Eating out in Morocco

Eating out in Morocco - All you need to know

I came around lots of articles which discuss eating out in Morocco or the most popular Moroccan dishes and this gave me the idea to come up with this post. It’s of course not to discourage anyone of you to check out places in Morocco but I will also include some places where you should definitely not eat out and some useful tips on how you should look for places for eating out.

On the culture of eating out in Morocco:
There are places, such as villages, where eating out is simply not a thing. Why is that? It’s simple. As per local traditions, the housewives, the mothers, the sisters will deal with the cooking. This makes all the more sense, since most Moroccan and Arabic households have at the very least 2-3 female members who are young moms, who don’t work and simply are housewives and the grandmas who spend most of their days at home too. In this sort of a culture it’s still considered somewhat of a shame if a family goes to eat out, except if this is for a special occasion at another family member or at a close friends’.  Moroccan people do not eat out. But they do go out. Only not for eating proper meals. This is sad news because this means, there are not too many places which are highly visited and suggested by locals to visit.

What places do Moroccans go out to?

  • Coffee shops and Cafés – as drinking is a no-no in Morocco, the pub culture is replaced by Café culture. And to take this also further, these places are regularly only visited by men.
  • Internet cafés – Morocco is still one of the countries where internet is not god given. That’s why many of the teenagers and young people attend internet cafés for hanging out. Many of these also sell soft drinks for those who plan to stay for a longer time.
  • Sweet shops and confectionaries including ice cream stores: these are the places where women, especially moms and kids are highly welcome and this is the place families also regularly go out to.
  • Fast-food places: there are places for workers and those travelling which sell grilled meat, especially chicken without any special dressings except for Moroccan bread which are visited by men especially during the day. These are smaller eateries where tables and chairs are plastic and many do buy their food as a takeaway.
  • As only the largest cities, such as Marrakech or Casablanca has a wider variety of Western fast food places, we can state these are still not as popular as there are in any other places.
  • Shisha bars- these bars where the Nr.1 activity is to smoke waterpipes are largely frequented by the younger generation and criminal sort of elements. Proper Muslims like to steer clear from these places but they are quite popular in larger cities.
Restaurants for tourists

With this long intro, I’m afraid that it has become obvious that restaurants in Morocco are almost exclusively made for non-Moroccans. This means they generally sell food which is more expensive and which is not really authentic especially for locals. In one of my previous posts I have already underlined the fact that in Morocco it’s best to eat out at a friend’s family. But if you cannot do this, then here are some important guidelines for you:


Jamaa el Fna Marrakech
A wonderful tourist attraction Jamma El Fna is definitely not the place where you should eat

  • Marrakech: Djamaa El Fna – to put it bluntly, the food here will make you sick as it did with me. Do not eat here, resist the temptation even when you feel good smells, trust me they are in real coming from undercooked sausages and other meat of mysterious origin. Avoid all food stalls here no matter what food they sell. Do the same with most of the old town places.
  • Avoid the extra expensive luxurious restaurants in the downtown of any city: the fact that they are expensive doesn’t mean that they are good.
Where you should eat?

In Marrakech the best food is really served in Dars and Riads. The reason for this is in the good local staff who are specifically employed to prepare their authentic food, they generally prepare at home too. There are some well hidden places in Marrakech and all the larger cities such as Fés, Rabat or Casablanca but first always target the Riads/Dars. PS: I am planning to write more extensively about the best Dars and Riads in Marrakech and in all the other cities also emphasising on each riad’s cuisine too.

Where to eat out in Marrakech:

Dar Les Cigognes
Dar Les Cigognes Marrakech

Dar Les Cigognes it’s this beautiful Dar where you can find the restaurant Salt with a fantastic chef with menus coming for pretty decent prices and with a real authentic atmosphere.

Dar Najat: another Dar which offers great flavors of Moroccan food for tourists as well as some nice rooms in a great authentic traditional atmosphere. Check it out once in Marrakech.

Riad Zitoun – Medina  it’s a quite popular Riad which offers some of the best food in town.
PS: both these riads are perfect for staying in Marrakech so that you have great rooms and food under the same roof! If you want to learn more about Riads and Dars in Morocco check out my separate blog series on Moroccan Riads. This is where I will soon post some specific information on which I consider the best places to go to in each bigger city.

Amal CenterRue Allal Ben Ahmed Marrakech - this is a charity and aid centre which also has become increasingly popular in the past years for their quality and low price of Moroccan food. On top of it all they also offer fine international dishes and vegetarian dishes too.

Cafe Clock – This is a new place that does not only offer great authentic food but they also offer a real Moroccan experience with storytelling in English and a fantastic all Moroccan atmoshpere that also includes traditional musicians and much more. Check out this place to spend a great afternoon or evening there.
Why don’t you just sign up for a food tour?  There is one blogger who I specifically love and whose blog has given be so much inspiration to do my blogs on Morocco. This is MarocMama whose blog I greatly suggest you to visit. She is an American living in Morocco having a Moroccan family and offers some fantastic tours and tourist information about Morocco. Check her and their food tours out.

Where to eat out in Fez:

Fez Medina
Fez is a fantasic city which you should not miss out on

Fez is nowadays called the real culinary capital of Morocco and it’s not without a good reason. This cultural capital city of Morocco is one that has received the least of all the international effects which have greatly influenced the Moroccan culture in cities like Casablanca or Marrakech ( French) or Tangier ( Spanish). This is why this city could stay as authentically Moroccan as possible. And you get the chance to taste some of the best food in here. You only need to find the right places for doing so.

Fes does not have a downtown area like Marrakech does because it looks like many smaller cities being put in one, but with each having their own respective downtown. This makes it harder for tourists to get around. This is because the modern city part is quite far from the old city where you can find the traditional maze of Medina. You will need a half an hour taxi ride to get there.Most tourists decide to stay around the Old Town area for it being way more authentic than the new town.
You may need to be aware that there are tons of places which were specifically created to rip tourists off. Steer clear from all the restaurants which are located nearby the entrance of the Medina ( Bab Boujloud) you may have more trust in the local Dars and Riads who work with locals specifically to create authentic meal. These dars where you may as well stay for a few nights include:

One place which is a must-visit for you if you are in Fez and want to learn more about Moroccan culture is Café Clock which in origin is from Fez, it has only recently opened its doors in Marrakech too. See website above.

Palais Amani Fez
Palais Amani is one of the best riads in Fez

Rooms and cooking classes in the same time: Palais Amani
If you would really like to learn more about Moroccan cooking check out Palais Amani cookery courses. This doesn’t only help you learn more about cooking and Moroccan cooking but it’s also a fantastic way to socialize, to learn more about the country and its culture. All in all it’s a great idea. And as it will become obvious from its website, this is actually a lovely place to stay at You should definitely check it out when in Fez.

Eating out in Casablanca and Rabat

Rabat Old City
Rabat the capital city is very underrated although it's one of the best places in the whole country

Casablanca is overrated and Rabat is largely underrated. If you have the chance, rather spend time in Rabat which is much safer, cleaner and less hungry for your money than Casablanca which like all real port cities is full of criminal activites and shady people. If you are still stuck in Casablanca definitely do two things:
  • Check out the Grand Mosque – there are regular tours for tourists and this is the one and only attactrion of the city
  • Visit Rick’s Café : if you are crazy for old movies, because some scenes of the old movie Casablanca were in fact taken in here.  I found no website but the address is 248 Blvd Sour Jdid Medina. It will be expensive.
  • As this city is more french than Moroccan its best restaurants offer French specialties such as Ma Bretagne or La Buena Forchetta. You can find them at the Corniche – the seaside strolling boulevard of the town.
Rabat is a lovely city and not too many people know, but this is the capital city of the country. Next to this, Rabat has a beautiful well kept Medina, a fantastic view to the beach and it’s also a fishing town. This is why fish dishes are some of the best in here.
We really suggest you to stroll around the Medina which is way less touristic than it’s „brothers” in Fés and Marrakech because there are tons of fish restaurants in here. Unlike elsewhere locals do like to hop in to each some freshly caught fish at these places, so you can freely ask around if you feel like. If you however want some specific names let’s serve you with two:

  • Le Ziryab Restaurant: a great authentic very elegantly renovated riad where everything is cooked in place over here. The whole experience is pricey but at least you will get quality in return.
  • Al Marsa – freshness is guaranteed but authencity not that much. One place serves Spanish the other place serves Japanese style meals. But these double Marsa restaurants are still some of the most popular in town. Address: Nouvelle Marina de Bouregreg.

don't forget to taste Morocco's favorite drink the mint tea

Well, this was all you need to know about where to eat out in Morocco. I will also include some useful links at the end of this  blog. Don't forget to follow me on my other culinary adventures. Please comment, ask and add any useful info you may have about good places to eat out in Morocco

Useful links:


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