12 of the best restaurants in Marrakech to experience colourful cuisine at

From soups and stews to sticky, sweet pastries, Marrakech has it all...

Updated on 01 December 2019 • Written By Rosie Conroy

12 of the best restaurants in Marrakech to experience colourful cuisine at

The answer to where to find the best restaurants in Marrakech really lies in what you’re looking for. This magical melting-pot of a city holds everything you could want within its walls – from five-star dining to small local haunts – but finding what you’re after is often the biggest challenge.

Because of the sometimes-confusing nature of the winding streets, busy squares and enveloping souks, pinning down a restaurant in Marrakech is easiest when you’ve not left things to chance. Make sure to have a rough idea where you’re going before you leave your hotel, riad or apartment and for busier, more popular restaurants ask your host or hotel manager to call ahead so that the place you’ve picked will hold you a table.

As with any place you go where you’re not used to eating the food, we’d recommend not buyimh from any stall, stand or shop you come across, and rather referring to our quick guide on where to eat in Marrakech, to make sure you stick to our tried and tested solution.

The national dish of Morocco, of course, has to be the tagine, and leaving Marrakesh without having tried at least one would be remiss. These richly spiced stews are cooked in clay pots that infuse the meat and vegetables with the traditional flavours of cumin, cinnamon and saffron, as well as commonly used condiments like preserved lemons, sweet dried fruits and nuts. Aside from this signature serve, there are other treats not to be missed – sticky sweet pastries piled high in glass cabinets, fried pockets of pastillas filled with all sorts from tuna and vegetables to beef and chicken, and golden flatbreads cooked hot over griddles and served with bright fruit jams.

Below is our pick of the best restaurants in Marrakech, but we’d love to hear your recommendations too. We try to keep our content as up to date as possible, so if you have a tip for us please let us know via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so we can have a look.

Restaurants in old town Marrakech

As you might know the old town of Marrakech is the picture-perfect centre that draws tourists and creates the backdrop to many a perfect holiday picture. It’s here that you’ll find most of the traditional riads and a whole host of delicious dining options. Below is our pick of some of the best.

El Fenn

Image: El Fenn © Kasia Gatkowska

A riotous cacophony of colour and texture, El Fenn attracts a creative crowd who find pleasure in the plush aesthetics of the space. The rooftop hosts a restaurant bedecked in bright clashing red and white plate-covered walls and turquoise tile-topped tables. In winter fires burn to keep you warm, while temporary walls hold out the slightest whisper of wind. Come summer there’s an outdoor bar with views that reach to the far edges of this pastel pink city, and the tables are protected by swaying canvas canopies. The set lunch menu offers diners a selection of dishes without having to choose a thing. A variety of bowls and plates are served on a huge silver tray for you to help yourself to and might include things like crisp green salads, simply barbecued fish and crispy fried potato cakes enveloped in golden panko breadcrumbs. Pudding is included and offers up just one choice – an apple and almond tart with cream, say.

 

Nomad

The main draw of Nomad is its expansive roof terrace that looks over the soft terracotta houses of the Medina below. Perfect for a lunch on cooler days, or an early dinner during summer where you can watch the sun go down and appreciate the first solace from the sun, this restaurant is on every influencer’s list of top spots. While the food is pleasant enough, it’s not the best thing we’ve ever eaten, but if you appreciate aesthetics above all else this is the place for you. Traditional Moroccan fair sits side-by-side with more Western style plates so there should be something for everyone. Service ranges from friendly waiters making jokes tableside, to stand-offish hostesses who make you feel as if you’re ever so slightly inconveniencing them. As a central spot with good views and free wifi, this is also a good spot to soak up the afternoon sun and enjoy a glass of mint tea.

 

Le Jardin Secret

It would be hard to happen upon Le Jardin Secret, unless you knew it was there. Surrounded on all sides by ancient walls and a tower that offers up some of the best views across the city, this duo of enclosed gardens is a medley of lush planting from across the globe. Lemon trees stand proudly in amongst lavender and rosemary bushes, while cactus and palm trees fill other beds. Turquoise tiles cover the ground, water features dance every few feet or so, and the breeze filters through sot muslin curtains to create an oasis of calm. Inside the mansion’s walls is a licensed restaurant and café, which serves up some of the best mint tea we found anywhere, as well as a selection of snacks.

 

Terrasse Des Epices

There’s something about a good rooftop restaurant that gives off a real sense of luxury, and Terrasse Des Epices is no exception. Dreamt up by a designer Anne Favier, its owner’s occupation is demonstrated through the striking contrast of red floor tiles and black walls, as well as the laidback mismatched furniture and feature lighting. With views out over the city and plenty of swaying canopies protecting guests from the sun, out favourite time to visit this spot is during the day – but in the evening mood lighting also sets a convivial mood. The menu showcases Moroccan food, while still managing to cater to international crowds with familiar ingredients and techniques used. Dishes range from soups and stews to salads and seafood – with the monkfish tagine a house speciality.

 

Le Jardin

While Marrakech isn’t short of options when it comes to eating out, it can be hard to find a decent bite to fill you up while wandering through the souks, thanks to the overwhelming calls of street traders and restaurant hosts. On the edge of this magical market is Le Jardin, a cool oasis in the middle of the city’s hustle and bustle. The menu here focuses on fresh produce, with a section offering up mezze dishes like sweet carrot hummus flavoured with rich paprika, fresh cheese with cucumber and mint, and local olives marinated in garlic, herbs and prized Moroccan argon oil. Elsewhere you’ll find a selection of sandwiches, salads and grills as well as a mains section which features traditional dishes like tagine and kofta. The turquoise tile surrounds are offset by lush planting and rich gold accents, the perfect Instagram fodder.

 

Café Des Épices

Café Des Épices has the same owners as Nomad and a similar expat community frequents its tables, giving it a cool and creative vibe. Treat yourself to a lazy, long lunch out of the hot midday sun or come for dinner when candlelight sets a warm and inviting atmosphere. Those looking for a taste of the local cuisine will find it in smoky grilled meats and vibrant, fresh salads. If you happen in during the afternoon choose a spot underneath one of the awnings to sip refreshing mint tea under and indulge in a few pastries or three (you are probably on holiday, after all).

 

Pepe Nero

It can be tempting to plump for Moroccan food at every opportunity thanks to the moreish mix of spices and sweet dried fruits running through most things, but once you’ve had your fill of the local delicacies it can be nice to get a taste of the familiar. Pepe Nero offers up a reliable Italian a stone’s throw from where most of the action in Marrakech happens. With tables clustered under orange trees in a tile-lined courtyard that boasts a beautiful water feature at its heart, you don’t get much more atmospheric than this. The menu spans all the classics, with pasta as a main focus, plus a substantial seafood section.

The best restaurants near Marrakech

If you’re willing to cast your net a little further than the centre of the city, you’ll be well rewarded with a whole host of options. From swish country clubs and five-star hotel restaurants to rural retreats, these are our favourite restaurants within an hour’s drive of Marrakech.

Quattro

Marrakech’s plush Four Seasons hotel is just a fifteen-minute car ride from the old town and houses a couple of restaurants to choose from. Our favourite is Quattro, a modern Italian restaurant housed in a generous open-plan space that places a kitchen at its heart. Watch as the chefs deftly make pizzas and pastas in front of you, soaking up the five-star service from friendly, well-rehearsed staff. Begin with cocktails from the bar, a well-curated list of drinks that includes classic Champagne serves and more modern twists on firm favourites, like the Smoking Negroni which sees your glass infused with smoke for a rich flavour as well as some live tableside theatre. Meals here begin with plates of canapes and the main menu includes well-made pastas, generously portioned risottos and wood-fired pizzas.

 

Kasbah Bab Ourika

Set out in the midst of the Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Bab Ourika is a real oasis in the centre of its rugged, rocky surrounds. Much of what ends up on your plate has been grown on the property itself, resulting in fresh, tasty plates of food. Typically, there are a handful of lunch dishes on the menu, with a similar setup at dinner. Whatever the lineup though, there is usually a tagine on offer which will profile the flavours of the local cuisines, combining sweet and savoury flavour profiles for a moreish meal. Views across the viasta make lunchtime dining particularly desirable. 

 

Beldi Country Club

This magical countryside retreat just happens to be a playground of the rich and famous (Poppy Delavigne hosted her second wedding here, no less). Situated among fields of roses with vast, expansive gardens and glasshouses peppering the site, a meal at Beldi is about more than just the food and it’s not hard to see why it’s a favourite of some of the world’s most notable figures. Treat yourself to a pool pass to really make full use of an afternoon wiling away the hours or wander round the ‘souk’; a curated collection of shops that sell authentic local homewares, gifts and clothes. At lunchtime there’s a set menu, which includes three courses and has a focus on meat and fish cooked on the plancha. This smoky barbecue flavour lends itself well to gently spiced yogurt marinated chicken and plump king prawns, while a starter of quinoa tabbouleh caters to a crowd who want their local cuisine with a side of superfood.

 

Jnane Tamsna

Twenty minutes outside of the city centre in the upmarket Palmerie district lies Jnane Tamsna. This boutique hotel and restaurant serves up a decent lunchtime menu for both guests and day visitors. The French owners have put their European spin on things, and even the menu fuses Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisines. Much of what ends up on punter’s plates was grown or raised on the premises, which results in fantastically fresh food. Start with a crisp, clean gazpacho before moving on to ginger chicken tagine or a plate of crispy fried pastilla. A full table of desserts should do the trick come pudding time, with each item beautifully presented and adorned with blooms from the garden. Try to book a table under an orange tree poolside, where you can relax for the rest of the day with the complimentary use of the sunbeds.

 

Berber Lodge

Nestled in the centuries-old olive groves outside of Marrakech, Berber Lodge offers a true sense of calm after the madness of the Medina. A forty-minute journey will bring you to this beautifully designed bolthole, where you can enjoy lunch or dinner. The restaurant is mainly reserved for guests, but if you call ahead, they can usually accommodate day-tripping customers. The menu changes daily to reflect the seasons and makes good use of the Lodge’s gardens and vegetable patch. This is a set affair, so fussy eaters are rarely pandered to, but dietary requirements are always taken seriously and it’s a wonderful opportunity to try things you might otherwise have skipped by on a larger menu. The drinks too provide a point of difference, with the bar team devising homemade syrups for seriously good cocktails and the wine list offering up sulphate free options from Morocco.

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