Marrakech is a great city, however, for a first-time visitor, it can be a little overwhelming. Deciding the best food of Morocco to try and where to eat in this bustling city can be draining. One thing is for sure, you will be approached as you pass every food stall, cafe, or restaurant. Waiters are very persistent, they don’t give up easily. So, how do you decide where and what to eat in Marrakech?

what to eat in marrakech - tagine

What to Eat in Marrakech? The cuisine is wonderful here.

The aim is to try and choose a place that serves tasty, Moroccan food that is above all else, fresh and hygienically cooked. Too many visitors end up getting ill from making poor food choices in Marrakech which will leave you with a negative experience of this city upon your departure.

Here are some tips to help you learn more about the food from Morocco and what to eat in Marrakech. Follow these pointers and you’ll leave Morocco with a bunch of wonderful food memories.

what to eat in marrakech

What to eat in Marrakech? Don’t miss these fried donuts!

Food Rules of what to eat in Marrakech- The Do’s and Dont’s:

  • Always drink bottled water and say no to ice cubes in drinks.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel and apply it just before you eat as most food in Morocco is eaten with the hands.  You don’t realise it, but touching money and handling souvenirs in the markets can carry many harmful germs.
  • Avoid eating anything that is likely to have been washed in water, such as raw vegetables, salads (unless you are entirely certain the eatery uses distilled water to wash fresh produce).
  • If you do decide to eat in a food stall – choose carefully and eat where local families are eating. Stick to eating grilled foods – don’t go for tajine or couscous here as there’s a high chance that it has been heated and reheated several times.
  • Avoid using straws – (they may be re-used).
  • Don’t buy biscuits from carts, you don’t know how long they’ve been there. Patisserie Prince, just off the square has great biscuits and pastries plus a comfortable sitting area to enjoy your sweets without being hassled. I totally recommend this place for everyone wondering what to eat in Marrakech.
  • Be very wary of street vendors selling fried fish – Marrakech is landlocked, so seafood isn’t readily available. Try to see how fresh the fish is before it has been cooked.  If you’re unsure, it’s best to avoid and choose something else.
  • When buying from food stalls, check the freshness of the meat skewers before ordering.
  • For all fried street food snacks, check the colour of the oil it is being cooked in first. If the oil is a dark colour, keep walking, it’s way too old.
  • This is an important rule on my list of what to eat in Marrakech, and definitely the one to steer clear of. Avoid drinking ‘fresh juice’ from the many vendors around Jemaa El-Fna square. Many of the vendors use local water in the juices to bulk out the juice, rather than bottled water.  This is one of the most common reasons why visitors fall ill during their time in Marrakech.

Don’t let the above deter you from eating some delicious dishes in this city and for any onward travels in Morocco. The ‘rules’ are there to guide you to make the right choices when you visit. There are plenty of amazing and safe places – so enjoy the variety of what to eat in Marrakech and remember that this cuisine is fantastic.

Some places we recommend eating:

Amal Women’s Training Centre and restaurant (Rue Allal Ben Ahmed, Gueleiz)

Good food for a good cause. Couscous every Friday is hugely popular. Make a reservation or come early as this place is popular. The menu changes each day there are options for vegetarians too.  They serve both Moroccan and international food. The tea is good here too.

Nomad – This place is well located amongst the souks. Find it on the edge of Spice Square inside a former carpet store.

Cafe Clock (Derb Chatouka, Kasbah) – Tasty food, both Moroccan and Western dishes. They have other stuff happening here too- such as yoga classes, cooking classes, concerts, and storytelling evenings. The camel burger is a hit at the Clock Cafe! Come here for some good coffee and a decent wifi connection too.

Dar Moha – A high-end restaurant offering set meals, live music, and a pool.  Recommended booking in advance.

Bazaar Cafe (Derb Sidi El Yamani, 24B) – Get a 3-course meal for under 10 euros. Mediterranean & Arabic options, organic fresh products, and some vegan options too. 

Henna Art Cafe – Traditional Cuisine. Located in the heart of the medina, only a 3 min walk from the main square. Some good vegetarian options.

what to eat in marrakech

Deciding what to eat in Marrakech is all about following a few simple rules.

Moroccan specialties you should try:

  • Bessara –Broad bean soup, simple and delicious. Traditionally served for breakfast and served with olive oil, cumin on the side and fresh bread. Best enjoyed with some fresh mint tea.
  • Tagine – a traditional clay pot in the shape of a cone. Stews and dishes are cooked in the tagine. I love a good tagine. This one should be top of your list of what to eat in Marrakech.
  • Tangia – an urn-shaped terra cotta cooking vessel also used to cook stews.
  • Chermoula – a combination of herbs and spices used to marinate meat and vegetables before grilling. 
  • Harira – a meat, tomato and lentil soup. If you ask locals what to eat in Marrakech, they’ll tell you to try this dish.
  • Couscous – a fine-wheat semolina, commonly served with meat or vegetable stews. Raisins, nuts and fresh herbs can be added to give flavour to different variations of couscous. When you’re searching for what to eat in Marrakech, you’ll soon discover that many dishes are served with couscous.
  • Zaalouk – a warm eggplant salad of cooked eggplant, tomatoes, and classic spices. It’s enjoyed alone or accompanied by bread.
  • Pastilla or B’stilla – a pie made from thin layers of pastry, meat (chicken, fish or pigeon), almonds and eggs, and spiced with saffron. Looking for a simple snack when searching for what to eat in Marrakech? You’ve found it, and it’s delicious!
  • Sfenj – Moroccan Doughnuts – an airy and very light doughnut made with a sticky, almost batter-like yeasted dough. Perfect alongside some fresh tea.

If you want to avoid the hassle and explore the best culinary dishes on offer in Marrakech, why not join a food tour with a local. This is the best introduction to the city and you’ll get to try all the best local specialties with your own personal guide.

Food Tour Morocco

Choose from one of these 3 best Food Tours in Marrakech and learn more about the food in Morocco. Taste the best products from local shops and restaurants with your local guide. Trust me, it’s a great way to discover the best of Moroccan food.

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