Before heading to Marrakesh for a weekend visit, I’d been warned by people who had been there that I may not like the city- they said it was too chaotic and hectic. I had a totally different experience- I loved the city and left eager to explore other parts of Morocco on future trips.
In total, I spent three days in Marrakesh- arriving early on a Saturday and leaving early on a Tuesday. Over the course of three days, I wandered the city, lounged at rooftop terraces, indulged myself at a spa and relaxed at the riads I stayed at.
As much as I loved relaxing at the riads I stayed at, I also enjoyed the peaceful rooftop cafes I found, and beautiful restaurants serving up Moroccan specialities. Tourists have long sought out Marrakesh in search of taste for the exotic. I came to Morocco, excited to try tagine, couscous and fresh juices, and safe to say I didn’t leave disappointed.
5 Places You Must Eat At in Marrakesh
Le Jardin: A multi-story garden restaurant with numerous terraces, Le Jardin felt like a dream. I came here twice during my stay in Marrakesh- once for lunch, and another time for dinner.
At lunch, I sat on one of the rooftop terraces in the sun and enjoyed a vegetable tagine with mint tea. Dinner was a completely different vibe- the gardens and tables were lit by flickering candles, it felt magical. At dinner, I ended up ordering the same thing I’d had for lunch- tagine and mint tea, super fresh ingredients, so great.
Cafe des Epices: Overlooking one of the busiest squares in the souks, Cafe des Epices is a lovely place to enjoy breakfast or a late morning mint tea and watch the city wake up. Here, I enjoyed fresh fruit and mint tea while waiting for Nomad to open for lunch.
Nomad: Directly opposite Cafe des Epices (and underneath the same ownership as the Cafe and Le Jardin), Nomad is a modern tranquil lunch spot. The roof terrace is expansive, overlooking the medina below, and the restaurant’s indoor seating is brightly and beautifully decorated. And, the food is great- tried the courgette feta fritters and vegetable couscous. Of course, I had more mint tea, and spicy espresso to finish. If you’re visiting Nomad during the high season, make a reservation to guarantee a table ahead of time.
El Fenn: Known for their roof terrace with great drinks, El Fenn is luxurious. I came here for dinner one night, and really enjoyed the vegetable chickpea couscous, and banana, mango and cardamom dessert. On a future trip, I’d definitely make a lunch reservation for the rooftop.
Cafe Atay: Whilst wondering the souks one afternoon, I needed a break from the chaos and headed here on the recommendation of a ‘peaceful rooftop’ from a fellow traveller. Not only were the roof terraces (there are three outdoor stories, plus lots of indoor seating) the epitome of tranquil, but the views of the medina and Atlas mountains were incredible. Here, I only had honey crepes, fresh orange juice and spicy coffee, but everything was delicious.
And a few more recommendations:
Henna Cafe: If you’re a solo female traveller visiting Marrakesh like I was, this non-profit offering free languages ateliers for women is a good place to take a break from the city. Before visiting, I’d heard it was unusual to find women eating alone at some of the city’s more traditional cafes, and intentionally marked a few places known for being ‘female friendly’ on my map. Henna Cafe, as its name suggests, offers beautiful henna services and great, affordable food. I came for dinner one night, and because everything was so inexpensive, didn’t realise how much food I was ordering- the hummus, tomato salad, falafel and pear juice were so delicious. And, I loved seeing local woman run the cafe.
Terrasse des Epices: Offering a wonderful view of city below and one of the few restaurants within the medina to serve alcohol, the Terrasse is a nice place to come and watch the sun set. I savoured a glass of Moroccan gris wine and read while the sun set over the city behind me.
Place Jemaa el-Fna: The main square in Marrakesh, this place is alive with energy. In total, I think I spent 10 minutes here and left feeling sad- it’s a very touristy atmosphere with gimmicks used to capture the attention of visitors (see: snake charmers and men with monkeys). However! The carts selling fresh orange juice are worth a walk through the square- so good and so cheap (less than £1 a cup).
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- Beautiful Riads in the Heart of Marrakesh
- Where to Eat & Drink in Hong Kong
- Where to Eat & Drink in Paris
And for additional restaurant recommendations, check out The Mediterranean Traveller’s Marrakech good guide.