I recently spent a long week in Marrakech to celebrate my significant other’s special birthday. For a short break in January, just a 3.5hr flight from Gatwick and boasting temperatures of 20 degrees, it was the ideal destination. The city is renowned for its rich culture, history, and of course delicious cuisine. The food in Marrakech is a blend of traditional Moroccan flavours, with a touch of Berber and Andalusian influences and during our stay we sampled some of the best that Marrakech has to offer.
One of the most famous dishes in Marrakech is “tagine”. A tagine is a type of slow-cooked stew that is typically made with meat or fish and a variety of vegetables and spices. The dish is named after the conical-shaped pot in which it is cooked, which allows the steam to circulate and infuse the ingredients with flavour. Some popular tagine options include chicken with olives and preserved lemons, or lamb with prunes and almonds.
Another staple in Marrakech’s cuisine is couscous. Couscous is a type of wheat semolina that is typically served as a side dish with a variety of meats and vegetables. It is also often served as a main dish with a variety of stews and sauces poured over it.
In addition to these traditional dishes, Marrakech also offers a variety of street foods and snacks. One popular street food is “briouats”, which are fried, or baked pastries filled with meat, fish, or vegetables. Other popular street foods include “kefta” (minced meat skewers) and “bastilla” (a sweet pastry filled with meat or fish and nuts).
Marrakech is also famous for its mint tea, which is a staple of Moroccan culture. The tea is typically made with green tea leaves, mint, and sugar, and is served in small glasses. It was served to us as a welcome drink upon arrival at our Riad.
One of the best places to experience the authentic flavours of Marrakech is at restaurant Nomad. This trendy eatery is located in the heart of the city and serves up traditional Moroccan dishes with a modern twist. The menu features a variety of tagines, couscous, and other classic dishes, as well as some lesser-known specialties. The ambiance of the restaurant is also great with a terrace that offers unique views across the Spice Square and medina rooftops. Sun hats are provided too, which was a nice touch, very instagrammable and a must for pale and pasty Brits venturing out into the sunshine after months of sun starvation in the UK.
Another great option for dining in Marrakech is the restaurant La Paillote. This sophisticated, safari-style restaurant looks as though it is straight from Out of Africa and its food matches the spectacular décor. The large thatched-roof dining room is decorated with potted palms, tribal art and natural accents, creating a sub-Saharan illusion. The portions of French and Italian cuisine are generous, and the menu offers choices like smoked salmon tartine, ricotta and Parmesan ravioli and chicken stewed with mushrooms and new potatoes.
Restaurants like Nomad and La Paillote are just a couple of the many great options available in the city. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Moroccan meal, French fine-dining, or a modern twist on a classic dish, Marrakech has it all. Just be prepared to get very lost as you navigate the souks. My top tip is follow your nose and look up to the array of sun terraces and you’ll be sure to find something tasty around every corner.