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Last updated: 21 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Mandy Sinclair

Moroccan cuisine is best known for its slow-cooked tajines – richly flavoured stews, cooked on traditional platters with conical lids – and heaped platters of couscous topped with seven vegetables.

More traditional meals usually start with a tray of meze – fresh salads that might include honeyed carrot salad, humous, roasted aubergine and yoghurt with mint and garlic. Lamb is the most popular meat, while seafood, such as sardines, are plucked straight from the Atlantic in Essaouira.

Mint tea is another obligatory Moroccan ritual drunk at any time of the day, often taken with a plate of sugar-topped biscuits, or syrup-drenched pastries. Moroccans have an extremely sweet tooth, and there are excellent patisseries dotted around the Ville Nouvelle – a legacy of the French Colonial era.

What to try

Must-try local specialties include tanjia (slow-cooked lamb or beef), sfenj (donuts), bissara (broad bean soup), mechaoui (roasted lamb) and pastilla – a moreish traditional pigeon pie with filo pastry, spices and egg, topped with sugar. Locally-produced Moroccan wine – from its 14 producing regions – is surprisingly drinkable.

Also see our round-up of traditional Moroccan foods you must try in Morocco.

The dining scene

Marrakech offers two very different dining experiences; in the contemporary, European style restaurants in the Ville Nouvelle, and the more traditional, atmospheric eateries in the streets of the medieval medina.

Every visitor to Marrakech should eat in a palace restaurant at least once, although you do go for the exquisite decor – intricate stuccowork and mosaic tiling – as much as for the food. For something more intimate, many riads have rooftop restaurants that are open to non-residents, although reservations must be made in advance.

Recommendations

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Bab Doukkala Market

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Moroccan bread for sale in a shop in Marrakech

Bustling with fishmongers and butchers, street vendors selling in-season fruit and veg, bread fresh from the local oven, and more. In between, small kitchens serve street food specialties through the morning and afternoon.

Best for ages 18+

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Friday couscous at the Amal Centre

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Close-up of vegetables on cous-cous served in a clay tagine

This non-profit organisation offers culinary and restaurant training to disempowered women – and is the place to be for Friday couscous topped with seven vegetables, hiding a bed of beef or chicken underneath.

Adult price: £4

Best for ages 18+

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Haj Lamine

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Meat tajne in a clay dish

Famed chef Haj Lamine’s restaurant is the place to go for Marrakechi specialty meat dish tanjia (typically beef or lamb), slow-cooked in a terracotta pot on the coals that heat the hammam.

Best for ages 18+

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Mechoui Alley

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Close up of lamb tangia in a clay pot

Whole lamb slow-roasted underground is served to a hungry lunchtime crowd from a busy stall in this bustling alleyway. Sprinkle cumin and salt on the meat and add a cup of sugary tea to make the flavours pop.

Best for ages 18+

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Street food in Jemaa el Fna

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

A street food stall in Jemaa El Fna square full of people dining at dusk

Smoky grills and lively stalls serve up mouth-watering delicacies including seafood, snails, offal and bowls of harira soup nightly from 6 pm – just pull up a stool and point at what you want. Standards vary hugely though; a good rule of thumb is to go to whichever is busiest – or check out local foodie blogs to find which are recommended.

Best for ages 13+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: Variable

Getting there & doing it

There are numerous atmospheric restaurants in the Medina, although only a few are licensed to serve alcohol. The smartest of these are riad-style restaurants. The Gueliz district is home to a large number of more European-style bars, some highly-regarded Moroccan, French and Italian restaurants, cafés and nightclubs. Tasting Marrakech offers half-day food and cultural tours in both the medina and Gueliz, mixing historical sightseeing with tastings amongst locals.

The ultimate Marrakech foodie experience is to eat in the Jemaa el Fna, at one of the twenty or so food stalls that pop up at dusk. Hygiene standards vary wildly, so check out a local blog or website to see which are recommended (each stall is numbered).

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Authentic Moroccan Food Tour in Marrakech with Dinner

Marrakech

Authentic Moroccan Food Tour in Marrakech with Dinner
Savor the delectable bites of Marrakech and learn about the local values and way of life on this 3 hour authentic Moroccan food tour, strolling around the old Medina during the golden hour and capturing its magic by night. From satisfying delicacies to hearty dishes, immerse yourself into the vibrant and unique culinary scene of our city by visiting the food stalls, eateries and spots favored by Marrakchis. You'll eat like a local, learn fascinating stories and deepen your knowledge of Moroccan cultural traditions, while receiving a personalized attention from your guide throughout the whole tour. Your belly will be filled with joy, and your senses will be delighted! If you’re vegetarian or have specific dietary needs, please let us know after booking. We’ll take great care of you! Note: One Life Trips only works with genuinely passionate tour guides & meticulously selected local partners to deliver the most delightful and unique travel experiences.

Price: €50

Min age: 0

Rating 4.94 / 5 [971 ratings]

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Moroccan Cooking Workshops in Marrakech

Marrakech

Moroccan Cooking Workshops in Marrakech
Our pioneering spirit at La Maison Arabe led us to open the first cooking school in the Kingdom of Morocco in 2001. Food lovers staying in Marrakech can discover some secrets of Moroccan traditional cuisine. The workshops are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook), algonside a translator ( Arabic/English/French) and are held by the cooking school near the Riad-Hotel La Maison Arabe or by the secret gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the medina. The Moroccan cooking workshops at La Maison Arabe allow one to learn the ins and outs of preparing a Moroccan dish in a beautiful new workshop with state-of-the-art equipment. The workstations are individual and only fresh local ingredients of the highest quality are used. Cooking workshops at La Maison Arabe offers 2 options :  * 1 Hour express Moroccan cooking workshops: 2 sessions per day : 1:30pm (lunch) & 6:30 pm (dinner). * 3 Hours Moroccan cooking workshop: 2 sessions per day at 10am (lunch) and 3pm (dinner).

Price: €30

Min age: 12

Rating 4.96 / 5 [358 ratings]

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Farmhouse Cooking Class from Marrakech

Marrakech

Farmhouse Cooking Class from Marrakech
Create a delicious homemade Moroccan meal with this 6-hour cooking class. Purchase your stuffs in a very local market and Take part in the popular "Guess the Spices" test before preparing your dish. A private driver will be your method of transport to this lush farm on the outskirts of Marrakesh.

Price: €30

Min age: 7

Rating 4.96 / 5 [323 ratings]

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Cooking class with Chef Najla

Marrakech

Cooking class with Chef Najla
We will buy what we will need for the course, it will not be a market but rather shops near my house, then we will go to my house I would start my cooking class by teaching you how to make Moroccan tea, then we'll settle down for tea time and enjoy delicious Moroccan cookies and cakes as we get to know each other. the menu will consist of starters, main courses I will walk you through the cooking process step by step and teach you my personal cooking technique and my unique selection of herbs and spices to create the most authentic Moroccan meal you have ever tasted. NB: Afternoon lessons will be without shopping because we wont find anymore vegetables or it will be the rest of the morning, i will have to buy them before the class, please book the morning if you want to join the shopping

Price: €34

Min age: 6

Rating 4.97 / 5 [319 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Experience Marrakesh: Visit Market and Cook Traditional Tajine

Marrakech

Experience Marrakesh: Visit Market and Cook Traditional Tajine
Receive a Moroccan masterclass on this Marrakech tour that will send you home with supreme, inside knowledge of tajine making and the delicate art of market haggling. Smug home cook alert! This small-group tour is limited to 12 people for a more intimate experience.

Price: €55

Min age: 6

Rating 4.78 / 5 [299 ratings]

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Marrakech

Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Ornate, tiled doorway with round door

An exotic time capsule of ancient streets and souks, blending Arab culture and French colonial heritage. Soak it all up in the wonderfully evocative atmosphere of the Jemaa el-Fnaa.