A foodie’s guide to Marrakech

So, you’re heading to Marrakech (or thinking about it) and you’re checking out the food scene – looking for must-try dishes and picking up a few handy tips along the way. This is where we come in…

With aromas of sweet cinnamon and rich spices flooding the streets of Marrakech, it’s obvious to see why this bustling market town is a firm favourite among foodies. This one-of-a-kind destination is full of maze-like streets, vibrant colours and some of the best food on the planet. So – to help you on your journey – we’ve pulled together a handy little list of things you absolutely must try while in Marrakech, and a few helpful little tips on what might be best to avoid.

Breakfast

As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you have a full day of exploring ahead of you. Most hotels and riads (traditional Moroccan houses built around a central courtyard, usually with a small pool) will serve a basic Moroccan breakfast with plenty of freshly baked bread, pastries, preserves, orange juice – and of course – the quintessential mint tea. But venture a little further and you’ll find a great choice of breakfast favourites. Why not try khlea – a type of dried meat that is often paired with eggs for a delicious way to start to the day, or, msemen – a square, crepe-like bread served with honey or soft cheese for dipping?

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Lunch

By night Marrakech’s Djemaa el-Fnaa Square is a rabbit warren of street food stalls, pastry carts and hundreds of vendors selling their wares. But, by day, you’ll find a host of tucked away cafes and restaurants offering fantastic people-watching spots – perfect to grab a spot of lunch and take a break from the scorching Moroccan sun! We recommend trying Café Des Epices – a three-story gem serving traditional Moroccan fare with amazing views over the square. However, seats in the shade can fill up fast so we’d recommend booking ahead just in case.

Dinner

It goes without saying, you can’t visit Marrakech without trying the infamous dishes of tagine and couscous – but avoiding the average and finding the best can be tricky. Avoid touristy restaurant and head to where the locals eat. You’ll find light and fluffy, hand-rolled cous cous and a range of mouth-watering tagines (a tagine is just the clay pot used to cook a kind of stew, so pick your favourite and dig in!). We recommend heading to the Amal Centre – an all-women organisation that empowers disadvantaged local women through culinary training and job placements. You’re guaranteed to enjoy the true flavour of home-cooked Morocco here.

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Must-eats

We couldn’t just leave it there, could we? With so much amazing food, it’s hard to narrow down our favourites! So, here are a few of our must-try dishes, snacks and sweets that can’t be missed on your Marrakech trip!

  • Bastilla – A pie made up of paper-thin layers of pastry and filled with pigeon meat, nuts and plenty of spices. Great as a starter or a little snack to fill the hole between lunch and dinner!
  • Makouda – Deep-fried potato balls served with a spicy dipping sauce. You’ll find plenty of these on street food stalls throughout Marrakech
  • Brochettes – Follow the clouds of smoke through the markets and you’ll be sure to find a stall selling brochettes. These small chicken kebabs are seasoned to perfection and grilled over charcoal. Perfect for a savoury snack at any time of day.
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  • Snail soup – okay so maybe this is one for the slightly more adventurous. Snails are served shell-on in a simmering broth known for its health benefits along with its flavoursome taste.
  • Mint tea – Along with cous cous and tagine, mint tea is synonymous with Morocco. A green tea base with plenty of mint and sugar – a refreshing way to rehydrate.
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Handy hints

If you’re anything like us, then you’ll want to be out exploring! Getting off the beaten track and enjoying the food and drink like a local. So we’ve popped a few handy little hints together to make sure you have the best trip possible!

  • Stay hydrated! Morocco is a very hot and very dry country, so you’ll need to drink plenty of water to make sure you’re kept in tip-top shape for the rest of your hols. Also ensure you drink only bottled water (even from your hotel) and say no to ice in your drinks to be on the safe side.
  • Pick your food stalls carefully. There are plenty of street food stalls out there so pick the best and you’ll eat the best. Look for stalls where you can see Moroccan families eating and avoid those that seem to be only frequented by travellers.
  • Carry a bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you. Be sure to pop some on before eating with your hands, especially after handling money.
  • Some great seafood can be found in the markets but ensure you see what it looks like before it’s cooked. Marrakech is landlocked so getting fresh fish here takes a little more effort.
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Marrakech is a buzzing, vibrant city with plenty to offer! Have fun, explore and we’ll see you there!

Learn more about Marrakech and check out our amazing Marrakech holidays here!

Written on 6th February 2019 by

Charlotte Havercroft

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