Street Vendors, Marrakesh

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 Reviews

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    Food stalls: In the square

    by mrotsmit Written Apr 29, 2007

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    At some point you will eat dinner in the middle of the Jemma El Fna, there you'll find the food stalls - big push carts with picnic tables around them. My impression was that this the local version of fast food, there are alot of different carts but most seemed to have the same stuff, ours was "OK" but no big deal.

    Address: In the middle

    Directions: Follow the smoke

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    Stall #93: Chez Bienvenue: More cheap food on Djemaa El Fna

    by SWFC_Fan Written Mar 4, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in Marrakech, eating at the food stalls on Djemaa El Fna square is an absolute must!

    Hundreds of stalls set up in the square each evening, offering a selection of tasty meals at ridiculously cheap prices. Competition is fierce and each stall will try to entice you to eat there with promises of the best food in town! The touts have clearly been working on their sales pitch - I was met with shouts of "Marks and Spencers quality food", "our food is sound as a pound/lovely jubbly" and "cheaper than Asda prices".

    In truth, I was a little apprehensive about eating food from street vendors. Each stall displays its raw meat out in the open, with flies buzzing around. So, the first time I ventured down to Djemaa El Fna I decided I'd just eat my meal....and then see if I was ill the next morning! I'm happy to report that I ate at the food stalls at Djemaa El Fna on several occasions and never suffered any illness at all.

    On my final night in Marrakech, during a visit to the city in February 2007, I ate at #93: Chez Bienvenue (each stall has a unique number and name).

    Similar to the stalls that I had eaten at earlier on in my stay, the food on offer here consisted of whole chickens, beef, lamb and chicken kebabs, meat steaks, merguez sausages, shrimps, calamari, French fries, couscous, eggplant and salads. The set up was identical to that of countless other stalls on the square, with dozens of diners sat shoulder to shoulder on benches around the stall.

    I sat next to two brothers from Birmingham, one of whom had just finished eating a plate of sheep brains prior to my arrival.

    Favorite Dish: The hygienic standards at the food stalls in the Djemaa El Fna always looked a bit questionable to me. This was highlighted during the course of my meal at Chez Bienvenue, when a large pile of mince meat fell from the stall onto the concrete below. The owner picked it up and dusted it down, while the tourists looked knowingly at each other as to what he was about to do with it. Sure enough, the meat was placed back on the stall awaiting its consumption by an unsuspecting customer!

    My meal at Chez Bienvenue consisted of:

    - The ubiquitous complimentary piece of round bread and a plate of diced tomatoes and onions;

    - Fried shrimps: a large plate of tasty shrimps served with a slice of lemon;

    - Chicken kebabs: 6 skewers of tender, well cooked chicken

    - A bottle of Coca Cola;

    - A glass of sweet mint tea.

    The total cost of my meal was just 75 Dhs (approx. 4.50 GBP).

    As I've said in my other tips about the various food stalls at Djemaa El Fna, eating at these no frills stalls and mingling with the locals is probably my overriding memory of my stay in Marrakech and the best way to experience the city and its people!

    Cheap, tasty shrimps and kebabs in an amazing setting! Highly recommended!!

    Address: Djemaa El Fna

    #93 Chez Bienvenue Food on display at #93 Chez Bienvenue #93 Chez Bienvenue Shrimps and chicken kebabs at Chez Bienvenue Food stalls at Djemaa El Fna

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    Stall #42: Rachida: Fried shrimps on Djemaa El Fna

    by SWFC_Fan Written Mar 3, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in Marrakech, eating at the food stalls on Djemaa El Fna square is an absolute must!

    Hundreds of stalls set up in the square each evening, offering a selection of tasty meals at ridiculously cheap prices. Competition is fierce and each stall will try to entice you to eat there with promises of the best food in town! The touts have clearly been working on their sales pitch - I was met with shouts of "Marks and Spencers quality food", "our food is sound as a pound/lovely jubbly" and "cheaper than Asda prices".

    In truth, I was a little apprehensive about eating food from street vendors. Each stall displays its raw meat out in the open, with flies buzzing around. So, the first time I ventured down to Djemaa El Fna I decided I'd just eat my meal....and then see if I was ill the next morning! I'm happy to report that I ate at the food stalls at Djemaa El Fna on several occasions and never suffered any illness at all.

    One of the stalls that I visited during my trip in February 2007 was #42: Rachida (each stall has its own number and name).

    On this occasion I was beckoned in by the waiter who insisted on showing me the range of food available at Rachida. He took me by the hand and led me along a line of raw meat (sausages, whole chickens, lamb and beef kebabs), fish, shrimps, calamari, couscous, eggplant and plates of salad. I told him that I'd have a look around and come back later, but he offered me a complimentary glass of mint tea (or "Moroccan Whisky" as he referred to it!) while I studied the menu - and I relented and agreed to eat there.

    I took a seat on one of the empty benches (quite a rarity at Djemaa El Fna where you usually have to battle for elbow room with neighbouring diners!) and received my glass of mint tea along with a paper place mat, a piece of round bread and a tomato dip.

    Favorite Dish: I ordered a plate of fried shrimps and a bottle of Fanta orange. After a few minutes, I received a plate half filled with fried shrimps...and half filled with calamari. I picked at the calmari, but ate very little of it. The shrimps, on the other hand, were very tasty and I soon emptied that half of my plate. The waiter saw that I wasn't eating the calamari and apologised for assuming that I wanted it. He then ordered one of the cooks to serve me another handful of shrimps, which arrived a few minutes later.

    After polishing off my additional shrimps, Rachid brought me another glass of mint tea. I sat back and watched the spectacle around me - hundreds of food stalls selling cheap, tasty food, thousands of people (locals and tourists alike) mingling, the sound of drums being played and the smell of meat being cooked. Eating at the food stalls of Djemaa El Fna really is one of the things that you must do to *experience* Marrakech!

    The total cost of my meal (shrimps, calamari, bread, tomato dip, bottle of Fanta orange and 2 glasses of refreshing mint tea) was just 40 Dhs (approx. 2.50 GBP)!!

    Eating at the food stalls of Djemaa El Fna is one of the best ways to really experience Marrakech and to meet its people! Many of the food stalls offer similar food, but each has its own character - be sure to drop by #42 Rachida to try the delicious fried shrimps! Highly recommended!!

    Address: Djemaa El Fna

    #42 Rachida, Djemaa El Fna Food on display at #42 Rachida Shrimps and calamari at #42 Rachida Rachid pouring my mint tea at #42 Rachida Food stalls at Djemaa El Fna

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    Stall #81: Chez Abdessalam: Kebabs at Djemaa El Fna

    by SWFC_Fan Written Mar 3, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in Marrakech, eating at the food stalls on Djemaa El Fna square is an absolute must!

    Hundreds of stalls set up in the square each evening, offering a selection of tasty meals at ridiculously cheap prices. Competition is fierce and each stall will try to entice you to eat there with promises of the best food in town! The touts have clearly been working on their sales pitch - I was met with shouts of "Marks and Spencers quality food", "our food is sound as a pound/lovely jubbly" and "cheaper than Asda prices".

    In truth, I was a little apprehensive about eating food from street vendors. Each stall displays its raw meat out in the open, with flies buzzing around. So, the first time I ventured down to Djemaa El Fna I decided I'd just eat my meal....and then see if I was ill the next morning! I'm happy to report that I ate at the food stalls at Djemaa El Fna on several occasions and never suffered any illness at all.

    The first stall that attracted my custom was #81 Chez Abdessalam (each stall has a number and a name). I took a seat at one of the benches, shoulder to shoulder with other diners (eating at Djemaa El Fna is not for the claustrophobic!), and received a complimentary bread roll, a tomato dip and a paper place mat. The guidebooks recommend that you use your bread as an alternative to cutlery as most people who fall sick from eating at the stalls do so because of utentils that are rinsed and reused.

    The menu at Chez Abdessalam includes soups, salad, fish, mixed seafood, sausages, couscous, eggplant, lamb, chicken and beef kebabs.

    Favorite Dish: My meal at Chez Abdessalam was as follows:

    - Complimentary bread (a round piece of bread, ideal for soaking up sauces and dips). This was standard at all the stalls I visited;

    - A tomato based dip with a hint of aniseed to it;

    - A plate of olives;

    - A plate of French fries. Very nice - thin and salty;

    - Mixed kebabs: 6 kebabs on long skewers (2 each with chicken, beef and lamb - with red and green peppers and onions), 3 small sausages (of unknown meat, but very well cooked!) and a piece of lamb. All the meat was extremely well cooked and for the most part was good quality. The chicken kebabs were nicer than the beef or lamb ones, but all were pretty good!

    - A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Ice cold and very refreshing.

    - A complimentary glass of mint tea, served with the mint leaf still in the glass. Very tasty and surprisingly refreshing!

    The total cost of my meal was just 50 Dhs (approx. 3 GBP).

    Superb value food and a unique atmosphere! Eating at the food stalls of Djemaa El Fna is an absolute must! You could do worse than #81: Chez Abdessalam! Highly recommended!!

    Address: Djemaa El Fna

    #81 Chez Abdessalam, Djemaa El Fna Kebabs at #81 Chez Abdessalam Bread, dip, olives and orange juice Food stalls at Djemaa El Fna

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    Dinner in Djemaa el-Fna: Dinner in Djemaa el-Fna

    by sue_stone Written Feb 15, 2007

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    One of the highlights of my time in Marrakech was eating dinner in Djemaa el-Fna (the main square). Every evening around dusk the square starts to fill up with stall after stall of food vendors. It is quite a scene as the light fades and the smoke starts to rise up from the giant cauldrons of boiling oil that is used to cook much of the food on offer.

    All of the stalls are numbered, and some are obviously focused towards tourists with menus in English and spruikers trying to get you to take a seat. These stalls tend to sell a large range of food, with it all out on display for you to see. Other stalls are packed with locals, and there is no menu - just a limited selection to choose from.

    Usually I am dubious about eating at 'street stalls', assuming that I will get sick from whatever I eat. However, I had only read positive things about eating in Djemaa el-Fna so was keen to give it a try.

    Alison and I took a wander past all of the food stalls, checking out what was on offer and which places looked too touristy for our liking. We decided to be a little adventurous and eat at Stall number 14, which seemed to only be frequented by locals. We were squeezed onto a small bench, sitting opposite (and very close) to some locals who looked at us a little strangely at first.

    Favorite Dish: A hunk of bread was placed in front of us on a sheet of paper, then a small plate of mashed up roasted tomato and another plate of mashed deep-fried eggplant/aubergine. We used pieces of bread to eat, as there is no cutlery available (and it would be too dirty to want to use anyway!). The eggplant was absolutely delicious - the best thing I ate on our trip. We also ate some fried fish and some really delicious chips. When you finish eating they will give you a piece of paper to wipe your hands on.

    We enjoyed the meal so much that we returned again the next night. We ate pretty much the same thing, as that was all Stall 14 had on offer, just a different type of fish this time. Each meal came to only about the equivalent of £5 pounds for two people.

    It was a fabulous experience!

    Directions: In Djemaa el-Fna (the main square) - follow the smoke!

    Stall number 14 dinner Lamb anyone!? dinner at stall 14 Dinner in Djemaa el-Fna
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    Street Vendors: Dinner at Djemaa el Fna

    by DanielF Updated Aug 24, 2006

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    When the night falls, all the story-tellers, acrobats and snake charmers disappear from Djema el Fnaa and give way to the food stalls which will soon fill the air swith smoke and grilled meat and spices scents.

    Favorite Dish: If you do not feel confident about your stomach being resistant to the street food in Marrakesh (which is the case for many Westerners), the best option is to watch the scene from one of the many cafe terraces that overlook the square while sipping a thé à la menthe.

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  • Street Vendors: Good shop for a quick snack

    by chihiro75 Written May 20, 2006

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    There's a small shop that sells chiche kebab and small individual tagines (see pix) near the Riad des Arts, which was quite OK for a snack. I think it was 5 dinars for whatever (one stick of chiche kebab, or one tagine, with bread and tomato "salsa" type salad on the side), I have no idea whether this is normal or tourist price. Nothing great and not shining clean, but fresh and safe and the people although not wreathed in smiles are OK. If you're staying in the neighborhood in a Riad, it's a nice change from either the bad and expensive terrace restaurants of Djama El Fna or the food in the Riads. Practically only local people eat there (rather uncomfortable, perched on narrow high chairs at a counter) and tourists usually seem to buy chiche kebab sandwiches. It's better to eat there though and get a tagine.

    Address: 2 or 3 minutes walk from Djama El Fna

    Directions: From the Riad des Arts, go down the alley, and take the sinewy main street that goes towards Djama El Fna, and it's on the left, a few shops after the Hammam for tourists.

    tagines cooking outside the shop chiche kebab
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    Food stalls: Where Marrakesh comes to life by night

    by sunlovey Updated May 15, 2006

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    If you want to eat cheap, authentic, and beneath the stars, the food stalls are the way to go. However, how you decide on which one to partake of is up to you, there are SO MANY and they're all oh so friendly as they try and persuade you to have a seat at their little eatery. We chose one that was extremely crowded as we assumed this was a good sign.

    They squeezed us in on one of the long, skinny tables with bench seating between two other dining parties. Then asked us what we'd like in French, and when I say they, I mean multiple people, all surrounding us apparently dying to take our order. ;-) Unfortunately my vision is not as good as I'd like and I was having a difficult time reading the posted menu, perhaps the delicious smoke pouring forth from the grills added to my inability. I simply said "poulet, poisson, legumes, salade?" And within SECONDS they were bringing us a thousand little dishes of Moroccan salads, couscous, bread, dips for the bread, etc. etc. And shortly thereafter that, skewers of chicken and fish and beef (for Tim). The food just kept coming.

    The people sitting next to us finished eating and we watched them negotiate their bill (yes, bargaining here too) and then a nice lone French guy sat in their place and we watched him get greeted/affronted by a swarm of waiters. ;-)

    It was A LOT of fun, chaos and good food in the most unique atmosphere ever. Kind of felt like a picnic with a bunch of strangers.

    Favorite Dish: I love love love all the little salads and bread and dips they give you!

    Address: Djemma el Fna

    Directions: You can't miss it, look for the grill smoke

    Vendors setting up The daily process of creating the stalls

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  • Djemma el Fna: its been said a thousand times...

    by lucyt Written Mar 2, 2006

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    ...but it is still true: the Djemma is the best place to eat.
    With the coming of dusk the square is populated by a fresh sea of faces as countless cooking fires start and throw their smoke to the sky. For less than a fiver a head you can eat well and people watch at your leisure.
    One word of warning: it is better to eat early in the evening as a lack of running water means that glasses and cutlery are washed in the same water all evening.

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    Street Vendors: Hunja at Hassan's

    by tini58de Written Jan 29, 2006

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    Favorite Dish: Hunja is a hot - and I mean hot! tea made out of ginseng with cloves, ginger and cinnamon and probably a handful of other spices. Delicious, especially on a cold evening! It is usually served together with some sort of chocolate cake, which was not quite my kind of taste, but an adventure nevertheless!

    Don't miss hunja while you are in Marrakesh! We enjoyed it at Hassan's stall Nr. 70 at the Djemaa el Fna!

    Directions: Djemaa el Fna

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  • Street Vendors: Wonderful restaurant atmosphere!

    by annie412 Written Sep 29, 2005

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    So the travel books advised us not to eat in the square! However we did, and several times. The food is lovely, you watch it being cooked and the outside atmosphere is great!

    You are given bread to start with tomatos and herbs then you put in your order, different kebabs, couscous or vegetables. I had chicken and salad most times.

    Children do approach you selling tissues and jewellery etc. If you do not want the items ou must be firm with them, the stall holders discourage them. However unfortunatekly many tourists say "no" ten times and then "yes!" If you do want the items are saying may no more than about 5 Dr for tissues.

    I would advise you to be careful on the amount of salad you eat, hygenie is not the same as ours and stall holders tend not to wash their hands between touching the meat and the salad, I found that if I ate too much salad I got an upst stomach...

    The lovely thing is the stall holders remember you and chat with you, they will also give you free mint tea which tastes lovely.

    Address: Number 22 in the square

    The fantasitc The view behind us as we sit at
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    Street Vendors: Jema al-Fna Square

    by tord Written May 21, 2005

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    As the sun goes down so the tables and stalls come out and the whole square is turned into a huge open air cafe. Everything is available from kebabs to seafood to sheeps heads, large and small. It's cheap, cheap, cheap,noisy, bustling and great fun. The waiters fuss over everyone and dragged us up to have ur photo taken with them behind the stall when we had finished eating.

    Favorite Dish: We tried a bit of everything! Prawns, mixed fish, moroccan salad, an aubergine dish, lamb kebabs and of course the moroccan flat bread.
    There's no alcohol for sale as the square is situated in the medina, but who needs alcohol when you can get a high from the setting.

    Address: Jema al-Fna Square

    Directions: Within the medina

    And everything less than a pound.

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  • belgianchocolate's Profile Photo

    At the Jemaa-el-fna: A must

    by belgianchocolate Updated Apr 11, 2005

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    Ok , Marrakesh is infected by tourists.
    But eating at the Jemaa-el-fna square is a must
    in the evening. An experience. It turns in into
    this giant open air restaurant. Locals and
    tourists eat side by side.

    You can tell which one is the tourist stall , and
    which one is were the locals eat. The locals like
    eating for instance sheep heads. Something
    most tourists find not so appealing.

    We just went for our intuition....
    I love Moroccan cuisine and I had a salad
    some grilled sausages , a pastilla with chicken ,
    coca-cola....bread....all for about 5 euro.
    It tasted really good..


    Ignore the pushy vendors and take your time
    to look around. Shake hands , smile. :-)
    Think about it. The bill will always be a little
    more then you had in mind. They also charge
    you some taxes , the olives , the extra bread...etc etc.
    Still good value for money.

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  • jacobzoethout's Profile Photo

    Street Vendors: enjoy an evening meal on Djemaa al Fna

    by jacobzoethout Updated Feb 19, 2005

    The best choice for a meal in Marrakesh is to take a seat at one of the food stalls on Djemaa Al Fna in the evening and just enjoy the many salads, the kebab and everything. It's better than the more expensive restaurants.

    Address: Djemaa Al Fna

    food stall, djemaa al fna

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Place Djemaa el Fna: The biggest outdoor restaurant EVER!!

    by aaaarrgh Updated Nov 14, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Place Djema el Fna becomes a MASSIVE outdoor restaurant as evening draws in.

    The name translates as "Dead Men's Square", but this was not because of the quality of the food!!

    There are dozens of stalls, surrounded by tables and benches. The vendors are very imaginative and entertaining in the ways they try and encourage you to eat at THEIR tables.

    But everyone seems to sell the same thing - kebabs, fish, meat, cous-cous, soft drinks, water etc. Our strategy was to try and find a stall which seemed to be popular with Morocans. But of course, as soon as we sat down, the number of Europeans grew!

    The food was fine! As long as the food is freshly cooked and hot then it should be OK.

    Favorite Dish: We found that the 'waiter' tried to give us every dish available, whether we asked for it or not. So we ended up trying a bit of everything. If you want to eat cheaply, I guess you will have to be firm but polite.

    Don't forget the fresh orange juice stalls too. Perfect for the evening heat.

    Address: Place Djema el Fna

    Directions: Centre of the city - everyone ends up there - near the Koutoubia Mosque tower.

    Place Djema el Fna

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