After three weeks in the Red City, we feel pretty good about telling you where you should eat if you happen to find yourself in search of the best restaurants in Marrakech. We ate out for every meal, except for breakfasts, so we managed to see and taste a lot! Of course, we had our favorites, and while we never had a BAD meal, instead of telling you about every place, we want to just share our favorites. Why? Because if you come to Marrakech, you want only the great restaurants, right?
Ain’t nobody got time for lackluster dining.
Italian Restaurants in Marrakech
Almost everyone loves Italian food, and the Moroccans are no different. You’ll see hundreds of pizzarias and ristorantes scattered all about town, and it’s hard to find a bad one. You know, even bad pizza is still pretty good, especially when you’re hungry and just plain tired of tajines. Here are our favorites:
This little restaurant is outside the walls, and is charming and wonderfully Tuscan in feel, with stuccoed walls and beamed ceilings. There is an open kitchen where the chefs prepare pizzas in front of you, using only the freshest of ingredients. The value is spot on – I had Duck Confit with potatoes, while Rust had a tasty Chicken Parmagiana. These two dishes, with a drink each, tax, and gratuity, ran us $25. Pizzas were around $6-10, depending on your toppings, and are big enough to share, should you be on a tighter budget. Le Catanzaro also offers the pizzas to go as well. Be warned, this place fills up quickly, so be prepared to possibly wait. Google told us they open at 7:15, but from experience, we found them opening at 7:30 instead.
Inside the Medina, Limoni is one of the Marrakech restaurants set in a Riad. The tables are in the courtyard surrounded by lemon trees and beautiful Moroccan lamps, which creates a romantic and comfortable atmosphere. Do not worry about rain ruining your dinner – there are plastic canopies to protect you, not that the rain falls too much in the city. We dined here more than once, and each time was very, very good.
My favorite dish was the (I cannot believe I am typing this) Chicken Tajine with Oranges and Apricots, a lovely twist on the typical Moroccan offering. Every pasta dish we tried was heavenly as well – I adored the Fresh Ricotta Ravioli with a Lemon and Mint sauce, while Rusty’s favorite was his Pasta Bolognese. Two can dine here, with wine, for $25. Don’t overlook the desserts – I had an incredible deep fried Nutella confection that was incredible.
I know, this is a broad category. You can find a good tajine just about everywhere you turn around, so don’t be scared of them. The chicken is almost always juicy, and the prices are never too bad. But, I am giving you our favorites, one spendy (by Moroccan standards), one that claims NOT to be Moroccan, and one that was just plain GOOD.
Le Comptoir Darna
This sexy restaurant was our favorite meal in all of Morocco, and ranks up there as one of the best dinner experiences I’ve had ANYWHERE in the world. Belly dancers, fire dancers, live music…it’s all at Le Comptoir Darna, as well as sumptuous food. Drinks are pricy, but, considering the location and the entertainment, not horrible.
We each paid about $15 for a cocktail, but they were very well made. Similar drinks in Vegas would have been about $20, plus the taxes and tip. Ours included both. The meals were top notch – I had the most expensive. Sliced filet with a tiger sauce, served with mashed potatoes. It was $25 and worth far more. It cut with a fork, and tasted like butter. Rusty had a tajine (by choice!) and it was juicy and flavorful, for $20. The desserts are also very nice – try the melting caramel tart…it seriously is melting and pairs perfectly with their vanilla bean ice cream.
Including all tax, tip, drinks and dinner – our 3 hour night out enjoying Moroccan music and sex appeal was $94. It would have been 4 times that in the States.
Charley’s is also outside the walls, and is little more than a 6 tabled hole in the wall restaurant. It doesn’t feel as small, thanks to soaring ceilings and a small enclosed outdoor area, but it really isn’t a lot to look at. Forget that part. What Charley’s does have is the best tajine we tried, with lots of side vegetables and a very nice price. We BOTH ate wonderful tajines, with couscous and a huge plate of carrots and potatoes, with drinks, for $20. Hard to beat that.
This fantastic upscale restaurant claims right on their signage that they are NOT Moroccan, but we feel they are. Set in another open air riad courtyard, Latitude 31 is a popular hotspot, so be sure to get there early or have a reservation. The building is lovely, full of plants and pretty tiles, and just feels like a place you want to be. The food is very nice (I had risotto, Rusty had beef tajine! lol!) and the prices are a good value. I am a sucker for great food presentation, and Latitude 31 did not disappoint.
I can’t NOT include this category. I know you didn’t go all the way to Marrakech to eat a burger, but after so many tajines, and so many pizzas, you may just want something that feels like home…but BETTER. Even though McDonald’s is available – please don’t. You are better than this.
I have no idea how I found this place, but it was one of my favorites. It’s a 50’s diner, imagine Happy Days (which they have playing on a TV inside) with the checkered floor, albums on the walls, brightly colored booths…it’s all there. Kind of like a Johnny Rockets but – not as pretentious.
The menu is just so different as well! I had a Waffle Burger (yes, the bun was a waffle!), and Rust had a Pizza Burger. Oh my word, y’all, these were the BEST burgers- so flavorful. And while yes, they were stellar, the star of the show was dessert. A waffle, filled with caramel ice cream, homemade caramel sauce, whipped cream and caramel popcorn. Oh my GOD…it was heaven. They have other sundaes to choose from, and shakes, cakes, and pies, but I can’t imagine anything better than this deliciousness.
Le Pain Quotidien
We found ourselves at this little shop quite often, as it was only about a mile from our riad, and in a section of the city that we just liked. It is also full of things to choose from, be it hearty sandwiches, flatbread pizza, pasta, or confections like mousse cake and gelato. We had some of everything, and nothing disappointed. It’s also pocketbook friendly, and one of the best Marrakech restaurants to sit back, use the WiFi, have coffee and watch the people outside on the busy streets.