The French influence in Morocco ensures it’s well deserved reputation for high quality cuisine which is rated amongst the best and certainly most sensual in the world. Moroccan food is a unique blend of African, Arabian and European influences and is characterised by its subtle scents, delicate flavours and elegant presentation.
The restaurants are also amongst the most exotic and sophisticated. Here are just a few of our favourites.
Imouzzer – Just 4km from Bab Adrar, in the heart of the bustling village. A “locals” restaurant offering traditional tajine and couscous served on a grand terrace with spectacular views over the plains towards Marrakech. Just drop in for lunch, no reservation necessary.
Le Maquis – Very good for lunch, particularly as a stopover on a trip up to Setti Fatma. Its French owner offers good standard Franco Moroccan food and the roadside location, near Oulmès, is particularly convenient from Bab Adrar. Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 48 45 31.
Dar Piano – A small charming restaurant offering European cuisine in Oulmès. (Closed Jun-Aug.) Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 48 48 42.
Ourika Valley Road into Marrakech
Bô & Zin – At the 3.5km point, this is one of Marrakech’s most sophisticated venues. Behind the walls are exotic gardens laid out with ponds and footbridges to secluded dining areas. The food combines flavours of Asia mingled with Moroccan and international cuisine. We love this chic oasis where the cool and sophisticated come to dine. Relax after your meal whilst lounging on huge sofas with a glass of Président rosé.
Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 38 80 12.
Le Plage Rouge – At 10km Le Plage Rouge offers good food served by a fantastic pool with curtained four-poster beds. Great for couples and families, it turns into a fun nightspot after dark. Closed January and February. Tel: 00 212(0) 5 24 37 80 86.
Jema el Fna (main square)
A fantastic array of food stalls starting with basic brochettes and soup to all the offal you can eat. Great atmosphere and well worth a night out. Also surrounding the square several restaurants which are the Marrakechie, Cherguonie, Argana all good for basic Moroccan cuisine and some fabulous cafes to sit and have tea on the terrace as you watch the world go by.
Within the Medina, there are some secret gems that look nothing from the outside, but open into a breathtaking oasis of quality cuisine.
Les Jardins de la Medina – We love this restaurant, which is delightful for lunch and dinner alike. Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 38 18 51.
Dar Yacout – Perhaps the most famous palace restaurant set deep in the Medina. The vast multi-course set menu unites top quality Moroccan cuisine with traditional musical entertainment. (Bring your appetite.) It costs about 700dh all inclusive.
Tel: 00 212 (0) 5 24 38 29 29
Kosybar – 47, place des Ferblantiers, is a real favourite after a long shopping spree in the Souk. Climbing up to the top floor terrace, you are at eye level with the storks’ nests with wonderful views across the old medina. A lovely international and Moroccan menu and some really comfy sofas on which to flop. Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 38 03 24
Nawarma – This is our favourite Thai restaurant a few minutes walk from Jemaa El Fna. Narwarma means “fire and water” and is represented by a central fountain through which flames emerge in the middle of the restaurant. They have Thai cuisine as well as a selection of Moroccan and international cuisine. It is set down an alley next to the Hotel Jardin De La Koutoubia, and you are guided to the restaurant by Moroccan rugs which litter the small alleyway (derb). Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 44 0844
Tatchibana – An authentic Japanese restaurant in the heart of the Medina. Food is prepared by chef Yuki Yamauchi and served by his wife in traditional costume. A favourite amongst lovers of Asian food. Tel: 00 212 (0) 524 38 7171
Le Flouka – A lovely fish restaurant with a beautiful lakeside terrace. Located at the Lalla barrage, Takerkoust. Tel: 00 212 (0) 564 49 26 60
Le Relais du Lac – Also set on the lake at Lalla Takerkoust and offers some really good grilled meats whilst you sit back and take in some of the most spectacular views of Mt Toubkal. Tel: 00 212 (0) 561 24 24 54
Kasbah Tamadot – This is Richard Branson’s Moroccan retreat. A beautiful setting in the mountains outside Asni with all that you would expect of a Virgin Limited addition location. Booking essential and a wonderful excuse to venture into the mountains.
Tel 00 212 (0) 524 36 82 00