PHOTO: Camel burger, Cafe Clock, Marrakesh, Morocco. (photo by Worldwide Scott)
Marrakesh is famous for being a sensory-stimulating place, with its aromatic spice markets and pungent tanneries providing a nudge to the nose and the clamor of motorbikes and day-to-day life buzzing the ear.
Marrakesh also does a number on the taste buds, too.
Yes, Marrakesh is overflowing with street stalls, restaurants, and cafes that tantalize with the flavors of Morocco, and the following are six of the best I discovered on a recent trip.
The clue is in the name here, as this relaxing restaurant in the middle of the maze-like Medina (walled old town) is a true botanical oasis. The building Le Jardin resides in dates from the 16th century, and it features a grand courtyard, which has been meticulously filled with lush greenery.
Each night, you will find guests feasting on a mix of traditional Moroccan and European flavors while surrounded by leafy palms, twinkling lights, and even a quirky and fully-functioning antique bird cage.
Make sure you order: the pigeon-stuffed and cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted crispy pastilla for starter.
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Offering much more than just a great meal, Cafe Clock is the place to go in Marrakesh for a side of culture with your dinner. This colorful and art-filled cafe is home to a thriving cultural scene, created in an effort to bring people from around the world together. The program is highlighted by their famous Thursday night storytelling sessions, which aim to recreate the ancient yarn-spinning tradition of the nearby Jema el-Fna square.
Make sure you order: the camel burger, it’s delicious, and you know what they say about ‘when in Rome’, right?
The Street Stalls of Rue de La Kasbah
Around the corner from Cafe Clock on the main drag of the Kasbah neighborhood, you will find street food central. Rue de La Kasbah is filled with cheap and cheerful joints serving up simple yet delicious snacks at very budget-friendly prices. It’s a great opportunity to eat like locals and save a few Moroccan Dirham in the process.
Make sure you order: the chicken brochette, a sandwich stuffed with flame-grilled kebab-style chicken.
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This chic rooftop cafe is one of the most popular restaurants in all of Marrakesh, and for very good reason. Nomad is putting new-school twists on traditional Moroccan food, with everything from tagine to calamari getting a fun modern makeover.
The gorgeously presented food here is complemented by the fact that Nomad overlooks the vibrant and spirited spice market. Simply put: having a meal here feels like stepping into an episode of a show hosted by Anthony Bourdain.
Make sure you order: the lamb tagine, it’s tender, tasty, and comes swimming in a mouthwatering sauce.
Rue Ibn Rochd Fried Sardine Stall
On the side of bustling Rue Ibn Rochd street (just around the corner from the Jema el-Fna square and Koutoubia Mosque), you will find a humble street stall selling fried sardines and fresh-made fries. I stumbled upon it by accident, and it ended up being my favorite meal in Marrakesh. The vendor fries up the lightly-breaded sardines and slices the potatoes right before your eyes, resulting in street food heaven.
Make sure you order: the sardines and fries, their only menu option.
Fine De Marrakech
You can’t have a meal on vacation without dessert, right? Well, this creamery and patisserie just outside the Medina is a Mecca for all things sweet and sticky. You’ll find a plethora of nutty and honey-soaked sweets here, all served by a gregarious gentleman who personifies Moroccan hospitality.
Make sure you order: everything. Literally everything.