We had lunch one day in this pleasant spacious café just off the Djemaa 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 MAD (about £1) – a bargain. Chris also liked his tuna melt Panini which came with chips and cost just 30 MAD, so was also good value.
Next 2009 tip: the Katoubia Mosque
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 dirhams 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 Djemaa 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 MAD (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.
Next 2009 tip: the Alhambra restaurant
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 Marrakech, but we did have a good vegetable one in the night market (and I had another in 2016 at the Zwin Zwin Café).
“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.
Next 2009 tip: the Majorelle Gardens
Visited this restaurant after a recommendation from the owner of the Riad we were staying at.You approach the restaurant down an ornately tiled stairway.There are several lounges within the restaurant and we were in the Marjane lounge.This is a large,beautifully tiled room,with a centre stage from which you can watch live Berber music,belly dancers and other acts.Tables are well spaced out so you have a good view of the entertainment.
Service was good,with the waiters dressed in Moroccan dress.A varied menu which consists mainly of Moroccan dishes.An enjoyable,fun evening!
Ive been taken here a number of times with my Moroccan family connections , Ive brought friends here and I come here whenever Im in Marrakech on my own - its very popular with locals as it has good food at good prices - and its right here in the main square so its handy to all the action and yet the prices are nothing like many of the surrounding places that take opportunity of the tourists and the drawcard of the Djma Elfna.
(the famed nght stalls of the Djmaa are okay if you look for a stall that is obviously popular with the locals but when you add the cost of several individual dishes together plus let them add bread and olives which you then have to pay for then Cafe Toubkal can be an even better deal, less smokey and less noisy if youre wanting a bit of a break away from all the noise)
It might look a little rough and ready but its always been quick, clean and low priced - and the food is fine!
Favorite Dish Salade Nicoise is great - the coffee/noss noss is great/ the tagines are great (except for the mincemeat balls /kefta tagine were not so good here...maybe less expensive fatty mince? love kefta ie grilled mince patties but not so much in a tagine unless they are better quality meat) - the Harira is a good buy - and the breakfasts which Ive had here a number of times of pancakes, orange juice, coffee are great! (about 20 dirham - £1.50 for all 3)
The thing is you can have a 3 course meal here all for only 45 dirham - £3-£4!!
JAN 2012 - just eaten here again to bring some friends who was on a budget just as much as we were! and the only chance of getting to see Marrakech before their plane after driving up from Taroudant was to park, walk through Djma and eat here at Cafe Toubkal - we got tables upstairs with views over the square - for 55 dirham she shared chicken cousous, salade morocaine, mint tea and a pastry with her 8 year old, my beau had a steak and salad and frites for 35 dirham and I had a pastilla and noss noss for 27 dirham (and his salad and frites ha ha!) still excellent place to eat!
JULY 2013 back for breakfast
This restaurant offers a truly pleasant ambience and is ideal for evening meal post 7.30 pm
I attended this place 3 nights November 2014 and asampled the dish beef skewered
It comprises beef on skewers and a side dish of cheese gratin
It took me back to my school days when I enjoyed cheese n potato pie as a school lunch. The wine was excellent but rather expensive
500 dirhams - 38 english smackeroonies discharged l addition for deux personnes.
Favorite Dish The dish is skewered beef cheese gratin. It is succulent and really enjoyable
Moroccan cuisine often makes it into the top ten of many world food lists, but for many travelers the diet of tajine and couscous can get a bit monotonous. It doesn't help that Moroccan food is generally rather plain - lacking in sauces, spices and even salt. Ordering a turkey tajine can result in several large hunks of turkey meat cooked in its own juices... and nothing else. It also doesn't help that of the two main dishes, tajines are basically couscous without the couscous. To be honest I never really liked the Moroccan food I ate before I visited, and the authentic local variations didn't win me over.
That said I did love the briouats - small triangles of cheese wrapped in delicate layers of pastry and lightly friend...mmm that I could eat all day.
If you are visiting the Majorelle Gardens, and you should, this is a perfect place to drop in for lunch. The location is perfect - right in the calm centre of the gardens. You can sit in a little courtyard with green fronds all around. The menu has a good selection, with even a few vegetarian options. It is nicely presented, with pleasant service. The food wasn't outstanding and a little expensive, but the location, convenience and calmness made up for it.
We did not eat here as we decided to save a few bucks and enjoy a nice night in Casablanca but if we went back this is a place we would stop in. It has that old world classy feel to it. In fact after a night in Rick's Cafe in Casa I think this place could go toe to toe with it.
Favorite Dish If you do not want to pay for dinner then stop in for one drink and enjoy yourself here
I have eaten at Dar Naja't Kitchen many times while staying there. The food is fantastic and freshly cooked and the service is excellent....the staff are really friendly. They offer a good selection of starters, including fresh prawns. various salads and individually prepared vegetable dishes. The spiced aubergines and sautéed cauliflower were really tasty!!.....all served with fresh bread... I have had a few different main meals.... including a really delicious lamb tagine, and also an amazing fish stew with tomatoes, onions and moroccan spices. The food is served up on the terrace with candlelit tables... and I love the relaxed, chilled atmosphere there....the back ground music is great!! Dar Najat's Kitchen is the best place to eat in Marrakech!!
Favorite Dish Fish stew with tomatoes onions and moroccan spices......freshly cooked and delicious!!
This restaurant is part of Riad Dar Najat, the food that they served was traditional Moroccan food. There was a choice of set menu's, all authentic Moroccan dishes. We chose the chicken tagine, it all began with the starters, there were four different vegatable dishes given to us with breads, this was so filling and it was just the starters. Then the chicken tagine was given to us, WOW, it was cooked to perfection and was just melting away in our mouths, the spices were truely brilliant and just tasted like authentic food.
The ambience of the place was really romantic, there were candles lit and the riad itself was very tastefully decorated. We had a choice of where to sit and we opted for the terrace, they also had a private room or indoor courtyard if preferred.
The staff were very good and the service we received was first class.
The whole meal cost us £50 for two people, all in all it was very good value for money.
Favorite Dish The chicken tagine, the spices were just perfect and the meat was so tender.
If you take the time to find this restaurant you will be rewarded. The minute you are seated in your cushion strewn booth, either out of the sun or away from a chilly evening air, you can relax and lap up the atmosphere. We visited in February so the cloaked staff gave us a heater and additional blankets to keep warm once the sun went down. The menu, written on 2 large blackboards, was brought to our table and explained very competently in English. Service was slick and the meal wonderful. The fact that this was an alcohol free experience made no difference to us. At the end of the night the staff made sure we knew how to find our way back to the square and were quite willing to show us the way. Admittedly this was not one of their busiest nights but we thought it was a nice touch.
Read the menu for yourself at website below.
Favorite Dish Read the menu for yourself, at website below, everything tasted great. Duo chocolate & candied apple dessert wonderful.