishes and delicacies that belong especially to this country. Some of my favourites were:
    “citrons confits” or preserved lemons – a wonderful tangy additions to tagines and to the delicious “choutchouka” (a kind of ratatouille) that I had in the Ourika Valley.
    “tagines”, stews cooked in the distinctive conical earthenware dishes – we had a wonderful calamari one at our riad, which is probably not typical but was absolutely excellent. More often you will find lamb, chicken or beef cooked in this way, which is slow cooking at its best.
    “couscous”, served as an accompaniment to the tagine or as a dish in its own right. I love couscous and was disappointed not to have more while in Marrakesh, but we did have a good vegetable one in the night market.
    “pastilles” - a slightly strange mix of savoury and sweet, served as an appetiser or a light snack. Meat (often pigeon) is flavoured with spices and dried fruits, baked wrapped in pastry and served dusted with icing sugar.
    “pastries” - like many nationalities in this area, Moroccans have a sweet tooth and love their pastries, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ones we sampled (in the Café Argana in the Djamaa el Fna) were not too sweet for my taste. Filled with nuts and flavoured with spices, they make a perfect accompaniment to a glass of mint tea.

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    Djamaa el Fna Night Market: As much a performance as it is a meal

    by toonsarah Updated Nov 20, 2009

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    Chef at night market stall
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    Eating here is definitely as much a performance as it is a meal and is best regarded as such. It won’t be the best meal you ever had, but it will only cost a few dirham and is worth it for the spectacle alone. We were slightly nervous at the thought of eating “street food”, especially as Katy at our hotel had warned against it, but so many other people, including friends on VT, had reported having no problems that we decided to give it a go, and were very glad that we had. And no, we didn’t suffer as a result in the slightest!

    All the stalls are numbered and are grouped together in one part of the Djamaa el Fna. As you approach you will see the smoke rising from numerous grills and smell grilling meat and spices in the air. As soon as you come close the performance will begin. “Good as Jamie Oliver!” “Cheap as chips!” “Air-conditioned restaurant!” and so on.

    Favorite Dish: After looking round for a short while we settled on stand 97 where we could see the kebabs or brochettes being freshly grilled. A helpful guy found us a seat at the end of one of the long tables and whisked my crutches out of the way to the cooking area where his colleague manning the grill proceeded to mime using them as extra long kebab skewers, to the amusement of all around us.

    Bread, olives and two dips were brought immediately, with one of the latter being very spicy and the highlight of our meal. From the menu we ordered chips (as we had heard they were often delicious at the stalls), couscous with vegetables, spicy sausage and lamb brochettes. The quality of the food was a bit mixed – the chips were disappointingly flabby and almost cold, and the sausages short on meat, but the couscous was fine and the brochettes the best of all – seven long skewers with tasty well-cooked meat. We shared a large bottle of mineral water, and paid in total 105 dirhams (about £8.50) – a bargain!

    But this isn’t a meal to linger over, and others will be waiting for your place at the table, so you need to pay up and move on. If you’re a little more mobile than I was you might like to enjoy your dinner in instalments – soup at one stand, kebabs at another, and so on. We found that other tourists were happy to stop and compare notes about where they had enjoyed something in particular, and the stand numbers make it easy to track down these recommendations. Some stands specialise (one was selling only eggs) but most have much the same menu so it’s really just a question of where you can find space, which looks to be appealing to other diners (check for locals especially) and which salesman can lure you in with his patter.

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    Cafe de l'Etoile: Tasty lunch

    by toonsarah Updated Nov 20, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Harira soup

    We had lunch one day in this pleasant spacious café just off the Djamaa el Fna. All the tables outside were taken but we got one just inside the door with a view of the street outside and of the airy double-height dining room within. There is also a roof terrace if you’re feeling more mobile than I was, though I imagine the views are slightly less good than from some of the others in the neighbouring area.

    I only wanted a light meal and had been wanting to try the local harira soup, so was pleased to see it on the menu. I had a delicious bowlful accompanied by some bread (French baguette style) for just 12 dirhams (about £1) – a bargain. Chris also liked his tuna melt Panini which came with chips and cost just 30 dirhams, so was also good value.

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    Cafe Cherougni: Great view!

    by leigh767 Updated Aug 16, 2009

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    Cafe Cherougni is an easy-to-spot restaurant just off Jmaa El Fna, towards the north-east side of the square. In addition to good food (try the chicken with raisin tagine!), the restaurant also has 3 floors -- the top floor is shaded and has wonderfully colourful Moroccan decor. The view of the mosques near the Jmaa El Fna square and the surrounding Medina is simply fantastic.

    The best feature of this restaurant is that they don't rush you, so you can order a cup of Moroccan mint tea and soak in the atmosphere of the streets at your leisure.

    Bottom line: An ideal place to hide from the heat for a lazy afternoon chillout without breaking your bank!

    Favorite Dish: Chicken with raisin tagine. (50 Dir)

    Moroccan salad is also quite well done.

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    Local Cuisine: Tagine Dishes

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 15, 2009

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    Tagine crockery

    If you like olives do not miss the chicken tagine (or any tagine dish). Made with a thick sauce the chicken and olives are cooked and served in a tagine. Had a delicious meal at one of the restaurants on a side "street" where the post office meets the JEF. Sorry can't remember the name though!

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    Local Cuisine: Don't miss the Mint Tea!

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 15, 2009

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    A delicious blend of green tea and mint leaves not to be missed! You can purchase the tea leaves to bring home at any market. I did, but unfortunately have not been able to re-create the mint tea! Maybe I am missing the atmosphere?!

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    Chez Chegrouni: Cheap food in Djemma El Fnaa

    by suvanki Updated May 3, 2009

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    Tagine, Chez Chegrouni, Marrakech
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    I visited this place after reading recommendations from other VTers. Good for cheap, good basic food.

    My first visit, I had a tasty bowl of Harrira soup with bread for 8dh!
    The food was lovely, but the service was VERY slow- I thought it was because I was a female on my own, but then realised everyone else was having to wait.

    My second visit, I was with a friend I'd met during our tour. We both had tagines, which again were hot tasty filling and cheap. Mine was a chicken tagine with almonds and sultanas-Mmmmmmm!

    My 3rd visit I had another tagine plus an avocado juice, which came sweetened.

    I'd read on VT and in LP that the quirk of this place was that you wrote your order on the paper napkins, then this was returned as your bill. I'm afraid that I didn't see this happen.

    Popular place with locals, Moroccan holiday makers and tourists- the front terrace was always full, so I sat inside - there was a fan overhead. There is an upper terrace too, but I didn't get to see this part.

    Favorite Dish: The Tagines were hot, tasty and cheap- starting at 30dh for vegetable tagine, 50dh for beef or chicken tagines, (2006) Delicious bread to mop up the juices.

    Avocado juice was a pleasant alternative to orange juice - something that I'd not tried before, but will look out for it again.

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    Sandwich Toubkal: Cheap food.

    by suvanki Updated Apr 25, 2009

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    Wandering around Gueliz, I came across this street with quite a few similar cafes in a row, with tables on the pavement. The smell of grilling meats was too tempting!

    These cafes are mainly frequented by local workers or residents - They're basic, nothing fancy (or fake "authentic" tourist types!). Clientele - Mainly males of all ages, a few couples (The women wearing headscarves/ jellabahs)

    Mixed grills, Grilled chicken, tagines, omelettes.
    All very reasonable (Omelette with chips and rice 11dh, salad 10dh, mixed grill with chips and rice 34dh)

    I felt very comfortable, and thoroughly enjoyed my meal. I was approached by a few street hawkers selling kilims, shirts, cd's etc, but there was no pressure, as they approached everyone else (ie locals) in the same manner. I think the young waiters were a bit surprised to serve a lone female tourist, but they were friendly and polite.

    The Sandwich Toubkal is opposite the Hotel Tachine - which is a popular budget hotel. It has a rooftop mirador open 0900 - 23.00 hours- purchase of an alcoholic beverage is compulsory (whether You drink it or not) before you can be admitted!

    I didn't realise til later, that I'd walked down this street many times before on my previous visit, as my hotel (Oudaya) was only a few metres further down the street.

    Favorite Dish: I enjoyed fresh local bread, served with 3 sauces in bowls - tomato, chilli, and mayo,
    salad ( lettuce, tomato,onion, grated carrot, beetroot) all fresh and nicely presented on a large plate
    1/4 grilled chicken, fries (crisp and not too greasy! Mmmm!)
    rice and a salad garnish . Plus a can of Fanta and a small bottle of water.

    There was too much for me to eat, and I'm afraid that I had to leave some. This all came to 33dh! (About £2!)

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    La Mamounia (Bar Du Soleil): A Taste of The High Life!

    by suvanki Updated Apr 25, 2009

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    My afternoon tea @ La Mamounia

    I treated myself to afternoon tea here on my birthday.

    This 'legendary' hotel was built on the site of an 18th century palace of Sultan Mohammed 111, opening as a hotel in 1923, it gained a reputation as THE place to stay in Marrakesh for the rich and famous of that era. Politicians, film stars and artists have resided here over the years, its most notable guest being Winston Churchill.

    The 17 acre gardens surround this de luxe hotel (see my must see tips for more info)
    The hotel is open from 1000-1600 for non residents, and is worth a look around. No shorts or other 'unsuitable' attire allowed entrance!

    The Bar Soleil is a pleasant place to enjoy a drink or snack. It was just warm enough to sit out and enjoy the late afternoon winter sun, and is quite peaceful.

    Favorite Dish: I was intending to have a gin fizz (120 dh) but realised I didn't have enough money on me for a drink and food.

    Flag beer was 40dh (I was paying 15dh at my hotel) So I opted for Mint Tea (40dh) and a plate of Moroccan pastries(120dh)

    The pastries were nice and the Mint Tea came in a larger pot than I'd been offered previously, but you're paying for the location etc.

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    Restaurante Islane, Marrakech: Rooftop Views of Koutoubia Mosque

    by suvanki Updated Jan 24, 2009

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    Restaurante Islane and Hotel, Marrakech
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    This restaurant was booked by our tour guide on our first night in Marrakesh as part of our 8 day Marrakesh and The Sahara Tour.

    We were led up stairs to the roof top restaurant, which has views of the Koutoubia Mosque opposite.

    Although the restaurant doesn't have a wine list, our guide had arranged for several bottles of beer and wine to be chilling in the fridge for us.

    You could purchase beer and wine from one of the supermarkets and take it with you I guess

    A varied menu of grilled meats, fish; tagines etc.

    There was a mixed clientele (besides our group of 16 + Mohamed our guide), young couples, family groups - mainly locals or visiting Moroccans.

    The restaurant was in a good location, with the Koutoubia Mosque illuminated, and the call to prayer, making it more atmospheric. I hadn't any complaints about the restaurant, but I was eager to escape and get to Djemma el Fnaa.

    The restaurant is above the rooms of its Hotel.

    Apparently the Hotel Islane is a 3* hotel, with cheap rates. I've read reports that would suggest this is good as a cheap base for exploring Marrakesh, but is a bit dingy, with street noise if Your room is at the front.

    Favorite Dish: I enjoyed a mixed fish grill. (800dh)

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    Le Lounge: Restaurant/ Bar

    by suvanki Updated Jan 23, 2009

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    Beef tagine, Le Lounge, Marrakech
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    For a change from eating in Djemma El Fnaa, I decided to try somewhere in Gueliz, near to my hotel. I had considered trying the legendary Al Fassia, which was very near by, but decided to go there on the last night of my holiday.

    This Modern salon / Restaurant caught my eye.

    Terraced area outside with 9 tables, plus comfy settees and chairs in outside lounge area. Seating inside too.

    Young, Smart, Friendly and Efficient staff. My order was taken quickly, and I didn't have too long a wait for my food, but I didn't feel made to rush at the end of my meal.

    Varied menu (Tapas, Tagines, fish, meat etc), plus large wine/cocktail (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) list.

    Pleasant relaxed atmosphere,
    Mix of clientele dining - local professional looking couples, Families, elderly group of friends.

    On a side street off Ave Mohammed V

    I returned here on the last night of my holiday, for a night cap

    Favorite Dish: I enjoyed my Beef Tagine, it was hot, with plenty of meat, fruit and vegetables. Crusty bread to mop up the sauce! (70dh)

    Creme Caramel (40dh) Mmm!

    Flag beer (25dh)

    Gin Mash cocktail (65dh)

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