Best restaurants & accommodation in Marrakesh
Moroccan food ranks high on lists of the world’s best cuisines and is well worth exploring. However sometimes it’s hard to choose from the big variety of places as in Marrakesh there are many restaurants with beautiful ambience serving great food. Similarly, choosing the right place for your stay in Marrakesh might be overwhelming and challenging. There are hundred of places to choose from, starting from simple hostels, though traditional riads, finishing at luxurious hotels. This guide will help to to find the best restaurants to eat and accommodation for your trip to Marrakesh.
What to eat
Thanks to the country’s interaction with other cultures and nations over the centuries, including Berber, Moorish, Arab and Mediterranean influences Moroccan food is incredibly diverse. It’s prepared with fresh ingredients and many spices like saffron, mint, olives oranges and lemons, coriander, ginger, cinnamon and many others.
The most popular and delicious dishes are:
- Couscous with seven vegetables, to which you can add chicken, lamb, fish or beef.
- Chicken Pastilla is Morocco’s famous rendition of the savory pie. YUMMY ?
- Tagine, the famous slow-cooked Moroccan stew.
- Chicken with preserved lemon and olives.
- Kefta meatball Taijine.
- Harira, a tomato-based soup laden with lentils and chickpeas.
Where to eat
1. Zeitun Cafe
Zeitun Cafe‘s location on the Jemaa el-Fnaa square makes this 3 floors restaurant perfect for both lunch and dinner. Despite it’s touristic location, the dishes are amazingly tasty and its very well priced. Very fresh and well balanced juices.
Nomad is very trendy at the moment. It’s located just in the middle of the Souk and serves great variety of Moroccan and international dishes. It has 2 big terraces with stunning views over the Medina. Reserve a table in advance and bring a scarf to cover your shoulders even on a warm summer night, as it get very windy.
3. La Famille
La Famille is a French / Morrocan family owned restaurant located in a charming little garden just steps away from the main square and a perfect spot for lunch or romantic dinner. Make sure to reserve in advance as the place is always full and rarely has space for walk ins.
4. El Fenn
El Fenn is an exclusive Riad that has one of the most beautiful terraces in whole Marrakesh. The spectacular bar serves amazing drinks and the dishes are one of the best one we have tried.
5. Cafe Arabe
Cafe Arabe is located just in front of Le Jardin Secret. This restaurant serves very good food on a beautiful terrace. It also has great Moroccan wine.
6. Terrasses des épices
Hands down- our favourite spot in Marrakesh. Sadly we discovered it only for our last lunch. Make sure to try the chicken pastilla. The service was also great (which is uncommon in Marrakesh).
↬ Note : We have discovered that in most of the restaurants in Marrakesh the people working there aren’t very friendly. It doesn’t matter the standard of the restaurant, we were ignored, our orders were mixed, we wouldn’t get the answers even asking directly, or get 2 opposite answers from 2 different staff members. Like at El Fenn, where we arrived at 19.30, at the entrance were told that we must wait for the second service at 21.00 to get a table. Afterwards, we heard that the second service would start at 21.30. In the end I told the waiter that served us drinks while waiting- seeing that most of the dinner tables were free- that we are ready to be sited whenever they are. And they gave us a table immediately, at 20.15…
Where to stay
Enjoying great restaurants in Morocco is only half the fun if your accommodation doesn’t follow up. Here is a little guide to help you pick the right place, perfect for your taste & budget.
The first thing you must ask yourself is if you are looking forward to experience the real Marrakesh, or would rather keep back and prefer the international, luxurious, options (of course there are places combining both, but that’s the start).
If you’d like the international and luxury, then staying at one of the big resorts in Hermitage area is the perfect choice for you. The hotels are located few kilometres from the busy centre, mostly have big grounds with big swimming pools, some even offer all inclusive stays. Chance are you won’t feel the real vibe of the city, but for sure you will get to relax and a nice tan on this holidays.
1. The Fairmont Hotel ? ? ?
This tranquil resort is set in the Moroccan countryside with views of snowy picks mountains. It has a lake-like pool and a 18-holes golf course.
2. Selman Marrakesh ? ? ?
French decor, 75 metre-long pool and personal butler are just few of the services offered at this 5 star hotel.
3. Four Seasons Resort Marrakesh ? ? ?
40 acres of luxuriant gardens, set just at the edge of the historic Medina- you can’t go wrong staying there.
4. La Sultana ? ? ?
Mix of luxury and a sense of history are the hallmarks of La Sultana. This hotel consists of five riads, decorated in a different style from different historic periods. Total of 28-room makes this boutique hotel full of character. It’s my absolute favourite pick- but out of our budget.
5. The Hivernage ? ?
A cheaper option out of those 5 star hotels, has beautifully decorated rooms and delicious food.
The most popular places to stay in Marrakesh are riads- a type of traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Most of them are located right in the centre of Medina and are the perfect surprises to the visitors. You walk through the old city tiny streets, knock on a big wooden door, and all of a sudden after few steps inside, you discover an incredible courtyard, mostly with a small pool or fountain and only a handful of rooms.
There are riads in Marrakesh for any traveller’s budget.
Here are our favourite picks:
1. Riad Kasbah ? ?
We loved every minute spent in this place. No other riad has made us feel so welcome and home as here. The interior is just beautiful with perfectly refreshing pool, big rooms and the kindest staff.
2. Palais Sebban ?
This extremely rich in decor riad might seem too much for few, but we though it would be a great experience. And so it was. The place is just spectacular.
3. Riad Ennafoura ?
This minimalistic place offers only 4 rooms. It has beautiful terrace and courtyard and rooms are spacious with high celling. Everything is kept in white tons which makes the place bright and inviting.
4. El Fenn ? ? ?
For those with a more expendable budget, El Fenn is a perfect combination of moroccan style and luxury. It’s one of the places where you immediately feel home, which is enhanced by a fact that they do not use keys to lock the rooms. The binding of an amazing restaurants and accommodation for a unique stay in Marrakesh.
5. Riad Yasmine ?
The most “instafamous” spot of Marrakesh has the perfect courtyard for cute pictures. It’s reasonably priced, but sold out usually months in advance. They are not on booking.com and their website seemed to have technical difficulties at the moment of writing, so we prefered not linking it.
6. Riad Adore ?
This 10-bedroom riad seems to get everything just right- from the warm, friendly service to the stylish architecture, modern Moroccan décor, small pool and hamamm.
And finally if you want the Moroccan experience with a small budget.
A winning hostel with a wide choice of private and dorm rooms, a large pool, restaurant, hammam and a huge roof terrace, all set in a series of traditional houses in the heart of the medina.
Don’t forget to read our Marrakesh Etiquette – All the DO’s and DON’Ts post.