EATING, DRINKING & RELAXATION
Whether its restaurants, night life or spas, there is a huge variety on offer in Marrakech. And at prices to suit every budget.
Restaurants come and go. But there are some that have stood the test of time, and have been around for many years. We have included the best of these in the list below. It is not exhaustive. It’s just, in our opinion, some of the best options. Please feel free to look them up on Trip Advisor. There is plenty of choice so don’t be afraid to try others – all we ask is for your feedback afterwards!
MOROCCAN CUISINE (all you can eat feasts)
Many of the Moroccan restaurants are all you can eat feasts. Just when you think no more food can arrive, a huge plate of couscous is served.
Our preferred option is Dar Moha, although Dar Yacout is also very good.
MOROCCAN CUISINE (with entertainment)
Le Comptoir is probably the best known. It has belly dancing, and a lively bar and atmosphere.
Le Tanjia is slightly more understated and has a lovely roof top. It prepares an excellent slow cooked “Mechoui” (lamb) and also has belly dancing.
THE MAIN SQUARE (Jemaa el-Fnaa)
It’s fun, especially listening to a Moroccan speaking in cockney rhyming slang. It has a marvellous buzz and the food is generally cheap and cheerful. Different stalls offer different foods, so walk around and pick the ones you like most. Don’t get intimidated by the hustlers. It’s all good natured. There is no alcohol here.
The best tajine we have tasted in a restaurant is at the Women’s Association called Amal, only open for lunch in the Gueliz district. Friday lunch time is especially busy for a traditional lunch of couscous with local office workers, expat locals and tourists alike taking advantage of an excellent and reasonably priced meal. The Amal centre offers training for and employs disadvantaged women.
Le Foundouk. Hidden in the Medina, near the photographic museum, this is a Riad that has been converted into a restaurant. It serves Moroccan and international food and has a lovely roof top terrace.
There are a whole host of restaurants and cafes that cook tajines, brochettes and other Moroccan fare.
If you want to have something other than Moroccan here are some of our favourite alternatives:-
Cantanzaro. Cheap and cheerful and situated in Gueliz, this is a good quality Italian restaurant offering pizzas and pasta.
Pepe Nero. This is one of our favourite places, hidden in the south of the medina. It’s a converted Riad serving both Moroccan and international food. It’s light, airy and skilfully designed.
Restaurant Loft and Restaurant Le Studio. Both reasonably recent additions to Marrakech, these are lively and contemporary. Food is excellently presented however they they do still allow smoking which can put off some diners.
Café de la Poste. Colonial style building and relaxed atmosphere in the middle of Gueliz. Good quality international food.
COFFEE SHOP CULTURE
There is, heaven forbid, a Starbucks here which opened very recently. There is also a Spanish brand called Cappuccino, which is excellent.
But we prefer the local places, which are just simply “local”. Nothing fancy here. Our favourite coffee is the local nuss nuss, which means half half, that being half strong espresso and half hot milk.
It’s active, if you know where to go. There are some excellent roof top bars in the Hiverange district. In the medina, the Kosy Bar in the Kasbah and Café Arabe (which also have restaurants) are good options.
If you then want to continue later then head for either Jhad Mahal, which has an excellent band most nights or the bar at Le Comptoir.
And then if you really have the need to carry on further there are some hard core clubs like Pacha, two casinos and a whole variety of other places too….
This is Marrakech at its indulgent best. You can have a lovely massage and hammam (steam and scrub) in your Riad or Villa, or you can splash out on half day or full day treatments at spas or hotels.
Most of the hotels are open to outside visitors.
Beldi Club and Riad Farnatchi also have excellent spas at affordable prices. There is a nice spa at Atlas Golf which is perfect on the last day for 9 holes of golf, lunch and a massage before catching an evening flight back.
And if you really want to indulge then try La Sultana, La Mamounia or the outrageous Royal Mansour from £150 to £300 for 2 to 3 hours or half day sessions.
Anything can be arranged according to your preference. We would also highly recommend eating at least one night in your Riad or Villa.
Some of the more popular spas may need to be booked in advance however many can be visited spontaneously. Your concierge will provide advice as to where to go and make reservations for you in any restaurants or spas either before arrival or during your stay.
Our aim is to provide advice and recommendations based on feedback from our clients and our own experience in Marrakech. We do not take commissions from restaurants or spas ensuring our advice is always impartial and will best meet your needs.